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Adventure to Antarctica: Highlights of the Frozen Continent
(Former NASA Astronaut Dr. Norm Thagard)


13 days with Hurtigruten   Rating: First Class

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Cultural and Cool
This adventure 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 ´Paris of South America´ for yourself.

Day 2 Tierra del Fuego
Fly to Ushuaia, where MS Midnatsol awaits. Once on board, we kick off our journey with a welcome-on-board dinner.

Days 3-4 Crossing the Drake Passage
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. As we cruise south, we start our ´Young Explorers Antarctica´ classes. There will also be several lectures on the environment around us; films about Antarctica and the Explorer room will be buzzing with activity. This will be the heart of the expedition community, where we gather for talks, recaps and spontaneous events, mingle and share stories.
Day 5-10 Antarctica … Another world!
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 harbor 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 Harbor, 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 Harbor is beautifully located in the innermost part of Andvord Bay. Paradise Harbor 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 ashore 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. For our younger guests we have designed the Young Explorers Program. This program is a scientific introduction to biology, history, wildlife and learning more about navigation with lectures, field trips and visits to the science center. Trust us when we say that no expedition day with MS Midnatsol in Antarctica will be the same – or boring!
 
Day 11-12 Heading Back to Civilization
After exploring this exhilarating continent, we set course back to civilization. Spend the day at sea recapping your experiences, having fun in the explorer room or just relaxing on deck.

Days 13 The End of the Adventure
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 programs.
Map
All This Included

Get ready for a rare adventure! From Ushuaia you cross the Drake Passage and sail on to an unforgettable exploration of Antarctica. Meet penguins up close and touch icebergs with your bare hands. On board there is so much to do: the Explorer room, Young Explorers Program, theme days, exciting lectures, and more, all designed to enhance your trip.

Dr. Thagard is a former NASA astronaut and veteran of 5 space flights, including an incredible 115-day mission as a cosmonaut/researcher on Russian Mir-18 with liftoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and a historic landing at the Kennedy
Space Center.

This special cruise includes a two lectures from Dr. Thagard and viewings of a documentary about the Russian Mir-18 mission and Dr. Thagard’s training and experience as a cosmonaut/researcher on the mission. On this special voyage, Dr. Thagard shares his first-hand experiences with Hurtigruten guests.

  • Hurtigruten expedition voyage in the cabin category of your choice on a full-board basis (daily buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, and set or buffet dinner)
  • One overnight hotel stay in Buenos Aires, including breakfast, before the voyage  
  • Transfer from hotel to airport in Bueons Aires
  • Economy-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 and accompanies landings and activities
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary use of Muck Boot rubber boots
Highlights
  • Join NASA Astronaut, Dr. Norm Thagard, on a once-in-a-lifetime exclusive voyage
  • Experience glaciers, nature and wildlife
  • Come ashore in Antarctica and meet penguins up close
  • Explorer room, Science center and lectures on popular topics on board + Young Explorer program for kids
Dr. Thagard will give two lectures to guests on the November 17 cruise:
  • The Life and Times of Dr. Norm Thagard, NASA Astronaut
  • The Russian Mir-18 mission, featuring a National Geographic documentary on his training and flying on the mission
Accommodations
Cabin onboard MS Midnatsol
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • All planned landings are subject to weather and ice conditions.
  • All itineraries are subject to change.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Hurtigruten terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.