Welcome to our Antarctica Complete expedition.
Experience unparalleled adventure and discovery on your ultimate Antarctic voyage. If you want to see it all, this is the trip for you. Be transported to enthralling subantarctic islands rich with human history and unique wildlife. Then venture into the deep south of the Antarctic Peninsula, crossing the coveted Antarctic Circle. Zodiac-cruise in vast ice-covered landscapes, visit lively penguin colonies, watch for whales and discover the rich history of this fascinating region.
• Step ashore on the Antarctic continent to unforgettable vistas, bustling penguin colonies and swooping skuas.
• Raise a glass as you join a small club of people to attempt to cross below the Antarctic Circle (conditions permitting).
• Zodiac-cruise through glassy waters and gaze at the iridescent blues of gleaming icebergs.
• In South Georgia king penguins are sitting on eggs, chicks are hatching, juveniles are moulting and fledging.
• Hike along pebble beaches and climb tussock steps with unexpected wildlife encounters at every turn.
Aurora Expeditions is actively monitoring developments around Avian Influenza outbreaks closely and are is in constant communication with key authorities such as IAATO. We have implemented enhanced biosecurity measures for arrival in Antarctica and reinforced our onboard protocols, and our expedition team will continue to closely assess each landing site to ensure to determine any risks.
The Avian Flu has extended its presence to South Georgia, leading to temporary restrictions at some landing sites. Although specific locations may be inaccessible due to the ongoing situation, landing at numerous open sites is still permitted.
In the spirit of expedition travel, we encourage you to adopt a flexible and adventurous attitude when joining our voyages. This itinerary is a guide only and is subject to change due to weather, sea state and other conditions beyond our control.
Day 1 Ushuaia
Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred with your fellow expeditioners to your assigned pre-voyage hotel. If you are already in Ushuaia, we ask you to make your way to your hotel. Check-in is from 3.00 pm. This afternoon, visit the Aurora Expeditions hospitality desk in the lobby at Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort, Luis Fernando Martial 1650, 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 our Beagle Channel and Isla de Los Lobos Cruise (sea lion island) tomorrow. Our 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.
Expeditioners arriving after 7.00 pm will find a welcome pack waiting for them at check-in. We ask you to visit our hospitality desk tomorrow between 8.00 am – 10.00 am.
The remainder of your time is at leisure. All meals today are at your own expense.
Assigned accommodation: Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort or Los Acebos Ushuaia Hotel
Day 2 Embarkation
This morning, enjoy breakfast and check-out. Please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Take your cabin luggage to hotel reception, prior to, 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. Please keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day.
Your morning is at leisure to explore Ushuaia.
Those wishing to join our afternoon catamaran cruise, meet back at the hotel lobby at 12.45 pm ready to transfer to the port at 1.00 pm. Here we board our catamaran and sail the Beagle Channel, towards the city’s iconic Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. Crossing the Bridges Archipelago we’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. Our 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 port, we’ll gather on the deck to commence our 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 At Sea
As we commence our trip across the South Atlantic Ocean towards the Falklands~Malvinas, we make the most of our time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Our expedition team prepare you for our first landing with important wildlife guidelines, biosecurity procedures, and start our lecture program to help you learn more about the region’s history, wildlife and environment.
Our wildlife experiences begin as we enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following the vessel. They rise and fall skilfully, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.
Day 4 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.
We generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. Even though we are north of the Antarctic Convergence it can be quite chilly here, so you will 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 shuttle you from the ship to land, where you may visit albatross colonies, penguin rookeries and perhaps even have a traditional English ‘tea and scones’ at a local cottage.
Conditions permitting, we plan to land in historic Stanley, the capital of the Falklands~Malvinas. This charming town has a distinctly British character, with terraced town houses, pioneer cottages and even an iconic red telephone box! Colourful buildings house cosy 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.
If you have chosen an optional activity, you will 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!
Days 5-6 At Sea
Between the Falklands~Malvinas and South Georgia, you will be enthralled by the ceaseless flight of the many seabirds that follow and circle the ship. Our onboard lecture program will continue with presentations from our team of experts. You can also enjoy the many facilities on the ship, borrow a book from our well-stocked library or perhaps stay active in the fitness centre.
Day 7 At Sea / South Georgia
Sea and weather conditions will determine our arrival time into South Georgia today.
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. We will sail down the coast, taking in the spectacular glaciated scenery. This enchanting coastline is yours to explore!
If time and weather conditions permit, en route we could pass close to Shag Rocks, a fascinating group of jagged rocky islets protruding from the sea, in the proximity of South Georgia.
Days 8-12 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. Remember to keep an eye out for South Georgia’s kelp forests as well - these remarkable underwater ecosystems are quite mesmerising as their fronds sway back and forth on the water’s surface.
Our Zodiacs will also transport 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.
Days 13-14 At Sea
Attend informative lectures to learn about Antarctica as we sail across the Scotia Sea towards the white continent. Perhaps treat yourself to a massage in the wellness centre or stay active in the gym; the choice is yours on how you want to enjoy days at sea.
Days 15-20 Antarctic Peninsula and Antarctic Circle Crossing
En route to the Peninsula, if time and weather permits, we may attempt to follow the coastline of Elephant Island, a half-submerged mountain cloaked with an ice sheet at the outer limits of the South Shetland Islands.
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 most fresh, 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 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.
We 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 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 will have the option to do 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, 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 (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. Take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of the pristine paradise of the splendid white continent.
On this voyage, under favourable conditions, we plan to cross the Antarctic Circle, an imaginary line located at latitude 66°33' south. This is certainly a special highlight for many expeditioners, and the moment will be celebrated with a toast on deck (conditions permitting). You have earned some boasting privileges, joining a small group of lucky adventurers who have ventured to this part of the world. As we approach The Circle, you will notice subtle changes in the landscape and in the distribution of wildlife. The waters at this time of year are rich with krill and we hope to see plenty of whales - particularly humpbacks and minkes. We also hope to enjoy the spectacle of penguins feeding their ravenous chicks.
Days 21-22 Drake Passage Crossing
As we commence the Drake Passage crossing, we make the most of our time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Our expedition team prepare you for our first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures and start our lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment.
Our wildlife experiences begin as we enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following our 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.
Day 23 Disembark in Ushuaia
During the early morning, we cruise up the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where we will be free to disembark around 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow passengers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature.
On disembarkation, passengers on flights departing prior to 2.00 pm will be transferred directly to Ushuaia Airport, while those fortunate enough to be continuing their travels in this spectacular region of the world, will be transferred to their post-voyage Ushuaia accommodation. Passengers flying after 2.00 pm will have time to explore Ushuaia, prior to an afternoon airport transfer, the details of which will be provided onboard prior to disembarkation.
Note: At the conclusion of the voyage, we do not recommend booking flights departing Ushuaia prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation in case there are delays.
- All airport transfers mentioned in the itinerary.
- One night’s hotel accommodation including breakfast, in Ushuaia on Day 1.
- Half-day tour of Ushuaia on Day 2, prior to embarkation.
- Onboard 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 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 provided by Expedition Team.
- Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consultation).
- One 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.
- International or domestic flights – unless specified in the itinerary.
- Transfers – unless specified in the itinerary.
- Airport arrival or departure taxes.
- Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination fees and charges.
- Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges.
- Hotel accommodation and meals – unless specified in the itinerary.
- Optional excursions and optional activity surcharges.
- All items of a personal nature, including but not limited to alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), gratuities, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, wi-fi, email or phone charges.
Lectures on wildlife, our environment, history and destinations
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Whale and mammal spotting
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*Terms & Conditions apply. Valid on select ship voyages only. Offer is valid on new bookings only aboard the Greg Mortimer or Sylvia Earle which must be booked and deposited by May 31, 2023. Promotion is subject to availability at the time of booking and capacity controlled. The promotion is only available in conjunction with the back to back voyage discount or the loyalty program offer, and not available with any other offer. The promotion can be withdrawn at any time and is not redeemable for cash. Normal booking terms and conditions apply. To confirm your booking, a completed booking form and non-refundable deposit of $2,500 pp in the booking currency is required within 7 days of reserved berth/s. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Please see full terms and conditions.
^Terms & Conditions apply. Additional 5% discount valid on both voyages but two voyages must connect back to back in terms of dates to be eligible. Offer is valid on new bookings only aboard the Greg Mortimer or Sylvia Earle. Promotions are subject to availability at the time of booking and capacity controlled. The promotion is only available in conjunction with early bird voyage discount or the loyalty program offer, and not available with any other offer. The offer can be withdrawn at any time and are not redeemable for cash. Normal booking terms and conditions apply. Please see full terms and conditions.