Chilean Fjords and Antarctica - White Christmas Adventure
15 days with Hurtigruten Rating:
Day 1 Exciting and Diverse
Location: Santiago de Chile
The capital of Chile is exciting and diverse. There is a lot to discover here, from the Andean glaciers at the city borders to tall mountains, skyscrapers, quiet parks, Colonial architecture, bohemian neighborhoods, and the fast-flowing Mapacho River. Your adventure starts with an overnight hotel stay here.
Day 2 Embarking the Expedition
Location: Santiago de Chile/Punta Arenas
Fly early in the morning to Punta Arenas and join a city tour before embarking on MS Roald Amundsen for your expedition to Antarctica.
Day 3 The Astounding Fjords of Chile
Location : Chilean Fjords
Enjoy cruising through the Beagle Channel, with channels, fjords, and mountains plunging straight into the icy water. This wild and remote area seems almost undisturbed by humans. The ice has scoured its way between the mountains, leaving the isolated islands and hidden bays that create the unique fjord landscape of Chile.
Day 4-5 Cape Horn and the Famed Drake Passage
Location: Drake Passage
When ranking the most iconic places on Earth, Cape Horn is high on the list. At almost 56° South, it is the southernmost point of South America. Before the Panama Canal, seafarers had to pass this infamous rocky island in order to cross from one side of the Americas to the other. We will do our best to make a landing on Cape Horn – however, this is an area known for high seas and challenging conditions, so the captain will decide if it is safe to land!
MS Roald Amundsen will take 1 ½ to 2 days to cross the Drake Passage from Cape Horn, depending on the weather conditions. An enormous churn of water is funnelled by the western wind drift from the Pacific through the Drake Passage and into the Scotia Sea to the east. The Passage is part of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the most voluminous current in the world. About 25 to 40 billion gallons of water per second are transported from west to east here. As we cross the Drake, we sail over the undersea West Scotia Ridge and the nearly 20,000 foot deep South Shetland Trench. The weather can be terrible on the passage, but it may also be placid. Usually, it’s somewhere in between.
Day 6-12 Antarctica – Impossible to Describe
Antarctica is isolated from the rest of the world by ocean currents. 90% of the world's ice is here, 13,000 feet thick, covering the landmass. In winter, it is further cut off by sea ice forming off the coast – virtually doubling the size of the continent. In summer, it is a breeding ground for millions of penguins, whales, and seals that, for the rest of the year, simply spend their time at sea. Most of the wildlife found here is dependent on a cornerstone species: krill. And there is a great deal of it here The krill population in the Southern Ocean represents the largest biomass of a single species on Earth – including human beings!
As outlined in the Antarctic Treaty, this is a continent dedicated to peace, science, and tourism. No human activity is allowed to alter the perfect natural balance. We are visiting a place that has evolved through millennia without human interference. Therefore, we adhere to very strict environmental guidelines and rules: We want to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures!
Antarctica's location makes every cruise to the continent an expedition. Even the most sophisticated technology cannot override some of the climatic challenges that are a part of this environment. Weather, wind and ice conditions have a great influence on our program and schedule. Therefore, we need to be pragmatic: we change landings, re-route, and shift plans as we go along. This also means that we will take advantage of the often-ideal conditions by spending hours ashore, on the water in kayaks, or simply cruising among huge pods of whales.
We will attempt to land several places, including Deception Island, Half Moon Island, Brown Bluff, Cuverville Island, and Neko Harbor. All of these places are serene and offer untouched nature, oportunities to observe penguin colonies, seals, glaciers, icebergs in every shape and color, and old whaling stations.
It's hard to sum up all the impressions you will gain. As a well-known quote from veteran Antarctic travelers puts it: “If you can describe Antarctica with words, you have probably never been there.”
Day 13 Lectures and Wildlife Watching from the Deck
Location: At Sea
With the sights and smells of Antarctic still fresh in our minds, we enjoy a day at sea while celebrating Christmas! You can expect fine food in the restaurant, fun and games in the bar, and maybe even a visit from a certain white-bearded gentleman!
After exploring the last untouched continent, we are on our way back to South America. We will continue our lecture series on the dramatic history and diverse wildlife of the region as we keep watch for wandering albatross.
Day 14 The Magellan Strait
Location: At Sea
As we complete the loop of the Magellan Strait, we will have a recap of everything we have experienced on this expedition. Make sure you spend some time on deck looking for wildlife.
Day 15 The End of the Expedition
Location: 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-cruise extension (Land Adventure) to further experience this impressive region.
All This Included
Travel in harmony with the elements to the White Continent. En route, you will experience the wild natural wonders of the Chilean fjords. Once in Antarctica, the sight of mighty glaciers calving into the ocean, colonies of penguins, and pods of whales in the icy seas will create indelible memories. And on board there is so much to do. In our Activity Center, you can attend exciting lectures and take part in a wide variety of activities designed to enhance your trip.
Cabin onboard MS Roald Amundsen
Terms and Conditions
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* 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.