Antarctica – Highlights of the Frozen Continent

Duration: 13 days

Departures: 2019:  10 Nov / 21 Nov / 2 Dec / 28 Dec
2020:  10 Feb / 11 Feb / 21 Feb / 22 Feb / 3 Mar
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
  • Six days exploring 22 possible sites on the Antarctic Peninsula
  • February in Antarctica has the warmest weather and hatching penguin chicks
  • February and March are the best periods for whale watching in Antarctica
  • Inclusive lectures, onboard Science Center, and Citizen Science program
As we cross the Drake Passage and get closer to Antarctica, gigantic icebergs will start emerging
Photo: Marsel van Oosten
Antarctica
Kayaking at Half Moon Island
Photo: Topaz
Kayaking at Half Moon Island
Going ashore on Deception Island with small boats
Photo: Karsten Bidstrup

Itinerary

One of our shortest expeditions to Antarctica gives guests six days in the Antarctic Peninsula, focused on exploring the many penguin colonies, glaciers, and icebergs found there.
Day 1
Buenos Aires
Arrive in Buenos Aires
A bridge over water with a city in the background

Unescorted overnight in Buenos Aires. Guests can explore the capital of Argentina with its colorful neighborhoods and beautiful parks.

Temperature range Feb-Mar: 69 – 78°F 

Included:

·  One-night bed and breakfast at a centrally located three-star hotel

A bridge over water with a city in the background
A small boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background
Day 2
Buenos Aires/Ushuaia
Tierra del Fuego
A small boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background

Transfer from the hotel to the airport for an early morning flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world and where MS Midnatsol awaits. Once aboard the ship, guests join a mandatory safety drill before the Captain’s introduction and welcome dinner.

Temperature range Feb-Mar: 42 – 54°F 

Included transfers and flight:

·  Transfer from hotel to Buenos Aires airport ·  Flight in coach class from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia ·  Transfer from Ushuaia airport to the ship

Day 3-4
Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
A man looking at the camera

Prepare yourself for Antarctica as we cross the infamous Drake Passage, and trust us - it will overwhelm you! MS Midnatsol is designed especially to bring polar exploration to all ages and learning levels. There will also be several lectures on the environment around us; films about Antarctica and the Activity Center will be providing the latest technology for preserving your memories. This will be the heart of the expedition community, where we gather for talks, recaps and spontaneous events, mingle and share stories.

A man looking at the camera
Iceberg in Paradise Bay Antarctica
Day 5-10
Antarctica
Antarctica … another world!
The oceans are teeming with life in Antarctica. Our Expedition Team will take you on landings close to wildlife, and each journey will serve as a reminder that you are now a true polar explorer.
The oceans are teeming with life in Antarctica. Our Expedition Team will take you on landings close to wildlife, and each journey will serve as a reminder that you are now a true polar explorer.
A whale in Wilhelmina Bay, or "Whale-mina Bay"
Look out for whales in Wilhelmina Bay. The wildlife of Antarctica is a chapter in itself - you will also meet seals and thousands of penguins.
Photo: Andreas Kalvig Anderson
Day 5-10
Antarctica
Antarctica … another world!
Iceberg in Paradise Bay Antarctica
Explore the icy shores of Antarctica with landings to get a close look at penguins and seals, enjoy kayaking and visits to the most fascinating places.

You are now in one of the most remote areas on earth! There have been spectacular photo opportunities so far, but Antarctica itself is in a whole different category. Come ashore to explore the breath taking Antarctic scenery and to come close to penguins and seals. You will feel like a real explorer from the moment you set foot on the endless expanse of snow and ice. From the deck there will be ample opportunities to sight whales.

Enjoy close encounters with wildlife and glaciers, old whaling stations and relics. Trust us when we say that every second of this journey has something new to offer. One of the highlights of the South Shetlands is Deception Island. When we sail into the natural harbour of this volcanic island, you will see an abandoned whaling station known as Hektor and a derelict British base.

We are certain you will enjoy a visit to Half Moon Island, a staggeringly photogenic island blessed with some of the most beautiful Antarctic scenery imaginable, or Yankee Harbour, with its large colony of Gentoo penguins, estimated to be 4,000 breeding pairs. Cuverville Island is home to another of the largest known colonies of Gentoo penguins. Neko Harbour is beautifully located in the innermost part of Andvord Bay.

Paradise Harbour got its descriptive name from the whalers during the last century. Wilhelmina Bay has stunning scenery and is often called “Whale-mina Bay”, because of the large number of humpback whales spotted here in December. We have planned plenty of activities to make you experience Antarctica in the best way. This might mean that one day you will go shore to see penguins and hear the crackling noise of glaciers.

Next day, you get to feel the salt and wind as you cruise between the sea ice, looking for leopard seals taking a snooze on the ice. Third day, kayaking or a longer hike or walk. Back on board we also have activities that will satisfy a whole range of interests in the explorer room. The on board photographer will show you the basics of expedition photography.

Join gatherings where the various members of the expedition team recount the day’s activities, make presentations, and the expedition leader discusses the next day’s plan. These gatherings are great opportunities for sharing and shared memory making and mingling with the expedition community. 

Day 11-12
Drake Passage
Heading back to civilisation
A group of ice cream

After exploring this exhilarating continent, we set course back to civilisation. Spend the day at sea recapping your experiences, having fun in the Activity Center or just relaxing on deck.

A group of ice cream
A large brick building
Day 13
Ushuaia/Buenos Aires
The end of the adventure
A large brick building

Sadly, every adventure must come to an end. It is time to say goodbye to the crew and all your new friends when we reach Ushuaia. We transfer you to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires. If you haven't had enough adventures, you have the possibility to extend your stay and enjoy our optional post expedition programmes.

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.

What's included

Included in your voyage

 

  • Hurtigruten Expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
  • One hotel night in Buenos Aires before the voyage including breakfast
  • Transfer hotel to airport in Buenos Aires
  • Return economy flights Buenos Aires to 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 accompany landings and activities
  • Free tea and coffee

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Excursions and Gratuities
A large ship in the water
Photo: Genna Roland / Hurtigruten

Your ship

MS Midnatsol

Year built 2003
Shipyard Fosen Mek. Verk. (N)
Passenger capacity 970 (500 in Antarctica)
Beds 632
Car capacity 32
Gross tonnage 16,151
Length 135.75 m
Beam 21.5 m
Speed 18 knots
A large ship in the water
Photo: Genna Roland / Hurtigruten

The MS Midnatsol (Midnight Sun) is dedicated to the wonders of Arctic summer. The ship sails along the Norwegian coast from May to September, and is part of our global expedition cruises during the rest of the year.

Read more about MS Midnatsol

Extend your cruise

Get more out of your journey by adding a Pre- or Post-programme before or after your expedition cruise.

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