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Antarctic landscape

South Georgia, Falklands & Antarctic Odyssey

Roundtrip Ushuaia - Example 21 Day Cruise aboard Greg Mortimer
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Explore the best of South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula on this 21-Day South Georgia, Falklands & Antarctic Odyssey Roundtrip Ushuaia aboard Greg Mortimer. Summer comes to South Georgia’s remote, untamed landscape like a freight train. Famed for its abandoned whaling stations and Shackleton’s heroic journey, South Georgia has millions of fur seals and penguins, wallows of elephant seals, and nesting albatross. Arrive at the breeding cycle peak, as chicks become juveniles, parents shuttle fish, and seal pups thrill with mock charges. Retracing Shackleton’s boat voyage, visit Elephant Island before continuing south along the Antarctic Peninsula. Days remain long and filled with humpback and minke whales, penguins and leopard seals, historic sites, and scientific stations. 
 
Salisbury Plain, South GeorgiaPort Lockroy landingWhale breaching the Antarctic watersElephant SealsAntarctic landscape
Highlights
  • Explore South Georgia's abandoned whaling stations and Shackleton's journey
  • Discover millions of fur seals, penguins, elephant seals, and albatross
  • Observe humpback and minke whales, penguins, leopard seals, historic sites
  • Enjoy long days filled with exciting wildlife and stunning scenery
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina

Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a representative and transferred to your downtown hotel. 

This afternoon, visit the hospitality desk in the lobby between 8.00 am and 12.00 pm, or 3.00 pm and 7.00 pm, to collect your luggage tags, and confirm if you wish to join the Beagle Channel and Isla de Los Lobos Cruise (sea lion island) tomorrow. The team will confirm details regarding your embarkation day, answer any questions and provide you with information on where to dine or purchase last-minute items.   

The remainder of your time is at leisure. 

Assigned accommodation: Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort or Los Acebos Ushuaia Hotel 

Day 2: Ushuaia | Embark

This morning, enjoy breakfast and check out. Ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labeled with your name and cabin number. Take your cabin luggage to the hotel reception, before, or at check-out. Your luggage will be stored and transferred directly to the port for clearance, to be placed in your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. Keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day.  

Your morning is at leisure to explore Ushuaia. 

Those wishing to join the afternoon catamaran cruise, meet back at the hotel lobby at 12.45 pm ready to transfer to the port at 1.00 pm. Here you board your catamaran and sail the Beagle Channel, towards the city’s iconic Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. Crossing the Bridges Archipelago you’ll slow down to watch colonies of sea lions and imperial cormorants sun themselves on the rocky outcrops, while gulls, rock cormorants, skuas, petrels, albatrosses, and cauquenes are often sighted. The cruise offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountain range, in addition to hearing tales of the people and communities of the region. 

Alternatively, enjoy your day at leisure and meet at your hotel lobby at 3.45 pm to be transferred to the pier for embarkation. 

Once onboard, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important mandatory briefings. As the ship pulls away from the port, gather on the deck to commence your adventure with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego.  

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 3-4: Drake Passage Crossing

As you commence the Drake Passage crossing, make the most of your time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Our expedition team prepares you for our first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures and starts our lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife, and environment.

Our wildlife experiences begin as you enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following in our wake. They rise and fall skilfully, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.

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 you 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 lifetime. Weather permitting, you may attempt our first landing in Antarctica by late afternoon.

Day 5-7: Antarctic Peninsula

It is 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 you arrive, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are yours to explore, and have a host of choices available to you. Because you are so far south, you will experience approximately 18-24 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.

You generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. You will 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 favourite spots along the peninsula. 

While ashore you aim to stretch your 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 will have the option to participate in the activity whenever conditions allow, and of course, keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse themselves in polar waters - conditions permitting! The polar plunge can take place at any time during the voyage, so listen out for the announcement from the expedition team and get ready for the most exhilarating dip of your life! 

In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, you may ship cruise some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to watch whales travelling or feeding. This is a great time to enjoy the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge (open at the captain’s discretion) for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendour. Listen out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve into the sea. Take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of the pristine paradise of the splendid white continent.

If you have chosen an optional activity, you will have the option to enjoy that activity whenever conditions allow. 

Day 8: Elephant Island

Today, if weather permits, you set course for Elephant Island, a half-submerged mountain cloaked with an ice sheet at the outer limits of the South Shetlands. You’ll learn the story of Shackleton and hear how his ship, the Endurance, was crushed in pack ice in the Weddell Sea, before he and his men climbed into three open boats, spending 16 months at sea, before finally making landfall on this tiny toe of rock and ice in the vastness of the Southern Ocean on 14 April 1916.

Plan to sail past Cape Valentine to see the beach. Weather permitting; hope to follow the coastline six miles west to Point Wild, where the men eventually set up camp under two of their upturned open boats and some old tents. If weather permits, attempt to make a landing on historic Point Wild, Elephant Island.

Day 9-10: Scotia Sea

En route for South Georgia head across the Scotia Sea, following the route that Shackleton and five of his men took in order to find help for the rest of their crew. On 24 April 1916, they piled into the James Caird, the most seaworthy of their open boats, to attempt this perilous journey to South Georgia, some 1290 km (802 miles) distant. Shackleton hoped to reach South Georgia in two weeks. There he would enlist the help of the whalers to return to Elephant Island and rescue the men who had been left behind. As excitement builds for South Georgia, catch up with fellow expeditioners in the bar, keep watch for wildlife alongside our naturalist from the open bridge, or learn more of the Shackleton story from our historian. 

“Nearly always there were gales. So small was our boat and so great were the seas that often our sail flapped idly in the calm between the crests of two waves. Then, climb the next slope and catch the full fury of the gale where the wool-like whiteness of the breaking water surged around us.” 
- Ernest Shackleton

Day 11-15: South Georgia

As you near the rugged island of South Georgia, spare a thought for Captain James Cook, who arrived here in 1775 and believed it to be the northern tip of a great southern continent! In fact, it is a small island only 176 km (110 mi) long, but with a 3,000 m (9,842 ft) snow-capped mountain range, some of the world’s largest congregations of wildlife, and a truly fascinating human history, South Georgia is an island of incredible riches. 

On approach, jagged mountain peaks rise steeply, while seabirds are often spotted soaring around the ship. Sail down the east coast, taking in the spectacular glaciated scenery and enjoying a little shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. This enchanting coastline is yours to explore! 

Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, uses their local knowledge to plan your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, sea state, and wildlife opportunities.

Make sure you layer up before joining Zodiac cruises around craggy coves and along the rocky coastline in search of penguins, seal haul-outs, and bird cliffs. Remember to keep an eye out for South Georgia’s kelp forests—these remarkable underwater ecosystems are quite mesmerizing as their fronds sway back and forth on the water’s surface. 

Zodiacs also transport you from ship to shore, where you can visit some of the largest king penguin colonies on earth, take a guided walk among fur seals and elephant seals (making sure you listen to your guides and keep your distance!) and wander along pebbled streams and grassy glacial outwash plains. You also hope to visit the remnants of South Georgia’s thriving whaling stations and pay our respects to Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose incredible voyage of survival is synonymous with this island. If you have chosen an optional activity, you’ll have the option to do that whenever conditions allow. 

In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, you may ship-cruise through fjords with towering cliffs of ancient stone, or into deeply indented bays towards dramatic glacier fronts. This is a great time to find a comfy spot in the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge to enjoy uninterrupted views of South Georgia’s majestic coast.

Day 16-18: At Sea

Between South Georgia and the Falklands~Malvinas, you will be entranced by the nonstop flight of the many seabirds that follow our wake, skillfully using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum. We usually travel into the prevailing weather on this leg, so it isn't easy to estimate our arrival time in the Falklands~Malvinas. Our lecture program will continue and highlight all the fantastic sights we have witnessed over the past few days. Have ample time to enjoy the rest of our time observing the sea birds, whale watching from the bridge, or simply relaxing in the bar with a book. 

If time and weather conditions permit, pass close to Shag Rocks, a fascinating group of jagged rocky islets protruding from the sea in the proximity of South Georgia.

Day 19: Falklands~Malvinas

The Falklands~Malvinas comprises two large islands (East and West Falkland), with over 700 islands scattered off the coast. All but seven of these are uninhabited, with windswept coastlines, white sand beaches, and crystal-clear water. These beautifully barren islands are true wildlife havens, sheltering an impressive diversity of birdlife, including the largest black-browed albatross colony on Earth. The cold, nutrient-rich waters surrounding the islands make this a prime location for spotting marine life.

There are many beautiful areas to explore across the Falklands~Malvinas, each offering a unique perspective on this magnificent archipelago. 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 winds, weather, and wildlife opportunities.

Generally, there are Zodiac excursions twice a day. Even though you’re north of the Antarctic Convergence it can be quite chilly here, so you’ll want to layer up before joining Zodiac cruises into rocky coves or along sea cliffs, keeping watch for seals, sea lions, dolphins, and penguins. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to land, where you may be able to visit albatross colonies, and penguin rookeries, and perhaps even have traditional English ‘tea and scones at a local cottage.  

Also aim to land in historic Stanley, the capital of the Falklands~Malvinas. This charming town has a distinctly British character, with terraced townhouses, pioneer cottages, and even an iconic red telephone box! Colorful buildings house cozy cafes, English pubs, souvenir shops, a post office, and the fascinating Historic Dockyard Museum, with displays on the maritime history of the Falkland Islands, natural history, and links to Antarctica.
 

Day 20: At Sea

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As we sail towards Ushuaia, you may choose precious time editing photos, enjoying the onboard facilities, or attending final lectures. Celebrate the end of an unforgettable voyage with newfound friends at a special Captain’s farewell dinner. 

Day 21: Ushuaia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
During the early morning, cruise up the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into the dock in Ushuaia, where you will be free to disembark around 8.00 am. Farewell to your expedition team and fellow passengers as you all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to Ushuaia Airport or to your hotel is included in the voyage fare. 

Note: At the conclusion of the cruise, it is not recommended to book flights departing Ushuaia prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation in case there are delays. 

Ship/Hotel

Greg Mortimer

Kayak in Antarctica
Greg Mortimer- Comfortable Dining
Greg Mortimer

Ushuaia - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$26,095 2-3 travelers
Greg Mortimer-Aurora StateroomGreg 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 Twin Share
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.
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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-Balcony Stateroom
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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-Balcony StateroomGreg 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.
Included
  • 20 Breakfasts, 18 Lunches, 19 Dinners
  • 19 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Beer, House Wine, and Soft Drinks with Dinner 
  • Educational Lectures and Guiding Services from Expedition Team 
  • Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult)
  • Port Surcharges, Permits, and Landing Fees
  • Captain's Welcome and Farewell drinks including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages.
  • A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
  • Complimentary use of Muck boots during the voyage
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
  • All airport transfers mentioned in the itinerary.
  • On-board accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
  • Half-day tour of Ushuaia on Day 2, prior to embarkation
  • One night's hotel accommodation including breakfast, in Ushuaia on Day 1
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Airport Departure Tax - Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges
  • Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
  • Optional activity surcharges
  • Reciprocity and Vaccination Charges
  • Passengers traveling with Aurora Expeditions are required to be covered by a reputable travel insurance policy that includes baggage loss, cancellation & curtailment of the holiday, medical, accident, and repatriation/emergency evacuation coverage worth at least $250,000 USD.

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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