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Antarctica, Chilean Fjords and Falklands – Great Explorers and Wildlife (20 days)

Resort:Antarctica, Chilean Fjords and Falklands – Great Explorers and Wildlife (20 days)
Operator: Hurtigruten
Destination: Antarctica
Price From: £8790.00

Overview

This is the ultimate expedition cruise, ranging from the Patagonian fjords to the majesty of Antarctica, with an attempt to venture below the polar circle, and finally on to the magical Falklands. Our Expedition Team will lead ice-cruising and landings to get close to thousands of animals on this wildlife-rich journey.

Itinerary

Day 1 Santiago de Chile

Your adventure starts with an overnight stay in Santiago, the exciting and diverse capital of Chile. There is much to discover here, from Andean glaciers at the city borders, to skyscrapers in the centre, to lovely colonial architecture, to the shores of the fast-flowing Mapacho River. Why not extend your expedition by adding an optional Pre-programme adventure to the amazing Atacama Desert?

Day 2 Santiago / Punta Arenas

Fly early in the morning to Punta Arenas where the hybrid powered MS Roald Amundsen awaits, ready for your expedition cruise to Antarctica.

Day 3 Chilean fjords – Patagonia

Enjoy cruising the scenic Beagle Channel, surrounded by mountains plunging straight into the icy water. This wild and remote area seems almost undisturbed by humans. Take in the isolated islands, hidden bays and rich wildlife that create one the worlds most beautiful landscapes.

Day 4-5 Drake Passage

As the southernmost point of South America, Cape Horn ranks among the most iconic places on Earth. If conditions allow, we will make a landing here before traversing the famed Drake Passage to Antarctica. Enjoy lectures in our Science Center and all the amenities of our state-of-the-art hybrid powered expedition ship on the crossing.

Day 6-14 Antarctica

Antarctica never fails to inspire awe and wonder. Ninety per cent of the worlds ice is here, in some places up to 4,000 metres thick, covering the landmass. In winter, sea ice virtually doubles the size of the continent. In summer, it is a fertile breeding ground for millions of penguins, seals and whales.
As outlined in the Antarctic Treaty, this is a continent dedicated to peace, science and tourism. No human activity is permitted that alters the perfect natural balance that has evolved through millennia without interference. Thats why we follow very strict environmental rules. We want to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures!
This is true wilderness, so our experienced captain will work with the conditions to create the best possible itinerary for your adventure.
We will attempt landings on several sites in the South Shetlands and on the Antarctic Peninsula and aim to show you the diversity of the regions wildlife and landscape.
On this special voyage, we hope to cross the Polar Circle at 6633 south, far beyond the limit of most cruises in Antarctica, venturing far into the areas that are permanently iced down and unnavigable in the winter.
Whenever opportunities arise, our Expedition Team will take you for landings and ice cruising to get close to the surreal beauty of Antarctica.
Its hard to sum up the power of the experience. As a well-known quote from veteran Antarctic travellers puts it: If you can describe Antarctica with words, you have probably never been there.

Day 15-16 At sea

After exploring this unforgettable continent, we set course for the Falkland Islands, which consist of two large islands and around 700 smaller isles. There is fascinating history here, as Captain John Strong of HMS Welfare made the first recorded landing in 1690.
Our Expedition Team will hold fascinating lectures in our Science Center, and point out wildlife from our outer decks.

Day 17-18 The Falkland Islands

We arrive at a colourful English village, a powerful contrast to white Antarctica, with red phone boxes, red buses and old pubs. Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, is inviting and a good size for roaming the streets on foot. Or you can join an excursion to explore the wilderness and wildlife in the surrounding area.
The Falklands are teeming with wonders of nature, with fantastically clear blue skies, seamless horizons and stunning white sand beaches. Bird lovers will appreciate West Point Island, an avian paradise with penguins, albatrosses and geese.
Included activity:
Stanley self guided walk (1 – 2 hrs)
Take a short self-guided walk to get insight into life in the Falklands. Start at the historic Jubilee Villa gardens where local flora and fauna are found, stroll along Ross Road and visit Christchurch cathedral and the Whalebone Arch before proceeding to the Historic Dockyard Museum. Take the tour as part of a group or on an individual basis.

Day 19 At sea

As we complete the loop of the Magellan Strait, we will have a recap of everything we have experienced on this expedition cruise in the Science Center. Make sure you spend some time on deck looking for wildlife.

Day 20 Punta Arenas / Santiago de Chile

We arrive back in Punta Arenas in the morning. After the flight back to Santiago de Chile, you can extend your vacation with a Post-programme adventure to experience more of this impressive region.