A trip to Antarctica is a bucket list item for many intrepid explorers.
A vast, captivating expanse that is one of the last truly wild places on the planet, it is difficult to comprehend the magnitude of the place until one experiences it firsthand.
Aurora Expeditions, the Australian owned expedition travel company, has been taking travellers to Antarctica for more than 32 years, beginning when its founder, renowned explorer and mountaineer Greg Mortimer OAM, brought small groups of adventurers on inspiring voyages of discovery to the white continent.
Today, Aurora is an award-winning, 100 per cent Climate Neutral company specialising in small-ship expeditions to Antarctica and other remote wilderness regions where nature rules, and where few or no others venture.
Commenting on why he comes back to the region time and time again, Greg Mortimer says: “It’s simple – it’s never the same. From the chemistry of the people you travel with to the impact of the weather and the ice, and those things that come along that nature just throws at you. The chance encounters you can have on an expedition are wondrous.”
It helps to have a broad understanding of Antarctica’s regions, seasons, and experiences before locking in your chosen adventure. The travel season for Antarctica begins in late October and ends in early April, and there are dozens of immersive voyages to choose from, ranging from nine days all the way to 24 days in length.
An epic wonderland full of penguins, whales, seals, birds, breath-taking ice formations and steep-sided mountains descending dramatically into the sea, the Antarctic Peninsula is the quintessential location to explore on an adventure to the region.
The vast majority of Aurora’s voyages visit the peninsula, but each expedition is different.
Some sail over the famed Drake Passage both ways, while others offer a flight in at least one direction. We follow the experience rather than a strict itinerary, where unparalleled opportunities to connect with nature are top of mind for our team. Along the way, a few things are guaranteed; awe-inspiring experiences that forge deep friendships, changed perspectives and lifelong memories.
Travellers with more time or a thirst for even greater adventures may want to consider joining the privileged few who can say they have crossed the famed Antarctic Circle, or seen the tremendous tabular icebergs of the Weddell Sea, renowned for its heroic history and vast amounts of ice.
Wildlife enthusiasts and history buffs may like to consider the sub-antarctic island of South Georgia, best known for the perilous history of Sir Ernest Shackleton, beaches lined with elephant seals and Antarctic fur seals, or its enormous king penguin colonies – the largest in the world – which elicit emotion from even the most seasoned travellers.
Life on board and in the action
Aurora’s two new vessels, the Greg Mortimer and the Sylvia Earle, are purpose-built for discovery in an intimate and informal setting, holding a maximum of 132 passengers. Their small size means they can go where larger ships cannot, they have greater flexibility to change plans based on conditions or chance wildlife encounters, and passengers can enjoy more time exploring, whether on land or water.
Each voyage is accompanied by Aurora’s highly-skilled Expedition Team, many of whom are leaders in their fields and share their wisdom during onboard lectures, Zodiac cruises, Citizen Science projects, landings and more.
Passengers are also spoilt for choice when it comes to activities that facilitate deeper exploration. There’s Zodiac cruising, hiking, photography with our onboard professionals, and optional add-ons such as sea kayaking, camping, alpine trekking, snorkeling and scuba diving – even in the icy waters of Antarctica, where expeditioners swim among icebergs, penguins and unique marine life.
To learn more about this adventure of a lifetime, join Aurora Expeditions at an upcoming information session in Noosa: 30 November 2023, 2pm-4pm at Noosa Springs Golf and Spa Resort.
Call Aurora on 1800 637 688 or contact your Travel Advisor to reserve your place.