Ushuaia – Falklands – South Georgia – Antarctica – Ushuaia
This epic expedition takes you through the isolated Falkland Islands and stunning South Georgia before experiencing the great continent of Antarctica. We look forward to taking you on the expedition of a lifetime, exploring the endless white scenery, and hearing nothing but nature’s silence in the surreal and haunting landscapes of Antarctica.
• Go hiking and kayaking in Antarctica, the Falklands, and South Georgia
• Go ashore on isolated beaches and spend the night in a tent (if conditions allow)
• Extended time in South Georgia for in-depth exploration
• See amazing wildlife, including seals, penguins, birds, and whales, up close
Travel Period: November 2019 – March 2020
Duration: 23 days
Pristine, Remote, and Truly Awesome
When embarking on one of our most ambitious cruises to Antarctica, it’s best to travel with an open mind and expect the unexpected. The overwhelming power of nature and teeming wildlife, thriving despite the extreme temperatures, will leave you speechless, and create everlasting memories. Go ashore on isolated beaches to encounter incredible wildlife in haunting landscapes, take kayak trips in untouched waters with icebergs floating by, or spend a night in a tent under the stars.
Starting in Buenos Aires, you have the opportunity to discover the ‘Paris of South America’ before embarking on MS Fram in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost town. From there, we set a course through the scenic Beagle Channel.
We cross the open sea before we reach the Falkland Islands, with its seamless horizons, vast open spaces, stunning white-sand beaches, and wildlife such as penguins and albatrosses. Here, we first explore the northwest before we continue to the capital, Stanley, with its red buses and English pubs. Stanley is also the natural starting point for several excursions.
Captivating South Georgia
Onboard lectures will prepare you for South Georgia, where we sail into the mountainous Drygalski Fjord at the southern end of the island to visit some of South Georgia’s abandoned whaling stations. Then the lecture series will turn its focus to Antarctica, including an introduction to the Antarctic visitor guidelines, as we approach the coldest, driest, windiest, and most remote continent on Earth.
Antarctica and the Wonders of the White Continent
Antarctica is a peaceful continent where humankind’s primary activity is science. It has evolved through millennia without human interference; here, wild animals remain fearless of humans. We will attempt to visit several places in Antarctica, depending on the ice and wind conditions: Whalers Bay, Half Moon Island, and Brown Bluff, a landscape dominated by a towering, rust-colored bluff of volcanic origin, next to a beach sprinkled with lava ‘bombs’. Smell, hear, and see the rich penguin colonies, watch whales break the surface, and always be prepared for the unexpected. Being our smallest vessel in Antarctica, MS Fram qualifies for the largest range of possible landing sites to enhance your experience.
The expedition team will seize opportunities to take you hiking, go kayaking among icebergs, or pitch camp in the footsteps of the great explorers.
• Hurtigruten expedition in the cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
• One overnight hotel stay in Buenos Aires before the cruise, including breakfast
• Transfer from the hotel to the airport in Buenos Aires
• Coach-class flights between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia
• Transfers in Ushuaia, 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
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 November – December 2019, January – March 2020
Departs from Buenos Aires
Explore the Birthplace of the Tango
Location : Buenos Aires
Your expedition starts with an overnight stay in Buenos Aires, the bustling capital of Argentina. We offer an optional city tour in the afternoon. Spend the evening at your leisure and discover the ‘Paris of South America’ and the birthplace of the tango for yourself.
Tierra del Fuego
Location : Buenos Aires/Ushuaia
On this day you fly to Ushuaia. The flight leaves Buenos Aires in the morning, allowing you a few hours to explore Ushuaia or to join an optional excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park before embarking MS Fram. In the evening we will sail through the scenic Beagle Channel.
Across the Open Sea
Location : At Sea
We will cross the open sea on our way toward the Falkland Islands. Enjoy our lectures and keep an eye out for wildlife from deck.
Where Nature is Still in Charge
Location : The Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are teeming with wonders of wildlife and nature, and offer fantastically clear blue skies, seamless horizons, vast open spaces, and stunning white-sand beaches. Here the sheep graze alongside immense colonies of albatross and rockhopper, king, and macaroni penguins, while predatory striated caracaras patrol overhead and upland geese forage at the water’s edge.
In the Falklands, penguins waddle close to take a look at us, then continue on their way, giving you some great photo opportunities! Stanley, the islands’ capital, makes a wonderful starting point for the various excursions we offer in the area. The town is easy enough to discover on foot, as most shops and services are centred on the port.
The South Atlantic Ocean
Location : At Sea
We spend two days cruising southward to beautiful South Georgia. En route you can participate in a number of presentations about the area’s wildlife, as well as whaling and polar history. Our expedition team is well versed in every facet of South Georgia, from its geology and glaciology to the mating rituals of the sooty albatross and the legends of the Norwegian whalers. One of the fascinating stories that will be told is that of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the men of the ill-fated Endurance and their amazing feats of bravery.
The Serengeti of the Southern Ocean
Location : South Georgia
On this specific expedition, you will get even more time to explore the unique beauty and wildlife of South Georgia. The rich history of exploration and whaling lends a great backdrop to its rugged scenery with glaciers and bustling wildlife. It is known as the ‘Serengeti of the Southern Ocean’, and is a favorite place for wildlife photographers. South Georgia’s unique position inside the Antarctic ecosystem – yet outside the boundaries of the yearly sea ice – makes it home to tens of millions of breeding penguins, seals, and seabirds. We plan to visit Fortuna Bay and some of South Georgia’s abandoned whaling stations. During our stay here, you will see elephant seals lounge on the sand, fur seal pups race in and out of the water, albatross soar overhead, and king penguins in the thousands. Another highlight is exploring Gold Harbour. Enjoy the sight of hanging glaciers and cliffs, the lagoons, and a large king penguin colony. You will also see a whaling museum, the Norwegian seaman’s church, and the tiny graveyard where we can pay our respects to the great Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. South Georgia also offers some good hiking options, and one of our favorites is walking the last part of the route that Shackleton took on his brave journey across the island’s rugged mountains to find help for the 22 men left on the isolated Elephant Island.
Location : At Sea
As we continue toward the great white continent, learn more about the history, environment, and wildlife of Antarctica. We will cruise by Washington Strait and Coronation Island before setting course toward Elephant Island and Antarctica.
The Most Beautiful, Untouched Places on the Planet
Location : Antarctica
Antarctica is different from anywhere else you will ever experience! Once we have crossed the Antarctic Convergence, you will start feeling the air getting crisper and colder. You will begin to see Antarctic penguins in the water, and don’t forget to be on the lookout for the first iceberg! Among the highlights we might visit during our days in Antarctica is Deception Island, one of the South Shetlands, a distinctive ring-shaped volcanic caldera. This is one of the few places in Antarctica where we can take our backpacks and hike. Being on an active volcano in Antarctica is hardly an everyday experience.
Other places we might visit are Half Moon Island, considered a jewel of diversity in the polar landscape; Hanna Point, with its diversity of wildlife; and the large Adélie colony at Paulet Island. It can be difficult to navigate through the 30-mile Antarctic Sound due to ice, but it offers the most impressive manifestations of icebergs that we will see on this expedition. On Brown Bluff, Adélie and chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls, and cape petrels nest below spectacular cliffs that rise 1,445 feet out of the sea. The stony beach is suitable for shore landings outside of nesting season. We might sail through the narrow Errera Channel, to and from Cuverville, and see the icebergs that have become trapped and grounded in the nearby shallows. Danco Island lies peacefully among the icebergs in the Errera Channel, just a few hundred yards from the Antarctic mainland, and is a breeding site for gentoo penguins.
Go ashore and explore with us, go kayaking to see the ice up close, or take a trip on one of our small boats. Port Lockroy is a British station from World War II that was turned into a museum in 1996. It is one of the most popular sites in Antarctica and offers a peek into life on an Antarctic base in the 1950s. Pleneau is situated just south of the Lemaire Channel and is a beautiful landing site, with many stranded icebergs in the bay area. When opportunities arise we will launch our kayaks, pitch tents ashore, and take you on unforgettable hikes to explore the most beautiful, untouched places on the planet.
The Voyage North
Location : The Drake Passage
On our way back to civilization, we will continue our lecture series and recap our experiences of Antarctica. The journey from the Antarctic Peninsula to Ushuaia at the southern tip of Argentina is roughly 600 miles – or 40 hours of sailing time in good weather.
The Southernmost Town in the World
Location : Ushuaia/Buenos Aires
We make landfall in Tierra del Fuego. Your voyage ends in the world’s southernmost town, Ushuaia, and your journey back continues with a flight to lively Buenos Aires. If you want some sun and warmth after spending time in Antarctica we recommend you participate in one of our post-cruise programs (Land Adventures) in Buenos Aires.
November 2019 – March 2020
Location Ushuaia/Buenos Aires
Our Ship Sailing This Route
Sail from South America to Antarctica and the South Atlantic islands on board MS Fram, our original expedition ship, purpose-built for polar expeditions.
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.
Fram means ‘forward’ – lifting expectations of the voyage at hand. MS Fram was built in 2007 with one mission in mind – to bring her guests closer to nature, wildlife and unforgettable experiences. The spacious outside decks include access to the very front of the ship – a great place to observe marine wildlife.
The ship is purpose built as an expedition vessel with a higher ice-class, chart drawing tools,ship depth sounding database, extractable forward sounding sonar, iceberg search lights, autonomous tracking system, oversized oil retention system for self-sufficiency, and a full ‘expedition tools-deck’ equivalent to a car-deck that holds 25 vehicles. We believe that as an explorer you need an ‘expedition base-camp’ that is comfortable – something that combines ‘all oceans capabilities’ with safety, flexibility and environmental friendliness. That’s Fram – simply the best expedition ship imaginable.
The observation lounge, with comfortable sitting areas at the top of the ship and large panoramic windows, gives you incredible views of nature. A pair of binoculars is installed for spotting wildlife and details of the ever changing landscape.
In the restaurant on deck 5, you can enjoy the finest cuisine. The floor has different levels, so no matter where your table is placed; there are views to the outdoors. The restaurant is located in the aft of the ship, on your way there you walk through an exhibition of original artefacts from the historic expeditions of Amundsen and Nansen. At the far end of the restaurant there is a balcony for taking pictures when wildlife show up during a meal. On deck 7 you will find a well-equipped fitness room, with its panoramic ocean view there is no better place to exercise. On top of the ship you can get warm and cosy in the sauna or bathe in one of the outdoor Jacuzzis. Let the warm water surround you while the icebergs float silently past the side of the ship.
With 127 cabins on MS Fram, you have a choice of comfortable cabins and a number of superior suites to choose from. Our suites are named after Norwegian polar heroes, MS Fram travels in the wake of these great explorers. We are very proud of the art commissioned for MS Fram – local artists from the Arctic have contributed to making her a modern masterpiece. The ‘tender pit’ is where we embark, fully dressed in suitable expedition and excursion gear, on our sturdy Polarcirkel boats to take you safely from ship to shore. The original Fram was a ship for broadening the understanding of the world – let the new MS Fram do the same for you.