From passport and VISA requirements to general on-board information - get to know MS Fram before you embark on your explorer voyage.
Please remember that only beverages purchased from the ships' restaurants and bars can be consumed on board. Alcoholic beverages purchased in ports-of-call and from our on-board shops will be stored by the ship and delivered to your cabin on the last day of the sailing. According to Norwegian law, persons over the age of 18 are allowed to purchase beer and wine. Spirits are only available to persons over the age of 20.
We are sailing in waters where the elements rule, and weather, sea and ice conditions may affect the itinerary. Because of this, the routes and excursions are provisional and subject to change. Excursions may also be subject to minimum/maximum number of participants. We reserve the right to change the itinerary and the content of excursions without prior notice.
The flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia and the return flight are part of your voyage. The flight from Buenos Aires usually departs early in the morning and the return flight to Buenos Aires in the afternoon. Please note that the airline will confirm the final flight times between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia only a few days prior to the day of departure. For final flight times and your boarding pass, please contact our hospitality desk at Emperador Hotel in Buenos Aires one day prior to departure. If you do not plan an overnight stay at the end of your voyage, please do not book your international flight from Buenos Aires in any case before 20:00. Please note that the flight to/from Ushuaia departs/arrives at the Jorge Newberry National Airport. You need at least 3 hours transfer time in Buenos Aires for your connecting flight from Ezeiza airport. We are unable to accept responsibility if you miss your return flight in the event of any delay
For safety reasons we cannot accept children under the age of 5 to travel with us to Antarctica or on "Wildlife in the South Atlantic Ocean", one of our voyages to South America.
There is no age restriction on our other destinations. Also for safety reasons, children under 12 years of age will be individually considered on each landing. It is entirely at the Captain’s discretion to allow children on shore landings.
MS Fram is suitable for wheel chair users. Persons in need of special assistance must travel with a companion. Please note that the ship’s gangway will be used in order to embark/disembark wheelchairs. In ports where tidal conditions or other circumstances require use of a portable gangway, or during landings with Polarcirkel Boats, it is not possible to use/take wheelchairs. Embarkation and disembarkation in Kangerlussuaq/Greenland is by Polarcirkel boat and therefore we regret that any voyages starting and ending in Kangerlussuaq are not suitable for wheelchair users.
Our Captains take pride in route planning that minimises the load of the engines and reduces emissions. All waste is stored on board until it is deposited for treatment ashore. We never dump waste in the sea and we ask you not to leave any waste when you are on shore excursions. In populated areas there are containers for depositing waste, please use them. We ask you to respect the saying: “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures.”
The on board Expedition Team is composed of an Expedition Leader, an Assistant Expedition Leader and several lecturers and experts. Your Expedition Leader will regularly update you on the progress of the trip as well as the different points of interest and wildlife sightings that may occur. Biographies of the Expedition Team can be found on the Information bulletin board located close to the Information desk. At the Expedition desk you will be able to find information regarding the trip and book optional excursions.
The ship complies with all safety requirements and is a modern vessel suitable for sailing in icy waters. Upon arrival on board all passengers will be instructed in safety procedures, and the use and location of the safety equipment. There is a safety plan on the inside of the cabin door. We stress the importance of becoming acquainted with the ship's safety plan. Special safety regulations will apply on landings with the Polarcirkel boats. Please follow the instructions given by the Expedition Leader and crew/staff. Special lifejackets for use during landings will be handed out to all passengers before first landing. A mandatory briefing regarding the safety guidelines will also be given.
In accordance with Hurtigruten ASA requirements, all travellers to Antarctica, North East Greenland and Transatlantic Crossings must complete a confidential medical declaration form, signed by a doctor, stating that they are fit to travel. This form will be sent to you well in advance. The form must be filled out, brought on board the ship and personally delivered to the doctor upon embarkation. Boarding may be denied if these forms are not presented at time of embarkation.
For your safety there is an English-speaking physician and nurse on board at all times. The ship has a small medical facility with the necessary equipment and drugs to handle small emergencies. In the event of a serious emergency, the nearest hospital will be contacted. Medical consultations as well as medicines will be charged to the passenger affected. We strongly recommend carrying sufficient travel/health insurance. If you depend on medication, remember to bring sufficient supplies to last through any unforeseen delays. We also recommend that you keep your medication in your hand luggage properly labelled and with clear instructions for its use. If you depend on vital drugs, please inform the ship’s doctor upon arrival. Illness on board can lead to quarantine and orders from the ship’s physician and captain, must be followed.
Depending on the operator with whom you have a contract, mobile phones will function in some places on shore. Check with your carrier company for details. Guests may use their own GSM telephones on board the ship at all times as long as we have connection at an international price level. The price will vary depending on which mobile operator you use. Please check with your carrier company for rates and if your subscription is valid on the MCP Satellite System on board.
Please take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the required travel documents you will be asked to provide prior to boarding the ship. It is the sole responsibility of the guest to identify and obtain all required travel documents and have them available when necessary. Passport is the only valid identification for all of our voyages aboard MS Fram. ID-cards are not accepted. The passport needs to be valid for more than six months after you return to your home country. At check-in passports will be collected by the crew on board the vessel, in order to clear immigrations and customs. Passports will be kept throughout the whole voyage and returned at the end of the trip. Please bring a photocopy of the passport with you. It is the guests’ responsibility to identify and to obtain the necessary visas before commencing their cruise. Based on nationality, many countries still require an entry visa. We regret we are unable to accept any liability if you are denied access to a flight or entry into a country or are otherwise affected by difficulties or costs resulting from your passport not being approved or if you have not obtained the required visa or other documentation.
These sturdy boats enable both water-based exploration and safe landings in otherwise inaccessible areas. You will need to be fairly agile to board these but there is otherwise no need to worry about travelling in them. The crew will show you what to do and as long as you follow their instructions, after a few days it will become second nature. On all landings in Polarcirkel boats guests are expected to wear proper footwear. In Antarctica it is mandatory to use rubber boots for all landings. For all other destinations boots can be useful. You are welcome to bring private boots, or you can rent a pair on board. Landing operations depend on favourable conditions.
MS Fram complies with the ISPS-regulations (International Ship and Port Security System) where all luggage is subject to X-ray/metal detector inspection upon arrival at port facility or ship. Please keep this is in mind when packing your luggage for the voyage. The ISPS regulations also include hand baggage scan in all ports of call throughout the course of the voyage.
If you have special requests such as vegetarian, diabetic or gluten free food, please inform us at time of booking and contact the Head Waiter when on board. We will do our best to meet such requests but cannot guarantee to do so and under no circumstance will any such request be accepted by us so as to form part of a contractual agreement.
Please check with your General Practitioner regarding the recommended vaccinations for your journey.
On board dress is informal. Although some passengers choose to change for dinner, the dress code is casual rather than formal. The weather can vary during the course of each voyage or even during the day. To cater for these variations we recommend the layered dress approach that enables you to adapt to changes in temperature, wind and precipitation conditions easily. For all voyages we advise you to take breathable rain and windproof clothing. A warm hat, gloves, scarf and thermal clothing can be useful, together with thermal underwear, during the winter months. On land where it may be icy, sturdy shoes are important for shore excursions and a walking stick/trekking pole may be useful.
MS Fram was specially built for comfortable sailing in the remote waters of the Arctic and Antarctic, and you may enjoy her many services whilst she takes you close to nature and wildlife. No dressing up for dinner – no fuss, no frenzy – our aim is to sail calmly through the crisp clean air, close to the ever-changing environment.
To hear all announcements in the cabin, the TV has to be set to a channel number. Check your cabin folder for specific channel number once on board. Important updates to our programme and emergency information will be announced in the cabins via separate speakers overriding all other audio in the cabin.
Local artists from the Arctic have contributed to making the MS Fram a modern masterpiece. There is a permanent exhibition of original artefacts from the original Fram used by Nansen and Amundsen.
The ship has a bar with an excellent selection of spirits, wines, beers and soft drinks at moderate prices, and a lounge with coffee service.
There is a wide range of comfortable cabins on board, all with private bathrooms. Please note that check in hours in reception may open before the cabin is ready for use. You will be informed at check-in when your cabin is ready for you. You may expect some noise and vibration in some cabins. This varies depending on the location of your cabin. Also, noise affects people differently and what may be a problem for one person may not be a problem for others. Please note that cabins on deck 5 with passenger access to outside areas may sometimes have an obstructed view due to other passengers walking past. Please ask our reservation team for advice on the best cabin location for you.
A cruise card will be issued upon arrival on board as part of the check in procedure in accordance with ISPS regulations. All our guests are requested to wear this card when disembarking the ship in all ports of call and landings. The card serves as a control system on the gangway enabling the ship to know which of our guests are on board and ashore at any time. This card, in addition to being the key card for your cabin, is also your payment card on board. The card is the only means of payment for the on board facilities.
To activate the cruise card account you must have a Visa, American Express, Diners or Mastercard. The credit card must be valid more than 3 months after your stay on board. We regret that our system does not support Maestro Card. Please note that when using your credit card on board the ship, your account will be debited in NOK. The rate of exchange will be the one validated by your credit card company. The evening before the voyage ends the account will be totalled and settled on board, and a receipt brought to your cabin. We regret that there is no facility for cash withdrawals or currency exchange on board.
The plugs in your cabins are all 220V/50hz. Suites have 110V for Shavers. The plugs are continental two pin plugs. Adapters are available for purchase in the shop.
The emphasis on board is on relaxation and discovery, and not on commercial entertainment often part of conventional cruises. Our aim is to get you closer to unique environments and to allow you to share the experience with your fellow travellers. Occasionally there may be some musical entertainment on board in the evenings.
On deck 7, you find our modern fitness room and comfortable sauna with a fantastic view through panorama windows. Two outdoor Jacuzzis invite you to take a warm bath.
We have learned that many of our guests wish to acknowledge the service provided by our crew on board. It is at you discretion to honour service rendered by the crew in bars, restaurant and cabins. In order to give you some guidelines, we recommend 80 NOK (approx AU$12 / NZ$13) per guest per day as an average gratuity. Whatever amount you decide to give, please fill in the form you will find in your cabin and give it to the receptionist two nights before the end of the cruise. The amount will then be debited to your cruise account.
Guide dogs are accepted on board and can be booked in dedicated cabins. The guide dogs can stay in all public areas on board except for the restaurant, where the blind/visually impaired guest will be assisted by one of the crew members. Assistance by the crew is offered at all times when this is required by the blind or visually impaired guest.
On deck 4, you will find our reception and expedition desk, where the staff is available to answer your questions. In this area, you will also find our Internet café, our lobby with wireless access and our lecture rooms.
A complementary Explorer jacket can be picked up upon arrival to the vessel.
The language on board is English. Announcements, lectures and written information are also given in German.
A laundry service is available on board at low cost. No self-service or dry-cleaning is possible.
The ship’s experienced lecturers’ have an in-depth knowledge of the areas in which we sail. They will give, on a regular basis, lectures on topics such as biology, history and geology throughout the course of the trip. The lecturing schedule will be announced every day in the on board daily program. Do not hesitate to contact our Expedition Team for any questions or concerns you might have.
The ship has a small selection of books on different topics that is available to guests while on board.
MS Fram's observation lounge is called Qilak, meaning “sky” in Greenlandic, and the name of this lounge sets the standard. Here you find large panoramic windows, comfortable seats and binoculars so you can view the wildlife and details of the ever-changing landscape.
MS Fram has spacious outdoor areas. Enjoy the views from the very front of the ship where there is a large viewing area or from the back on deck 7. Both are perfect vantage points to sit back, relax and watch the world go by.
You can hand in your mail in the reception, and for a limited amount covering service fee and stamps, we will forward your mail in every port where it is possible. The time it takes for postcards or other mail to reach the destination varies and may be relatively long. Hurtigruten acccepts no responsibility for lost mail.
Our resident photographer will invite you to photography workshops and practical sessions out on deck to enable you to take the best possible pictures from your voyage.
Your voyage includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our restaurant is named Imaq – the Greenlandic word for “ocean”, offering scenic views from every table. At the far end of the restaurant is a balcony, an ideal place from where to take photos. The open seating for the breakfast and lunch buffet creates a relaxed atmosphere. Dinner varies between buffets, set meals and barbeques. The type of dinner is announced in the daily programme. Our Head Waiter will assign tables prior to arrival. Information about table number and meal times will be in your cabin upon arrival. Please provide information regarding special requests for seating arrangements to your sales office/travel agent. At some voyages we might serve the dinner divided into Boat groups. Where possible, we plan our menus around seasonal ingredients, taking advantage of local produce to satisfy healthy appetites stimulated by the fresh sea air. Regular coffee/tea is complimentary throughout the whole voyage. Other beverages and refreshments during the day are not included but can be purchased on board in the restaurant, cafeteria and bar.
The cabins are cleaned daily. We regret that meals or drinks cannot be served in the cabins.
On board you may rent a pair of high quality boots for a low cost to wear during landings and hikes. These boots will be kept on the ship’s tender deck, and you will have your private pair during the whole voyage. We also offer high quality binoculars, walking sticks and a small selection of warm thermo suits for rent at a low cost.
Seasickness pills are available for purchase in the reception. If you are prone to seasickness it is recommended that you bring pills that you are familiar with. You may also buy “sea bands” on board.
In our on board shop you can buy modern clothes suitable for Explorer voyages. Our Expedition Team will be happy to give you expert advice on how to dress properly in polar areas. We offer a great range of both warm and practical clothing, and we focus fabrics with natural fibres. We also offer souvenirs, handicrafts, and postcards at good prices. In addition we also stock a small selection of soap, toothpaste and other personal effects.
A selection of shore excursions is available to pre-book. Where available we will supply you with excursion information in advance, otherwise you will receive full details and prices on board. Excursions and their contents are subject to maximum/minimum number of participants and local weather conditions.
You are welcome to smoke in designated areas on outside decks, but not in your cabin or elsewhere on board. To show respect for the environment, please use the provided ashtrays when smoking. Throwing cigarette butts overboard is strictly prohibited. A cleaning charge of 1500 NOK will be applied for smoking in your non-smoking cabin, to cover for the cost of cleaning linen and curtains to return it to a non-smoking standard.
As a suite guest on MS Fram, we offer you an exclusive suite check-in area at deck 5 with a chilled glass of champagne to begin your voyage. Special amenities come with our magnificent suites including a welcome on board gift, complimentary beverages for lunch and dinner inclusive of chilled filtered water by the carafe, sodas, soft drinks, beer and a selection of wine by the glass. We also offer an exclusive breakfast area with speciality buffet products. If local products are available, we will do our best to provide them to you. In the suite you will find a kettle for your convenience with coffee, teas, sweeteners and cream, and the mini bar has a complimentary selection upon your arrival. Replenishment of the mini bar is chargeable.
All cabins have a telephone. Buy a phone card in the reception to call from the ship. There is an Internet café on board (at extra cost) and Wi-Fi is available on deck 4 (in the reception area only) and in the bar on deck 7. Please note that the connection is a 512MB line and that both Internet and telephones from time to time will be out of range due to the vessel’s location. Due to the limited capacity we kindly ask you not to use live casting /live streaming websites.
The tap water in your cabin is potable, but we recommend buying bottled water or our self-produced potable water by the carafe in the restaurant for the quality and freshness.
We kindly remind you to be careful walking on board the ship while at sea, especially out on deck, where you should mind the signs warning of wet and slippery decks. Be aware that the doors toward the outer decks on 5, 7 and 8 are potentially dangerous in windy conditions. Please respect signs and announcements advising or warning you not to go outside. While walking inside, hold on to railings but not to door frames to avoid injury.
Upon arrival on board, there will be a mandatory passenger safety drill before departure. There will also be a welcome meeting where security information as well as practical information about the cruise will be given, and an opportunity to meet some of the crew and be introduced to the key personnel on board.