Antarctic Polar Circle Expedition

On this Antarctic Circle expedition we are venturing far into the areas that are almost permanently iced down and total unnavigable in winter. Hardly anyone sails this far south.

The forming of the sea ice in Antarctica is the largest natural seasonal phenomenon on Earth. During the Austral summer more than 20 million square kilometres of sea ice melts. This makes these waters passable for a few short Austral summer weeks. Join us and witness what this winter-locked landscape of Antarctica looks like in summer and set foot where few have gone before you. 

  • 16 days
  • January 28 & February 11, 2015
    January 28 & February 11, 2016
    January 26 & February 9, 2017
From $6,278 per person

2016 and 2017 Departures ONLY

On these departures, 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 1 Buenos Aires/Ushuaia

After a flight from Buenos Aires you arrive in Ushuaia. This is where the Andes meet the Southern Ocean, and this busy port and adventure hub offers steep streets and randomly placed buildings below the snow-capped Martial Range. After embarkation we set out to explore and experience the wonders of the south. The Captain and Expedition Leader will now assess their shortlist of exceptional experiences and align it with the weather- and ice conditions at hand. Final decisions on the itinerary will be made on a day-by-day basis.

Day 2 - 3 Drake Passage

The Drake Passage is famous for being the site of some of the roughest and most unforgiving waters of the world. This is where two oceans meet; sometimes this meeting is peaceful and sometimes it is quite rough - we say that it’s either the Drake Lake or the Drake Shake. No matter what you experience here rest assured you’re on board one of the most stable, comfortable and well-equipped explorer vessels in service and that she skippered by a Norwegian captain who grew up with the choppy seas of Northern Norway. On the way towards “the ice” (as it’s often referred to by our Expedition Leaders) you can learn a great deal about Antarctica’s fantastic wildlife and history.

Day 4 -12 Antarctica

The Antarctic continent is an endless white wilderness full of overwhelming vistas of nature and wildlife. But you will also witness the brutalities of nature on this expedition; Leopard Seals feeding on helpless penguins and Killer Whales killing seals not for feeding, but to teach their young to improve their hunting technique. On this special trip, we plan to cross the Antarctic Circle (lying at latitude 66° 33' 39''), one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. The equivalent line of latitude in the northern hemisphere is the Arctic Circle. We will try to land in several places while we are here, and in addition offer activities like hiking, kayak trips and snowshoeing. You might even have the chance to spend a night ashore in a tent.

Visiting the South Shetland Islands is definitely something worth looking forward to. Deception Island, Half Moon Island and Yankee Harbour all have a diverse landscape, amazing animal life and spectacular photo opportunities.

The narrow Errera Channel offers a spectacular passage to and from Cuverville Island as icebergs become trapped and grounded on its shallow bottom. Watching our expert navigators weave the ship carefully between the icebergs from the observation decks as is as exciting as being surrounded by the crowds of nesting penguins onshore. Neko Harbour is feeding ground for shy Minke whales. The harbour itself is perfectly situated to appreciate the grandeur of Andvord Bay and scenery of Antarctic mainland. Named after a whaling ship in the early 1900s, Neko is one of the rare places in the Antarctic Peninsula where we may land on the continent’s mainland. When conditions permit, the Expedition Team will lead a walk up to the edge of the glacier. If the path is in good condition you may slide down the steep hillside for an adrenaline-boosting return to the landing site!

Paradise Harbour offers another rare opportunity for a mainland landing and some of the finest vistas of the Antarctic Peninsula. Waterboat Point got its name after two members of a failed expedition spent the cold winter of 1922 living there underneath a small upturned boat! The research station Almirante Brown had to be rebuilt after a crazed base doctor set fire to the buildings in 1984. In favourable weather, a gentle hike up the snowy path to the viewpoint behind the Argentine station is highly recommended.

The Lemaire Channel is known as one of the most beautiful passages in Antarctica. Being sublime and impressive as well as daunting and inhospitable it exhausts superlatives. On a clear day we might offer an exclusive optional tour with our Polarcirkel boats through the channel. With its location in the picturesque Penola Strait, Petermann Island is a great place for iceberg- and whale-spotting and once again you will have spectacular views across the channel to the Antarctic Peninsula.

The British base on Goudier Island in Port Lockroy was built in 1941, and abandoned in 1962. In 1996 the Antarctic Heritage Trust refurbished it as a museum. Now it is one of the most popular sites in Antarctica. Get a peek into life on an Antarctic base in the 1950s. See pemmican and tinned custard lining the old cupboards and the 1950s books and magazines in the lounge. The nesting Gentoo penguins surrounding the main building have become accustomed to human visitors. The museum operates a post office and shop selling souvenir hats, t-shirts and postcards. In addition to a postal service, the shop offers first-day covers and rare Antarctic stamps. All mail sent from Port Lockroy has a special Antarctic stamp and frank.

Wilhelmina Bay is feeding ground for whales and seals, and was a preferred hunting ground for whalers back in the days. As evidence of this, the partially submerged wreck of the Norwegian whaling ship Guvernøren lies in a tiny harbour of the bay. If weather and ice conditions permit, we may take a closer look at the wreck from our Polarcirkel boats. The ship caught fire in 1915 and was run aground in order to rescue men and supplies. Now it provides a perch for tired terns and an occasional mooring for passing sailboats.

The huge ice shelves of the Antarctic continent give birth to mile-long tabular icebergs. The strong currents of the Weddell Sea conspire to bring these massive flat-topped bergs north into the Antarctic Sound at the northeast end of the Antarctic Peninsula. The 48 km (30 mi) sound is also home to an estimated half million Adélie penguins as well as Gentoo penguins, Leopard seals, and Killer whales. On Brown Bluff we might land and take a walk along the beach admiring the lava "bombs" from the old volcano and all the penguins. There is also the chance to walk to the viewpoint above the landing site.

On Detaille Island we find the former Station W. The personnel used to work in the fields of surveys, geology and meteorology but the base was evacuated when the sea ice and weather made relief by ship impossible. Horseshoe Island occupies most of the entrance to Square Bay on the west coast of Graham Land. Horseshoe Island is an important example of a relatively unaltered and completely equipped British scientific research station of the 1950s. It was established in March 1955 by the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey as Station Y, and was closed in August 1960.

Day 13 - 14 Drake Passage

After nine unforgettable days in Antarctica, MS Fram takes us safely back across the famous Drake Passage.

Day 15 Ushuaia/Buenos Aires

Back in Ushuaia you disembark after breakfast, and can either join an optional excursion or go straight to the airport to fly to Buenos Aires. After arriving in Buenos Aires, you can either fly back home or spend some more time with our post voyage extensions that include nights in hotel, private transfers or trips to the Tigre Delta or the incredible Iguazu Falls.  

2015 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 

2017 Season Pricing

Booking Code

USANT1605
Occupancy Cabin Grades
Inside Superior
Inside
Outside Superior
Outside
Suite
I FJ N U F M MG
Jan. 26, 2017
Feb 09, 2017
Twin Early booking from* 6278 6931 6931 7649 8439 9482 10942
Brochure Price 8702 9572 9572 10530 11583 12973 14919
Single Early booking from* 10925 12067 12067 13324 14706 16531 21884
Brochure Price 15229 16752 16752 18427 20270 22702 29838

*Early booking prices are valid for Voyages booked before November 30, 2015

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. 
  • Return Economy flights Buenos Aires and Ushuaia 

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: Beyond the Antarctic Circle on the Antarctic Peninsula
Vessel: MS Fram
Sailing Distance: Approx. 2300 nautical miles (4260 kilometres)

Expect the unexpected

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

  • 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.

Price Includes:

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).

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.

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

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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

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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

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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