Polar Circle Expedition

Join us for a special departure to a rarely visited area of the Antarctic as we sail far south and hope to cross the Antarctic Circle. Travel where few have gone before and come ashore for a close look at the wildlife, scientific bases and historic sites on the Antarctic Peninsula.

  • 15 days
  • January 28, February 11 2015
    January 28, February 11 2016
From $8,001

Voyage Highlights

  • Set out on a quest to cross into the Antarctic Circle (South 66° 33') 
  • Experience plenty of landings on Antarctica to experience the rich wildlife and fantastic scenery around you.
  • Explore some of the most extreme and remote places around the Antarctic peninsula. 

Day 1 Buenos Aires/Ushuaia

Our voyage departs from the province of Tierra del Fuego and the southernmost city in the world – Ushuaia.

Our flight leaves Buenos Aires in the morning which gives you a few hours to explore Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the world. The flight duration is approximately 4 hours.

Our local representatives will greet you at Ushuaia airport. Transfer to the pier, including an orientation tour of Ushuaia or possibility to join an optional excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park. Time permitting you will have a chance to explore Ushuaia on your own before embarkation at 16:00.

Cruise-only guests:
Please present yourself at the pier for embarkation at 16:00h

Once onboard there will be a welcome meeting during which the Captain will present his officers and expedition staff, and outline the program for the coming day. There will be conducted a mandatory safety drill for all passengers before departure.

In the evening we set a course through the scenic Beagle Channel for the Drake Passage and Antarctica.

*On 2016 departures only, due to available flight times, you will stay overnight in a first class Buenos Aires hotel. After check in, it's possible to join an optional City Tour to explore. Your evening is at your own leisure. The next day, you begin your voyage!

Day 2 - 3 Drake Passage

The Drake Passage is where the Atlantic and Pacific meet the Great Southern Ocean to create the Antarctic Convergence. During the crossing you can enjoy our onboard lecture series to learn more about the wonders of Antarctica.

The Antarctic Convergence is the where the warmer waters of the north meet the colder, denser, less saline waters of the south. As the colder water sinks, a mixing occurs that brings nutrients to the surface and makes the area particularly rich in marine life.

In addition to spotting for the magnificent wandering albatross and other seabirds, the crossing features our lecture series 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).

The Antarctic Treaty regulates all activities in Antarctica and has created a continent of peace and science. Hurtigruten ASA is committed to meeting and exceeding all Antarctic Treaty and IAATO regulations to ensure that the vulnerable environment will not be disturbed.

We will be on course for the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands where we hope to arrive on the afternoon of day 3.

Day 4 -12 Antarctica

The continent is an endless white wilderness full of fantastic vistas of nature. We will learn the history of the great explorers as we travel in their footsteps and see the landscape as they saw it - unchanged, remote, and awe inspiring.

While in Antarctica, we will attempt to land on several sites, some of them described below as examples. On land, our expedition team will explain what you see and help you avoid disturbing nature and wildlife. When conditions allow hikes or other 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.

Weather, wind, and ice conditions will determine our program and our schedule. Safety is always the first priority and the final sailing itinerary will be decided by the ship’s Captain during the voyage. On this special trip, we plan to cross the Polar Circle at 66°33’ south.

The Antarctic Circle

The Antarctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. It lies at latitude 66° 33′ 39″ south of the equator. The area south of the Antarctic Circle is known as the Antarctic, and the zone immediately to the north is called the Southern Temperate Zone. The equivalent line of latitude in the northern hemisphere is the Arctic Circle.

Along the Antarctic Circle there is one day each year during which the sun does not set, about December 22 (the summer solstice [first day of summer] in the Southern Hemisphere). Similarly, the sun does not rise above the horizon on approximately June 21 (the winter solstice). The number of days without sunset or sunrise increases with nearness to the South Pole. At the Pole there are six months of continuous darkness (about March 21 to September 23) followed by six months of daylight (September 23 to March 21).

Day 13 - 14 Drake Passage

With our bow pointed north and unforgettable images and experiences in our souls, we are invited to gain a new understanding of the Antarctic.

The voyage from the Antarctic Peninsula to Ushuaia at the southern tip of Argentina is roughly 950 km (600 mi) or 40 hours sailing time in good weather. During the voyage north, we will continue our lecture series and recap our experiences of Antarctica.

Day 15 Ushuaia/Buenos Aires

After spectacular Antarctica and its endless vistas, we make landfall at the world’s southernmost town.

We arrive at the Argentinean town of Ushuaia in the morning. Ushuaia is counted as the world’s southernmost town and lies on Tierra del Fuego, south of the Magellan Strait and here our voyage ends.

Disembark after breakfast and there is the possibility to join an optional excursion in Ushuaia (with its end at the airport) or be transferred to the airport.  If time allows, we include a stop at the city center on our way to the airport. In the early afternoon you will board the flight back to Buenos Aires.

2014/15 Season Departures

BookingCode

CENANT1405 
Occupancy Cabin Grades
Inside Superior
Inside
Outside Superior
Outside
Suite
I FJ N U F M MG
28 January;
11 February 2015
Twin Brochure Price
 13460 15528  15528    16689  18081 20983  23033 
Early booking from
 10095  11646  11646  12517  13561  15737 17275
Single Brochure price
 22072  25691 25691   27723 30159  35235  44089
Early booking from
 16554  19268 19268   20792  22619  26426 33067

2016 Departures

BookingCode

CENANT1505 
Occupancy Cabin Grades
Inside Superior
Inside
Outside Superior
Outside
Suite
I FJ N U F M MG
28 January;
11 February 2016
Twin Brochure Price
13929  16059  16059  17255  18689  21676  23789 
Early booking from
10447  12044  12044  12941  14017  16257  17842 
Single Brochure price
23003  26729  26729  28823  31333  36560  45681 
Early booking from
17252  20047  20047  21617  23500  27420  34261 

Pricing Info:

Price includes:

  • Hurtigruten Expedition Voyage in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
  • Return economy flight between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia
  • Transfers in Ushuaia with orientation tour
  • Wind and water-resistant expedition jacket, yours to keep
  • Landings with Polarcirkel boats and activities onboard and ashore
  • Professional English speaking Expedition team who gives lectures as well as accompany landings and activities
  • Free tea and coffee
  • Suites include a range of additional complimentary amenities such as drinks with meals and a welcome gift

2016 only:

  • One hotel night in Buenos Aires before your voyage including breakfast
  • Transfer between Buenos Aires hotel and airport

Not included:

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional excursions and gratuities
  • Luggage handling
  • Argentinian Reciprocity Fee: Australian, Canadian or US citizen are required to pay a reciprocity fee when entering Argentina. Rates are depending on your nationality and your period of stay in Argentina (i.e. $160 for US citizens). These fees must be paid online prior to arrival. Cash payments are not accepted in the airports. View payment and further information here The payment receipt must be printed and presented at the Immigration Control on arrival in Argentina. More information can be found on the Argentinian embassy website

Be aware that Hurtigruten has a flexible pricing system and the early booking prices are capacity controlled.

Prices may change at any time before departure date, the applicable price will be quoted at the time of booking.


Please Note:

  • Prices are in $USD per person
  • All planned landings are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • All itineraries are subject to change

A-FAI7 Port Stanley Highlights Tours

Ports: Stanley
Duration: Approx 2 hours Level: 1 - For everyone
Code: A-FAI7
14/15: $68
15/16: $75per person

Read more

A-FAI8 The Bluff Cove Lagoon

Ports: Stanley
Duration: approx. 3.5 hrs / morning Level: 3 - For guests in good physical condition
Code: A-FAI8
14/15: $153
15/16: $158per person

Read more

A-FAI1 Falklands Nature Walk

Ports: Stanley
Duration: approx. 3 hrs / morning Level: 3 - For guests in good physical condition
Code: A-FAI1
14/15: $99
15/16: $104per person

Read more

A-FAI9 Scenic Air Tour

Ports: Stanley
Duration: approx. 1.5 hrs / morning Level: 2 - For most guests, requires some physical effort
Code: A-FAI9
14/15: $418
15/16: $424per person

Read more

A-FAI11 Bird Watching in the Falkland Islands

Ports: Stanley
Duration: approx. 3 hrs / morning Level: 3 - For guests in good physical condition
Code: A-FAI11
14/15: $223
15/16: $242per person

Read more

A-FAI12 Jubilee Villas

Ports: Stanley
Duration: approx. 1.5 hrs / afternoon Level: 1 - For everyone
Code: A-FAI12
14/15: $77
15/16: $83per person

Read more

A-FAI13 Long Islands Farm Tour

Ports: Stanley
Duration: approx. 4 hrs / morning Level: 1 - For everyone
Code: A-FAI13
14/15: $137
15/16: $141per person

Read more

The Following Excursions Are Only Bookable On Board

Kayaking

Announced on board
Ports:
Duration: 2-4 hrs Level: 2 - For most guests, requires some physical effort
Code:
950 NOK per person

Join our experienced guides to be the exclusive few to explore one of the three polar regions by kayak.  Read more

Hikes

Only bookable on board
Ports:
Duration: 2-5 hrs Level: 3 - For guests in good physical condition
Code:
250 NOK per person

Do you have a genuine explorer spirit in you? Do you like to hike and get the most intense experience of nature?  Read more

Arctic Sky and Ice

Only bookable on board
Ports:
Duration: Starting at 23:00 (11pm) you may stay as long as you want during the night Level: 1 - For everyone
Code:
150 NOK per person

Stay a night on deck and enjoy the magnificent view of the landscape coloured by the soft rays of the midnight sun.  Read more

Snowshoes in Antarctica

Antarctic season
Ports:
Duration: 2-4 hrs Level: 3 - For guests in good physical condition
Code:
450 NOK per person

Join us on a snowshoe hike! Read more

An Amundsen Night In Falkland Islands

Antarctic Season
Ports:
Duration: Approx. 10 hours (late evening through early morning) Level: 2 - For most guests, requires some physical effort
Code:
950 NOK per person

A very special experience - camping in the Falkland Islands. Read more

Small Boat Cruise Through the Lemaire Channel

Antarctic Season
Ports:
Duration: 1-2 hrs. in Polarcircle Boat Level: 1 - For everyone
Code: Only bookable on board
850 NOK per person

Experience the Lemaire Channel on a ride on the Polar Cirkel boat. Read more

An Amundsen Night

Antarctic Season -
Exact date will be determined by the Expedition Team
Ports:
Duration: Approx. 10 hours (late evening through early morning) Level: 2 - For most guests, requires some physical effort
Code:
3250 NOK per person

Sleep under the Antarctic sky. Only one tent wall separating you from the wilderness and the elements. Read more

Pre/Post Programs


Important information

  • Planned landings will depend on weather and ice conditions.
  • We reserve the right to change the scheduled program and itinerary.
  • Some activities and excursion trips will only be sold on board.
  • The rental of rubber boots is available on board.
  • We recommend purchasing travel and cancellation insurance
  • Medical questionnaire is mandatory - See our Practical Information for more information.
  • Argentinian Reciprocity Fee: Australian, Canadian or US citizen are required to pay a reciprocity fee when entering Argentina. Rates are depending on your nationality and your period of stay in Argentina (i.e. $160 for US citizens). These fees must be paid online prior to arrival. Cash payments are not accepted in the airports.View payment and further information hereThe payment receipt must be printed and presented at the Immigration Control on arrival in Argentina. More information can be found on the Argentinian embassy website

Useful information

All prices include:

  • Wind and water-resistant jacket
  • Landings with Polarcirkel boats and activities onboard and ashore
  • Professional English speaking Expedition team that gives lectures as well as accompany landings and activities
  • Free tea and coffee
  • Suites include a range of additional complimentary amenities such as drinks with meals and a welcome gift.

Environment and green navigation

Our Captains take pride in route planning that minimizes the load of the engines and reduces emissions. We never dump waste in the sea and we ask you not to leave any waste when you are on shore excursions. We ask you to respect the saying: 'Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures.'

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Who lives in Antarctica?

There are neither permanent residents nor native inhabitants in Antarctica. However, about 4,000 people stay on scientific bases in the short summer period and around 1,000 in total during the winter months. In addition around 30,000 tourists visit the area during summer.

What weather should I expect?

Antarctica is the windiest, coldest and highest continent on Earth. On the Antarctic Peninsula, which is the area we sail in, the temperatures average 0-5 degrees Celsius during summer (November – March). During your journey temperatures will vary from warm summer in Buenos Aires (30°C/ 80°F) to winter (around 0°C/ 32°F) in Antarctica. Expect periods of high winds when in Antarctica – cold air travels down the glaciers and iceshelves. These are called katabatic winds and can occur when you least expect it.

What's the history of Antarctica?

Briefly: It was the ancient Greeks who first came up with the idea of Antarctica. They knew about the Arctic - named Arktos - The Bear, from the constellation the great bear, and decided that in order to balance the world there should be a similar cold southern land mass that was the same but the opposite 'Ant - Arktos' - opposite The Bear. The first person believed to have landed on the continent was the Norwegian, Carsten Borchgrevink who also pioneered the use of sled-dogs for transportation in Antarctica. Roald Amundsen won the race to the South Pole on December 14, 1911. The first International Geophysical Year IGY was 1957-1958 when 12 nations built more than 60 research stations in Antarctica and formed the beginning of an international cooperation. In 1961 the Antarctic Treaty came into effect.

What nature will I see?

Being the coldest place on Earth, Antarctica supports no terrestrial mammals - there are no trees or shrubs, and only two species of flowering plants, Antarctic hair grass (Deschampsia Antarctica) and Antarctic pearlwort (Colobanthus quitensis). The sea is what supports most creatures, such as penguins and seals. In Antarctica you will see thousands of penguins eagerly nesting and feeding during the short summer months. There is a rich variety of mammals. As they have not been hunted for decades, most species are more curious than afraid of tourists. There is also an abundance of birds, with the mighty Albatross as the king of the sky.

What currency should I bring?

Argentine pesos are used in Argentina. US dollars may be exchanged into local currency at either banks or Money Exchange kiosks, at the open market exchange rate of the day. Some shops might accept US cash, though this is not a common practice. You can also withdraw cash from ATM’s using your credit card and PIN code. When visiting the Falkland Islands local pounds (FIP) are used as well as pound sterling. When landing in Antarctica some bases do accept USD cash only. In Port Lockroy, the following currencies are accepted; GBP, USD, Euro, and major credit cards (for purchases above 100 USD)

How do your voyages protect the environment?

Given its isolation, the Antarctic environment is probably the most pristine natural environment on the planet. For visitors, this fact comes with a set of obligations – the most important and general is to leave no traces behind. The Antarctic Treaty and IAATO prohibiting more than 100 people to be ashore simultaneously strictly regulate human traffic in Antarctica. All guests will be given instructions on how to behave when on shore in Antarctica. Antarctic Treaty Recommendation XVIII-1 and IAATO guidelines are mandatory and must be followed.

What clothing should I pack?

According to IAATO regulations and to avoid any transmission of diseases to the vulnerable ecosystem in Antarctica we ask our travellers to bring clean clothes to wear ashore. For more information, see equipment list.

Is there access for wheelchairs/disabled passengers?

Wheelchair passengers may travel on the MS Fram to Antarctica as the ship is handicap accessible, however, unfortunately, excursions and landings are not adapted for handicapped travellers. 

What happens in case of a medical emergency?

In case of a medical emergency in Antarctica the only method of evacuation is by plane to the city of Punta Arenas, Chile, as there are no hospital facilities in Antarctica. This is very expensive and dependent on favourable weather conditions. Therefore comprehensive travel/health insurance is mandatory.

What medical forms are required?

To comply with IAATO and Hurtigruten ASA regulations all guests must have completed the IAATO medical questionnaire including a confirmation of fitness to travel from your doctor. You must take the completed questionnaire on board and deliver it to the ship’s doctor. Guests without the completed questionnaire may be refused embarkation if the ship’s doctor has doubts about your health condition.

What time zones will I be in?

Buenos Aires; GMT -3 
For example Central Europe 12.00 noon - Buenos Aires 09.00
Ushuaia; GMT -4
For example Central Europe 12.00 noon - Ushuaia 08.00
This time difference is in operation during the South American summer season (mid October to March).