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South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey feat. South Sandwich Islands

Roundtrip Ushuaia - Example 24 Day Cruise aboard Greg Mortimer
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Embark on a 24-day adventure that visits the Southern Ocean. The South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey featuring the South Sandwich Islands expedition explores some of the most remote and captivating regions.

This trip is not just about exploring the famed white continent. It's an adventure that covers the discovery of Falklands~Malvinas and the encounter with the wildlife in South Georgia. But that's not all – set sail to the South Sandwich Islands, a chain of seldom-visited volcanic islands located 740 km (460 miles) southeast of South Georgia. The mere act of reaching these wild, far-flung islands is an adventure in itself.
Visit remote outposts on an Antarctic voyageA seal sleeping on a mound of snow.
Highlights
  • Encounter the world’s largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia
  • Visit the famed white continent, Falklands~Malvinas, and South Georgia
  • Sail to the rarely visited South Sandwich Islands
  • Enjoy splendid scenery of fjords and channels flanked by majestic mountains
Places Visited
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: Arrival in Ushuaia

Upon arrival in Ushuaia, a representative greets you and accompanies you, along with your fellow expeditioners, to your designated pre-voyage hotel. If you are already in Ushuaia, please proceed directly to your hotel. Check-in is available from 3:00 pm onwards. Later in the afternoon, between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm, the team invites you to visit the hospitality desk located in the hotel lobby. Here, you can collect your luggage tags and confirm your participation in the Beagle Channel and Isla de Los Lobos Cruise scheduled for the following day. The team provides detailed information about your embarkation day, addresses any inquiries you may have, and offers recommendations on dining options or any last-minute purchases.

Expeditioners arriving after 7:00 pm receive a welcome pack upon check-in. The team kindly requests that you visit the hospitality desk the following day between 8:00 am and 10:00 am.

For the remainder of the day, you are free to explore Ushuaia at your leisure. Please note that all meals today will be at your own expense.

Assigned accommodation details are provided to you soon.

Day 2: Ushuaia | Embarkation

This morning, enjoy breakfast and proceed to check-out. Make sure your cabin luggage has cabin tags with your name and cabin number clearly marked. By 11:00 am, take your cabin luggage to the hotel reception, either before or during check-out. Your luggage will be stored and directly transferred to the port for clearance, to be placed in your cabin before your arrival on board. Please keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day.

The morning is free for you to explore Ushuaia at your leisure. 

For those interested in joining the afternoon catamaran cruise, meet back at the hotel lobby at 12:15 pm to transfer to the port at 12:30 pm. You will board the catamaran and sail along the Beagle Channel, heading towards the iconic Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. As travelers pass the Bridges Archipelago, slow down to observe colonies of sea lions and imperial cormorants basking on the rocky outcrops. The cruise provides panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountain range, along with insights into the local people and communities.

Alternatively, you can enjoy your day at leisure and meet at the hotel lobby at 3:00 pm, or 3:30 pm at the designated meeting point near the pier (details provided by the ground staff at the hotel) for transfer to the pier for embarkation.

Once on board, have time to settle into your cabin before the important mandatory briefings. As the ship departs from port, gather on the deck to start the adventure with stunning views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego.

This evening, join your fellow expeditioners, as well as your friendly expedition team and crew, for a welcome dinner to celebrate the beginning of an exciting journey 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. The expedition team will prepare you for the first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures and start the lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife, and environment.

Your wildlife experiences will begin as you enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following the vessel. On sea days, you can enjoy the facilities on board the vessel, including the gym, sauna, and jacuzzis or relax in one of the observation lounges.

Nearing the South Shetland Islands and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula on the afternoon of day four, the excitement will be palpable with everyone converging on one of the observation decks watching for our first iceberg. The ocean will take 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 lifetime. Time and weather permitting, travelers may attempt first landing in Antarctica by late afternoon.

Day 5-8: Antarctic Peninsula

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 you arrive, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are yours to explore, and you have a host of choices available to us. 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.

Travelers 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 the favorite 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’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, you 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 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 9-11: At Sea

Enjoy a morning landing before commencing your crossing of the Scotia Sea, enjoy presentations from the expedition team to help prepare for your arrival to the wild South Sandwich Islands. Perhaps you may want to practice your photo editing skills, stay active in the gym, or simply watch seabirds frolic alongside the ship. 

Day 12-13: South Sandwich Islands

On Captain James Cook’s second voyage of discovery (1772–1775), he circumnavigated the globe in high southern latitudes, without seeing land, casting doubt on the existence of the Antarctic continent, which at that time was still unknown. It was during this voyage Cook discovered the South Sandwich Islands and landed on South Georgia Island, describing them as, ‘Lands doomed by Nature to perpetual frigidness: never to feel the warmth of the sun’s rays; whose horrible and savage aspects I have not words to describe.’

He named the South Sandwich Islands for Lord Sandwich, they are considered together with South Georgia, as a UK Dependent Territory (see above), and are uninhabited. Although Cook sighted a number of the islands, several more were not discovered until Bellingshausen visited in 1819.

Located about 740 km / 460 mi south-east of South Georgia, the islands form a chain some 350 km / 220 mi long, comprising 11 large and several smaller islands with a total area of about 600 sq. km / 230 sq. mi. Most are ice-capped, and the tallest peak, on Montagu Island, reaches 1,370 m / 4,500 ft. The climate is cold, with frequent snow and strong winds. The islands are volcanic in origin and some remain active. The island of Zavodovski, for instance, appears in constant eruption and reeks of rotten eggs (the volcano itself is named Mt. Asphyxia), while the islands of Visokoi, Candlemas, Saunders, and Bellingshausen all show definite signs of activity. Bristol, Cook, and Thule islands are heavily glaciated and show no signs of warmth or activity. All the islands are steep-sided above the water, and fall away rapidly into deep water (more than 1,500 m / 5,000 ft).

In trusted Zodiacs or kayaks, explore the dramatic coast of some of the islands, if conditions allow. Little is known about these islands, although the British Antarctic Survey has undertaken some limited biological and geological work there, mainly in the 1960s. Vegetation is very sparse. But there’s at least one extraordinary wildlife spectacle: Zavodovski Island supports a chinstrap penguin colony that numbers around one million penguins on its steep volcanic slopes. Those who have seen this massive penguin colony speak of it with awe. 

Day 14: At Sea

Reflect over a few drinks on the adventures of the last few days spent in the wild South Sandwich Islands and hear tales of exploration and discovery from your expert expedition team as you prepare for your exciting days ahead in spectacular South Georgia, a mecca for wildlife. 

Day 15-18: South Georgia

Your experienced expedition team will use 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.

Remember to layer up before joining Zodiac excursions that may zip into craggy coves and along the rocky coastline in search of nesting penguins, seal haul-outs, and bird cliffs. Keep an eye out for South Georgia’s kelp forests as well - these remarkable underwater ecosystems are quite mesmerizing as their fronds sway back and forth on the water’s surface.

Our Zodiacs will also transport you ashore, 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. We 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 will have the option to do that whenever conditions allow.

In addition to Zodiac excursions and shore excursions, we 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 (open at the Captain’s discretion) to enjoy uninterrupted views of South Georgia’s majestic coast.

Please note that in November/December, the extraordinary volume of fur seal populations can limit landings at some sites. 

Day 19-20: At Sea

As you sail towards the Falklands~Malvinas, there is plenty to keep you occupied on board.

The expedition team will continue to share their wealth of knowledge about the wildlife, history, and natural world as part of the onboard lecture series. You will have ample time to enjoy observing seabirds from the stern of the ship, keeping a close watch for whales and other marine wildlife, or simply enjoying the many facilities available to you on the ship.

Day 21: At Sea | Falklands~Malvinas

Sea and weather conditions will determine your arrival time into the Falklands~Malvinas today.

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.

Travelers 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. 

After a morning in Falklands~Malvinas, commence your journey back to South America. You may choose to spend the sea days returning to Puerto Williams editing your photos, enjoying the onboard facilities, or listening to an informative lecture. As we approach the tip of South America, the Captain may sail close to legendary Cape Horn, weather and time permitting. Celebrate the end of an unforgettable voyage with newfound friends at a special Captain’s farewell dinner. 

Day 22: Falklands~Malvinas

There are many beautiful areas for you 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, landings or Zodiac excursions are made twice a day. Even though you are north of the Antarctic Convergence, it can be quite chilly here, so be sure 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 shuttle you from the ship to shore, where you may be able to visit albatross colonies, penguin rookeries, and perhaps even enjoy a traditional English ‘tea and scones’ at a local cottage.

Conditions permitting, hope 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! Colourful 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 23: At Sea

As you sail towards Ushuaia, you can choose to spend your 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.

With lectures and film presentations to complete the Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time for you to enjoy the magic of the Southern Ocean and the life that calls it home. Take this opportunity for reflection and discussion about what you have seen and experienced. The team hopes you become ambassadors for the Antarctic region, telling your family, friends, and colleagues about your journey to this magical place, advocating for its conservation and preservation so that they might one day visit the region to experience what you have been lucky to see and do here.

Day 24: Disembark in Ushuaia

  • 1 Breakfast
During the early morning, cruise up the Beagle Channel before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where you'll be free to disembark around 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow passengers as you all continue your onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature.

Expeditioners departing on flights prior to 12:30 pm will be directly transferred to Ushuaia Airport, those with flights after 12:30 pm will have the opportunity to explore Ushuaia before an afternoon airport transfer, and the transfer procedures and details will be communicated onboard before disembarkation.

Note: At the conclusion of the voyage, 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
$28,895 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
  • 22 Breakfasts, 21 Lunches, 22 Dinners
  • 23 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
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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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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