In Shackleton's Footsteps - 20 Days

Onboard Greg Mortimer – 132 passengers

Follow in the footsteps of ‘the Boss’ on this quintessential polar voyage, from the serene ice of the deep south to the subantarctic wildlife paradise of South Georgia. Experience the Antarctic Peninsula and set foot on the continent before making your way north to the spectacular Antarctic Sound, gateway to the Weddell Sea. Embrace the adventure as you voyage further east, navigating as far as possible into the Weddell Sea, where Shackleton’s Endurance met its fate. From here set a course to Elephant Island, the desolate outpost where Shackleton and his men finally made landfall after 497 days at sea. On the final leg of your voyage, follow the course of the James Caird across the Scotia Sea to South Georgia, where Shackleton’s voyage reached its remarkable conclusion.  Join internationally renowned Photographer Peter Eastway on In Shackleton’s Footsteps 

Voyage Highlights:

  • Marvel at the enormous tabular icebergs that escape the Weddell Sea into the Antarctic Sound, also known as ‘Iceberg Alley.’ 
  • Learn about the fascinating history of Shackleton’s Endurance expedition, including the 2022 discovery of the shipwreck. 
  • Experience South Georgia, an incredible wildlife sanctuary where fur seals, elephant seals and four species of penguin coexist in harmony. 
  • Hike from Fortuna Bay to the abandoned Stromness whaling station, repeating the final leg of Shackleton’s remarkable traverse of South Georgia from east to west. 

Tour Dates

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive & Overnight in Ushuaia
Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a representative 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. This afternoon, visit the hospitality desk 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. 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. For those wishing to join our afternoon catamaran cruise, we will 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 in the afternoon 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. 

Days 3-4: 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.

Nearing the South Shetland Islands and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula on the afternoon of day four, the excitement is palpable with everyone converging on one of the observation decks watching for our first iceberg. The ocean takes 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, we may attempt our first landing in Antarctica by late afternoon. 

Days 5-7: 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 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. 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 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, we may ship cruise some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to marvel at sculptural icebergs and photograph spectacular scenery. 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. Keep an ear out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve into the sea. Take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of this incredible white continent. 

Day 8: Weddell Sea
The famed Weddell Sea is central to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, which we are here to retrace. In the summer of 1914 Shackleton and his crew of 27 men sailed into the Weddell Sea to attempt the first overland crossing of Antarctica. As they approached their starting point, their ship the Endurance became trapped in sea ice, sinking any hopes they may have had of completing their objective. Little did they know, this was the beginning of a completely unexpected and remarkable journey. The incredible series of events that followed have made Shackleton’s voyage one of the most celebrated in polar history. 

Remote and inaccessible, entry into the Weddell Sea is highly prized among polar adventurers. Your passage begins at the northernmost extreme of the Antarctic Peninsula, in the beautifully barren Antarctic Sound. In this seldom-visited part of the Peninsula volcanic peaks tower above penguin colonies, and wave-sculpted icebergs parade through the deep channels leading to the Weddell Sea.  

Continuing further east, embrace the expedition spirit as you forge your way as far as possible into the Weddell Sea. The Weddell Sea is renowned for its breathtaking tabular icebergs and expansive sea ice, which attracts an abundance of wildlife, including crabeater seals, Weddell seals and an array of seabirds. Take some time out on deck to observe the flight of storm petrels, prions and Antarctic cormorants drawn here by the rich blooms of Antarctic krill that flourish in the shelter of this ice-covered sea. 

As you travel, take a moment to reflect on the truly historic seas you’re sailing. It wasn’t so far from here that the wreck of the Endurance was discovered, mostly intact, on March 5, 2022. Researchers aboard the polar research vessel S.A. Agulhas II were astonished to find the well-preserved vessel only 6.4km (4 miles) south of the position calculated by Captain Worsley in 1915, when he last laid eyes on his ship. 

Day 9: Elephant Island
Today we set a course for Elephant Island, the lonely outpost where 22 of Shackleton’s men survived several winter months under the shelter of two upturned boats. In the morning, join your expedition team in the lecture room to hear the awe-inspiring story of Shackleton and his men, who spent 9 months stuck in Weddell Sea pack ice and 6 months camping on drifting sea ice before making a desperate escape from the sea ice in three open boats. They spent almost a week battling the wind, currents, swell and treacherous ice to finally make landfall on Elephant Island, a striking, ice-covered extremity of the South Shetland Islands, after 497 days at sea.  

We plan to sail past Cape Valentine to see the beach where the men first put ashore over 100 years ago, then follow the coastline west to the exposed promontory of Point Wild. This is where Shackleton’s 22 men survived several bitter winter months under their upturned boats, hoping for rescue. Weather permitting, we will take a Zodiac cruise or make a landing at historic Point Wild. 

Days 10-11: Scotia Sea
After an exciting program of excursions and activities in Antarctica, relax and enjoy the slower pace of sea days as you sail towards South Georgia. As you make your way across the Scotia Sea you’re following the route taken by Shackleton and five of his men when they sailed from Elephant Island in search of rescue. In their open wooden boat, the James Caird, they spent 17 days sailing into the unknown across this perilous patch of ocean. This boat journey, which concluded with their safe arrival in King Haakon Bay on the west coast of South Georgia, remains one of the greatest stories of maritime navigation and survival in polar history.  

As you sail the onboard lecture program continues, with a series of entertaining presentations on South Georgia’s wildlife, geology and history in the lecture room. Or you might prefer to simply unwind: take a long lunch, catch up on your gym sessions, or curl up with a book from our polar library. The Scotia Sea is known for its abundant wildlife including fin, humpback and blue whales. Keep watch for these gentle giants and elusive orca, which patrol these waters. Venture out on deck with your camera to capture cape petrels and prions wheeling, and albatross soaring gracefully amidst the swell.  

Of course, thoughts of Shackleton and his voyage are never far away.  “Nearly always there were gales. So small was our boat and so great were the seas that often our sail flapped idly in the calm between the crests of two waves. Then we would climb the next slope and catch the full fury of the gale where the wool-like whiteness of the breaking water surged around us.” – Ernest Shackleton 

Days 12-16: South Georgia
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. You will sail along the coast, taking in the spectacular glaciated scenery and enjoying a little shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. This enchanting coastline is yours to explore! Zodiac cruise around craggy coves and along the rocky coastline in search of penguins, seal haul-outs and bird cliffs. Remember to keep an eye out for South Georgia’s kelp forests—these remarkable underwater ecosystems are quite mesmerising as their fronds sway back and forth on the water’s surface.  

Zodiacs will also shuttle you from ship to shore, 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 visit the final resting place of 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 participate whenever conditions allow.  

In addition to Zodiac cruises 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 to enjoy uninterrupted views of South Georgia’s majestic coast. 

For some intrepid Shackleton fans, the optional hike from Fortuna Bay to Stromness will be a highlight. This route follows the final stage of Shackleton, Worsely and Crean’s improbable traverse of South Georgia, from their landing place in King Haakon Bay on the east coast to Stromness in the west, where they finally found safety after 24 harrowing months at sea. From Fortuna Bay the trail rises to a spectacular alpine plateau, before angling steeply down towards the abandoned Stromness whaling station. Conditions permitting, we aim to repeat this final section of their traverse.“Bright moonlight showed us that the interior was tremendously broken,” Shackleton wrote. “High peaks, impassable cliffs, steep snow- slopes, and sharply descending glaciers could be seen in all directions.”  

Days 17-19: At Sea
As we sail from South Georgia, you will be enthralled by the ceaseless flight of the many seabirds that follow the vessel, skilfully using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum. 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.  

As we sail on towards Ushuaia you may choose to spend your final precious moments at sea soaking up the views on deck, enjoying the onboard facilities, or attending final lectures. There is plenty of time to enjoy the magic of the Southern Ocean, have a drink with newfound friends and reflect on the voyage you’ve shared. On the final night, celebrate your unforgettable voyage with newfound friends at a special Captain’s farewell dinner. We hope you will become ambassadors for the Antarctic region, telling your family, friends and colleagues about your journey to this magical place, and advocating for its conservation so that they might one day visit the region to experience what you have been lucky to see and do here.    

Day 20: Disembark 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 14:00 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 14:00 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. 

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. 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.

Route Map

Trips and Rates

Please note, rates are Per Person in USD
Aurora Stateroom Triple
$22,595
Save 10%
$20,336
Limited
Aurora Stateroom Twin
$23,195
Save 10%
$20,876
Limited
Balcony Stateroom C
$25,195
Save 10%
$22,676
Limited
Balcony Stateroom B
$26,495
Save 10%
$23,846
Full
Balcony Stateroom A
$28,495
Save 10%
$25,646
 
Balcony Stateroom Superior
$31,195
Save 10%
$28,076
 
Junior Suite
$39,095
Save 10%
$35,186
 
Captain's Suite
$46,395
Save 10%
$41,756
Limited

Single Travelers:

  • If willing to share a cabin, we can match you with another passenger of the same gender to avoid a single supplement.
  • Single occupancy price is 1.5x the per person share price

Adventure Options:

  • Kayaking Program – requires previous kayaking experience and an intermediate paddling level:
    • $690/person on Spitsbergen: Realm of the Ice Bear (8 days)
    • $830/person on Wild Landscapes of West Greenland
    • $870/person on Jewels of the Arctic (12 day trips)
    • $980/person on Svalbard Odyssey, Jewels of the Arctic (15 Days), Greenland Odyssey, Southern Greenland
    • $1,190/person on Svalbard in Depth, Northwest Passage (16-17 day trips) & Northern Lights Explorer
    • $1,660/person on Arctic Complete

Single Travelers:

  • If willing to share a cabin, we can match you with another passenger of the same gender to avoid a single supplement.
  • Single occupancy price is 1.5x the per person share price

Adventure Options:

  • Kayaking Program: $1,330/person on 12-15 day Antarctica voyages, $1,745/person on 20+ day Antarctica & South Georgia voyages and $1,030/person on 9 day Express trip. Requires previous kayaking experience and an intermediate paddling level.
  • Paddling: $640/person
  • Camping: $165/person
  • Snorkeling: $675/person on 12-14 day Antarctica voyages, $835/person on 20+ day Antarctica & South Georgia voyages and $515/person on 9 day Express trip.
  • Alpine Trekking: $1260/person
  • Snowshoeing: $370/person on 12-15 day Antarctica voyages and $440/person on 20+ day Antarctica & South Georgia voyages
  • Ski/Snowboard Touring: $1395/person – experience required
  • Shackleton Crossing on Skis: $2,220/person – experience required

Availability & prices are subject to change at anytime. Please contact us for the real time availability & prices.

Cabin Descriptions

Captain Suite

The largest of all the cabins, 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, you’ll need to book early to secure this suite. The Captain’s Suite features additional amenities including 1 free pair of binoculars per suite, free stocked mini bar (replenished as needed) and 1 free bottle of champagne.

Cabin & balcony combined size: 479 sq. ft.  (44.5m2 )

Junior Suite

The Greg Mortimer’s four Junior Suites take in some impressive scenery from their vantage 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. The Junior Suite features additional amenities including 1 free pair of binoculars per suite, free stocked mini bar (stocked once only) and 1 free bottle of champagne.

Cabin & balcony combined size: 419 sq. ft.  (39m2)

Balcony Stateroom Superior

With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Balcony Stateroom Superior cabins are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. Located on Deck 4 & 6, the Staterooms feature floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area. Some of these rooms are equipped with wheelchair accessible bathrooms.

Cabin & balcony combined size: 303 – 432 sq. ft. (28.2 – 40.2m2 )

Balcony Stateroom A

The 23 Balcony Stateroom A cabins are a premium cabin and the most abundant on board. These cabins are located in preferred positions on Deck 4 and 6 which provides easy access between Decks via the internal stairs or elevator.

Cabin & balcony combined size: 259 – 301 sq. ft. (24 – 28m2)

Balcony Stateroom B

The 21 Balcony Stateroom B Cabins are located at the fore and aft of Deck 4 & 6. Many are fitted with interconnecting features making them great for families or groups.

Cabin & balcony combined size: 254  – 267 sq. ft. (23.6 – 24.8 m2 )

Balcony Stateroom C

The 14 Balcony Stateroom C’s are the most economical balcony cabins fitted with all the necessities and comfortable for up to 2 people. These cabins are on Deck 4 & 6, either in the most forward or aft location or in a mid-ship location with a smaller cabin size.

Cabin & balcony combined size: 225 – 267 sq. ft. (21-24.8 m²)

Aurora Stateroom Twin

The Greg Mortimer features eight Aurora Stateroom Twin cabins featuring portholes, 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.

Cabin size: 170 – 245 sq. ft. (15.8 – 22.8 m²)

Aurora Stateroom Triple

There are six Aurora Stateroom Triple cabins featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they’re close to the mudroom and loading platforms. *Please note the Aurora Stateroom Triple cabins are only available on certain departures.

Cabin size: 230 – 245 sq. ft. (21 – 23 m²)

Deck Plan

Inclusions & Exclusions

Inclusions: 

  • 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.
 

Exclusions: 

  • 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.

 

Note: A $15 USD per person per day gratuity for the crew is automatically added to your onboard account. It is at your discretion if you would like to remove the tip (or adjust the amount) when you settle your bill. It is not necessary to tip the expedition team members. This gratuity amount is included for suites as part of their ‘Suite Benefits’.