Over the next few days a host of choices are open to you, and depending on ice and weather conditions, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula is yours to explore. Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day. This allows the best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.
Because you are so far south, you will experience approximately 18-20 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish. Generally the expeditional team will try for two landings or Zodiac excursions each day; cruising along spectacular ice cliffs; following whales that are feeding near the surface; and landing on the continent and its off-shore islands to visit penguin rookeries, seal haul outs, historic huts, and a few other favorite spots along the peninsula. There will be plenty of time for sleep when you get home!
There are many exciting places to visit and your itinerary is deliberately flexible to allow the expedition team to pick the best spots on the day based on ice and weather conditions.
A sample of some of the types of places where you may cruise through, land, hike, photograph or view spectacular wildlife include:
- Beautiful protected bays around the Antarctic Peninsula surrounded by magnificent peaks and spectacular glaciers, areas that are havens for whales as you keep your eyes open for humpbacks, orcas, minkes, and crabeater seals, as you explore bays in Zodiacs.
- Wildlife-rich islands where glaciers and mountains dominate the visit and you can see large chinstrap penguin colonies tucked in between basaltic turrets colored by yellow and orange lichens, and where often fur seals and elephant seals are hauled out on the pebble beaches.
- Harbors home to gentoo penguins, and that regularly host Weddell seals. The scenery is dramatic towering peaks and calving glaciers surround the harbor. The thundering crack of the glaciers as they calve is sure to stop you in your tracks.
- Lemaire Channel - If ice conditions allow, standing on the observation deck of the Greg Mortimer quietly as the ship sails along the narrow Lemaire Channel could certainly be one of the highlights of your voyage. Cliffs tower 700 metres / 2,296 feet straight out of the ocean on either side of the ship. The water can sometimes be so still that perfect reflections are mirrored on the surface and it is clear to see why this Channel is often called “Kodak Alley”. Gigantic icebergs may clog the channel, creating navigational challenges for our Captain and crew; occasionally they may even obstruct your passage.