Patagonia, Antarctica – Expedition Cruise - Northbound
Ship: MS Fram
- Enjoy kayaking, hiking, and close encounters with wildlife in Antarctica
- Discover Antarctica, see the Chilean fjords, and explore Patagonia
- A chance to go ashore on Cape Horn
- Visit Torres del Paine National Park
This cruise has sailed! Don't worry, here are a few suggestions to explore Antarctica with Hurtigruten.
Enjoy an overnight hotel stay in Buenos Aires, and discover its enchanting combination of European flair and Latin American charm.
After your flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, MS Fram is ready to take you south and beyond.
The infamous Drake Passage is where two oceans meet. As we cross what is known as either the Drake Lake or the Drake Shake (depending on conditions), fascinating presentations will be given about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic. You will also be acquainted with our measures to protect this vulnerable environment.
This unending, white wilderness of a continent is full of overwhelming impressions on an impressive scale. Weather, wind and ice conditions will of course have a great influence on our programme and schedule and your experienced expedition team will select possible landing sites that will provide you with the best experiences available. With long hours of daylight that we have in Antarctica this time of the year it is easy to make the most of your days. While in Antarctica, we will attempt to land on sites both on the South Shetland Islands and on the Antarctic Peninsula. Flexibility allows us to take advantage of the unexpected and wildlife will be at the forefront of our mind. We will bring you on shore for close up exploration. We might call at the Gentoo penguin rookeries on Cuverville Island and Neko Harbour. We hope to sail through the incomparable Lemaire Channel and take on the challenging hike on Petermann Island to get rewarded with panoramic views. Another fun destination if weather permits is Port Lockroy, an old British base with a museum. Sailing through the Antarctic Sound offers spectacular views of tabular icebergs and glacial landscapes, and Brown Bluff has a distinct rock formation. Our sturdy PolarCirkel boats will enable us to go ashore almost anywhere and explore bays and channels. The expedition team will explain what you see and ensure we do as little as possible to disturb the local wildlife. Enjoy experiencing Antarctica with all your senses. Kayaking in untouched waters with icebergs floating by, guided hikes up snowy pathways to spectacular viewing points, listening to the sounds of glaciers calving or penguins squabbling, spending the night on deck or in a tent on this remote and untouched continent, or perhaps for the most daring, taking the polar plunge swim. Every day will be different, carefully crafted by our expedition team to educate you and create lasting memories.
After magnificent days exploring Antarctica, we head north and make our way back to the South American continent. As we reach the southernmost tip of South America, we will land on Cape Horn if the conditions allow it. Going ashore can be very difficult because of the sometimes-extreme weather in this area. This is the southernmost point of Chile and lies almost 56 degrees south, marking the boundary between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the northern end of the Drake Passage. The region is of great significance on account of its location, history, discoveries and trade routes. If we are able to anchor off Cape Horn, you will be able to go ashore to explore this deserted and yet romantic piece of land at the end of the world.
The Chilean fjords´ deep channels, fjords and mountains plunging into the icy water always leave a profound impression on visitors. This wild and remote area seems almost untouched by humans. The ice has scoured its way between the mountains, creating the isolated islands and hidden bays that form the unique fjord landscape of Chile. Snow-capped mountains and steep valleys make a striking contrast to a lush coastline that is rich in wildlife. You might be lucky enough to spot sea lions, Andean condors and several bird species that can only be found here.
Puerto Natales is the gateway to the world-renowned Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most attractive nature sanctuaries in the world. Its main feature is the “towers” themselves; impressive rock formations, called “Torres del Paine” (Towers of Paine). The formations are made up of the Torre Central (9,186 feet high), Torre Sur (9,350 feet) and Torre Norte (7,375 feet). The park features azure lakes, trails that meander through emerald forests, roaring rivers, (which you'll cross on rickety bridges) and one big, radiant blue glacier. Torres del Paine hosts stunning variety, from the vast open steppe to rugged mountain terrain topped by looming peaks. This diversity of environments here has led to the flourish of a wide variety of a fauna and flora. While we are here you might see llamas, pumas, chilla foxes and skunks in addition to more than 100 species of birds like the Andean condor and black-chested buzzard eagle. Enjoy hiking in these amazing surroundings.
After an unforgettable cruise through Patagonian waters, the unique village of Puerto Edén will enchant you. It is a tiny settlement in Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, situated at the end of a deep fjord and surrounded by mountains. Its population of 250 includes the 15 remaining members of the Kawéskar people. There are no roads, only wooden walkways, and electricity is only available during a few hours every day. Puerto Edén is a great place to experience the traditional indigenous culture of Patagonian tribes. The villagers sell fish, mussels and shellfish products, which are taken to markets by a weekly transport boat. For souvenirs, buy traditional Kawéskar crafts such as wicker baskets and boats made from sea lion skins and tree bark. Enjoy a stroll among the laneways, and maybe you will spot one of the many Magellan hummingbirds found here when you join the Expedition team for hiking or kayaking.
The expedition continues north through the fabled waters of Patagonia. As we sail through iconic Andean seascapes, you have plenty of time to gaze out on the magnificent natural expanse. There might also be trivia contests covering questions about explorer history and Antarctic wildlife. We might also hold auctions to raise money for specific causes. These on board auctions have contributed to the most ambitious habitat restoration project on Earth; South Georgia, protection of the Albatross and maintenance of research stations in Antarctica. With the help of our guests, we will continue to raises funds and awareness of opportunities and challenges in the areas we visit.
Located on Isla Grande de Chiloé, Castro is set among windswept hills and green vegetation. The city is known for its colourful “palafitos”, wooden houses mounted on stilts along the water's edge. Come ashore and enjoy the local Chilote character and curious energy, mixed with a dash of modern development. The Iglesia San Francisco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church is a visual delight: bright yellow and orange with a lavender trim. The varnished-wood interior is stunning, illuminated by rows of stained-glass windows. Other sights include Plazuela del Tren, a small plaza right by the waterfront with an odd collection of old trains. A stroll in the Cementerio Parroquial is fascinating, as some of the tombs are quite grand and ornately decorated. Feria Campesina Yumbel is a bustling fruit and vegetable market. There are also household goods and fish stalls here. In the shop Feria Artesanal Lillo, located just south of the port, you can buy excellent hand-knit woolen goods and handicrafts. Most of the restaurants and cafes in Castro are concentrated along the Calle Blanco, running from the southern end of the plaza down to the waterfront, and this is where you can get a taste of the renowned meat, potato and seafood stew. Close to the town is Chiloé National Park, a largely unexplored wilderness hosting rare flora and fauna. The park features wide deserted beaches and long stretches of rugged coastline, and is home to dozens of seabird species, penguins and sea lions.
As we make our way along the Pacific coast to Valparaiso, we will have a recap of everything we have experienced on this expedition. Make sure you spend some time on deck looking for wildlife.
Sadly, every expedition must come to an end. And this expedition ends in the colourful and poetic city of Valparaíso. Maybe you have some time to explore this scenic town before you fly home.
Included in Your Expedition
- Hurtigruten Expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
- Overnight in Buenos Aires, including breakfast, before the voyage
- Transfer from hotel to airport in Buenos Aires
- Economy-class flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia
- Transfer from airport to ship in Ushuaia
- Wind- and water-resistant jacket
- Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
- Professional English-speaking Expedition Team that gives lectures and accompanies landings and activities
- Complimentary tea and coffee
- Complimentary use of Muck Boot® rubber boots.
Not Included In Your Expedition
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Luggage handling
- Optional excursions and gratuities
|Year of refurbishment||2020|
|Length||114 m / 374 ft|
|Beam||20.2 m / 66 ft|
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.