Take a journey into the Weddell Sea's ice-filled waters, navigating vast tabular bergs and breaching whales, before discovering the Peninsulas' western flanks - a trip that combines the best of both worlds. In this frozen area of extraordinary beauty, powerful orcas and leopard seals patrol the waters, while ethereal snow petrels grace the skies against a backdrop of bristling mountain ranges and surreal icebergs. Get ready for an exciting Antarctic adventure, complemented by powerful whales, shimmering mountain ranges and mesmerising icebergs. Sail & Fly expedition - only one crossing of the Drake Passage Enjoy the freedom of Antarctica - being in the vast, ice-sculpted Antarctic wilderness Search for feeding whales - as well as hunting seals Get close to large colonies of penguins - see Adelie, gentoo and chinstrap penguins Marvel at enormous tabular icebergs - in the Weddell Sea
Arrive in Punta Arenas. If you are arriving in on the preferred flight times, you will be met by a representative and transferred to your downtown hotel. 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 a fascinating testament to Chile's rich history. There are no activities planned today. If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to join a city tour or visit one of the city's excellent museums before the group gather in the evening for a briefing.
This morning you will be transferred to Punta Arenas airport for your early morning charter flight to King George Island, Antarctica, the flight will take approximately one-and-a-half-hours. On arrival at King George Island, the expedition team will be on hand to greet you and provide you with gumboots for your Zodiac transfer to board the MV Greg Mortimer. You'll have time to settle into your cabin before the important ship briefings. You will be able to spend the evening getting to know your fellow expeditioners and friendly expedition team at a welcome dinner, celebrating the start of a thrilling adventure to Antarctica. Please 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 so delays can occur.
While settling into our cabins and familiarising ourselves with the ship, we will head through the Antarctic Sound to the eastern side of the Peninsula, reaching the Weddell Sea. Access to the Weddell Sea is heavily dependent on ice conditions and our experienced leader will use their expertise to design our voyage from day to day. Over the next eight days a host of choices are open to us and depending on ice and weather conditions, both flanks of the Antarctic Peninsula, is ours to explore. Our experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to ensure that we make the most of the wildlife and landing opportunities, that present themselves along the way.
We aim to make landings or Zodiac excursions two times a day. Days will be spent 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 rookies, seal haul outs, historic huts, and a few other favourite spots along the peninsula. Be spoiled for wildlife encounters as the Weddell boasts a large Adélie penguin colony just outside of the Antarctic Sound, some of which breed on the rocky slopes of a small volcanic island, where a large colony of Antarctic blueeyed shags jostle for space with nest-building Wilson's storm petrels. On thrilling Zodiac cruises or slicing a path through the maze of sea ice in your kayak, keep watch for chinstrap and gentoo penguins in and out of the water, where you\ re likely to spot humpback, minke and orca whales. With good ice and plenty of luck, you may even get close to a well-known emperor penguin colony. Your camera is sure to get a solid workout during your time in the Weddell Sea.
Central to the story of where Sir Ernest Shackleton's ship, the Endurance became trapped in formidable sea ice, the Weddell Sea certainly is high on the list for most polar adventurers. A small set of islands standing off to the east of the Antarctic Peninsula collectively form the Antarctic Sound - the gateway to the Weddell Sea. With a well deserved reputation as being an iceberg alley, many large tabular bergs escape the Weddell Sea through the Antarctic Sound, often making navigation difficult. However, the rewards can be great. Fossils are a reminder of a more temperate era - gastropods, large clams, and spiral-shaped ammonites, all turned to stone.
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 approximately 18-24 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish. There will be plenty of time to enjoy the sheer beauty and breathtaking scenery of this magical land, with it's impressive glaciers and rugged snow-capped mountains. You will have plenty of time to walk on shore amongst the hundreds of penguins, or to enjoy a Zodiac cruise and simply soak up this wonderful landscape.
During our time in Antarctica, there are many exciting places we can choose to visit and we may make a stop at a few or many of the following : Brown Bluff Situated on the eastern side of the Tabarin Peninsula, the spectacular 745-metre promontory of Brown Bluff, towers over some 20,000 nesting pairs of Adélie penguins and hundreds of Gentoo penguins. Nesting skuas, snow petrels and pintados inhabit the upper slopes and kelp gulls screech overhead. Brown Bluff's volcanic origins have created some fantastically shaped boulders that lie scattered across the ash beach and make colourful nesting sites for some of the penguins. Paulet Island This tiny volcanic island forms the nesting grounds of some 120,000 pairs of Adélie penguins and the surrounding seas literally teem with penguins. There is also a blue-eyed shag colony situated at one end of Paulet's long beach front. Leopard seals are often seen cruising offshore, in search of their next meal. Weddell seals sometimes haul out here for a quiet nap on the beach. Apart from its plentiful wildlife, Paulet is also rich in the history of Antarctic exploration, for it was here that the 22 men of Larsen's Antarctic ship arrived on 28 February 1903 after their ship had sunk. The men wintered on Paulet, living on penguins and seals until eventually Larsen and five of the men rowed across Erebus and Terror Gulf to be reunited with members of Otto Nordenskjold's geological exploration party. James Clark Ross Island Separated from the Trinity Peninsula by Prince Gustav Channel, the beaches and rocks of this mighty island are a mix of volcanic and sedimentary; creating a geologists' paradise. The beaches are populated with kelp gulls while Antarctic terns and skuas nest on the island's higher slopes. Many of the island's rocks are decorated with bright red and orange lichens, presenting fantastic photographic opportunities. Ice floes in the surrounding waters provide temporary floating homes for Weddell and Leopard Seals. We may walk up to Hidden Lake, following a stream rich in fossilised remains of deciduous trees, ferns, and even clamshells. If ice conditions and time permit, we may also circumnavigate this fantastic island; a rarely-accomplished feat. Devil Island This very rarely-visited island was named for its two striking peaks or 'horns'. It is the nesting site for some 10,000 pairs of Adelie penguins. If weather conditions permit, we may walk up a scree slope to the top of the island's western peak. A few hundred metres in height, the summit provides superb views into Erebus and Terror Gulf. On the upper slopes, you may even see nesting snow petrels and Wilson's Storm Petrels. For those who are less active, the continuous commute of penguins on the beach and the accompanying skua population provide endless fascination. We may also cruise in our zodiacs amongst the large numbers of icebergs that are often grounded offshore. View Point, Duse Bay View Point is one of the few places where we may be able to set foot on the Antarctic continent proper. A British hut was built here in 1953 and an Argentine refuge hut was established a few years later. In front of the old hut are the remains of crabeater seal carcasses, which provided food for the sledge dogs. Thanks to the cold conditions, the well-preserved hut looks just as it did all those years ago - a fascinating place to get a feeling for the olden days of Antarctic exploration. Lemaire Channel If ice conditions allow, standing on the bow of the Greg Mortimer quietly moving through the narrow Lemaire Channel, could be one of the highlights of your voyage. Cliffs tower 700 metres straight up out of the ocean on either side of the ship. The water can be so still, that perfect reflections are mirrored on the surface and it is clear to see why this Channel is also known as Kodak Alley. Gigantic icebergs may clog the channel, creating navigational challenges for our captain and crew; occasionally they may even obstruct our passage. Port Lockroy Located on Goudier Island, British Port Lockroy is an important site for both scientific research and visitors to the Antarctic continent. Designated a historic site in 1994 and opened to the Antarctic tourism industry in 1996, it was discovered in 1904 and used by the whaling industry in the first half of the 1900's. It was also part of the British Operation Tabarin during World War II, and was later used as a British Research Station. Today, Pork Lockroy is manned by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust and operates as a museum, gift shop and Post Office for visitors from passing Antarctic expeditions. You can even send a postcard home from the Penguin Post Office, the World's most southern Post Office!
Aboard robust Zodiacs, we explore penguin rookeries, historic sites and scientific stations and cruise up close to intricately shaped icebergs. We will see seals basking on ice floes and stepping ashore on the continent itself, will no doubt create an everlasting memory. A curious leopard seal cruising amongst spectacular icebergs, may mean postponing lunch, or seeing Bubble-netting humpbacks will deserve a wake-up call, even at midnight! Such wildlife opportunities may present themselves and your crew will ensure that these fortunate sightings are not wasted.
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 travelling 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 splendour. Keep an ear out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve their way from summit to sea, and take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of this incredible white continent.
The peninsula has a remarkable history and during the voyage, you will learn more about the incredible expeditions to these remote areas and hopefully, enjoy the same sense of excitement as many of those early Explorers. There is no doubt that wherever your final itinerary takes you, you will leave Antarctica rich in memories and with a feeling of gratitude, having visited somewhere so beautiful and remote where only a privileged few have set foot.
Today, our landings come to an end as we enter the Drake Passage for our return journey to South America. With lectures and film presentations to complete our Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magic of Southern Ocean and the life that calls it home. There is time for reflection and discussion about what we have seen and experienced, and the impact this voyage has had on our attitude to life.
As we approach the tip of South America, our Captain may sail close to legendary Cape Horn, weather and time permitting.
During the early morning, we cruise up the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia. The trip ends after breakfast on board the ship. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart at any time after 12 pm. For those on earlier flights, a transfer will take you directly to Ushuaia City Airport (USH). For those on later flights, you will be transferred to downtown Ushuaia and given time to explore the city, before continuing on to the airport in time for your flight.
12 Break Fast(s) 11 Lunch(es) 11 Dinner(s)
Ved skriftlig aksept av vårt tilbud bekrefter du/dere at våre betingelser er både lest og forstått og at evt kansellerings gebyrer kan tilkomme ved en evt. avbestilling av reisen.