Conscious cruising and world-firsts in Antarctica with Hurtigruten

Eco-friendly vessels, diverse itineraries, no cruise ever the same

MS Roald Amundsen, Antarctica | credit: Dan Avila

Hurtigruten’s latest offering, Discover Antarctica Sale, sees fares starting at $7,999* per person twin-share across selected 2021 to 2023 itineraries. Operating from pole to pole and across the entire Arctic, Hurtigruten invites guests to visit the most spectacular nature and wildlife on our planet. With one of the lowest CO2 footprints of all expedition voyages to this region, guests can explore this pristine continent with the most sustainable choice.

Lemaire Channel, Antarctica | credit: Chelsea Claus

1. Environmentally friendly tourism in Antarctica

Sailing in such pristine surroundings naturally comes with a huge responsibility. Hurtigruten is committed to the highest standards of seamanship and an environmentally friendly operation. Their activities and reputation rests on long tradition and experience when it comes to exploring polar waters.

Given its isolation, the Antarctic environment is probably the most pristine natural environment on the planet. For visitors this fact comes with a set of obligations – the most important and general is to leave no traces behind.

However, guests are welcome to go ashore on dedicated landing sites in Antarctica. The Antarctic Treaty and IAATO prohibiting more than 100 people to be ashore simultaneously strictly regulate human traffic in Antarctica. All guests will be given instructions on how to behave when onshore in Antarctica.

Neko Harbour, Antarctica | credit: Camille Seaman

Hurtigruten is a founding member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), an organisation working for responsible, environmentally-friendly and safe tourism in the Arctic. The expedition company are also proud members of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO), which advocates for and promotes safe and environmentally-responsible travel to the Antarctic.

2. A variety of ships and itineraries

With Hurtigruten, you can choose among a variety of expedition sailings on the world’s first hybrid-powered ships, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, or the recently refurbished MS Fram.

The stunning scenery of their voyages is reflected in the rich and comfortable interior design of MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen. All cabins are outside, 50% have private balconies, and aft suites feature private outdoor hot tubs with spectacular views. These state-of-the-art vessels are the only cruise ships in the world that offer inside observation decks with windows that stretch all the way to the bow, offering spectacular views, no matter the conditions. When weather permits, the outside observation deck offers a panoramic viewpoint in the fresh air.

MS Roald Amundsen | credit: Karsten Bidstrup

Meanwhile, the MS Fram is purpose-built as a polar expedition vessel, equipped for the conditions. An ‘expedition base-camp’ that is comfortable and has ‘all oceans capabilities’ with safety, flexibility and environmental friendliness. These three vessels are simply a few from Hurtigruten’s fleet.

Some of Hurtigruten’s Antarctica itineraries also take in the Falkland Islands and the rich wildlife of South Georgia, otherwise known as ‘the Serengeti of the Southern Ocean’.

Cuverville Island, Antarctica | credit: Andrea Klaussner

3. On an expedition with Hurtigruten, no cruise is ever the same

Each Hurtigruten expedition itinerary is unique and the schedule is dictated by the elements. Although landing sites are always carefully planned in advance, itineraries are only indicative of the voyage.

Completing successful landings require experience – Hurtigruten has over 127 years of it and the company takes pride in offering seamless landings to all their guests.

Below is a selection of some of the possible landing sites in Antarctica depending on the voyage’s planned itinerary:

  • 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 and created a navigable opening into the flooded interior.
  • Half Moon Island, South Shetland Islands
    Its serrated and creviced cliffs are home to a large colony of chinstrap penguins, as well as snowy sheathbills and several species of seals who are regular visitors to the island.
Penguins, Half Moon Island, Antarctica | credit: Andrea Klaussner
  • Yankee Harbour, South Shetland Islands
    The big draw for visitors here is the large colony of Gentoo penguins, whose numbers are estimated to be around 4,000 breeding pairs.
  • Cuverville Island
    Cuverville Island boasts the largest known colony of Gentoo penguins. Icebergs commonly become trapped and grounded in the nearby shallows.
Neko Harbour, Antarctica | credit: Chelsea Claus
  • Neko Harbour
    Neko Harbour with its Gentoo penguin colony lies nestled in Andvord Bay. Neko is one of the rare places in this area where you may land on the Antarctic mainland.
  • Paradise Bay
    Paradise Harbour offers another rare opportunity for a mainland landing and some of the finest vistas the Peninsula has to offer.

* Terms and Conditions apply. See hurtigruten.com.au for full terms and conditions. On sale now until 30 April 2021.

Lead image: Penguins and MS Roald Amundsen, Antarctica | Photo: Dan Avila

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