About the Weddell Sea Quest Itinerary
The Weddell Sea is a rarely visited, heavily iced and beautiful area of Antarctica that holds penguin rookeries and is home to many seals and marine birds. These trips combine the ‘classic’ West side of the Antarctic Peninsula with the less visited eastern Weddell Sea. Famous for the ill-fated polar expedition led by British explorer […]
About the Weddell Sea Quest Itinerary
The Weddell Sea is a rarely visited, heavily iced and beautiful area of Antarctica that holds penguin rookeries and is home to many seals and marine birds. These trips combine the ‘classic’ West side of the Antarctic Peninsula with the less visited eastern Weddell Sea. Famous for the ill-fated polar expedition led by British explorer Ernest Shackleton, the Weddell Sea is known for amazing ice formations and a variety of wildlife. Take this trip to journey to a little-known part of Antarctica and pass through the route of Ernest Shackleton. In brief:
- Visit the pristine, icy Weddell Sea on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula, as well as the highlights of the western side of the peninsula and the South Shetland Islands
- Sail in the waters of the 1914 Ernest Shackleton expedition
- Learn about the environment and wildlife from onboard lecturers and specialists
- Witness the abundant wildlife – penguins, seals, whales and more!
Day 1: Embarkation
Arriving at the ship in the afternoon, you will be greeted by the Expedition Team and ships officers at a safety and orientation briefing followed by the Captains’ welcome dinner. After dinner, relax and take in the mountainous scenery on our early evening sail down the Beagle Channel past Magellanic Penguin, Rock Cormorant, and Sea Lion colonies.
Days 2-3: Drake Passage
Among the wildlife spotting opportunities as we sail south are the Albatrosses, Prions, and Petrels that frequently follow the ship. The Expedition Team will be out on deck as well, looking for the Whales and Dolphins that may also be seen in the area. The team will begin presentations with informative and entertaining lectures on the wildlife, history, and geology of Antarctica. Helpful briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety will also be held.
Days 4-6: Weddell Sea
The Weddell Sea is known for its abundance of huge tabular icebergs . In some years, the Erebus & Terror Gulf and Weddell Sea are chock-a-block full with ice, making for exciting ice navigation. Get up at 3:30 in the morning for sunrises unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Huge tabular bergs break from the Larsen, Ronne, and Filchner ice shelves and combine with one-year-old and multi-year sea ice to produce a floating, undulating panorama of rugged ice scenery. Hope Bay and the Argentine Station Esperanza, located on the western side of the Antarctic Sound, are possible landing sites. The Weddell Sea represents the center of the Peninsulas’ Adelie penguin population. Devil Island and Paulet Island are excellent location to see Adelie penguins.
Days 7-9: Antarctica Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
The remarkable history of the Antarctic Peninsula will also provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore this pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins and other seabirds you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke whales and orcas at close range. Expeditions hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel and Neumayer Channel. Possible landing sites include: Paradise Bay, an aptly named place with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office at Port Lockroy. Further exploration will lead you to the South Shetland Islands, where you may visit Deception Island or Half Moon Island.
Days 10-11: Drake Passage
Say goodbye to Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join lecturers and naturalists on deck as searching for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.
Day 12: Disembarkation
Arrive to Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark after breakfast.
Welcome Aboard the Greg Mortimer
At just 340 feet (104 meters) long, the Greg Mortimer carries a maximum of 120 expeditioners to the polar regions. As one of the smallest ships in the polar expedition cruising fleet, its size and modern ice-strengthened hull (Class 1A, one category below a full ice-breaker) give you the ability to explore those places that larger ships can’t reach.
Exclusively designed for expedition cruising, the Greg Mortimer provides an authentic, small-ship experience. Thanks to its unique, patented X-Bow®, it is capable of fast, comfortable transit speeds with less fuel consumption and reduced emissions.
Designed to the latest Polar Code for non-intrusive, low-impact voyages, the Greg Mortimer features:
• Fuel-efficient Ulstein X-Bow®
• Reduced air emissions and light pollution
• Virtual anchoring for protection of the sea floor
• Reduced onboard plastic use
• Onboard water production
• Strict, onboard waste management
Length: 104.4 m
Breadth: 18.2 m
Cruising Speed: 12 Knots
Full Speed: 15.5 Knots
Gross tonnage: 7400
Cabins & Amenities
The Greg Mortimer offers eighty comfortable staterooms ranging from porthole to balcony categories, all with en suite bathrooms and plenty of storage space. All staterooms feature twin or king bedding configuration, 80% include a private balcony, and 60% can accommodate a third person.
- Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner including house wines, beer and soft drinks, afternoon tea and snacks
- Pre-dinner drinks including canapés and bar snacks
- 24-hour complimentary coffee, tea and snacks
- Captain’s Welcome and Farewell drinks including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
- Large dining room/restaurant with family style dining
- Two bars/lounges
- Wellness Center (Gym, Massage Room, Sauna & Spa)
- Observation points: Indoor 180-degree lounge, Outdoor 360-degree open deck & 270-degree open sundeck
- Two hydraulic viewing platforms
- Open bridge policy
- Fleet of 15 zodiacs
- Spacious Lecture Room
- Flights included for Fly/Cruise itineraries
- All Antarctic voyages include one night’s pre-voyage accommodation and arrival airport transfer (on selected preferred flights)
- Single costs are 1.7 times the twin rate in all cabin categories
- Please note that emergency evacuation insurance is mandatory for all passengers joining an expedition to Antarctica.
- Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.
Optional Adventure Activities:
- Ski/ Snowboard Touring
- Alpine hiking/climbing
- Polar Diving
- Stand-up paddleboarding
- Shackleton Crossing in South Georgia
Ask us about pricing for your preferred adventure option!