Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctic Circle – M/V Greg Mortimer

Resort:Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctic Circle - M/V Greg Mortimer
Operator: Explore
Destination: Falkland Islands
Price From: £19098.00

Over View

We start our journey from the Southern tip of Argentina in Ushuaia. From here, we set sail on our wildlife -rich journey towards the Falkland Islands. This archipelago of over 400 islands, is an important breeding ground for penguins, elephant seals and sea lions and we will have plenty of time to explore and admire its delightful offerings before sailing on to South Georgia. Often described as the gem of the Southern Ocean, the splendour of South Georgia is hard to describe – stunning snow-capped mountain landscapes, deep fjords, tousled tussock grasses and wild beaches, all combine to provide superb stunning photo opportunities. Here, you will find the most important colony of king penguins, fur seals and elephant seals and it is estimated that over 10 million sea birds visit the area each year. In the mid-summer season this remote wilderness really comes to life. Witness the arrival of whales eager to feast on mountains of krill, fierce battles between elephant seals desperate to find a mate, and the endless cries of penguin chicks waiting for their next meal. We crown our voyage on the beautiful western flanks of the Antarctic Peninsula, discovering incredible chinstrap, Adelie and gentoo penguin rookeries along the way.

Spot elusive macaroni penguins and endemic flightless steamer ducks – in the Falkland Islands
In South Georgia – retrace Shackleton’s mountain crossing
Antarctica – Explore the Antarctic Peninsula with its vast Adelie, gentoo and chinstrap penguin rookeries


Day 1 Overnight in Ushuaia

Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be transferred to your downtown hotel. The rest of the evening is at your leisure.

Day 2 Embark the M/V Greg Mortimer

Your luggage will be collected from your hotel in the morning and transferred directly to the port for clearance and loading onto the ship. You will have time to explore Ushuaia on a half day city tour, before boarding commences at 4 p.m. After settling into your cabin there will be a safety briefing held out on deck as you sail out across the Beagle Channel, with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego. This evening, you will have time to get to know your friendly crew and fellow expeditioners at a welcome dinner, celebrating the start of a thrilling Antarctic adventure.

Day 3 At Sea

As we commence our trip across the South Atlantic Ocean, we make the most of our time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Our expedition team prepare you for your first landing with important guidelines and biosecurity procedures. As the on-board lecture programme commences, you will learn 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 in our wake. They rise and fall skilfully, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.

Day 4 Falkland Islands

Located 477 kilometres east of southern Argentina, the Falklands~Malvinas offers a unique mix as both a wildlife hotspot and an inhabited outpost. An archipelago of over 700 islands, but consisting of two main islands – East and West, only seven of these islands are inhabited. The cold nutrient-rich waters surrounding the islands makes them a prime location for marine life, including seabirds and seals. Our time in the Falklands includes a short walk in historic Stanley town. Our experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design our voyage over the next two days. This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather and wildlife opportunities. Landing sites may include the remote and rarely visited Jason Island or Carcass Island, named after the HMS Carcass which surveyed the island in 1766. West Point and Sealion Island might also be on the agenda, both rich in wildlife and offering spectacular cliffs and an impressive array of birdlife.

Day 5 At Sea

Between the Falklands and South Georgia, you will be entranced by the ceaseless flight of the many seabirds that follow in our wake, as we make our way across the sea passage.

Day 6 At Sea

On this leg of our journey, we are usually travelling into the prevailing weather, so it is difficult to estimate our precise arrival time in South Georgia. Our lecture program will continue highlighting all of the incredible sights we have witnessed over the past few days and prepare you for your upcoming landings in South Georgia. You will have ample time to enjoy observing the sea birds, whale-watching from the observation areas, or simply relaxing with a book.

Day 7 At Sea

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

Day 8 South Georgia

South Georgia is one of the world’s most amazing natural environments. Just a speck in the vastness of the South Atlantic Ocean, and lying wholly within the Antarctic Convergence, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are a life-sustaining haven to some of the world’s largest congregations of wildlife. The surrounding sea is one of the most productive areas on Earth and supports the life of millions of seals, whales, penguins and other seabirds, which you will have plenty of time to uncover over the next few days.

Day 9 South Georgia

On South Georgia, a 3,000-metre mountain range forms the spine of this long, narrow island. Between the mountains, shattered glaciers carve their way through tussock grass to the deeply indented coastline – a landscape that is synonymous with the epic expedition of survival by Shackleton, Worsley, and Crean. On 20 May, 1916, Sir Ernest Shackleton, Tom Crean, and Frank Worsley stumbled into the busy whaling station at Stromness; hungry, exhausted and covered in grime. They had just made the first ever crossing of the mountains of South Georgia, from King Haakon Bay, to find help for their three exhausted companions left at Cave Cove and to rescue the men they had left on Elephant Island. They had sailed in the James Caird for 16 days under horrendous conditions and finally found safety in the tiny entrance of Cave Cove. This epic story of survival began with the sinking of his ship, the Endurance, in the Weddell Sea, six months earlier. As we explore this historical island, we will have the opportunity to reflect on Shackleton’s epic journey. If conditions permit, we plan to follow in Shackleton’s footsteps and complete the final leg of their walk from Fortuna Bay to Stromness. On this expedition, we will make a special stop at King Haakon Bay to drop off our Mountaineers to start their 3-day crossing of South Georgia.

Day 10 South Georgia

Politically speaking, South Georgia lies north of 60 South latitude and is therefore not part of the Antarctic treaty. It is a wholly British possession, claimed and named for King George III on 16 January, 1775 by Captain James Cook. South Georgia is one of the world’s most amazing natural environments. Just a speck in the vastness of the South Atlantic Ocean, and lying wholly within the Antarctic Convergence, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are a life-sustaining haven to some of the World’s largest congregations of wildlife, such as King penguin colonies that are 100,000-strong. We will explore the King Penguin rookeries that this area is renowned for, where hundreds and hundreds of penguins dot the landscape. Lose yourself amongst these gracious-looking creatures and ensure cameras are fully charged for this incredible wildlife spectacle – an absolute highlight of South Georgia.

Day 11 South Georgia

The surrounding sea is one of the most productive areas on Earth and supports the life of millions of seals, whales, penguins and other seabirds. Over the next few days you’ll explore the wildlife oasis of South Georgia. Witness one of the World’s largest King penguin rookeries, spot the wandering albatross and step back in time, as your on-board historian retraces Ernest Shackleton’s route from Fortuna Bay to Stromness. On this expedition, we hope to make a special stop at King Haakon Bay to drop off any keen Mountaineers who wish to re-trace the 3-day crossing of South Georgia – the route taken by Shackleton and his men.

Day 12 South Georgia

You’ll enjoy some free time to roam secluded beaches, alive with basking elephant seals and you’ll have the chance to cruise by Zodiac alongside penguins and playful fur seals. We have ample time to explore South Georgia’s spectacular northern coast, penguin rookeries and majestic albatross nests, before we set sail for Antarctica.

Day 13 At Sea

We spend the next two days at sea, as we set sail towards Antarctica.

Day 14 At Sea

Enjoy more informative lectures on board, in preparation for your landings on the Great White Continent.

Day 15 Antarctic Peninsula

Over the next five days, a host of choices are open to us and depending on ice and weather conditions, the western side 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 design our voyage from day to day. This allows us to make the best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities. An abundance of wildlife can be found on the Antarctic Peninsula – from whales to rookeries, birdlife to seals – there will be plenty to take in over the next few days, whilst we explore this frozen land. The scenery is simply breathtaking and we will have plenty of time on shore and in Zodiacs, to soak up our surroundings.

Day 16 Antarctic Peninsula

Being so far south, we will experience approximately 18-20 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish. We will generally make landings or Zodiac excursions two and occasionally three times a day, where we will enjoy; cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following whales that are feeding near the surface, landing on the continent and its off-shore islands to visit penguin rookeries, seal haul outs, historic huts, and a few of our other favourite spots along the peninsula. There will be plenty of time for sleep when you get home.

Day 17 Antarctic Peninsula

The Peninsula has a remarkable history and during the voyage we will learn more about the incredible expeditions to these remote areas, where relatively few have have travelled. There are plenty of landing sites and penguin rookeries for us to enjoy, as we make our way south along the peninsula.

Day 18 Antarctic Peninsula

Paradise Harbour is a protected bay surrounded by magnificent peaks and spectacular glaciers. It’s scenic harbour is the perfect nesting site for blue-eyed shags, terns and gulls. The wildlife-rich island of Half Moon Island is tucked into a great bay at the eastern end of Livingston Island. Here, the glaciers and mountains of the island dominate the vista on a clear day. A large chinstrap penguin colony resides at Half-Moon Island, where we hope to land during our days on the peninsula.

Day 19 Antarctic Peninsula – crossing the Antarctic Circle

Walk among handsome chinstrap and peaceful gentoo penguins and Zodiac-cruise amidst grounded bergs, watching for blows of humpback, minke and orcas. Toast the special occasion when you cross the Antarctic Circle (weather-permitting) with a glass of sparkling wine, relishing in the fact that you are one of the world’s fortunate few to venture this far south.

Day 20 Antarctic Peninsula

We will attempt a visit to Port Lockroy, on Goudier Island. Known today as the Penguin Post-office, this is an important site for both Scientific research and as a visitors site. Today, Port Lockroy is named by the Antarctic Heritage Trust and operates as a museum, gift shop and post office. Another landing spot might be Neko Harbour, an inlet cove with a gentoo penguin colony, framed by dramatic towering peaks overhead. We will have plenty of time to immerse ourselves in the wildlife here, before we head back across the Drake’s Passage, towards Ushuaia.

Day 21 Drake Passage

As we come to the end of our incredible journey and commence our return sailing to Ushuaia, you will have plenty of time at sea to reflect on your recent adventure.

Day 22 Drake Passage

You may choose to spend your time editing your photos, enjoying the onboard facilities, or listening to an informative lecture.

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 from 8.00 am. Bid farewell to your expedition team and fellow passengers, before you continue on with your onward journey. A transfer is included to either downtown Ushuaia or to the airport, depending on your onward arrangements.