Day 1 Punta Arenas, Chile
Arrive in Punta Arenas, where you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions 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 an utterly fascinating testament to Chile’s rich history.
Tonight, we will gather to meet our fellow expeditioners and a briefing on the first leg of our expedition – our flight to Antarctica!
Day 2 King George Island
This morning we will be transferred to Punta Arenas airport for our early morning charter flight to King George Island, Antarctica. The flight will take approximately one-and-a-half hours.
On arrival into King George Island our expedition team is on hand to greet you for your Zodiac transfer to board the Greg Mortimer. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings.
NOTE: King George Island is located at the northern part 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 for the plane to take off and land safely. We apologise in advance for any delays.
Day 3-9 Weddell Sea and Antarctica Peninsula West Coast
After settling into shipboard life, we will head through the Antarctic Sound to the eastern side of the Peninsula to reach the Weddell Sea.
Access into the Weddell is heavily dependent on ice conditions, and our experienced leader will use their expertise to design our voyage from day to day. We aim to make landings or Zodiac excursions two to three 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 of our other favourite spots along the peninsula.
We will generally try for two landings or Zodiac excursions each day; 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 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 10 King George Island and Punta Arenas
As we approach Frei Base on King George Island, it is time to farewell Antarctica and our amazing adventure before boarding our return flight to Punta Arenas, Chile. On arrival at the Punta Arenas airport, you will be transferred to our preferred downtown hotel.
Day 11 Punta Arenas
After breakfast, bid a fond farewell to your fellow passengers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature.
Note: The March 3 2020 departure is a fly and sail cruise. Day 10 will be at South Shetland Islands. Day 11-12 will cross the Drake Passage. And Day 13 will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning.