20 Mar 2020 Andrew Minto Travel Stories

From our very first zodiac excursion we discovered so much wildlife - whales, penguins and a curious leopard seal who played alongside the zodiacs and tried to mate with the underside of a kayak! 

We had zodiac excursions twice a day and would either cruise along spectacular ice cliffs or grounded icebergs, or be transported from the ship to land, to visit penguin rookeries and hike to historic huts or vantage points for stunning views over the bays.

All expeditions have naturalists and local specialists onboard, who run information sessions throughout the cruise to teach you about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment to deepen your understanding of the region you’re visiting.

Being so far south we had 18 hours of daylight per day which was great as the sheer size and colour of the icebergs is breathtaking and something you never tire of seeing. It was -4 degrees but with all the excitement you barely notice, plus all passengers are given Polar Expedition jackets (to keep) and complimentary boots for all shore excursions. I actually stripped off to board shorts only and braved the ‘Polar Plunge' - I felt the cold at that moment, but wow, what an awesome thing to do!

My journey was onboard Aurora Expeditions' Greg Mortimer which is the first passenger vessel to feature the revolutionary ULSTEIN X-BOW®, which provides improved stability in rough seas, enhanced ship speed and reduced environmental impact. Other unique features are the custom-designed hydraulic platforms and sea-level zodiac platforms for efficient loading off the ship.

Aurora Expeditions' COVID safety requires all embarking crew, Expedition Team and guests to be fully vaccinated, including booster shots prior to embarking on any of its cruises. We were PCR tested prior to boarding and every second day of the cruise.

It was the trip of a lifetime and I have amazing memories that will stay with me forever.

Andrew in Antarctica

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