Journey beginning and ending at Santiago,
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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, flocks of penguins and whales in the icy seas will create indelible memories. There is an enormous variety of magnificent wildlife to observe but it is how regularly and closely you encounter them that really stands this region apart for wildlife lovers. Time in Antarctica is like a David Attenborough documentary unfolding in real time.
On board this new ship, MS Roald Amundsen there is so much to do: Science Center, exciting lectures, and more, all designed to enhance your trip.
Day 1 – Santiago de Chile
The capital of Chile is exciting and diverse. There is a lot to discover here, from the Andean glaciers at the city borders, tall mountains and skyscrapers to quiet parks, colonial architecture, bohemian quarters and the fast-flowing Mapacho River. Your adventure starts with an overnight hotel stay in Santiago.
Day 2 – Punta Arenas, Embarkation
You fly to Punta Arenas where MS Roald Amundsen is ready for this expedition to Antarctica.
Day 3 – Chilean Fjords
Enjoy cruising through the Beagle Channel, with channels, fjords and 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 and creating the unique fjord landscape of Chile.
Days 4 – 5 – Cape Horn and the famed Drake Passage
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 and if we make it this will be a great achievement.
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.
Days 6 – 12 – Welcome to 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 meters 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 wildlife thrives on a cornerstone species: krill.
The krill population in the Southern Ocean represents the largest biomass of one species on Earth – including human beings. 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.
We are visiting a place that has evolved through millenniums without human interference. Therefore, we adhere to very strict environmental guidelines and rules. Leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures! What is so overwhelming about Antarctica is that its location makes every voyage to the continent an expedition. Even the most sophisticated technology cannot override some of the climatic challenges that are a part of this environment.
Therefore, we need to be pragmatic; we change landings, re-route and shift 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. Weather, wind and ice conditions have a great influence on the programme and schedule.
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, opportunities to observe penguin colonies, seals, glaciers, icebergs in every shape and colour and old whaling stations. 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, Lectures and wildlife watching from deck
After exploring this superlative-exhausting continent, we set course back for The Falkland Islands. The Falklands consist of two large islands and around 700 smaller ones. Captain John Strong of HMS Welfare made the first recorded landing here in 1690. We will continue our lecture series that focuses on the dramatic history and diverse wildlife of the islands as we keep a watch for wandering albatross.
Days 14 – 16 – Falkland Islands
Having just been in Antarctica, it might seem a bit surreal to arrive in a town that looks like a miniature England, with red phone boxes, red buses and English pubs. Stanley is the capital on the Falkland Islands. Roam the city streets, the town is easy enough to discover in a day on foot, or join one of the excursions to explore the wilderness and wildlife in the surroundings.
The Falklands are teeming with wonders of wildlife and nature. This is an unpolluted environment with fantastically clear blue skies, seamless horizons, vast open spaces and stunning white sand beaches. As we reach the westernmost settled 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 on Carcass Island.
This is a bird paradise with several 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 take a closer look at all the birds.
Day 17 – At Sea, The Magellan Strait
As we complete the loop of the Magellan Strait, you will have a recap of everything you have experienced on this expedition. Make sure you spend some time on deck looking for wildlife.
Day 18 – Punta Arenas & Santiago – The end of the expedition
You arrive back in Punta Arenas in the morning. After the flight back to Santiago de Chile, you can extend your vacation with a post voyage extension to experience the 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 accompanying landings and activities
- Free tea and coffee
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Luggage handling
- Optional excursions and gratuities
To find out more or to book this incredible tour, contact Globetrotter Lifestyle today!