MS Fram
23 days

In-depth Antarctica & Patagonia Expedition Northbound

Price from $ 12,110
$ 9,928
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
MS Fram
23 days

In-depth Antarctica & Patagonia Expedition Northbound

Price from $ 12,110
$ 9,928
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
In-depth Antarctica & Patagonia Expedition (Northbound)
Departure
March 11, 2023
  • It’s prime season for whale watching, snow algae, and colorful sunsets in Antarctica
  • Spot penguins and seals in Antarctica and explore the scenic Patagonian coast
  • Enjoy delicious cuisine and science-focused lectures and activities on MS Fram
  • Go ice-cruising and join landings with the expert Expedition Team

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Itinerary

Immerse yourself in the frozen world of the seventh continent and the natural beauty of Chilean fjords. On this late Antarctic summer expedition cruise, adolescent penguins grow into adulthood. This is also a great time to see large numbers of whales and even different whale species. Spectacular sunsets in Antarctica this time of year light up the white landscapes now dotted with the pink and green of snow algae.
Day 1
Santiago de Chile
So much to see
Santiago de Chile from above - buildings, streets, river, park and skyline.
Photo: shutterstock

Welcome to Santiago, the vibrant capital of Chile. Even with just one night in Santiago, you will see that a mouth-watering merlot wine isn’t the only thing this city has to offer. Its plazas feature lovely colonial architecture and its neighborhoods house art galleries and award-winning restaurants. There are also a wide range of cultural venues and museums for your entertainment. Meanwhile, enchanting white glaciers beckon at the city’s border. As far as options go, you will have many things to choose from.

A panoramic 360-degree view of Santiago is one of the easiest things to recommend. At nearly 1,000 feet, Sky Costanera offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding Andes and Chilean Coastal Range. The scenery here is especially spectacular at sunset. Or visit La Chascona, one of three homes owned in the city by the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Stroll around the stalls of the bustling La Vega market and try the local chirimoya fruit.

If you really want to get to know this exciting city, come a few days early. Or, take this opportunity to add a Pre-Program to the amazing Atacama Desert or Chilean Patagonia before your cruise.

Santiago de Chile from above - buildings, streets, river, park and skyline.
Photo: shutterstock
Two people boarding MS Fram.
Photo: Genna Roland
Day 2
Santiago de Chile/Punta Arenas

Estimated time of departure is 6:00 PM

Setting off
Two people boarding MS Fram.
Photo: Genna Roland

See Santiago from the air in the early morning light as your plane leaves for Punta Arenas, Chile’s southernmost port. Your polar vessel MS Fram and its crew await you here, ready to take you farther south than most people ever go!

After embarking the ship and checking in, all passengers must attend a mandatory health and safety meeting. Later on, you will meet some of the crew, and of course, the Expedition Team. They will be your guides, hosts, and travel companions for the next three weeks. You will have plenty of opportunities to get to know them during the welcome dinner and over the course of the expedition!

Day 3-4
At sea
The ‘Drake Shake’ … or the ‘Drake Lake’
Whale diving into the Ocean.
Photo: Karsten Bidstrup

The Drake Passage is more than just the final frontier between Cape Horn and Antarctica. Here brews emotion and anticipation. The Passage was named after the English sea captain and privateer Sir Francis Drake, who discovered it by chance in 1578 when heavy winds forced his ship south, unintentionally, proving that open water existed below the southern tip of Chile.

The Passage is famous for its high winds, large waves, and strong currents. As you can imagine, it was very difficult for the old sailing ships to handle these extreme conditions. Even though the waters of the Drake Passage are usually rough, they can also be incredibly still. This dual nature has won the Passage two nicknames: ‘The Drake Shake’ or ‘The Drake Lake’. No matter which one we encounter, our modern expedition ship MS Fram was built for these conditions—and worse, so you don’t have to worry about safety.

As we make our way south, the Expedition Team will begin its lecture series to inform you about Antarctica’s fascinating wildlife, geology, and history. You will also learn the importance of wearing our special boots when we are on shore. Doing so will leave the smallest impact, making your visit as safe and sustainable as possible, as per to IAATO guidelines. You will also have the option of joining Citizen Science programs to help collect data for current scientific research projects. All the new knowledge will make your Antarctic exploration much more enriching and interesting.

MS Fram is an explorer's dream. Its cutting-edge technology makes it a worthy adversary for any scenario the polar ocean can throw at it. That said, it is very comfy and cozy. Head onto the wide observation deck for fresh air, maybe accompanied by birds following the ship. You can also enjoy the views from the restaurants and the Explorer Lounge & Bar, which are the perfect places to do just that.

Whale diving into the Ocean.
Photo: Karsten Bidstrup
Icy kayak top in front of a big ice flow.
Day 5-12
Antarctica
The Great White Continent
Day 5-12
Antarctica
The Great White Continent
Icy kayak top in front of a big ice flow.
Photo: Getty Images, Nico El Nino

This land mass holds about 90% of all the world’s ice, in an area twice the size of Australia. It is home to about 12 million penguins across seven species. Impressive statistics don’t do Antarctica justice, though. Numbers don’t capture its magnitude and magnificence, and words fail to describe the sensation of personally seeing a colony of several thousand penguins. You’ll know what we’re talking about once you’ve experienced it!

We will arrive here in the late austral Antarctic summer, which means fantastic sunsets and penguin chicks starting to molt into adult plumage. This is also prime whale-watching season. Imagine standing on the ship’s deck as whales breach close by, splashing saltwater high up in the air. Now imagine that same situation while sitting in a kayak (an optional activity)! Talk about your close encounters! Antarctica gives you the strange sensation of making you feel incredibly small amid all the grandeur and magnitude. Snow algae will also be blooming, dotting the normally pure-white landscapes with bright pink and green hues. A wide variety of seabirds, such as geese, skuas, shearwaters, and possibly even albatross, soar in the skies above and rest and feed on the shores below.

Our expert Expedition Team will guide you ice-cruising and out for landings by small boats (RIBs) to get you closer to this incredible world of ice and wildlife. We spend eight days exploring Antarctica with no fixed itinerary, attempting landings at several possible sites. After sailing these waters for so many years, we know the best places to go and what to do. Trust us to lead you to the best places at the best time. We work with (or sometimes around) the weather and sea ice to make the most of each day. It’s what makes this an authentic expedition and a true adventure!

Day 13-14
At sea
Attempting Cape Horn
Cape Horn Monument from the Sea.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner

After eight unforgettable days in Antarctica, MS Fram will carry you safely back across the Drake Passage. The Expedition Team will recap our experiences. Join them in the Science Center to study water samples of wildlife at a microscopic level.

Our return journey across the Drake Passage will last approximately two days, giving you plenty of time to relax and think about all your experiences. If you’re feeling invigorated after last week’s activities and landings, perhaps work out in the gym. This will also whip up a heightened appetite, which is easily quelled with the delicious dishes in the restaurant. Of course, we won’t hold it against you if sitting in the sauna is number one on your to-do list.

When we have the Drake Passage behind us, we arrive at Cape Horn. The tumultuous waters here are as notorious as the Drake Passage, maybe even more so. Should the winds and waves relent, we might attempt to land ashore. If we do, it will be due to both skill and of luck, and an accomplishment to boast about for years to come.

Cape Horn Monument from the Sea.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner
Penguins between two bushes, Sea in the background.
Day 15
Chilean fjords
Cruising through paradise
Day 15
Chilean fjords
Cruising through paradise
Penguins between two bushes, Sea in the background.
Photo: Getty Images

This wild and remote wonderland was once the domain of the canoe-faring indigenous people who lived, sailed, and hunted in these very fjords for centuries. Admire this serene maze of waterways surrounded by islands, glaciers and steep mountains.

If we have time and weather plays is in our favor, we might launch our small boats (RIBs) to take you on a scenic cruise of the fjords or to a landing site. If not, the fjords can also be enjoyed from out on deck. You might even spot wildlife such as Magellanic penguins—and maybe even elephant seals—along the coastline. If you’re lucky, you can catch a sight of dolphins and several whales species that are known to explore these waters.

Day 16-17
Puerto Natales
Gateway to the ‘Blue Towers’
Flowers to the left and sea to the right, buildings in the background, Puerto Natales.
Photo: Getty Images, emicristea

Located at the opening of Última Esperanza Sound, the city of Puerto Natales was founded in 1911 as a port for the sheep industry. Today, it is mostly known as an entry point to Torres del Paine National Park, famous for its impressive three-pronged mountain peak that appears a shade of blue when the light is just right. As such, ‘Paine’ (pronounced ‘pie-nay’) means ‘blue’ in the native Tehuelche language, while ‘Torres’ is Spanish for ‘towers’.

We offer a very popular optional excursion to this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.. You can also just enjoy the chilled-out vibe of Puerto Natales itself. At the waterfront, views of the fjord and the mountains around it make for great photos, especially with the town’s monuments and sculptures in the foreground. The old pier, stripped of its former utility and now just a series of picturesque, stripped-down posts in the water, which is also popular to photograph. You can find this image on many of the Puerto Natales postcards. There are also an ever-growing range of bars, cafés, and restaurants that cater to the international hiking crowd, giving you plenty of options to wine and dine.

Flowers to the left and sea to the right, buildings in the background, Puerto Natales.
Photo: Getty Images, emicristea
Bernardo O'Higgins National Park in Chile from sea side. Houses between mountains and sea.
Photo: shutterstock
Day 18
Puerto Edén - Anchored - Half Day
Hard-to-reach village
Bernardo O'Higgins National Park in Chile from sea side. Houses between mountains and sea.
Photo: shutterstock

At the end of a deep fjord surrounded by mountains, we will reach the village of Puerto Edén in Bernardo O’Higgins National Park. There are no roads to get here; it is only accessible by sea. You won’t find a village more isolated than this. To get around, you must walk on the pedestrian boardwalks that connect the houses and shops of the 250 residents. Don’t forget your umbrella or raincoat, though, Puerto Edén has among the highest number of rainy days a year in the entire world.

The 15 remaining full-blooded members of the indigenous Kawéskar people settled in Puerto Edén late in the 20th century. They make their living fishing and weaving wicker baskets, which they sell to the passengers in the passing cruise ships. This once-nomadic and seafaring tribe used to travel in canoes up to 30 feet long, capable of transporting an entire family!

Tree sticks in the Ocean, hills and and one snow covered mountain in the background.
Day 19
At sea
Fabled Patagonian waters
Day 19
At sea
Fabled Patagonian waters
Tree sticks in the Ocean, hills and and one snow covered mountain in the background.
Photo: Getty Images, Westendo1

Your expedition cruise will continue north through the fabled waters of Patagonia. When Magellan sailed here in 1520 on his circumnavigation of the Earth, he and his crew somehow imagined the indigenous people here to be giants that were over 16 feet tall! He therefore named them ‘Patagons’ after a literary character in a Spanish novel that was popular at the time. While the indigenous people here were slightly taller than most Europeans at the time, they were far from giants. However, the name stuck. Thus, we have the region the world now knows as ‘Patagonia.’ Today, it is known more for the beautiful Andean seascapes, rather than its giants! There are plenty of interesting lectures to attend and engaging Citizen Science projects in which you can participate in the Science Center.

A park with trees, bushes, flowers, grass, benches and buildings in Castro.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner
Day 20
Castro, Chile
Chilote charm
A park with trees, bushes, flowers, grass, benches and buildings in Castro.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner

Castro is the capital of Chiloé Island and has a little something for everyone. One of the first things you will notice are the characteristic and colorful wooden ‘palafitos’, houses mounted on stilts along the water’s edge. There are also a number of artisan shops, making it a great place for shopping for souvenirs. For bargains and a glimpse of authentic day-to-day life here, Feria Campesina Yumbel is a busy farmers and fish market selling all sorts of fresh foods and household goods.

Another highlight is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Iglesia San Francisco, a church built in 1567 during the founding of the city. Art enthusiasts will enjoy the Museum of Modern Art of Chiloé, which is well worth a visit. There are a lot of great local snacks to try, too, so have a light breakfast on the ship and leave room for churros, and empanadas with sweet and savory fillings.

Day 21-22
At sea
The home stretch
Person sitting in the expedition lounge, taking a picture of the ice landscape with an ipad.
Photo: Hurtigruten

Your expedition cruise is coming to an end, but it is not over just yet. Make the most of your remaining time on MS Fram! Watch for birds and wildlife out on deck, chat with your new friends, or enjoy your favorite drink in the Explorer Lounge & Bar. The Expedition Team will recap the highlights of your cruise and keep you engaged through lectures and science projects.

Person sitting in the expedition lounge, taking a picture of the ice landscape with an ipad.
Photo: Hurtigruten
Pelicans on the beach in Valparaiso.
Photo: shutterstock
Day 23
Valparaíso, Chile

Estimated time of arrival is 8:00 AM

Homeward bound
Pelicans on the beach in Valparaiso.
Photo: shutterstock

When we dock at Valparaíso, your expedition cruise will come to an end. If you have time, we recommend spending a few extra exploring this unique city. The city’s many funiculars have been declared one of the world’s 100 most endangered historical treasures, and they’ll carry you up the colorful hilltop neighborhoods for panoramic views of the Pacific. If you want more adventure before going home, we recommend a Post-Program to Easter Island, a UNESCO Heritage Site famous for the mysterious statues of giant heads.

Whether you stay on or head home, it might be hard to say goodbye to the ship, the captain, the crew, the Expedition Team, and your fellow explorers. We hope you’ll never forget our three weeks together exploring the fabled continent of Antarctica and your trip up and sailing through Patagonia and its fabulous fjords.

We hope you remember your voyage with us as one of your very best adventures! May your fond memories inspire you to continue viewing the natural world with wonder and respect, and do everything you can to protect it.

Hurtigruten offers unique expedition cruises to some of the most remote and pristine waters of the world. As with all expeditions; nature prevails. Weather, and ice and sea conditions, sets the final framework for all Hurtigruten’s operations. Safety and unparalleled guest experiences are at all times our top priorities. All our indicative itineraries are continuously evaluated for adaptions, whether this is due to constraints the elements unexpectedly presents – or exciting possibilities nature and wildlife offer. That is why we call it an expedition.
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What's Included

Included in Your Expedition

Hotel

  • Overnight in Santiago de Chile before the expedition cruise, including breakfast

Flights

  • Flight in economy class from Santiago de Chile to Punta Arenas

Transfers

  • Transfer from the hotel in Santiago to the city’s airport before the expedition cruise
  • Transfer from the Punta Arenas airport to the ship, including an orientation tour and a pre-packed lunch

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurant Aune
  • Fine-dining À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is included for suite guests
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities

Onboard activities

  • Experts from the Expedition Team present detailed lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use the ship’s Science Center, which features an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research projects
  • The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • The ship has hot tubs, sauna, and an indoor gym
  • Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations

Landing activities

  • Escorted landings in a small boat (RIB) while in Antarctica
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers will help configure your camera settings before landings

Not Included In Your Expedition

  • International flights
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please ensure you can meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities are expected
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
MS Fram in Antarctica
Photo: Sandra Walser

Your Ship

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2020
Shipyard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 318 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Gross tonnage 11647
Length 114 m / 374 ft
Beam 20.2 m / 66 ft
Speed 13 knots
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time, and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. MS Fram honors the heritage of the original Fram, using the most advanced technology and making her exceptionally well suited for expedition voyages in polar regions.

Read more about MS Fram

Icebergs – one of many favorite photo motives when on an expedition with MS Fram
Photo: Tomas Mauch
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