Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands: the Realm of the Great Explorers

Our journey to Antarctica takes us far from the materialistic comforts of civilisation, but offers a world of natural beauty with towering icebergs, untouched scenery and wildlife like nowhere else on Earth.

We sail in the wake of the historical explorers and sees the landscape as they saw it – unchanged, remote and awe inspiring. Antarctica is inhabited with millions of penguins, whales and seals. The only humans residing here are those who work on scientific research stations. But fear not, our explorer ship MS Fram is specially designed to sail safely and comfortably in Antarctica’s remote waters.

  • 20 days
  • 30 October 2015
    25 February 2016 (reverse route)
    28 October 2016
    23 February 2017 (reverse route)
From £4,707 per person

Day 1 - 2 Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo has a sly sophistication and surprising cultural diversity for such a small population, boasting a picturesque blend of colonial Spanish, Italian and Art Deco styles. Montevideo may be the only large city in Uruguay, but it's also one of South America's most interesting centers.

Home to almost half of the nation's population, Montevideo is Uruguay’s capital and a modern metropolis with a historical centre dating back to colonial times. Visit the Ciudad Vieja (Old Town) with its 18th century buildings, the vibrant Mercado del Puerto, the bustling Avenida 18 de Julio with its numerous theatres, museums and art galleries, and the stretch of white, sandy beaches surrounding the city.

We depart from Montevideo at 16:00. Check-in opens at 14:00. Once onboard there will be a welcome meeting during which the Captain will present his officers and expedition staff. They will outline the program for the coming day. There will be conducted a mandatory safety drill for all passengers within 24 hrs of arrival.

Day 3 - 5 At Sea

We are heading south towards our first destination. On the way you will have fascinating and informative briefings into the history and biology to be found there.

We 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.

Whilst we are at sea a number of presentations will be given about the history and wildlife of the areas we shall be visiting.

Day 6 At Sea/Falklands

Thanks to the unique sub-Antarctic ecology there are over 70 animal species to be found on these 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.

We plan to visit the area around North West Falkland with their fascinating landscape and wildlife, and hope to arrive late afternoon.

Day 7 - 8 Falklands-Malvinas

We will explore further the North-West part of Falkland. We 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 8 we set a course for South Georgia.

Day 9 - 10 At Sea

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

Days 11 - 12 South Georgia

During our two-day stay in South Georgia you can expect to see some of the area’s numerous historic sites. South Georgia offers some good hiking opportunities, our favourite of which 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 for his 22 men left on the isolated Elephant Island.

In Grytviken we will visit the old whaling station museum, Shackleton’s final resting place, the whalers’ church dating from 1913, the old Norwegian whaling station at Strømness and the King penguin colony at Fortuna Bay. From here we sail south for the main event! 

Days 13 - 14 At Sea

As we continue to Antarctica we learn more about the wonders of the Deep South, focusing on the history, environment and wildlife of Antarctica. Our series includes a thorough introduction to the Antarctic visitor guidelines from the Antarctic Treaty and International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO).

Days 15 - 17 Antarctica

Antarctica is isolated from the rest of the world by thousands of miles of ocean. And even today, with all our technology, many parts of this continent remain unexplored. You find 99% of the world’s ice here, some of which is 4000 meters thick.  

The most sophisticated technology cannot override some of the climatic challenges that are thrown at you. Even MS Fram, one of the most comfortable expedition ships, needs to remain pragmatic and err on the side of caution. Sometimes we have to change landing sites, re-route and shift plans as we go along because of the ice, wind and weather. This also means that we will take advantage of the often great conditions – spending hours ashore, taking kayaks out on the water, hiking alpine mountains, traversing glaciers or watching in awe as a groups of whales breach the surface.

Merchant William Smith discovered the ring shaped Deception Island on the South Shetland Islands in 1819 after his ship got lost in a storm. The island used to harbour whaling ships until as recently as 1905. The Norwegian base”, Hektor” was established here in 1912 to process meat and bone waste from whaling. Cuverville Island is home to one of the largest known colonies of Chinstrap penguins.  The shallow water between the islands often causes icebergs to become stuck here - a real sight when it occurs! Neko Harbour is beautifully located in the innermost part of Andvord Bay named after a whaler who anchored here in the early 1900s.

Paradise Harbour got its descriptive name from the whalers during the last century. When the storms were at their worst, this is where they came to seek shelter. On its shores we will also visit Almirante Brown and Gonzáles Videla, Antarctic bases owned by Argentina and Chile respectively. Port Lockroy is a British station from the 2nd World War that got turned into the museum in 1996. Wilhelmina Bay has spectacular scenery and is often called "Whale-mina Bay", because of the large numbers of humpback whales spotted in its vicinity.

Visitors fondly refer to The Antarctic Sound as Iceberg Alley due to the astounding assortment of floating ice that is visible. The sound did not get its name from its location but from the ship used by Otto Nordenskjöld´s Swedish Antarctic expedition in 1903, led by the legendary Norwegian Carl Anton Larsen. Brown Bluff lies on the coast of the Antarctic Sound, at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. As the name suggests,  the area is recognisable by the 750m cliffs that dominate the landscape. After exploring this superlative-exhausting continent, we leave and set course for Ushuaia.

Day 18 - 19 Drake Passage

The Drake Passage was notorious among the early polar explorers and is a unique voyage which only a few have had the chance to experience. In good weather, it takes us about 35 hours to make the crossing.

Day 20 Ushuaia/Buenos Aires

After spectacular journey, we make landfall at the world’s southernmost town. Disembark after breakfast and join an optional excursion to Lake Escondido. You can also extend your stay in Buenos Aires with one of our optional post-voyage extensions. Choose from a night or two in the “Tigre Delta” or fly to Iguazu to see possibly the most impressive falls in the world.

2014/2015 Pricing

Dates Cabin Types
  Inside Outside
25 February 2015 Twin from 4707 5590
Single from 7883 9430

2015/2016 Pricing

Dates Cabin Types
  Inside Outside
   30 October 2015 Twin from 5033 5969
Single from 8495 10134
   25 February 2016 Twin from 6745 5995
Single from 8520 10159

2016/2017 Pricing

Dates Cabin Types
  Inside Outside
28 October 2016
23 February 2017 (reverse route)
Twin from 5030 5479
Single from 8497 9282

There are a number of cabin grades, the above prices indicate the lead in price and are subject to availability. 

Included in price:

  • Expedition Voyage in cabin grade of your choice.
  • Full board and free tea and coffee.
  • Wind and water-resistant jacket.
  • Landings with Polarcirkel boats.
  • Activities on board and ashore.
  • Lectures and landings with Expedition Team.
  • Hotel night + breakfast in Buenos Aires. Transfers between hotel, ship and airport.
  • Flights from Buenos Aires-Montevideo and Ushuaia-Buenos Aires. 

Price does not include:

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional excursions and gratuities

Please note:

Hurtigruten has a flexible pricing system. All prices are capacity controlled and subject to availability. Prices may change at any time before departure date. The applicable price will be quoted at the time of booking. Prices are in £ per person.

Important information

Areas we explore:       Falklands, South Georgia and  Antarctica
Vessel:                         MS Fram
Sailing Distance:         Approx. 4250 nautical miles (7870 kilometres)

Antarctica Explorer voyage day-by-day, 29. October 2016                                             

Day 1: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Day 2: Montevideo, Uruguay
Day 3-5: At Sea
Day 6: At Sea/Falklands
Day 7-8: Falklands
Day 9-10: At Sea
Day 11-12: South Georgia
Day 13-14: At Sea
Day 15-17: Antarctica
Day 18 -19: Drake Passage
Day 20: Ushuaia/Buenos Aires

Antarctica Explorer voyage day-by-day, 24. February 2017                               

Day 1: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Day 2: Buenos Aires/Ushuaia
Day 3-4: Drake Passage
Day 5-7: Antarctica
Day 8-9: At sea
Day 10–11: South Georgia
Day 12–13: At sea
Day 14–15: Falklands
Day 16–19: At sea
Day 20: Montevideo, Uruguay

Expect the unexpected

Planned landings will depend on weather and ice conditions. We reserve the right to change the scheduled programme and itinerary.

Some activities and excursions will only be sold on board. Rubber boots are available to rent on board. We recommend purchasing travel insurance.

What to bring:

  • Wind and water resistant trousers
  • Shoes with a good grip sole
  • Warm cap or headband
  • Scarf
  • Gloves/mittens
  • Thermal underwear
  • Warm sweaters/jacket
  • Warm socks
  • Swimsuit
  • Sunscreen/sunglasses
  • Small backpack

Expedition Team and Lectures

Our Expedition Team will prime your knowledge with lectures and talks so that you are as prepared as possible before you set foot on this great white continent. You will learn a lot about biology, geology and ice, but they will also talk about how we can minimise our impact on the fragile environment.

While in Antarctica, we will attempt to land on several sites. On land, our Expedition Team will explain what you see and help you to avoid disturbing nature and wildlife. When conditions allow, excursions and activities on land and sea may be offered. Participation on any hike requires a good level of fitness, and that you are accustomed to hiking in uneven terrain.

Safety is always the first priority and the captain will decide the final sailing schedule during the voyage. The final itinerary will be introduced during daily briefings.