This 104-metre ship is our very first, purpose-built expedition vessel. Capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, the Greg Mortimer is built to world-class polar standards – designed in close consultation with our expedition specialists, taking advantage of our more than 25 years of experience.
Accommodating a maximum of 100 passengers plus kayakers and divers in the polar regions*, and 160 passengers in other destinations, the Greg Mortimer redefines expedition cruising for the future. Not only is the ship bigger to contend with adverse weather conditions, its added creature comforts make for a more enjoyable journey out on the open ocean. The Greg Mortimer remains true to our ethos and focus on multiple landings, flexible itineraries and family atmosphere – just with an improved home base!
Across The Antarctic Circle
We cross the Drake Passage, accompanied by albatross, petrels, fulmars and prions. Our polar experts speak about Antarctica’s unique wildlife and history and prepare us for landings with environmental, activity and Zodiac briefings. All eyes are peeled for first iceberg, first penguin and first glimpse of land, the mercurial sea stacks outlying the South Shetland Islands. If conditions allow, we may have a chance to go ashore by late afternoon on Day 4.
We explore the Peninsula’s west coast, with the frenzied activities of penguin parents and chicks as the summer days begin to shorten. Cormorant chicks bravely making their first flights from sea cliffs. Zodiac cruise amongst ice floes replete with basking Weddell and leopard seals and revel in unparalleled beauty of Antarctica’s landscape. We make a continental landing, possibly hiking up for spectacular views. As we continue south, ice conditions govern our movements. Whether we cross the Circle via the ‘inner route’ or the Bellingshausen Sea, we celebrate in style. With luck, we reach magnificent Crystal Sound, pass through the Gullet and steam on to Marguerite Bay. Orcas, humpbacks and minkes feed in the channels. If ice conditions allow, we may visit historical Stonington, Pourquoi Pas and Detaille Islands before returning north to warmer climates
Spirit of Antarctica
We chart a course south, bound for the Antarctic Peninsula. We prepare for our landings with bio security briefings, informative lectures and the Great Gumboot giveaway! We’ll also keep an eye on the horizon for albatross and the first iceberg spotting of the voyage. Possible landings as we approach the South Shetland Islands include Aitcho, Robert or Deception Islands
An overnight passage along Gerlache Strait delivers us to the stunning Antarctic Peninsula, an ethereal wonderland of vast proportions. Aboard robust Zodiacs, we explore penguin rookeries, historic sites and scientific stations, and cruise up close to intricately shaped icebergs and seals basking on ice floes. Kayakers paddle through narrow waterways in search of wildlife and serenity. Stepping ashore on the continent creates an everlasting memory. We make the most of every day and a fair bit of each night. A curious leopard seal cruising among spectacular icebergs may mean postponing lunch (ours, not the leopard seal’s); loading Zodiacs after dinner for an orca cruise. If the weather allows, we may even camp-out on the ice – a must for any Antarctic explorer!
As the Captain steers the ship north across Drake Passage, our minds and souls revel in rich Antarctic experiences. There’s time to watch for seabirds, enjoy entertaining talks, discuss what we’ve seen and learned, exchange photos and stories. With luck, we may make a ceremonial rounding of Cape Horn before sharing a farewell dinner with our newfound friends.
Ushuaia - Punta Arenas
Arrive in Punta Arenas and transfer to your downtown hotel to check in. The rest of the day is at your leisure before a group briefing about tomorrow’s flight. The next day we transfer to Punta Arenas airport for our charter flight to King George Island. Please remember that we are flying to in very remote areas and flight schedules are dependent on weather, both in Punta Arenas & King George Island. Please note – ANP131G operates in reverse
The Antarctic Peninsula’s western flanks offer long days and relatively ice-free waters. We visit historic huts and Zodiac cruise through narrow straits and majestic icebergs, and if we’re lucky, whale watch from the bow of the ship. A few landing points we hope to visit include Half Moon Bay, Lemaire Channel, Hydrurga Rocks and more. Expeditions onboard the Polar Pioneer will also venture into Weddell Sea if weather and ice conditions permit. We hope to visit the large Adelie and gentoo penguin colonies of Brown Bluff or Paulet Island, and fossil-rich Seymour Island. We may hike to spectacular vantage points on Beak or Devil Islands; large tabular icebergs and volcanic scenery create long lasting memories. Wherever we go, wildlife, Heroic Age relics and haunting landscapes await.
South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey
SAMPLE ITINERARY ONLY. You’ll embark your voyage in Ushuaia in the late afternoon to a warm welcome, before we set sail along the Beagle Channel. Additional Information: We recommend you arrive into Ushuaia at least one day prior to your expedition start date. A luggage transfer from your Ushuaia hotel to the ship is included today. Ushuaia port is a short walking distance from town; you are required to make your own way to port for boarding this afternoon. All Greg Mortimer voyages include one night accommodation in Ushuaia prior to embarkation.
The Drake Passage offers excellent bird watching from the outer decks or the warm bridge. Our expedition team presents safety and environmental briefings, and enlightening talks on Antarctica. Keen eyes watch for icebergs, penguins, seals and cormorants as we approach our first landing in the South Shetland Islands.
Awaken to the thrill of Antarctica, where we plan to visit busy penguin rookeries, historic sites and make a continental landing. The Antarctic Peninsula’s west coast is ours to explore. We rely on our experienced expedition team, many who’ve been here over dozens of summers, to create the best daily itinerary that prevailing weather and ice conditions allow. A sense of excitement abounds as we use every moment of daylight to enjoy the best that Antarctica has to offer. This could mean two to three excursions in a day, whether it be to penguin colonies, historic huts, a working scientific station or a Zodiac cruise through a sculpture garden of grounded icebergs. Note – Weather and ice conditions permitting, Greg Mortimer voyages will attempt to explore the ice-choked Weddell Sea region before moving onto the western side of the Peninsula.
We follow in Shackleton’s wake across the Scotia Sea, watching for great whales and big icebergs riding up from the Weddell Sea. It’s a great time to relax and reflect on what we’ve accomplished so far, and our naturalist and historian start their talks on South Georgia’s wildlife and history.
With ample time to explore South Georgia’s spectacular north coast, we visit the world’s largest king penguin rookeries, the nesting grounds of majestic wandering albatross and if weather allows, follow Shackleton’s route from Fortuna Bay to Stromness. Kayakers revel in paddling waters alive with king penguins and playful seals. Against a backdrop of 3000-metre peaks, photograph basking elephant seals, feisty fur seals and penguins cluttering kelp-strewn beaches.
Dawn greets us in the Falkland Islands capital, Stanley; where you can either enjoy more time exploring the Falkland Islands, or continue on to Punta Arenas or Santiago, Chile on your included flight (Polar Pioneer voyages only). Additional Information: Please note that flights departing Stanley to Santiago only depart once a week, on a Saturday. Please advise if you wish to end your stay in the Falkland Islands. Refunds are not available for unused flight sectors for passengers wishing to disembark flight in Punta Arenas. Please note: ASG72 & ASG76 operates in reverse to the above itinerary, starting with a flight from Santiago to Falkland Islands and finishing in Ushuaia.
- Fully-serviced accommodation in your chosen stateroom
- Meals as per itinerary
- Daily shore excursions, guided walks, Zodiac cruises
- Complimentary 3-in-1 polar jacket
- Complimentary use of gumboots
- Lectures and entertainment on board
- Flights/transfers ( applicable to selected voyagers)
- International or domestic flight to/from ship, unless specified
- Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
- Airport arrival or departure taxes
- Visa, passport and vaccination charges
- Travel insurance and emergency evacuation charges
- Hotels and meals not included in the itinerary
- Optional excursions not included in the itinerary
- Optional activity surcharges. Please contact us if you wish to book any optional activities
- All items of a personal nature, including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, and email or phone charges