HURTIGRUTEN'S DELUXE MS FRAM SETS SAIL ON ANTARCTICA PATH FIRST FORGED BY EXPLORERS NEARLY 100 YEARS AGO - ON A SHIP BY THE SAME NAME
Three Antarctica Expeditions Showcase Stunning Vistas, Mammoth Glaciers and Curious Wildlife
A maverick of the cruise industry, Hurtigruten has set itself apart with expedition voyages to some of the world's most remote destinations; and now, the cruise company is offering three cruises that go further south than many of its competitors, allowing guests a rare glimpse into Antarctica's pristine wilderness. Sailing against a backdrop of vast glaciers and captivating polar skies, guests follow in the footsteps of Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer who led the first Antarctic expedition to reach the South Pole in 1912 aboard the original MS Fram -- the namesake of the current day luxury vessel Hurtigruten passengers will use in their voyage. PolarCirkel crafts allow even greater intimacy with nature, taking guests up close to the unique flora and fauna; and ashore, where curious penguins are known to approach visitors and sea elephants and seals can be seen lounging on ice floes. The three itineraries, ranging in length from 13 to 22 days, are priced from $6,237 to $15,178 per person, double; higher rates are for suites.
· The 17-day "North & South Antarctica" voyage combines exploration with nature- and geography-focused programs. The ship sails to the farthest and most rarely visited reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula, including the historic Marguerite Bay -- remote even by Antarctic standards and home to the only known colony of Emperor penguins on the peninsula's western coast. Jan. and Feb. prices are $8,115 to $15,178.
· The "Argentina & Antarctica" cruise is a 13-day adventure through the Antarctic Peninsula accompanied by guided Antarctica tours, lectures and PolarCirkel landings. After making its way through the Drake Passage, the ship visits areas such as Whaler's Bay, with its warm springs and black volcanic sands; Half Moon Island, a rookery for Chinstrap penguins; and Wilhelmina Bay, a feeding ground for whales and seals. The voyage offers seven departures between Nov. and Feb. with rates from $6,237 to $11,506.
· The 22-day sailings that take in the Falklands (Malvinas), South Georgia & Antarctica, departing Oct. 31, and Feb. 21, offer guests an extensive array of sights and experiences, visiting lands that are abound with wildlife and nature. Excursions in the Falklands include Sounders Island, with miles of colonies of Black-browed albatross and Rock Hopper penguins, and West point Island, known for its fur seals and sea lions – as well as for having the highest sea cliffs in the Archipelago. In South George, passengers can explore the abandoned whaling station Grytviken and visit Cooper Bay, known for its Macaroni and Chinstrap penguins. Fares are $7,920 to $14,627.
Fares include round-trip airfare from JFK or Miami, flights between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, one night pre-cruise and post-cruise hotel accommodations in Buenos Aires, exploration guide services with onboard lectures and educational offerings, applicable land transfers, all meals onboard, port fees and land excursions. Airline fuel surcharges and taxes, gratuities and air add-ons from dozens of American gateways are additional.
Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic's Spitsbergen. Information, brochures and reservations can be obtained from Hurtigruten Inc., (800) 323-7436; fax (954) 486-9340; for brochures (800) 582-0835, 24 hours a day; www.hurtigruten.us.