This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine our final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience, and why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.
DAY 1: BUENOS AIRES
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: BUENOS AIRES/USHUAIA
Fly early in the morning to Ushuaia, where MS Midnatsol awaits. Once on board, we kick off our journey with a welcome-on-board dinner.
DAY 3 – 4: DRAKE PASSAGE
Prepare yourself for Antarctica as we cross the infamous Drake Passage, and trust us – it will overwhelm you! MS Midnatsol is designed to bring polar exploration to all ages and learning levels. There will be lectures on the environment around us, films about Antarctica and the Activity Center provides the latest technology for preserving your memories. This Center is the heart of the expedition community, a friendly place to gather for talks, recaps and spontaneous events, and a warm area to mingle and share stories.
DAY 5 – 14: ANTARCTIC PENINSULA
You are now in one of the most remote areas on earth! Venture ashore to explore the breath taking Antarctic scenery and come close to penguins and seals. You will feel like a real explorer from the moment you first 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 as we sail. One of the highlights is Deception Island in the South Shetlands. 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, while 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 help 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. The next day, you may get to feel the salt and wind as you cruise between the sea ice, looking for leopard seals taking a nap on an ice platform. A third day may involve kayaking or a longer hike or walk. Back on board, we host 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 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 mingling with the expedition community. Christmas Day will be a unique mix of exciting activities amongst the ice and penguins, combined with traditional Norwegian celebrations on board. You might enjoy a special lunch followed by a walk to the top of a snow-covered hill set within a glaciated bay. Or your Christmas gift may be a cruise amongst ice bergs followed by a visit from a certain white-bearded gentleman.
DAY 15 – 16: DRAKE PASSAGE
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.
DAY 13: USHUAIA / BUENOS AIRES
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 can extend your stay and enjoy our optional post expedition programmes. You could celebrate New Year with a stylish stop-over in Buenos Aires, for example.