Antarctica Cruise on Hurtigruten

‘In the realm of the great explorers’ 19 days/18 nights ex Buenos Aires November 1, 2014

Inside cabin from $9,028 pp

Day 1: BUENOS AIRES

Discover the Paris of South America for yourself and get a taste of what the birthplace of the Tango has to offer. Depart Buenos Aires onboard the MS Fram at 12.00 noon. Eighteen Night Cruise: Onboard MS Fram.

Days 2-4: AT SEA

At sea head south towards your first destination. On the way you will have fascinating and informative briefings into the history and biology to be found there.

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.

Day 5: AT SEA/FALKLAND 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.

Cruising the area of the North West Falklands, your ship is scheduled to arrive late afternoon.

Days 6-7: FALKLAND ISLANDS

Today you will explore the north-west part of the Falklands. You 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 7 you set a course for South Georgia.

Depending on the final decision regarding landing sites, there will be a hike offered. One of the options could be an easy hike to a cliff with black browed albatross, a rockhopper colony and a cormorant colony if landing at New Island. If an alternative landing site is chosen, a different walk will be set up on the Falkland Islands.

Days 8-9: AT SEA

The cruise southward to beautiful South Georgia takes two days. En route there will be a number of presentations about the area you will visit and its wildlife, as well as some fascinating stories about Shackleton’s expeditions. The lecturers will tell us about the significance the whaling station here had for the entire whaling industry.

Days 10-11: SOUTH GEORGIA

You can explore this beautiful island, which is ringed by ice-covered mountains and cool emerald-green bays.

Known for its many historic places, you will spend two fascinating days in South Georgia, where, weather permitting, you will visit Grytviken whaling station, its museum, Shackleton’s grave and the whaler’s church dating from 1913. An attempt will also be made to visit the old Norwegian whaling station at Stromness and the kind penguin colony at Fortuna Bay. Setting sail on the second day, your ship cruises south towards Antarctica.

The wildlife on South Georgia is different to what you will see in Antarctica, including many different bird and animal species. Known for its variety of wildlife, you may see albatross, cape petrels, southern giant petrels, Antarctic whale birds, king penguins, fur seals and elephant seals, among others.

South Georgia offers nice hiking options, and one of our favourites 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 to save his 22 men left on the isolated Elephant Island. The 5.5 kilometre hike takes you from Fortuna to Strømness, the abandoned whaling station where Shackleton finally managed to get help. Due to the remoteness of the island and the safety of the operation, it is required that each hiker has a good level of fitness. This hike will only be conducted when weather conditions are very favourable.

Days 12-13: AT SEA

The cruise towards the Antarctic Peninsula takes two days. Whilst you cross the sea to Antarctica a number of presentations will be given about the various topics of the Antarctic’s history and wildlife, as well as guidelines for visitors to Antarctica.

The Antarctic Treaty has made the continent an area without military activity and it is the treaty which regulates all activities in the area. Hurtigruten ASA follows these regulations to the letter to ensure that the vulnerable environment will not be disturbed. The program of presentations aim to prepare you for this unique experience, so that you will derive the greatest possible benefit from your Antarctic experience.

Set sail onto the northern tip of the continent, the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands.

Days 14-16: ANTARCTICA

This unending, white wilderness of a continent is full of fantastic impressions. Ocean, ice, mountains, animals, light, air, quiet. Everything!

This enormous white and weather bitten continent is almost as big as North America. Weather, wind and ice conditions have a great influence on the program and schedule. Safety is always the first priority and the final sailing schedule will be decided by the ship’s captain during the voyage.

While in Antarctica, the ship will attempt to land on several sites. On land, the expedition team will explain what you see and help you avoid disturbing the nature and wildlife. When conditions allow, hikes or other activities on land and at sea may be offered. Participation on any hike requires a good level of fitness, and that you are accustomed to hiking in uneven terrain.

After exploring this indescribably great and endless continent, leave Antarctica and set course for Ushuaia.

Days 17-18: DRAKE PASSAGE

With the bow pointed north and unforgettable images and experiences in your soul, you are invited to gain a new understanding of the Antarctica.

During the voyage Hurtigruten will summarise the Antarctic and Southern Ocean themes. The voyage from the Antarctic Peninsula to Ushuaia is about 950 kilometres – about 40 hours sailing in good weather. This sea passage was notorious among the early polar explorers and is a unique voyage which only a few have the chance to experience.

Day 19: USHUAIA/BUENOS AIRES

After spectacular Antarctica and its endless vistas, make landfall at the world’s southernmost town.

On arrival at the Argentinean town of Ushuaia this morning, disembark after breakfast and there is the possibility of joining an optional excursion in Ushuaia (with its end at the airport) or be transferred to the airport. If time allows, a stop at the city centre on your way to the airport may be included. In the early afternoon board your four hour flight back to Buenos Aires.

Included in the 19 day Expedition Itinerary:

  • 18 night voyage in cabin grade of your choice including all meals
  • Economy flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires
  • Transfers in Ushuaia with orientation tour
  • Wind and water-resistant jacket
  • Landings with Polarcirkel boats and activities onboard and ashore
  • Knowledgeable English speaking Expedition team who give lectures as well as accompany landings and activities
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Suites include a range of additional complimentary amenities such as drinks with meals and a welcome gift

To find out more about this adventure, contact Trans Otway Travel on (03) 9600 1482 or email contact@transotwaytravel.com.au