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Greg Mortimer<br>15 Night Wild Chile<br>Ushuaia to Valparasio

Greg Mortimer
15 Night Wild Chile
Ushuaia to Valparasio

Ship: Greg Mortimer
Cruise Line: Aurora Expeditions
Departures:  02 April 2020
Duration: 15 Nights
Ports: Ushuaia, Beagle Channel, Punta Arenas, Montanas Fjord, Puerto Natales, Pio Xi Glacier, Puerto Eden, Chilean Fjords, Puerto Chacabuco, Chiloe Island, Robinson Crusoe Island, Valparaiso
Airport gateway (Arrival) : Ushuaia
Airport gateway (Departure) : Valparaiso

Chile offers some of the world’s most spectacular and diverse scenery, with a unique combination of wine country, dazzling Andean landscapes, and tantalizing cuisine. Traverse the narrows and fjords filled with glaciers in Patagonia, experience the expansive wildernesses and marvel at the granite spires in Torres del Paine National Park, wander the hills in Valparaiso ablaze with colourful street-art, and stargaze in the clearest night skies of the Atacama. Join us on a journey along the coast of this beguiling country and discover what makes Chile one of South America’s most fascinating countries.

Expedition Highlights

  • Revel in the dramatic landscape along the Beagle Channel and Patagonia
  • Encounter fur seals and hummingbirds on remote Robinson Crusoe Island
  • Kayak through some of Chile’s most spectacular locations (additional cost)
  • Discover the UNESCO heritage listed unique timber churches in Chiloé
  • Watch for blowholes as whales migrate from high to low latitudes in search of warmer waters
  • Be in awe of the majestic beauty of Torres del Paine National Park

Itinerary

Day 1 – Ushuaia, Argentina

On arrival in Ushuaia, you’ll be met and transferred to our group hotel, conveniently located in downtown Ushuaia within walking distance to the pier. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Note: Arrival airport transfer is on preferred flights only.
 

Day 2 – Ushuaia, Argentina

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before exploring Ushuaia on a half-day city tour. Ushuaia, capital city of the province of Tierra del Fuego, is located on the shores of the Beagle Channel and it is surrounded by the Martial Range, which offers a unique landscape as a result of the combination of mountains, sea, glaciers and forest. The city tour will visit The Mission, Brown and Solier neighbourhoods, where you can see old houses belonging to the first families in Tierra del Fuego. Head to Martial Glacier and ride the chair offering wonderful views of Ushuaia town. Continue to the End of the World Museum with exhibitions explaining the history of Tierra del Fuego. Enjoy a late-lunch and free time before walking to Ushuaia port in the late-afternoon to meet your expedition team and commence boarding the Greg Mortimer.
 

Day 3 – Beagle Channel

As we travel into the Beagle Channel, we follow the route that a young Charles Darwin took on board the famous HMS Beagle back in 1831, a five-year expedition that forever changed his life and which led him to develop his seminal theory of evolution. Sailing west from Ushuaia, you travel through a dazzling stretch of the Beagle Channel called Glacier Alley or ‘Avenue of the Glaciers’, where this string of tidewater glaciers pushing down to the edge of the sea from the enormous Darwin Ice Field. Apart from the spectacular scenery, Glacier Alley offers opportunities to spot wildlife such as penguin rookeries, South American fur seals, and humpback whales.
 

Day 4 – Punta Arenas, Chile

In Punta Arenas, begin your exploration of Chile’s most southern city. Shore excursions include a hike in Magallanes Nature Preserve, a protected forest located just eight-kilometres to the west of the city. Enjoy an easy hike through the Patagonian forest learning about the local flora. On a city tour, visit Cerro de la Cruz lookout to see the bright colours of the city rooves of Punta Arenas, the Strait of Magellan, and the island of Tierra del Fuego on the horizon. Explore the main city plaza, visit the Salesian Maggiorino Borgatello museum, one of the oldest in Chile with exhibits of local flora and fauna, colonial-era artefacts, Antarctica, and the ethnography of the region. At Straits of Magellan Park, the impressive visitor centre hosts an interpretative multimedia display about the natural and human history of the Strait of Magellan. The Centre’s terrace offers sweeping views of Puerto Hambre (Port Famine). At Bulnes Fort, learn about the origins of Punta Arenas city. Take an easy 20-minute-walk through the "Windy Forest" or a longer one-hour coastal trail walk revealing the landscape, flora and fauna of the Strait of Magellan.
 

Day 5 – Montañas Fjord, Chile

As we venture north, we enter one of the many channels and fjords of Patagonian Chile. Be prepared to experience weather. The fjords and islands of Chilean Patagonia take the brunt of the prevailing westerlies that blow across the southern seas, and here, the wind can blow almost constantly, and rain and snow can fall all year round. We may sail through Montañas Fjord, a long fjord flanked by rugged mountains and a number of glaciers including Herman, Bernal, and Paredes. If the Captain opens up the bridge, it’s an ideal opportunity to watch the scenery unfold as you sail through this beautiful channel. Enjoy informative and entertaining presentations from our hand-selected expedition team, who will bring to life the natural environment, wildlife, culture and history of the places you’ll be experiencing. Depending on the tides, we may arrive into Puerto Natales in the late afternoon.
 

Day 6 – Puerto Natales & Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile

Torres del Paine National Park is undoubtedly the areas main drawcard and is world-renowned for its granite towers, which give the park its name. These gigantic spires were carved by glacial ice and upon entering the park, you will see a series of lakes with intense colours, mountains covered in ice, and an array of local fauna. In Patagonia, you will feel the immensity of nature and delight in feeling completely insignificant in its presence. The jaw-dropping landscapes of turquoise waters, glaciers and towering granite horns of the Torres del Paine National Park is a humbling experience. There’ll be an option for trekking to "Los Cuernos" viewpoint - a flat path that offers constant views of the massif. It is a path suitable for anyone who regularly walks.
 

Day 7 – Pio Glacier XI, Chile

During slack tide, we cruise the White Narrows – a narrow channel of water approximately 80 metres wide. Find a spot on one of our many observation areas and appreciate the masterful skills of our Captain as they navigate us through this difficult channel. The only way to visit this area is by sea, through a maze of fjords that ultimately lead to the entrance of Pío XI. Of the 48 glaciers in the Southern Ice Field, 46 are retreating and one, Pío XI, is advancing. Pío XI Glacier is an anomaly in a world where nearly all glaciers are retreating and being able to see it up close is a privilege.
 

Day 8 – Puerto Eden, Chile

Located on the east coast of Wellington Island, inside Bernardo O'Higgins National Park, Puerto Eden is a tiny fishing village connected by intricate canals, imposing mountains, icefields, and is considered one of Chile's most isolated inhabited places. The village is known for being the home to approximately 25 Kawésqar indigenous inhabitants. The village is connected by beautiful timber boardwalks called ‘pasarelas’. Kawésqar are traditionally nomadic sea people and also known for their excellent craftsmanship for canoe-making, basketry, and local handicrafts. Explore the picturesque boardwalks over the maze of canals, meet the friendly locals, and soak in the tranquil natural beauty of this isolated hamlet.
 

Day 9 – Chilean fjords

Leaving Puerto Eden behind, we re-enter the channels for a full day sail towards Puerto Chacabuco. Our team of experts will continue to deliver informative and entertaining presentations in the lecture theatre or you may choose to enjoy a book from our library, work up a sweat in the fitness centre, treat yourself to a massage in our wellness centre, or relax in the jacuzzi and sauna and simply enjoy the splendid scenery.
 

Day 10 – Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

Puerto Chacabuco, with just over 1,000 residents, sits at the head of the Aisén Fjord. It is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and is the gateway to some of the most beautiful untouched natural beauty in the heart of Patagonia. Today’s shore excursions include a hike at Aiken del Sur park, which is set amidst unique and magnificent natural surroundings. Afterwards, sample traditional Patagonian barbecue and a pisco sour, with magnificent views of the lake and forest before returning to the ship for lunch. Alternatively, head to Deer Island for a hike through the park, a unique place in the middle of the fjord crowned by mountains and glaciers. A return shuttle service will also be offered to Puerto Aisén, a picturesque town located next to Aisén River.
 

Day 11 – Chiloé

Chiloé, a land of myths and legends, unique folklore and culinary traditions, is a Chilean archipelago of lush islands. In Castro, discover palafittes – colourfully-painted timber houses built on stilts above the water. Explore this mythical island with its colourful wooden churches, 16 of which have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Chiloé is renowned for its shipbuilding heritage and carpentry skills and nowhere else in Chile showcases this better than in Dalcahue village. Gastronomy is another drawcard for Chiloé. Blessed with abundant seafood such as mussels and cod, and with hundreds of potato varieties to choose from, the local cuisine is an experience to savour in Chiloé. You’ll enjoy a curanto lunch – a specially-prepared meal and one of the most ancient recipes still being used today.
 

Days 12 & 13 – At Sea

We leave the channels and head out to the open seas of the Pacific Ocean where there’s opportunities to see more dolphins and perhaps migrating whales. Sharpen your photography skills with a few tips from our photography expert or bury yourself deep in the book you’ve been looking forward to reading. In preparation for your visit to remote Robinson Crusoe Island, our historian will bring to life the story of Alexander Selkirk, Scottish navigator who was stranded on the island for four years and four months beginning in 1704.
 

Day 14 – Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile

Robinson Crusoe is the ideal place if you want to get away from the world and enjoy a new level of connection with nature. Located 587 kilometres (365 miles) from the continent, Robinson Crusoe is a rugged island and is part of the Juan Fernandez archipelago, which was declared a National Parkland UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1977. Onshore, you can discover the endemic flora and wonderful array of birds on a trek to Plazoleta ‘El Yunque’. On your hike through a native flora track, look for ferns, cinnamon, Juan Fernández Fire Crown, and the endangered endemic red hummingbird, found nowhere else in the world. Perhaps swim in the company of the friendly South American fur seals, go kayaking, and enjoy a typical local seafood dish for lunch.
 

Day 15 – At Sea

Enjoy final lectures, edit and share photos, and celebrate an exciting adventure at the Captain’s Farewell dinner, reminiscing about all the wonderful things you’ve seen and experienced, and the tall tales of adventure, exploration and discovery you’ve learned during the voyage.
 

Day 16 – Valparaíso, Chile

Disembark in colourful Valparaíso where your voyage ends. Valparaíso’s maze of 42 hills has long inspired poets and writers. Revel in the crazy architecture, stroll along its narrow streets filled with blazing street art, climb its endless staircases, ride its historic funicular elevators and enjoy panoramic views from its many lofty lookout points.

* Ports of call may vary based on itinerary and departure dates selected

 

Cabin Pricing

* All prices quoted are PER PERSON in British Pounds and include taxes, fees and port expenses (if applicable).
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Ports

Ushuaia

Known as the world’s southernmost city and once home to a penal colony, Ushuaia is also our gateway to the magnificent Tierra del Fuego National Park. Named after the Yahgan Indians who lit fires in the region, this unspoilt wilderness of forests, lakes, rivers and glaciers is bristling with wildlife.

Country - Argentina  
Distance from port to City - 0kms
Distance from port to Airport - 9kms
Currency - Argentine Peso (ARS)

Places of Interest
Museo Maritimo, Estancia Haberton, Presidio

Beagle Channel

Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas is an administrative commune and the capital city of Chile's southernmost region, Magallanes and Antartica Chilena.

Montanas Fjord

Montanas Fjords & Bernal Glacier are located in the Region of Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica, inside the Alacalufes Chilean National Reserve.

Puerto Natales

Puerto Natales has many tourist facilities and it has become a common base for excursions to the world-renowned Torres del Paine National Park. Its main feature are the mountainous “towers” ("torres"), which are an impressive and unique rock formation known as "Torres del Paine".

Pio Xi Glacier

Puerto Eden

Chilean Fjords

Puerto Chacabuco

Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

A very isolated town, Puerto Chacabuco is truly untouched and full of natural beauty. To see flora and fauna you can hike along the river and through the forest in Parque Aiken Del Sur or head to Coyhaique to view cascading waterfalls.

Chiloe Island

Robinson Crusoe Island

This island, also known as Juan Fernández Island, is located in the archipelago of Juan Fernández, 414 miles off the coast of South America. It owes its name to the story of the shipwreck of Alexander Selkirk, immortalized in the famous novel "Robinson Crusoe", by Daniel Defoe. True to it's description in the story, the island is a fascinating lost paradise, with an endemic flora and fauna that is unknown in other latitudes. Seventy percent of the plant species in the island are endemic


Country - Chile
Distance from port to City - 0kms
Distance from port to Airport - 667kms
Currency - Chile Peso (CLP)

Places of Interest
San Juan Bautista, Mirador de Selkirk, Cerro El Yunque.

Valparaiso

Set around a magnificent harbor and against a backdrop of snow-covered mountains, Valparaiso is the capital of the Valparaiso Region, Chile’s principal port, and a delightful city to explore. Stroll its cobbled streets and quiet plazas, or head to Muelle Prat, a lively market. Just an hour inland is Santiago de Chile, founded in 1541 by the Conquistadors, and an impressive city of Spanish Colonial styles and old world, European architecture.

Santiago is the economic and cultural hub of the country, occupying a spectacular basin at the foot of the highest peaks of the Andes. Linger on leafy squares, visit the Palacio de la Moneda, see the pre-Colombian art museum and soak up the colorful street life of lively markets or the more sophisticated districts of Providencia and Las Condes.

Country - Chile
Distance from port to City - 0kms
Distance from port to Airport - 95kms
Currency - Chilean Peso (CLP)

Places of Interest
Cerro Polanco Funicular, Vina Del Mar, Concha y Toro Winery

 

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Greg Mortimer Cabin Info

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Aurora Expeditions

Aurora Expeditions

From the start, Aurora Expeditions was destined to be different. Co-founders Greg and Margaret Mortimer had a passion for adventure, exploring wild places and sharing the experience with friends and in 1991, Aurora Expeditions, named in honour of Sir Douglas Mawson's ship, was born.

Their aim was simple - to take small groups of travellers on voyages of discovery to regions that inspired them, thereby creating lifelong ambassadors for the preservation and protection of these sacred places. More than two decades later, that pioneering spirit burns just as brightly, as does our preference for small-group, personal expeditions.

Less people means more solitude and greater flexibility if tides, currents, ice or weather dictate a schedule change. And because we have fewer people to ferry ashore, we often make more landings.

We make the most of our size advantage to create intimate expeditions varying in length from 10 to 26 days. Simply choose the region you’d like to explore, the amount of time you’ve got and what activities you enjoy. Focus on one destination or combine back-to-back trips for the ultimate adventure.

You’ll be accompanied by expedition staff we believe are the world’s best. Remote area specialists, their onboard lectures entertain and expand your knowledge.

Whether you’re joining us for the first time or returning for another thrilling adventure, our original goals remain unchanged. Explore wild places that stir the soul, offer personal attention on unforgettable expeditions and welcome new friends into the Aurora family.
 

 

Ship info

Greg Mortimer

Proudly named after Aurora's adventurous co-founder, this 104-metre ship is our very first, purpose-built expedition vessel. Capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, the Greg Mortimer is built to world-class polar standards – designed in close consultation with our expedition specialists, taking advantage of our more than 25 years of experience.

Accommodating a maximum of 100 passengers plus kayakers and divers in the polar regions*, and 160 passengers in other destinations, the Greg Mortimer redefines expedition cruising for the future. Not only is the ship bigger to contend with adverse weather conditions, its added creature comforts make for a more enjoyable journey out on the open ocean. The Greg Mortimer remains true to our ethos and focus on multiple landings, flexible itineraries and family atmosphere – just with an improved home base!
 

Ship Life

As your base and home away from home during your Aurora Expeditions adventure, the Greg Mortimer is designed to serve your every need. It's your bedroom, bathroom, lounge, dining room and even your observatory. Make yourself at home, the Greg Mortimer is yours to enjoy!

Onboard observation points

Let's face it – you don't want windowless rooms when travelling around some of the most beautiful locations around the world. This is why the Greg Mortimer is designed with plenty of dedicated observation spaces – ideal for keen bird spotters, wildlife watchers and those wanting to watch the scenery go past. From the indoor 180-degree lounge and outdoor 360-degree open deck, both on deck 8, to the 270-degree open sundeck on level 7, there are plenty of observation points to share around the ship! If these are full, then you can take up a spot on one of the two hydraulic viewing platforms on deck 5. Aurora Expeditions also has an open bridge policy, which means at any point you can come up to the bridge and check out what the captain and officers are up to. From watching navigational practices to observing mapping techniques, you can get a firsthand look at the inner workings of the Greg Mortimer.

Shore excursions

Although the ship is fun, the real enjoyment comes from the many shore excursions that are available. Depending on the weather and itinerary, it's possible to take two to three landings daily, taking a look at everything from rock formations and ancient ruins to cute groups of penguins. We know time is of the essence in these wild locations, so the Greg Mortimer has been designed with more Zodiacs (15) than any other Aurora ship, which means you can maximise your time on shore. From four dedicated sea level launching platforms, transfers are quicker, safer and enable you to get closer to the action for a longer period of time. Just remember to charge your camera before you step onto the Zodiac!

Activity options

One of the great benefits of travelling with Aurora Expeditions is the number of optional activities that you can participate in. From kayaking and skiing to diving and climbing, these are one-in-a-lifetime opportunities that you need to take advantage of. Aboard the Greg Mortimer there is a specially designed launching platform for all activities, a concept overseen by our activity experts. This area also includes individual lockers in the expansive mudroom and rapid drying areas for wetsuits so you can quickly get warm after exploring in the elements! 

Dining

From the moment you step onto the Greg Mortimer, we aim to give you the best hospitality service possible. Starting with the official Captain's welcome, as our guests, you're welcome to 24 hours complimentary coffee, tea and snack facilities in addition to the range of different menu options and courses for each meal. Meals are served in large dining room/restaurant with family style dining, perfect to swap stories with your new expedition family. Enjoy the range of house wine, beers and soft drinks included with dinner after a long day in the wild, preparing yourself for another exciting day to follow. On the last day of your trip, the team on the Greg Mortimer put on a special farewell four-course dinner and cocktails – a perfect way to reflect on your time on the ship and consolidate lifelong friendships with the people you've met on-board.

On-board entertainment

When you’re relaxing during a sea day or you have a little downtime on the ship between excursions, what is there to do onboard the Greg Mortimer? Plenty! On all our expeditions, there are experts who lead presentations in the spacious lecture room so you can understand the region a little better. These often include topics as broad as history and culture to biology and climate change, these presentations aim to educate and entertain. If you're keen to just watch the surroundings and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, you have access to two bars/lounges where the stunning floor to ceiling windows offer a special perspective on the landscape. The Greg Mortimer is also decked out with other facilities for your enjoyment. There is a library on Deck 5 with books and maps and a Wellness Centre complete with gym equipment, sauna and spa. Feeling a little sore after walking around all day? Treat yourself to a massage at the Wellness Centre and feels the aches disappear! Keen photographers and artists will revel in the multimedia room on Deck 5.


Ship Features

As a modern and custom-designed ship, the Greg Mortimer is at the cutting edge of nautical technology. Robust, powerful and built with our guests in mind, this ship marks a significant investment in our fleet's capabilities. From the European Arctic to the depths of Antarctica, and other far-flung destinations in-between, the Greg Mortimer will make your journey a breeze!

X-BOW™

Our expeditions face some of the worst Mother Nature can throw at us. However, this won't be problem on the Greg Mortimer with the introduction of the patented X-BOW™, created by Norwegian ship designer ULSTEIN. As one of the leaders in marine engineering, ULSTEIN's X-BOW™ is an inverted bow concept that's been built on over 100 vessels in the shipping industry. Excitingly, we are the first expedition cruise operator to utilise this technology for the challenging open ocean waves!

Hydraulic viewing platforms

Although there is no doubt that you'll love the aesthetics of the Greg Mortimer, we are all here to admire the spectacular landscape and spot the elusive wildlife in their natural habitat. To ensure you get the best views possible, the new ship features unique viewing platforms, custom-built for the Greg Mortimer. Accessed from Deck 5, the two platforms fold out hydraulically for unobstructed views of passing marine life and seabirds – make sure your camera is locked and loaded!

Zodiac launching platform

Zodiacs are a vital part of getting up close and personal on your adventure – sneaking into areas that the Greg Mortimer can't reach. On this new ship, there are specially designed launching platforms that enables us to load Zodiacs easily and quickly, allowing you to spend more time exploring on the two to three daily landings. There are 15 Zodiacs that are boarded from either side of Deck 3 (sea level), perfect for when there is a group of fluffy cute penguin chicks that we need a photo of!

Custom-built activity platform

Regardless of your destination, we offer a number of additional activities to allow you to see more of the environment. From kayaking and diving to climbing and ski touring, it's these optional activities that often leave the biggest impression on your trip as a whole. Onboard the Greg Mortimer, there is a spacious prep and loading platform for these activities and more – designed in consultation with our expert activity guides.

Environmentally friendly

Climate change and carbon emissions continue to be major issues that everyone needs to be aware of and actively managing. We at Aurora Expeditions treat preserving and protecting the environment with the upmost importance and this is reflected in several features on the Greg Mortimer.

This includes reduced emissions into the air and sea, lower energy consumption, high fuel efficiency, reduced light pollution for minimal wildlife disruption and lower on-board plastic use. It's vital to also mention the state-of-the-art virtual anchoring technology of the X-BOW™, which means the ship can float anchorless while launching Zodiacs, kayaks etc, without disturbing delicate sea floor areas.

We are inaugural members of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO), and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), highlighting our ongoing efforts to protect the most fragile environments around the world.

Safety features

Safety is always a critical element of Aurora operations, with the Greg Mortimer featuring the most up-to-date and concise safety technology across our fleet. This starts with the return-to-port equipment – not compulsory on a ship of this size – which duplicates the propulsion system. This enables the ship to maintain operating systems and comfort in the event of engine failure. Furthermore, the Greg Mortimer is Polar Code 6 compliant, holds BV class and is fully compliant with the latest SOLAS requirements. It's also built with a Rolls Royce stabiliser system.  If there's an incident or accident during your adventure, the ship has an onboard, fully-stocked medical centre – where our trained medical team can provide necessary treatment in a timely fashion.

Safety continues to be an issue that our team takes very seriously and the Greg Mortimer allows us to create an environment where you can concentrate on the brilliant landscape and wildlife, without worrying about your wellbeing.
 

Greg Mortimer Deck plans

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