Chilean Fjords and Antarctica - White Christmas Adventure

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, colonies of penguins, and pods of whales in the icy seas will create indelible memories. And on board there is so much to do. In our Activity Center, you can attend exciting lectures and take part in a wide variety of activities designed to enhance your trip.

  • Discover the glaciers, wilderness and wildlife of the Chilean fjords
  • Travel to the end of the world; experience the unique wildlife and scenery of Antarctica
  • High-tech Activity Center and lectures on popular topics on board
  • Landings and excursions with our expert Expedition Team

Itinerary

Cruise Itinerary

This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine our final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience, and why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.

Departure December 13, 2019

Departs from Santiago de Chile
Overview

From the Steep Mountains and Valleys of the Chilean Fjords to Close Encounters with Antarctic Wildlife  

Starting in Punta Arenas, this expedition will introduce you to the natural beauty of Patagonia before crossing Drake Passage to reach Antarctica and the mighty frozen desert of the south. 

Endless White Landscapes, Teeming Wildlife, and Fascinating History 

In Antarctica, we will land at historic sites such as ring- shaped Deception Island, a major harbor for whaling ships until the 1930s. Or Cuverville Island, home to thousands of gentoo penguins, and the British station Port Lockroy from World War II, and Wilhelmina Bay, often called 'Whale-mina Bay', because of the large number of humpback whales spotted here. Brown Bluff is recognizable by the 2,460 foot high cliffs that dominate the landscape. Our landings offer you the opportunity to go hiking, kayak among icebergs, cruise among whales breaching the surface, and meet the local penguins. As a modern-day explorer, you will discover unspoiled wilderness in an environmentally friendly way aboard our hybrid-powered expedition vessel. 

Back on board, you’ll have opportunities to learn and share discoveries with family and new friends in a relaxed atmosphere. MS Roald Amundsen is a ship built and designed to meet the needs of modern explorers – both on board and ashore.  Our Activity Center is suitable for all ages and where you can meet fellow adventurers for scientific fun with our engaging Expedition Team. All scientific content is presented in a lively, fun, and easily understood manner.  The media room on board shows the highlights of the day, and even if you haven’t joined an excursion or landing, you can see videos and photos to share in the adventures here at the end of each day. 

Day 1
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Exciting and Diverse

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 to tall mountains, skyscrapers, quiet parks, Colonial architecture, bohemian neighborhoods, and the fast-flowing Mapacho River. Your adventure starts with an overnight hotel stay here.

Day 2
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Embarking the Expedition

Santiago de Chile/Punta Arenas

Fly early in the morning to Punta Arenas and join a city tour before embarking on MS Roald Amundsen for your expedition to Antarctica. 

Day 3
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The Astounding Fjords of Chile

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 the isolated islands and hidden bays that create the unique fjord landscape of Chile.

Day 4-5
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Cape Horn and the Famed Drake Passage

Drake Passage

When ranking the most iconic places on Earth, Cape Horn is high on the list. At almost 56° 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, so the captain will decide if it is safe to land! 

MS Roald Amundsen will take 1 ½ to 2 days to cross the Drake Passage from Cape Horn, depending on the weather conditions. An enormous churn of water is funnelled by the western wind drift from the Pacific through the Drake Passage and into the Scotia Sea to the east. The Passage is part of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the most voluminous current in the world. About 25 to 40 billion gallons of water per second are transported from west to east here. As we cross the Drake, we sail over the undersea West Scotia Ridge and the nearly 20,000 foot deep South Shetland Trench. The weather can be terrible on the passage, but it may also be placid. Usually, it’s somewhere in between.  

Day 6-12
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Antarctica – Impossible to Describe

Antarctica

Antarctica is isolated from the rest of the world by ocean currents. 90% of the world's ice is here, 13,000 feet 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 of the wildlife found here is dependent on a cornerstone species: krill. And there is a great deal of it here The krill population in the Southern Ocean represents the largest biomass of a single 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 millennia without human interference. Therefore, we adhere to very strict environmental guidelines and rules: We want to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures!  

Antarctica's location makes every cruise to the continent an expedition. Even the most sophisticated technology cannot override some of the climatic challenges that are a part of this environment. Weather, wind and ice conditions have a great influence on our program and schedule. 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 by spending hours ashore, on the water in kayaks, or simply cruising among huge pods of whales. 

We will attempt to land several places, including Deception Island, Half Moon Island, Brown Bluff, Cuverville Island, and Neko Harbor. All of these places are serene and offer untouched nature, oportunities to observe penguin colonies, seals, glaciers, icebergs in every shape and color, and old whaling stations. 

It's hard to sum up all the impressions you will gain. As a well-known quote from veteran Antarctic travelers puts it: “If you can describe Antarctica with words, you have probably never been there.” 

Day 13
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Lectures and Wildlife Watching from the Deck

At Sea

With the sights and smells of Antarctic still fresh in our minds, we enjoy a day at sea while celebrating Christmas! You can expect fine food in the restaurant, fun and games in the bar, and maybe even a visit from a certain white-bearded gentleman! 

After exploring the last untouched continent, we are on our way back to South America. We will continue our lecture series on the dramatic history and diverse wildlife of the region as we keep watch for wandering albatross. 

Day 14
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The Magellan Strait

At Sea

As we complete the loop of the Magellan Strait, we will have a recap of everything we have experienced on this expedition. Make sure you spend some time on deck looking for wildlife.

Day 15
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The End of the Expedition

Punta Arenas/Santiago de Chile

We arrive back in Punta Arenas in the morning. After the flight back to Santiago de Chile, you can extend your vacation with a post-cruise extension (Land Adventure) to further experience this impressive region.

Arrival December 27, 2019

Location Punta Arenas/Santiago de Chile
What's Included

INCLUDED IN YOUR EXPEDITION:

  • Hurtigruten expedition in the cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis 
  • One overnight hotel stay in Santiago de Chile before the cruise, including breakfast 
  • Transfer from the hotel to the airport in Santiago de Chile 
  • Coach-class flights between Santiago de Chile and 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 accompanies landings and activities 
  • Complimentary tea and coffee 
  • Complimentary use of Muck Boot rubber boots

NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR EXPEDITION:

  • International flights 
  • Travel protection plan 
  • Luggage handling 
  • Optional excursions and gratuities 
Your ship Experiences
Practical Information