Join Hurtigruten on a voyage of exploration and discovery on board the MS Fram, specially designed for a safe and comfortable voyage in Polar Regions. To enrich your experience, onboard lecturers and MS Fram’s expert team of expedition staff offer presentations on the history, biology and geology of Antarctica along the way.
Antarctica is the last great wilderness, and with icebergs, seals, birds and whales, this formidable polar plateau is the optimum experience for the adventurous. The world’s highest, driest, coldest, cleanest continent, it leaves and indelible impression on the minds of all visitors. To take a voyage past Cape Horn, across Drake Passage to the peninsula is to join what is still an exclusive group of intrepid travelers inspired by the legacy of Antarctic exploration.
Everything rich in fauna, the southern ocean is a constant drama of survival and stealth. Leopard- and fur-seals; minke whales; several species of penguin and great flocks of seabirds – including the wandering albatross – give life to this surreally beautiful landscape. When you manage to tear your eyes away from the wildlife, the icebergs and glaciers present an equally enthralling sight. From the bow, every view is a photographer’s dream and the long austral summer day means there is plenty of opportunity to take it all in.
Average temperatures in the Antarctic winter range from -15 to -32ºC in the coastal regions. During the austral summer, however, temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula are usually around a comparatively mild 0 – -5 ºC. Both the Falkland Islands and South Georgia have a cold, wet and windy climate with summer temperatures between 4 and 11ºC.
Weather, wind, and ice conditions will determine the exact natures of your program and schedule. Safety is paramount and the ship’s captain will decide the final sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore every voyage is unique and all mentioned routes, by the very nature of the region, can only be indicative.
Below you will find a selection of some of the possible landing sites in Antarctica and during your voyage we will attempt to land at some of these sites.
Half Moon Island, South Shetland Islands
Staggeringly photogenic and blessed with some of the most spectacular Antarctic scenery imaginable, Half Moon Island is a glittering gem amongst these island treasures. Its serrated and creviced cliffs are home to a large colony of chinstrap penguins, as well as Antarctic terns, kelp gulls, snowy sheathbills, Wilson’s storm petrels, and several species of seals who are regular visitors to the island.
Deception Island, South Shetland Islands
One of the highlights of the South Shetlands, Deception Island is a distinctive ring-shaped volcanic caldera, a portion of which has collapsed to create a navigable opening into the flooded interior. The natural harbor within includes Whalers Bay, home to an abandoned whaling station known as Hektor, as well as a derelict British base.
Yankee Harbour, South Shetland Islands
Early sealers to the area used Yankee Harbour on Greenwich Island as a frequent base of operations, its remarkable setting providing a natural safe haven for the sailors. Remains of those early days can still be seen littering the shoreline, but the big draw for visitors here is the large colony of gentoo penguins, whose numbers are estimated to be around 4,000 breeding pairs.
Situated in the scenic Errera Channel, Cuverville Island boasts the largest known colony of gentoo penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula. The narrow Errera Channel offers a spectacular passage to and from Cuverville, as icebergs become trapped and grounded in the nearby shallows. Watching from the observation decks as our navigators weave the ship carefully between the icebergs is as exciting as being surrounded by the throngs of nesting penguins onshore.
Neko Harbour, with its gentoo penguin colony and small Argentine refuge hut lies nestled in Andvord Bay, surrounded by the mountains and high glacier walls of the peninsula. Named after a factory whaling ship from the early 1900s, Neko is one of the rare places in the Antarctic Peninsula area where you may land on the Antarctic mainland.
The harbor is paradise not only in name, but in splendor and scenery as well. Protected from the winds of the nearby Gerlache Strait, Paradise Harbour offers another rare opportunity for a mainland landing and some of the finest vistas the Peninsula has to offer. Here you can find the Argentine base Almirante Brown and the Chilean
base Gonzalez Videla, as well as colonies of neighboring penguins.
This 7 mile long and 1 mile wide channel is one of the most beautiful passages in Antarctica. It bestows upon the traveler a glimpse into what fascinates us most about this incredible environment; it is at once sublime and imposing, delicate and daunting, inviting and inhospitable.
Its location in the picturesque Penola Strait makes Petermann Island a great spot for iceberg and whale spotting and offers spectacular views across the channel to the Antarctic Peninsula.
The British base on Goudier Island in Port Lockroy was built in 1941 and abandoned in 1962, it lay empty until 1996 when it was refurbished as a museum by the Antarctic Heritage Trust. It has since become one of the most popular sites in Antarctica and offers a unique peek into life on an Antarctic base in the 1950s.
The mountains and high glaciers around Wilhelmina Bay ensure plenty of dramatic scenery and sculpted ice from tiny floating pieces to large icebergs. The bay is a choice feeding ground for whales and seals and therefore was a
rich hunting ground for the whalers of the past.
The huge ice shelves of the Antarctic continent give birth to mile-long tabular icebergs. The strong currents of the Weddell Sea conspire to bring these massive flat-topped bergs north into the Antarctic Sound at the northeastern end of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Brown Bluff lies on the coast of the Antarctic Sound, at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. As the name suggests, the landscape is dominated by an ominous 2,450 ft cliff. The towering, rust-colored bluff is volcanic in origin and the beach is peppered with lava “bombs.” Adélie penguins, gentoo penguins, kelp gulls, and cape petrels can be found breeding here and weddell seals are also regular visitors.