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Antarctica is a land of truly awesome grandeur. The highest, driest, coldest continent on Earth is unimaginably rich in bird and marine life and its surreal landscapes are like nothing else on earth.
Hurtigruten offers once in a lifetime expedition cruises to Antarctica, travelling aboard the custom built MS Fram, these spectacular adventures to the bottom of the world follow in the footsteps of pioneering explorers like Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton through the dramatic swells of the southern oceans to lands that lie at the very edge of your imagination. Hurtigruten's smaller,friendly ship Fram crosses Drakes Passage in only 40 hrs, giving more time to explore the Antarctic Peninsula and the most out of your Antarctic Cruise.
Once in Antarctica landings are exciting and safe. The use of Polar Circle boats makes it possible to make a wide range of landings. Our expedition teams are experienced with in-depth knowledge of the areas we sail in.
Whilst on board the Expedition team conduct informative lectures on topics such as biology, history and geology , to help you get the most out of your Antarctic cruise.
Montevideo has a sly sophistication and surprising cultural diversity for such a small population, boasting a picturesque blend of colonial Spanish, Italian and Art Deco styles. Montevideo may be the only large city in Uruguay, but it's also one of South America's most interesting centers.
Home to almost half of the nation's population, Montevideo is Uruguay’s capital and a modern metropolis with a historical centre dating back to colonial times. Visit the Ciudad Vieja (Old Town) with its 18th century buildings, the vibrant Mercado del Puerto, the bustling Avenida 18 de Julio with its numerous theatres, museums and art galleries, and the stretch of white, sandy beaches surrounding the city.
We depart from Montevideo at 16:00. Check-in opens at 14:00. Once onboard there will be a welcome meeting during which the Captain will present his officers and expedition staff. They will outline the program for the coming day. There will be conducted a mandatory safety drill for all passengers within 24 hrs of arrival.
We are heading south towards our first destination. On the way you will have fascinating and informative briefings into the history and biology to be found there.
We set course south to the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, located 772 kilometres north of Cape Horn and about 1,600 kilometres from Antarctica. The Falklands consist of two large islands and around 700 smaller ones and has a population of 2,967 inhabitants. Captain John Strong of HMS Welfare made the first recorded landing here in 1690.
Whilst we are at sea a number of presentations will be given about the history and wildlife of the areas we shall be visiting.
Thanks to the unique sub-Antarctic ecology there are over 70 animal species to be found on these islands.
The islands have a unique ecosystem of about 70 different sub-Antarctic animal and bird species. The black-browed albatross, Brown-rumped karakara, Elephant seal, sea lion and five different species of penguin including King penguin are just a few of them. There are also about 347 wild plant species in the area. The landscape is majestic, with cliffs and needle-like stones covered in green grass.
We plan to visit the area around North West Falkland with their fascinating landscape and wildlife, and hope to arrive late afternoon.
We will explore further the North-West part of Falkland. We then continue to Stanley, the islands’ capital, which makes a wonderful starting point for various excursions in the area. You can choose to take an optional excursion or explore the town on your own.
In the early evening of day 8 we set a course for South Georgia.
The cruise southward to beautiful South Georgia takes two days. En route there will be a number of presentations about the area’s wildlife as well as some fascinating stories about Shackleton’s expeditions. The lecturers will tell us about the significance that the whaling station here had for the entire whaling industry.
During our two-day stay in South Georgia you can expect to see some of the area’s numerous historic sites. South Georgia offers some good hiking opportunities, our favourite of which is walking the last part of the route that Sir Ernest Shackleton took on his brave journey across the island’s rugged mountains to find help for his 22 men left on the isolated Elephant Island.
In Grytviken we will visit the old whaling station museum, Shackleton’s final resting place, the whalers’ church dating from 1913, the old Norwegian whaling station at Strømness and the King penguin colony at Fortuna Bay. From here we sail south for the main event!
As we continue to Antarctica we learn more about the wonders of the Deep South, focusing on the history, environment and wildlife of Antarctica. Our series includes a thorough introduction to the Antarctic visitor guidelines from the Antarctic Treaty and International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO).
Antarctica is isolated from the rest of the world by thousands of miles of ocean. And even today, with all our technology, many parts of this continent remain unexplored. You find 99% of the world’s ice here, some of which is 4000 meters thick.
The most sophisticated technology cannot override some of the climatic challenges that are thrown at you. Even MS Fram, one of the most comfortable expedition ships, needs to remain pragmatic and err on the side of caution. Sometimes we have to change landing sites, re-route and shift plans as we go along because of the ice, wind and weather. This also means that we will take advantage of the often great conditions – spending hours ashore, taking kayaks out on the water, hiking alpine mountains, traversing glaciers or watching in awe as a groups of whales breach the surface.
Merchant William Smith discovered the ring shaped Deception Island on the South Shetland Islands in 1819 after his ship got lost in a storm. The island used to harbour whaling ships until as recently as 1905. The Norwegian base”, Hektor” was established here in 1912 to process meat and bone waste from whaling. Cuverville Island is home to one of the largest known colonies of Chinstrap penguins. The shallow water between the islands often causes icebergs to become stuck here - a real sight when it occurs! Neko Harbour is beautifully located in the innermost part of Andvord Bay named after a whaler who anchored here in the early 1900s.
Paradise Harbour got its descriptive name from the whalers during the last century. When the storms were at their worst, this is where they came to seek shelter. On its shores we will also visit Almirante Brown and Gonzáles Videla, Antarctic bases owned by Argentina and Chile respectively. Port Lockroy is a British station from the 2nd World War that got turned into the museum in 1996. Wilhelmina Bay has spectacular scenery and is often called "Whale-mina Bay", because of the large numbers of humpback whales spotted in its vicinity.
Visitors fondly refer to The Antarctic Sound as Iceberg Alley due to the astounding assortment of floating ice that is visible. The sound did not get its name from its location but from the ship used by Otto Nordenskjöld´s Swedish Antarctic expedition in 1903, led by the legendary Norwegian Carl Anton Larsen. Brown Bluff lies on the coast of the Antarctic Sound, at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. As the name suggests, the area is recognisable by the 750m cliffs that dominate the landscape. After exploring this superlative-exhausting continent, we leave and set course for Ushuaia.
The Drake Passage was notorious among the early polar explorers and is a unique voyage which only a few have had the chance to experience. In good weather, it takes us about 35 hours to make the crossing.
After spectacular journey, we make landfall at the world’s southernmost town. Disembark after breakfast and join an optional excursion to Lake Escondido. You can also extend your stay in Buenos Aires with one of our optional post-voyage extensions. Choose from a night or two in the “Tigre Delta” or fly to Iguazu to see possibly the most impressive falls in the world.
29 October 2017
• Inside Cabin from £5,070 pp
• Outside Cabin from £6,071 pp
• Superior from £6,704 pp
• Suite from £8,440 pp
Hurtigruten has a flexible pricing system. All prices are capacity controlled and subject to availability. Prices may change at any time before departure date. The applicable price will be quoted at the time of booking. Prices are per person based on twin share, call us for single supplement pricing.
The Ms Fram is a purpose built 12,700-ton vessel that incorporates all the best of both practical and traditional design. Because the ship is larger than other Expedition Ships, it offers more in the way of on board facilities and comfort. The decor on board includes original artwork and superbly appointed interiors that have been inspired by the Arctic and Greenland regions. Facilities include a main reception area, a glass-enclosed observation salon and excellent leisure facilities, including gym, sauna and heated Jacuzzis. The ship has a range of cabins on board from comfortable standard cabins to luxury expansive suites with their own lounge areas.
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