High Arctic Adventurer (Greg Mortimer)

High Arctic Adventurer (Greg Mortimer)

From AUD $17,600


Combine Svalbard Odyssey and Franz Josef Land Explorer into one adventure for a complete exploration of the High Arctic. Enjoy peak summer in Svalbard, with 24 hour daylight. long tundra walks, reindeer, spectacular bird cliffs, and polar bears. Dog sled or fish in Longyearbyen, then sail for wild Franz Josef Land. Be one of the few to experience its wildlife, mysterious landscapes and exploration history.

Trip Name
High Arctic Adventurer (Greg Mortimer)
Vessel Type: Expedition
Length: 104 metres
Passenger Capacity: 120
Built: 2018
Proudly named after Aurora's adventurous co-founder, this 104-metre ship is Aurora Expedition's 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.
The Greg Mortimer redefines expedition cruising for the future, with just 120 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 X-BOWX-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. 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 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
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!
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!  
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 Embark Longyearbyen
Arrive in Longyearbyen, where you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and taken on a sightseeingtour to explore the remote outskirts and ‘Capital’ of Spitsbergen, including a stop at the local museum. After the touryou will be transferred to the port in the late afternoon to embark the Greg Mortimer. You’ll have time to settle intoyour cabin prior to the important pre-departure briefings. Your voyage commences, cruising out of the beautifulIsfjorden, escorted by gliding fulmars and perhaps the occasional puffin. Find a spot on one of the observation areaswatching for seabirds, including graceful ivory gulls, kittiwakes and guillemots. They rise and fall skilfully, using theair currents created by the ship to gain momentum. NOTE: Sometimes our ship is unable to dock in Longyearbyen port due to space and capacity. In these instances, wereach the ship by Zodiac. Please ensure that you keep your wet-weather gear in your hand luggage to use in theZodiacs if the situation arises. Our crew will transport your luggage separately to your cabin. Please ensure all yourluggage has your cabin tag/number attached.
Day 2 - Days 2-3 Northwest coast of Spitsbergen
Cruise northwards along the west coast of Spitsbergen, stopping at intriguing places like Kongsfjorden orMagdalenefjorden. Kongsfjorden (Kings Bay) is incredibly scenic, the fjord is headed by two giant glaciers. There’sample time ashore for hiking on the lush tundra amongst the summer flowers and observing the remarkable birdcliffs near the 14th July Glacier, where even a few puffins nest between the cracks in the cliffs.We keep watch for polar bears and Arctic fox and feel a sense of history at the 350-year-old remains of a Dutchwhaling settlement, Smeerenberg on Amsterdamøya. The name Smeerenberg literally means blubber town in Dutch.It is a place of extraordinary legends, of thousands of men living there during the 1630s, a town complete withshops, gambling dens and the like. In reality, only 400 men and fifteen ships visited Smeerenberg during its peak inthe 1630s for whaling purposes.
Day 3 - Days 4-6 Northern flanks of Spitsbergen and Nordauslandet
As we work our way along the north coast we explore rarely-visited places such as Woodfjorden and Leifdefjorden insearch of the mighty polar bear. From Zodiacs we enjoy magnificent views of sweeping glaciers winding their wayinto the sea. We may walk on smooth raised beach terraces to a superb viewpoint or hike in the mountains on thetundra where pretty coloured wildflowers and lichen grow and where reindeer graze. We may visit trapper huts ofyesteryear where Russians and Pomors would hunt and survive the cold harsh winters, all while remaining alert forwandering polar bears and their cubs. We might come face-to-face with the formidable pack ice of the Arctic Ocean,keeping our eyes peeled for walrus feeding on clams or hauled out on the beach in wallows. We will listen to thecacophony of sea birds and see them feeding. If conditions allow, we may push north into the pack ice in hopes offinding polar bears ranging over the frozen landscape on the hunt for seals. We may also Seven Island, thenorthernmost islands in Svalbard where Polar Bears and walrus are common - if pack ice allows.
Day 4 - Days 7-9 Hinlopen Strait, East Coast of Spitsbergen and Edgeøya
Along the northeast coast of Spitsbergen we enter a different world – a polar desert. If ice conditions allow we willpass south through the narrow Hinlopen Strait. The strait is flanked by creamy coloured slabs of rock that are rich infossils, as we will discover for ourselves when we go ashore. We may visit Alkefjellet in the Strait, where a series ofone-hundred-metre-high dolerite towers are home to nearly a million nesting Brünnich’s guillemots – the penguinsof the north – that occupy every available nook and cranny. Elsewhere we seek out eider ducks and geese and hopeto spot Arctic fox and the beautiful ivory gulls.As the Greg Mortimer passes between Spitsbergen and the smaller islands of Barentsøya and Edgeøya, we cross amajor polar bear migration route and the beautiful fertile plains of Sundeneset. The spongy ground is richly coveredwith bright green mosses, a variety of delicate and colourful flowers, particularly the yellow marsh (bog) saxifrage,various mushrooms, fungi, clear bubbling streams and small tarns. Tiny (micro) flowers such as Mouse Ears grow inSpitsbergen creating faerie like mossy rock gardens. We explore this beautiful terrain on foot, marvelling at thecontrast between the colourful soft ground and the barren, rocky terrain from further north. Reindeer antlers liescattered along the ground. We will do one last landing around Edgeøya on day 9 before starting the crossing of theBarents Sea, during these last day we may cruise in the pack ice again looking for our last polar bear
Day 5 - Days 9-10 At Sea
Crossing the Barents Sea to Kirkenes offers some good opportunities to encounter whales and certainly plenty ofopportunities to photograph sea birds. You may enjoy final presentations from our team of experts, spend your timeediting photos or simply relaxing.
Day 6 - Day 11 Kirkenes
During the early morning we cruise into the Bokfjord towards Kirkenes. As the ship’s hotel staff prepare to welcomeon board expeditioners joining us on the next leg of the journey to Franz Josef Land, enjoy a pre-arranged half dayexcursion or activity in Kirkenes before reboarding the Greg Mortimer in the late afternoon.
Day 7 - Day 12 Murmansk
After sailing overnight into Russia, we stop in Murmansk, to undergo formalities to enter Russia. During clearanceprocedures, we may go on a city of Murmansk visiting the monument to the soldier of WW2 and also the firstnuclear icebreaker Lenin.
Day 8 - Days 13-14 At Sea
Over the next two days at sea, enjoy informative and entertaining lectures from our expert expedition teamincluding naturalists, historians and geologists.Time and weather permitting, we may cruise along the coast of Novaya Zemlya on day 4, to have a first glimpse ofthe tundra of the high Arctic, we may even try a landing in the tundra or a zodiac cruise in front of our first glacier.Fingers crossed!
Day 9 - Days 15-21 Franz Josef Land
Franz Josef Land is a stark yet beautiful world of glaciers, mosses and lichens. Approximately five million sea birdsnest on the archipelago every year, with the thick-billed guillemot accounting for approximately 20%. Other seabirdssuch as fulmar, kittiwake, Brünnich's guillemot, black guillemot and little auk are common throughout thearchipelago. On the flat tundra, nest other species such as: common eider, purple sandpiper, Arctic skua, glaucousgull, ivory gull, Arctic tern and snow bunting. Franz Josef Land is home to two Arctic giants – the Polar bear and thewalrus. There is also a population of Arctic fox, which typically have their territories near seabird habitats. Thewaters of Franz Josef Land are visited by whales, including humpback, bowhead, narwhal, and white beluga whale.Walrus, ringed seals, bearded seals and an amazing species of mammals, choose Franz Josef Land and the waterareas around it as their home.While there are many exciting places we can choose to visit over the following week, weather, wind, and sea-iceconditions will determine our itinerary in Franz Josef Land. A sample of some of the places where we may land, hike,photograph or view spectacular wildlife and scenery include:Bell and Mabel IslandThe remains of an empty cabin built in 1880 by British explorer Benjamin Leigh Smith can be found on Bell Island. OnMabel island offers an opportunity to get close to a little auk colony as the birds nest between the rocks on the slopeabove the beach where the Zodiacs land.Cape Flora - Northbrook IslandLocated in an unglaciated area in the Southwest of Northbrook Island, Cape Flora is one of the most famoushistorical site in Franz Josef Land because it is one of the most accessible locations in the archipelago and oftenserved as a base for polar expeditions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Cape Flora features some of themost beautiful tundra in Franz Josef Land, but landings on the rocky beach, which is prone to swell from the BarentsSea can often be tricky. Cape Flora is where Benjamin Leigh Smith’s vessel Eira was shipwrecked in 1881, after beingtrapped in pack ice.Geographers bay (Prince George Land)Prince George is the largest and longest island of the Franz Josef Archipelago. Most of the island is covered in largeglaciers and ice domes, such as the Brusilov Ice Dome - the highest point of the island. A landing at Geographers Bayallows for a hike up one of the ice domes to stretch our legs and to enjoy the wonderful views over the archipelago,as Prince George Island is not fully glaciated. It’s also a great spot for enjoying the typical flowers of the north Arctictundra.Tikhaya Bukta (Hooker Island)Tikhaya Bay was a major base for polar expeditions, and where a team of meteorologists from the Russian Sedovstation were marooned at the beginning of the Second World War. It was also the location of a meteorologicalstation between 1929 and 1963. The remains of the old Russian station is worth a visit and after thousands of rustingbarrels were found and cleared here five 5 years ago, the station now resembles a ghost town or a living museum.You will also find here the world’s northernmost (Russian) post office!Rubini Rock (Hooker Island)The impressive basalt cliffs create the best bird cliffs in the archipelago housing more than 100,000 birds comprisingof mostly Brünnich guillemot, but also kittiwake and little auks. The bird cliff lies just off Calm Bay and is perfect forZodiac cruises. The island is a volcanic plug, the central remains of conical volcano.Cape Tegethoff (Hall Island)The place of the first landing in 1873 by Austro-Hungarian expeditioners Julius Von Payer and Karl Weyprecht afterthe Tegethoff sunk in 1873. Beautiful basalt rocks and bird cliff rookery of guillemot, gulls, kittiwake and little auks.Cape Triest, Champ IslandChamp Island is famous for the incredible stone spheres (geodes), commonly called “Devils Marbles” with sizesranging from tennis balls to boulders that are three metres in diameter! These rocks are a unique geological featurethat can be found only in the Arctic regions. Keep a look out for walrus in the water or hauled out on the beachduring our wet landing.Sarko Passage - Newcombe sound (Nansen archipelago)Beautifully glaciated landscape featuring an enormous glacier front with a lot of sea Ice. It’s one of the best spots tomarvel at glaciers, ice and perhaps polar bears!Cape Norway (Jackson Island)The place where the famous Norwegian explorers Fritjoj Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen spent the winter of 1895-96after returning from their attempt to reach the North Pole. We can see the remains of the stone hut built by the menincluding a big log that was used as a makeshift roof. A commemorative plaque provides marks this event where themen survived the winter until the following summer, when they resumed their journey southwards.Cape Fligely (Prince Rudolf Island)At 81° 51’N, this is the northernmost point of Eurasia, where we can cruise along the ice edge and perhaps get aglimpse to the North Pole in clear weather conditions.Teplitz Bay (Prince Rudolf Island)An abandoned old Russian meteorological station is located here – it was once the northernmost weather station inthe world. The bay is often chock full of ice but provides a marvellous opportunity to enjoy the northernmost zodiaccruise!Walrus Haulout at Stolichky (Stoliczka) or Apollonov IslandWalrus can be found everywhere on the sea ice in the Franz Josef archipelago. We hope to visit one of theestablished haul out sites to observe them on land. Polar bears can be seen almost everywhere on, or between theislands. We may see some on land but we hope to find them on the pack Ice, their natural habitat. Seeing polar bearsis a highlight of a voyage to Franz Josef Land and can happen at any moment. We will change the itinerary in case weencounter one or more polar bears, maximising every opportunity spending time observing the king of the Arctic!
Day 10 - Days 22-24 At Sea, Murmansk
The return crossing of the Barents Sea offers some good opportunities to encounter whales, perhaps the elusivebowhead whale if we’re lucky, and certainly plenty of opportunities to photograph sea birds. Back in Murmansk, weundergo Russian formalities before continuing to Kirkenes.
Day 11 - Day 25 Disembark Kirkenes
Arrive in Kirkenes in the morning, farewell your expedition team and fellow passengers as we all continue ouronward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to the airport isincluded in the cost of the voyage.
Day 12 - Please Note:
Please refer to this itinerary as a guide only, as changes may occur due to unpredictable sea and weather conditions.Flexibility is key, when joining us on our expeditions.NOTE: High Arctic Adventure combines Svalbard Odyssey and Franz Josef Land Explorer. Day 11is a turnaround day in Kirkenes for disembarking and embarking expeditioners.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
02-07-202026-07-2020AUD $0Aurora Stateroom
02-07-202026-07-2020AUD $0Balcony Stateroom
02-07-202026-07-2020AUD $0Balcony Suite
02-07-202026-07-2020AUD $0Junior Suite
02-07-202026-07-2020AUD $0Captain's Suite


    • Paddle kayaks near Svalbard’s magnificent glacier fronts
    • Cruise past brilliantly blue glaciers and stunning fjords
    • Zodiac beneath sea cliffs alive with nesting seabirds
    • Encounter polar bears on land and ice
    • Explore rarely-visited islands of Franz Josef Land
    • Discover unique stone spheres in alien landscapes