greg mortimer antarctica from Australia

Mawson’s Antarctica

  • Overview

    SOLO TRAVELLERS CAN SHARE TO AVOID SINGLE SUPPLEMENT.


    COMMONWEALTH BAY, Dumont d'Urville, Mertz Glacier & Macquarie Island

    Follow in the wake of Australia’s greatest polar pioneer. Departing Tasmania’s glorious south coast, sail to New Zealand’s Auckland Islands to encounter sea lion harems and yellow-eyed penguins. On Campbell Island, delight in royal albatross courting amidst megaherb meadows. Sail south into pack ice, skirt the Mertz Glacier Tongue and enjoy the wildlife-rich waters leading to Commonwealth Bay. Ice and katabatic winds allowing, Mawson’s Hut transports you back to the Heroic Age, where the ghosts of Sir Douglas’s team await. Cruise west along the East Antarctic coastline searching for emperor and Adélie penguins, snow petrels, seals and orcas. Sailing north, drop into Macquarie Island, where vast king penguin rookeries, nesting albatross and elephant seal wallows await.

    1. Skirt beaches busy with New Zealand sea lion harems, to reach gnarled rata forests where yellow-eyed penguins are found
    2. Navigate a maze of pack ice alive with Weddell and leopard seals, Adélie and emperor penguins and hunting orcas to reach Mawson’s Hut, Commonwealth Bay
    3. Zodiac-cruise off Lusitania Bay, Macquarie Island, surrounded by thousands of bathing king penguins alert to hungry leopard seals

    *Promotional rates are subject to T&Cs, limited availability and subject to change at any time.
    ** 
    This expedition is subject to regulatory approval and only open to Australian residents.

    Duration: 26 days
    Passengers: 130 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Hobart, Australia
    Disembarkation Point: Hobart, Australia
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Hobart, Australia | Arrival Day

      Having made your way to Hobart, you will be met by a representative of the Greg Mortimer and transferred to our group hotel. Upon arrival, kindly remind hotel check-in staff to provide you with Aurora Expeditions cabin tags for your luggage. Please clearly label the tags with your name and ship cabin number.

      That evening, enjoy a light refreshment as you meet your fellow expeditioners at a Welcome Reception and Pre-Embarkation Briefing. Afterwards, there’s free time to dine at your leisure (Dinner not included).

      Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Hobart Hotel.

    • Day 2 - Hobart, Australia | Embarkation Day

      This morning, please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Please take your cabin luggage down to hotel reception by 10.00 am. Please keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day. Enjoy breakfast in the hotel before a short walking tour of Tasmania’s Antarctic heritage (approx. 2 hours).

      During this time, your luggage will be transferred to the ship for sanitisation and delivery to your cabin. We will then conduct our final, mandatory pre-embarkation health screening and COVID (rapid antigen) testing before you are transferred to the Port of Hobart for embarkation of the Greg Mortimer in the late afternoon. Settle into your cabin before attending important safety briefings, and enjoy the thrill of departure as we ‘throw the lines’ and set sail.

      In the evening, meet your expedition team and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner as we follow in the wake of Sir Douglas Mawson and the Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911, that also sailed down the Derwent River and into Storm Bay. Keep an eye out for the magnificent views of Cape Raoul’s striking dolerite cliffs of Tasman Island.

    • Day 3/5 - At Sea towards Sub-Antarctic Islands

      Enjoy exciting days at sea, with entertaining talks on exploration and natural history. Spend time on deck photographing seabirds and keeping an eye out for the rare sight of Campbell, Salvins and white-capped albatross, seen in few other regions.

    • Day 6/7 - Auckland Islands: Enderby Island, Victoria Passage & Carnley Harbour

      First discovered in 1806 by British whaler Abraham Bristow, these remote specks of land in the Southern Ocean are a refuge for thousands of birds and sea lions. Depending on weather and sea conditions, Enderby Island, the most northern in the Auckland Islands, is our first landing. Hop aboard a Zodiac to cruise into Sandy Bay, land near a researcher’s hut, and be greeted by raucous New Zealand (Hooker’s) sea lions, the world’s rarest and most endangered of the five sea lion species. It’s breeding season, as 500-kilogram adult males fight for the favour of females, who form harems of up to 25 attended by a single dominant bull. Keep an eye out for newborn pups. Enter a forest fit for hobbits, walking among twisted trunks of southern rata trees. Stretch your legs on a hike across the island’s megaherb moors, spotting yellow-eyed penguins, light-mantled sooty albatross and royal albatross with a wingspan of nearly 3.5 metres. Our second day begins with an exciting Zodiac cruise through Victoria Passage, a lively channel separating Adams Island from Auckland Island (Motu Maha), and finishes with a walk into Erlangen Clearing, to hear of a German merchant ship that scavenged timber for its boilers hoping to escape to South America during World War II. After lunch, visit Carnley Harbour for superb Zodiac cruising, and walks through rata forests alive with birdsong to historic sites from early sealers and World War II coastwatchers.

    • Day 8 - Campbell Island (Motu Ihupuku)

      New Zealand’s most southerly subantarctic island is the highly eroded remnant of an ancient volcano that rises to 570 metres and cops some rough weather – gusts over 50 knots (96 kph) occur at least 100 days a year. After breakfast, Zodiac cruise protected Northeast Harbour to photograph waterfalls, yellow-eyed penguins and possibly the reintroduced endemic Campbell Island snipe. After lunch, land at the seasonal research station in Perseverance Harbour and hike up a boardwalk through flowering megaherb meadows to breeding southern royal albatross. Sit quietly and watch as they unfurl their three-metre wingspan, clack their beaks and issue their unforgettable, mournful cries.

    • Day 9/12 - At Sea - Towards Commonwealth Bay

      Marvel at the ULSTEIN X-BOW’s ability to smooth our ride as we sail the Southern Ocean, admiring wandering albatross in flight. Cross the Antarctic Convergence, where cold, dense polar waters meet temperate waters, hopefully heralding our first iceberg. Entering the ethereal world of pack ice, rejoice at how quickly the seas calm. Keep a watch for orcas, seals and penguins as we navigate a wonderland few have experienced.

    • Day 13/14 - Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay

      Ice and weather permitting, we enter Commonwealth Bay, dubbed the ‘Home of the Blizzard’ by Mawson. We plan to land at Cape Denison, where the hut was built for his 1911-14 expedition and has withstood katabatic winds since then, thanks to the efforts the Mawson Hut Foundation. If calm enough conditions prevail, we plan to land and walk across to Mawson’s Hut. Step inside and immediately feel connected with the era and men of that incredible expedition. With luck we may see Wilson's storm petrels, Weddell seals, Adélie penguins and perhaps some skuas. Since Mawson’s day, the South Magnetic Pole has migrated off the land and is now located out to sea. Ice and weather permitting, our Captain will attempt to manoeuvre the

      Greg Mortimer into position over the South Magnetic pole.

    • Day 15/17 - Point Martin, Dumont d'Urville, Martz Glacier

      Heading east, we hope to stop at this rocky toehold on the Antarctic Plateau, usually out of reach of Commonwealth Bay’s notorious katabatic winds. Here we may visit the French Base abandoned after a fire in the 1950s, and now home to a lively Adélie penguin colony. On Christmas Day, we continue towards Petrel Island, home of the French research station Dumont D’Urville, and nesting ground of snow and Wilson’s storm petrels. The station was named after French explorer Dumont D’Urville, who proclaimed the territory for France in January 1840. He also named the Adélie penguin after his wife. We hope to visit the station, walk the island shores and take Zodiacs to admire the ice-front of the Astrolabe Glacier. Sail past the ice tongue of Mertz Glacier, which floats kilometres out to sea before disgorging icebergs into the Southern Ocean. Just over a decade ago, the massive iceberg designated B09B collided with the ice tongue and knocked 80 percent off its length, leaving a 20 km stub. Nonetheless, this natural barrier continues to attract wildlife, including the larger whale species. Should the opportunity arise, we take a closer look at its crevassed ice cliffs from our Zodiacs.

    • Day 18/20 - At Sea - Towards Macquarie Is

      As we put the grandeur of Antarctica behind us, these days at sea can mark a time for reflection, reading or pursuing creative activities. But keep watch outside, as these waters are rich in whale species, from humpback and orca, to the greater whale species, like blue.

    • Day 21/22 - Macquarie Island

      Douglas Mawson set up his communication base here in December 1911, and now supports one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the Southern Ocean. Millions of penguins of four different species – king, rockhopper, gentoo and the endemic royal – breed here. Upon arrival, we hope to Zodiac-cruise Lusitania Bay. The king penguin rookery here is a quarter of a million strong, noisy and spectacular. A welcoming committee will likely porpoise around our Zodiacs, and leopard seals often patrol the waters. Our next days are spent around Sandy Bay, where a boardwalk leads up to a royal penguin rookery teeming with showy birds displaying their golden head feathers. At the shore are stately king penguins and chicks, and above fly black-browed and light-mantled sooty albatross. Fur and elephant seals hide amongst thick tussocks that have come back to life, thanks to a successful pest-eradication program. Celebrate our final landing at New Year’s Eve celebrations on board.

    • Day 23/25 - At Sea - Towards Hobart

      Heading north, take time to assimilate the rich experiences of the past few weeks. Organise photo files, tidy up a journal or simply relax before stepping back into the ‘unreal’ world. After almost a month away, the emerald shores of Tasmania greet you like a warm smile as, like Mawson before us, we make our way into Storm Bay and up the Derwent to Hobart.

    • Day 26 - Hobart, Australia | Disembarkation Day

      After breakfast, farewell your expedition team and disembark to be transferred to the airport or your hotel accommodation.

      Important note: In the spirit of expedition travel, we encourage exploration and adventure offering flexibility in challenging environments. This itinerary is only a guide and is subject to change due to weather, sea state, ice and other conditions beyond our control.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your Captain and Expedition Leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Kayaking - Greg Mortimer

    One of the most unique ways to experience Antarctica and the Arctic.

    The experience of sea kayaking in the humbling wilderness of Antarctica or the European Arctic is guaranteed to stir your soul. Paddle between brash ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes, skim past penguin rookeries or under soaring bird cliffs, or drift quietly as you watch wildlife unobtrusively, absorbing the majestic scenery.

    AUD$ 1,100 per person

    The great Antarctic Safari

    No matter which itinerary you choose to undertake, you are destined to spot a wonderful array of wildlife, including sea elephants and sea lions, Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals, and Minke, killer and humpback whales and the magnificent wandering albatrosses.

    Adelie Penguins

    Adelie penguins are the most abundant of all penguin species and are there estimated to be some 5 million birds. They have been an incredibly successful species living further south than any other species and have one of the oldest continually used rookeries, which has existed for some 6,000 years.

  • Inclusions

    Expedition_Gear

    On board you will be provided with expedition boots and a highquality wind and waterproof expedition jacket

    Photography Workshops

    Catering to both amateurs and the more experienced photographers, our onboard team of photography guides deliver photography workshops and one-on-one instruction from the deck or Zodiacs and during landings.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Comprehensive pre-departure information
    - Entry and landing fees while on board
    - Port taxes and charges
    - Professionally produced voyage journal
    - All shore excursions and lectures
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Items of a personal nature such as; Beverages / Laundry / Medical expenses / Gratuities / Internet & Wifi
    - Travel insurance (mandatory)
    - International and internal flights that are not specified
  • Map
    Mawson's antarctica map
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    GREG MORTIMER

    The Greg Mortimer, named after the Australian adventurer and Polar tourism pioneer (Greg Mortimer OAM), this unique vessel utilises some of the latest advancements in naval design & technology to revolutionise the small ship expedition cruising experience. The X-BOW makes sailing smoother and faster while protecting the vulnerable environments visited using a virtual anchoring system. Shore excursions are made easier, with four sea-level Zodiac loading decks & a specially-crafted activity platform, designed in close consultation with our world-renowned expedition & activity leaders. Unlike many new ships, the Greg Mortimer is not striving for absolute luxury. It will of course, be brand new, modern and comfortable in every way, but will stay true to a relaxed, comfortable and homely style of travel, purely focused on the expedition and destination. Ship Features: - Highly qualified and experienced expedition team and international crew - X-BOW® hull, designed to offer faster and more comfortable travel enabling the ship to pierce through waves and maintain speed of travel, lower fuel consumption and reduced air pollution emissions - All cabins feature twin or king bedding configuration and private bathroom. 80% of cabins include a private balcony. 60% of cabins can accommodate a third person - Purpose-built activities preparation areas including four Zodiac launching platforms for fast and safe transition off the ship as you embark on multiple daily excursions - Observation lounge and viewing platforms offer spectacular panoramic views of scenery and wildlife. - State-of-the-art lecture theatre, two hot tubs/plunge pools, art room, library, gym, wellness centre and more!

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 120
    Crew #: 62
    Ice Class: 1A
    Speed: 12
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 2019
    Length: 104m
    Width: 18
    Draft: 5
    Tonnage: 7400
    Registry: Bahamas
    Elec Outlets: 220V 2 Round plug
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates
Ready to book your expedition?

We understand that the trip of a lifetime takes planning, so we make the financial commitments easy to manage.

  • Confirm your booking today with just AUD$ 1,000 per passenger.
  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.
greg mortimer triple stateroom

Triple Stateroom

10 Dec 2021 - 04 Jan 2022
Two single beds and a sofa bed with portholes, flatscreen, closet, desk and en-suite.
AUD$ 36,195pp
AUD$ 36,195pp
greg mortimer stateroom cabin

Twin Stateroom

10 Dec 2021 - 04 Jan 2022
Twin or double cabin with portholes, desk, flatscreen, closet, safe, temperature control and en-suite.
AUD$ 37,195pp
AUD$ 37,195pp
greg mortimer balcony stateroom

Balcony Stateroom 'C'

10 Dec 2021 - 04 Jan 2022
With 58 rooms available, the Greg Mortimer's Balcony Staterooms are the most abundant cabin category on board. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups. Balcony Staterooms A, B & C vary slightly in size and position on the ship.
AUD$ 40,395pp
AUD$ 36,356pp
greg mortimer balcony stateroom

Balcony Stateroom 'B'

10 Dec 2021 - 04 Jan 2022
With 58 rooms available, the Greg Mortimer's Balcony Staterooms are the most abundant cabin category on board. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups. Balcony Staterooms A, B & C vary slightly in size and position on the ship.
AUD$ 42,495pp
AUD$ 38,246pp
greg mortimer balcony stateroom

Balcony Stateroom 'A'

10 Dec 2021 - 04 Jan 2022
With 58 rooms available, the Greg Mortimer's Balcony Staterooms are the most abundant cabin category on board. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups. Balcony Staterooms A, B & C vary slightly in size and position on the ship.
AUD$ 45,695pp
AUD$ 41,126pp
greg mortimer balcony stateroom superior

Balcony Stateroom Superior

10 Dec 2021 - 04 Jan 2022
The Greg Mortimer's Balcony Stateroom Superior cabins are up t o36m/sq. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups. A few of these cabins are wheelchair accesible.
AUD$ 49,995pp
AUD$ 44,996pp
greg mortimer junior suite cabin

Junior Suite

10 Dec 2021 - 04 Jan 2022
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.
AUD$ 62,695pp
AUD$ 56,426pp
greg mortimer Captain's suite cabin

Captain's Suite

10 Dec 2021 - 04 Jan 2022
The largest of all our rooms, 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 get in early to secure this suite.
AUD$ 74,395pp
AUD$ 66,956pp