Travel in harmony with the elements to the White Continent. En route, you will experience the wild natural wonders of the Chilean fjords. Once in Antarctica, the sight of mighty glaciers calving into the ocean, colonies of penguins and whales in the icy seas will create indelible memories. On board you will find so much to do in our Activity Centre, such as exciting lectures, photography workshops and more, all designed to enhance your trip.
Day 1 Santiago de Chile
The capital of Chile is exciting and diverse. There is much to discover here, from Andean glaciers at the city borders, to skyscrapers in the centre, to lovely colonial architecture, to the shores of the fast-flowing Mapacho River. Your adventure starts with an overnight hotel stay in Santiago.
Day 2 Satiago de Chile/Punta Arenas
You fly to Punta Arenas where MS Roald Amundsen awaits, ready for your expedition to Antarctica.
Day 3 Chilean fjords
Enjoy cruising through the scenic Beagle Channel, with fjords surrounded by mountains plunging straight into the icy water. This wild and remote area seems almost undisturbed by humans. The ice has scoured its way between the mountains, leaving isolated islands and hidden bays that create the unique fjord landscape of Chile.
Day 4 - 5 At sea
When ranking the most iconic places on Earth, Cape Horn is high on the list. At almost 56 degrees south, it is the southernmost point of South America. Before the Panama Canal, seafarers had to pass this infamous rocky island in order to cross from one side of the Americas to the other. We will do our best to make a landing on Cape Horn – however, this is an area known for high seas and challenging conditions, so the captain will decide on the best course. Then MS Roald Amundsen will use 1 ½ to 2 days to cross the Drake Passage, depending on the weather conditions. This enormous churn of water is funnelled by western wind drift from the Pacific through the Drake Passage and into the Scotia Sea to the east. The Drake Passage is part of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the most voluminous current in the world. About 95 to 150 million cubic metres of water per second are transported from west to east. As you cross the Drake, you sail over the mid ocean West Scotia Ridge and over the nearly 6.000-metre deep South Shetland Trench. The weather can be terrible on the Drake, but it can also be placid, often called the “Drake Lake”. Usually, it’s somewhere in between.
Day 6 - 12 Antarctica
Antarctica is isolated from the rest of the world by ocean currents. 90 per cent of the world´s ice is here, 4,000 metres thick, covering the landmass. In winter it is further cut off by sea ice forming off the coast - virtually doubling the size of the continent. In summer, it is a breeding ground for millions of penguins, whales and seals that, for the rest of the year, simply spend their time at sea. Most marine wildlife here depends on krill as a cornerstone species. In fact, the krill population in the Southern Ocean represents the largest biomass of any species on Earth. As outlined in the Antarctic Treaty, this is a continent dedicated to peace, science and tourism. No human activity is allowed to alter the perfect natural balance that has evolved through millennia without interference. That´s why we follow very strict environmental guidelines and rules. We want to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures! Every voyage to this continent is a true expedition. Even the most sophisticated technology cannot override some of the climatic challenges. That´s why we need to be prudent: we change landings, re-route and alter plans as we go along. This also means that we will take advantage of the often-ideal conditions – spend hours ashore, on the water with kayaks, hiking or simply cruising amongst huge pods of whales. We will attempt to land several places, including Deception Island, Half Moon Island, Brown Bluff, Cuverville Island and Neko Harbour. All of these places are serene and offer untouched nature, oportunities to observe penguin colonies, seals, glaciers, old whaling stations and icebergs in every shape and colour. It´s hard to sum up all the impressions you will gain. As a well-known quote from veteran Antarctic travellers puts it: “If you can describe Antarctica with words, you have probably never been there.”
Day 13 At sea
After exploring this unforgettable continent, we set course for the Falkland Islands, which consist of two large islands and around 700 smaller isles. There is fascinating history here, as Captain John Strong of HMS Welfare made the first recorded landing in 1690. Our Expedition team will point out the diverse wildlife of the islands as we keep a watch for wandering albatross.
Day 14 - 16 The Falkland Islands
After the wilderness of Antarctica, it might seem a bit surreal to arrive in a town that looks like an English village, with red phone boxes, red buses and old pubs. Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, is inviting and a good size for roaming the streets on foot. Or you can join an excursion to explore the wilderness and wildlife in the surrounding area. The Falklands are teeming with wonders of nature, with fantastically clear blue skies, seamless horizons, vast open spaces and stunning white sand beaches. As we reach the westernmost outposts in the Falklands you will see remote farms that have been family-owned for six or seven generations. The sheep graze alongside immense colonies of albatross and rockhopper penguins, while predatory striated caracaras patrol overhead and upland geese forage at the water’s edge. Bird lovers will rejoice if we go ashore on Carcass Island. This is an avian paradise with several species of ducks, geese, penguins, albatrosses, caracaras and wrens. It is also one of few islands down here with trees. We use our small boats to go ashore for exploring, hiking or taking a closer look at all the birds.
Day 17 At sea
As we complete the loop of the Magellan Strait, we will have a recap of everything we have experienced on this expedition. Make sure you spend some time on deck looking for wildlife.
Day 18 Punta Arenas/Santiago de Chile
We arrive back in Punta Arenas in the morning. After the flight back to Santiago de Chile, you can extend your vacation with a land adventure to experience more of this impressive region.
• Hurtigruten Expedition with cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
• One hotel night in Santiago de Chile before the voyage including breakfast
• Transfer hotel to airport in Santiago de Chile
• Return economy flights Santiago de Chile to Punta Arenas
• Transfers in Punta Arenas including an orientation tour
• Wind and water-resistant jacket
• Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
• Professional English speaking Expedition team that gives lectures as well as accompanies landings and activities
• Free tea and coffee
B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner • *Terms and conditions apply. From prices are per person, twin share, based on lead in grades and/or seasons unless specified. When available, optional upgrades can be applied at time of booking. See bentours.com for more information