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Antarctic Explorer: Sail/Fly Expedition

Roundtrip Punta Arenas - Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Greg Mortimer
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Experience the awe-inspiring immensity of Antarctica, reducing your time on the high seas by flying across the Drake in at least one direction. Immerse yourself in the unimaginable beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula, where vast glaciers tumble into the sea, penguins are dwarfed by soaring peaks and humpback and minke whales feast on abundant krill.
Chinstrap penguin sightingMirrored reflection on our kayak excursionHiking through through the snow.Penguins on a rocky beach in Antarctica.Stunning landscapes
Highlights
  • Enjoy gorgeous long summer days on the peninsula
  • Experience polar diving and polar snorkeling with expert guides
  • Tour scientific research stations and historic huts
  • Zodiac cruise in search of feeding whales
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive Punta Arenas, Chile

Arrive in Punta Arenas, where you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to your downtown hotel. Upon arrival at your included hotel, kindly remind hotel check-in staff to provide you with Aurora Expeditions cabin tags. Please clearly label the tags with your name and ship cabin number.
Overlooking the Straits of Magellan, the city sits astride one of the world's most historic trade routes. Today, Punta Arenas reflects a great mix of cultures, from English sheep ranchers to Portuguese sailors, and it remains an utterly fascinating testament to Chile's rich history.

Enjoy free time to explore Punta Arenas at your own pace and discover the town’s excellent restaurants. Between 5.00-7.00 pm, meet your fellow expeditioners at a Welcome Reception and Pre-Embarkation Briefing. Afterward, there’s free time to dine at your leisure. (Dinner not included).

Accommodation: Hotel Dreams del Estrecho

Day 2: Punta Arenas | Embark

This morning, please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labeled with your name and cabin number. Please take your cabin luggage down to the hotel reception by 8.00 am. Your luggage will be collected from your hotel and transferred directly to the port for clearance and delivered to your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. Keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day. After breakfast, check out of your room before commencing a half-day excursion to the Straits of Magellan Park. 

The Straits of Magellan Park is a local protected area that contains important natural and cultural heritage resources including Fort Bulnes and ‘Puerto del Hambre’ national historical monuments. Located 50 km/31 mi. south of Punta Arenas on Santa Ana peninsula with spectacular views of the Straits of Magellan, the origins of the park date back to the 1920s, when remnants of the original Spanish fort of King Don Felipe called ‘Puerto del Hambre’ (Port of Hunger) were discovered. In the park, you can visit the reconstructed fort, stroll along the Coastal Path, the Windy Forest and take in the superb views across the Magellan Strait. A highlight of the excursion is a visit to the interactive Strait Museum that features outstanding exhibits detailing pre-European settlement as well as tales of European exploration and colonization of South America. 

Return to Punta Arenas where you have free time for lunch (own expense). We will then conduct our mandatory health screenings and rapid COVID tests at the hotel from 2-4 pm. Afterward, you will be transferred to the pier to commence embarkation. Once aboard, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important mandatory briefings. As the ship pulls away from the port, we’ll gather on the deck to farewell Punta Arenas and commence our adventure to Antarctica. 

This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners and friendly expedition team and crew at a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure to Antarctica.

Day 3: Chilean Fjords

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail along the legendary Beagle Channel and enjoy the splendid scenery of fjords and channels flanked by majestic mountains. Keep watch for the many seabirds and marine wildlife including dolphins, sea lions, and whales preparing to migrate to Antarctica to fatten up on plentiful krill. In the evening, we exit Nassau Bay, sail past Cape Horn and prepare to enter the Drake Passage.

Day 4-5: Drake Passage & South Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Nearing the South Shetland Islands and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula on day four, the excitement is palpable with everyone converging on one of the observation decks, watching for our first iceberg. The ocean takes on a whole new perspective once we are below the Antarctic Convergence and are surrounded by the surreal presence of floating ice sculptures. The memory of your first big iceberg sighting is likely to remain with you for a long time. Weather permitting, we may attempt our first landing in Antarctica by late afternoon. 

Day 6-10: Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
It’s almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg and taking a deep breath of some of the freshest, crisp air on earth is an experience that will stay with you forever.  

Once we arrive, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are ours to explore, and we have a host of choices available to us. Because we are so far south, we will experience nearly 24 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish.  

Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, ice conditions, and wildlife opportunities. 

We generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. You’ll want to rug up before joining Zodiac cruises along spectacular ice cliffs or among grounded icebergs, keeping watch for whales, seals, and porpoising penguins. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to land, where you can visit penguin rookeries, discover historic huts and explore some of our favorite spots along the peninsula.  

While ashore we aim to stretch our legs, wandering along pebbly beaches or perhaps up snow-covered ridgelines to vantage points with mountains towering overhead and ice-speckled oceans below. If you have chosen an optional activity, you’ll have the option to do that whenever conditions allow, and of course, keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse themselves in polar waters - conditions permitting! 

In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, we may ship cruise some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to watch whales traveling or feeding. This is a great time to enjoy the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge (Captain's call) for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendor. Keep an ear out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve their way from the summit to sea. Take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of this incredible white continent. 

Day 11: Fly King George Island to Punta Arenas

As we approach Frei Base on King George Island, it is time to farewell Antarctica and our amazing adventure before boarding our flight (approximately one-and-a half-hours) to Punta Arenas, Chile. On arrival at the Punta Arenas airport, you will be transferred to our group hotel. 

Accommodation: Hotel Dreams del Estrecho

Note: King George Island is located at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula in the South Shetland Islands and is one of the most remote places on Earth. A clear sky with perfect visibility is required in order to take off and land safely. We apologize in advance if you experience any delays.

Day 12: Punta Arenas

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, bid a fond farewell to your fellow travellers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to the airport is included in your voyage fare. (Breakfast included).

Ship/Hotel

Greg Mortimer

Greg Mortimer
Greg Mortimer
Greg Mortimer

Punta Arenas - Hotels

Dates & Prices

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Save 5-30% depending on the remaining capacity of the ship. Book early for the best savings!
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Per person starting at
$12,495
Greg Mortimer-Aurora Stateroom Triple
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Aurora Stateroom Triple
230.34 ft² - 245.41 ft² - 6 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, three single beds, porthole window, desk area and 42" flat-screen TV
Greg Mortimer
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Aurora Stateroom
170 ft² - 245.41 ft² - Greg Mortimer features 8 porthole rooms, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms, perfect for adventurers who are looking for a comfortable base that's close to the action.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom C
224.97 ft² - 266.95 ft² - 14 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom B
254.03 ft² - 266.95 f - 22 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom A
259.41 ft² - 301.39 ft² - 22 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom Superior
303.54 ft² - 432.70 ft² - With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Greg Mortimer's two Balcony Suites are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. Featuring private balconies, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area, these will sell out quickly!
Greg Mortimer
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Junior Suite
The Greg Mortimer's four Junior Suites take in some impressive scenery from their vantage 418.71 ft² - points on Deck 7. When you aren't enjoying a landing, you can relax in the suites' separate lounge area, or just watch the world float by from the private balcony.
Greg Mortimer
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Captain's Suite
478.99 ft² - The largest of all the rooms, the Greg Mortimer's singular Captain's Suite will take you to the polar regions in ultimate style and comfort. Complete with large lounge area, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite.

Notes

Voyage Inclusions
  • Arrival transfer from airport to hotel on day 1  
  • One night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast in Punta Arenas on day 1 
  • Mandatory pre-embarkation health screening and COVID test on day 2 
  • Half day morning tour to Straits of Magellan Park from Punta Arenas on day 2
  • Luggage transfer from hotel to ship on day 2 
  • Charter flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas on day 11 
  • Transfer from airport to group hotel in Punta Arenas on day 11 
  • One night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast in Punta Arenas on day 11 
  • Transfer from hotel to airport on day 12 
  • On-board accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service 
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage 
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner 
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages 
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises 
  • Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team 
  • Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult) 
  • A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket 
  • Complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage  
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information 
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees  
  • Note: A $15 USD per person per day gratuity for the crew is automatically added to your onboard account. It is at your discretion if you would like to remove the tip (or increase/decrease the amount) when you settle your bill. It is not necessary to tip the expedition team members. This gratuity amount is included for suites as part of their ‘Suite Benefits’ 
Voyage Exclusions
  • International or domestic flights to or within South America, unless specified 
  • Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary 
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes 
  • Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination charges 
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges 
  • Hotels and meals not included in itinerary 
  • Optional excursions not included in the itinerary 
  • Optional activity surcharges 
  • All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges. 

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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
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