Southern Australia Coastal Discovery

Southern Australia Coastal Discovery

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Round Cape Leeuwin and enter a world of deep-sea canyons, granite-domed islands and white-sand beaches swept by the Southern Ocean. Follow a coast charted by Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin where whales, sea lions, fur seals, great white sharks and Australia’s only pirate reigned supreme. Watch for whales as you sail, with hotspots like Bremer Bay Canyon attracting orcas, minkes, southern rights and humpbacks. Hike to vantage points in the Recherche Archipelago, more than a hundred islands that are home to Australian sea lions, New Zealand fur seals, a sensational pink lake and the pirate Black Jack. Keep an eye out for southern right whales beneath the dramatic sea cliffs at Head of Bight. Photograph Cape Barren geese, rare lizards and rock wallabies in the Investigator Group off Eyre Peninsula, and visit the world-famous oyster farms of Coffin Bay. Snorkel with playful sea lions in the Spencer Gulf before a final foray to Kangaroo Island to admire wind-sculpted granite, tammar wallabies, koalas and a variety of birdlife.

This expedition is subject to regulatory approval and only open to Australian residents.

Trip Name
Southern Australia Coastal Discovery
Vessel Type: Expedition Length: 104 metres Passenger Capacity: 132 Built: 2019 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. The Greg Mortimer redefines expedition cruising for the future, with just 132 passengers on board in the polar regions. 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! 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! Greg Mortimer ULSTEIN 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!  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. 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.  Safety features 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 on-board, 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 serious 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. Ship Life 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! 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 15 Zodiacs, 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 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.


Day 1 - Day 1 Fremantle
Embark the Greg Mortimer in the afternoon. After boarding, take time to settle into your cabin before attending important safety briefings. Enjoy the thrill of departure as we pull. In the evening, meet your expedition team and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean.
Day 2 - Day 2 At sea, Chatham Island
Departing Fremantle, share the ‘Humpback Highway’ with leviathans returning to Antarctica and possibly a dolphin escort. Round Australia’s south-west corner, home to the lovely Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, which marks where the Indian and Southern oceans meet. In the afternoon, conditions permitting, we hope to Zodiac cruise along Chatham Island’s soaring granite cliffs. Not to be confused with New Zealand’s Chatham Islands (first sunrise on Earth – each day), Australia’s Chatham Island is a nature reserve that’s home to NZ fur seals, flesh-footed shearwaters, little penguins and WA’s only threatened plant, the cliff-hanging fern Asplenium obtusatum.
Day 3 - Day 3 Bremer Bay Canyon
Wake to a stretch of Southern Ocean 70 km off the coast that looks just like the surrounding sea – but it’s not. Below the surface is Bremer Bay Canyon, which each summer redirects a cold, salty Antarctic current up from the deep. When the nutrient-rich waters hit the surface, they create a biological hotspot unlike any on Earth. Breaching orcas, dolphins, sperm whales and giant squid are just part of the marine life frenzy. Blue sharks have been seen following orcas. The phenomenon is still relatively new, so keep track of any new sightings. Even pygmy blue whales pass through the area. If conditions allow, we’ll launch Zodiacs for an experience you’ll never forget.
Day 4 - Days 4-5 Recherche Archipelago
Awake amidst the Recherche Archipelago, a chain of 105 islands and some 1200 islets that stretch from near Esperance in the west, to near Israelite Bay in the East. In 1803, explorer Matthew Flinders left two anchors behind, just off Middle Island, the largest in the archipelago. We hope to land here and hike to the beautiful pink, Lake Hillier, and learn the story of pirate Black Jack Anderson, a violent sealer who set off from here to raid shipping between Albany and Adelaide. Ours will take a more-gentle approach, swimming from pristine white beaches in turquoise waters shared with Australian sea lions and New Zealand fur seals. Exploring rarely visited islands and to photograph Recherche Cape Barren geese, rock parrots, red-eared firetails and a host of reptiles including Rosenberg’s monitor. Marvel at the raw beauty of these wilderness isles, while enjoying Southern Ocean sundowners.
Day 5 - Day 6 At Sea
After nearly a week of intense exploration, relax and enjoy entertaining talks about explorers who first mapped the wild coast to the north of us, and the natural history of the region we’re approaching. Step out on deck to watch for southern right and blue whales, and to photograph seabirds accompanying the ship.
Day 6 - Days 7-8 Great Australian Bight, Investigator Group
Continue our course parallel to the Great Australian Bight, the vertical cliff-lines marking when Antarctica separated from Australia when Gondwana broke apart. We ship cruise the Head of the Bight, where Southern Rights and pygmy blue whales come to calve, and Australian sea lions breed in small colonies along the cliffs. Above the cliffs is the spare scenery of the Nullarbor Plain. After lunch, we reach the dramatic Investigator Group of islands, just off the western shores of Eyre Peninsula. If conditions permit, Zodiac ashore on Pearson Island to look for Cape Barren geese, rare lizards and rock wallabies as well as fairy penguins, short-tailed shearwaters and rock parrots.
Day 7 - Days 9-10 Coffin Bay, Spencer Gulf
Delight in a day of adventure with the striking scenery of the Eyre Peninsula and Coffin Bay as the backdrop. Zodiac-cruise or paddle crystal-clear waters, stroll along unspoilt beaches or enjoy a hike amongst the coastal heath and woodlands of the National Park. Search the skies for the white-bellied sea eagles and osprey that breed along this coastline. Overnight we enter the Spencer Gulf to enjoy the treasures of the Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area. The rich waters of the adjacent marine park are home to one of the world’s largest colonies of Australian sea lions.
Day 8 - Day 11 Kangaroo Island
Marvel at the regenerative powers of nature while exploring Australia’s third-largest island from the comfort of your floating base camp. Following on from the devastating bushfires of January 2020 this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see new life bursting forth, the return of koalas, wallabies, echidnas and dunnarts, and the pleasure of islanders as they show off the beauty of their home. From swimming with dolphins and sea lions, to participating in post-fire ecological surveys. Explore spectacular granite coastlines and gain new insights into habitat restoration from renowned experts. Local artists will share their perspectives, and guides will introduce their natural world.
Day 9 - Day 12 Adelaide
After breakfast, farewell your expedition team and disembark to be transferred to the airport or your hotel.
Day 10 - Please 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 and other conditions beyond our control.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
04-10-202115-10-2021Array Array17,195Balcony Stateroom - C
04-10-202115-10-2021Array Array18,095Balcony Stateroom - B
04-10-202115-10-2021Array Array19,395Balcony Stateroom - A
04-10-202115-10-2021Array Array21,195Balcony Stateroom Superior
04-10-202115-10-2021Array Array26,595Junior Suite
04-10-202115-10-2021Array Array31,595Captain's Suite
04-10-202115-10-2021Array Array0Aurora Stateroom Twin
04-10-202115-10-2021Array Array0Aurora Stateroom Triple


    • Explore and learn about the unique marine ecosystems designated as “Hope Spots” by Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue team, including the ‘Great Southern Reef’, Salisbury Island and Kangaroo Island
    • Cruise the nutrient-rich waters of Bremer Bay’s deep-sea canyons that attract orcas, sharks, dolphins, sperm whales and giant squid
    • Trek on the wilderness islands of the Recherche Archipelago, discovering pink lakes, sea lion colonies and stories of sealers, whalers and pirates that preceded you
    • Enjoy spectacular birdwatching in the Investigator Group, renowned for its endangered fairy tern, Cape Barren geese, rock parrots and more
    • Delight in the playfulness and grace of Australian sea lions as you snorkel^ in the waters off Hopkins Island
    • Inspect bushfire recovery on Kangaroo Island, with the return of koalas, short-beaked echidnas and tammar wallabies