Exploration of the Southern Highlights

Covering about 400,000 square miles (about 1.5 times the size of the UK), Patagonia lies at the southern end of South America. Shared by Argentina and Chile, its formidable landscape is made up of part of the Andes mountains, lakes, fjords and glaciers in the west and deserts, steppes and tablelands in the east. Antarctica, magnificent in its isolation, yet teeming with an abundance of wildlife and monumental icebergs is a majestic, timeless wonder waiting to be discovered.

End-to-end Excitement

A varied and truly exciting expedition cruise that takes you from the beauty of the Chilean coast to magical Antarctica: combining the highlights of Antarctica, the stunning Chilean fjords and the intense, rich, natural beauty of Patagonia. Our experienced Expedition Team will be on hand to share their knowledge, point out wildlife and provide insights as you embark on this journey of discovery.

Wonder at the stunning natural beauty and explore the vast wilderness as you follow in the footsteps of the early Antarctic explorers. As well as getting to see wildlife such as penguins, whales and seals amidst icebergs, you will also get the opportunity to take part in ice-cruising and various landing activities – guaranteed to make it an unforgettable voyage.

  • Discover the unique beauty that is Patagonia, Antarctica and the Chilean fjords
  • See Cape Horn and cross the Drake Passage
  • Hike, camp and kayak in unforgettable landscapes
  • Experience ice cruising, landings and encounter wildlife like you have never before imagined

Our itinerary will give you a few ideas about what you can expect to explore but bear in mind that this is just an indication of what you can experience.

Day 1: Valparaíso, Chile

We refer to it as “The Jewel in the Pacific”

We start our expedition in the pretty, colourful city of Valparaíso. Known as the “Jewel in the Pacific”, Valparaíso went through rapid growth when it became a major stopover for ships as they travelled between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. To truly appreciate the beauty and sweeping views of this town we recommend that you take a ride on the cable car. And if time allows, before joining the ship, a visit to the Historic Quarter.

Day 2: At Sea

Southbound: Days 2 – 3

Heading south, we make our way along the Pacific coast of Chile. Whilst we are at sea, our Expedition Team will be making the most of the time by offering lectures, giving advice and general hints and tips to prepare you for the exciting experiences ahead. There will, of course, be plenty of time to spend on deck to look out for wildlife.

Day 3: Castro, Chile

Let’s Explore Castro

An eclectic mix of palafitos (wooden houses on stilts) greet you as we pull into Castro. Established in the 16th century, Castro is Chile’s third-oldest city and was once home to farmers. A blend of both old and new, there are plenty of place to see. While we’re here, why not take in the sights with our Castro Walking Tour.

Day 4: At Sea

The Quiet Waters of Patagonia

We sail south through the fabled waters of Patagonia to one of the world’s most remote and beautiful places, the province of Ultima Esperanza, or Last Hope. Make sure that you give yourself some ‘deck time’ to check out the iconic Andean seascapes – it’s a truly glorious expanse of undisturbed nature.

Day 5: Puerto Edén

 A Nature Lover’s Paradise

Cruising through the Patagonian waters, we reach the village of Puerto Edén in Bernardo O’Higgins National Park. A hamlet and minor port at the end of a deep fjord and surrounded by mountains, with only 250 inhabitants, it is considered one of Chile’s most isolated inhabited places.

Day 6: Puerto Natales

Torres del Paine National Park: Days 7 – 8

Puerto Natales is a port city in southern Patagonia and is the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park. With so much to see and do in this region, you’ll be glad of the overnight stop. Scenes of Puerto Natales is an included excursion that combines the highlights of the charming town with the interesting Midodón Cave.

There is also the option to take advantage of an excursion to the National Park. Known as the “eighth wonder of the world” this overnight trip gives you plenty of time to explore the 242,000 hectares of rich habitat.

Day 7: Chilean Fjords

Pure Paradise

Deep fjords, creaking glaciers and tall mountains that literally plunge into the icy water – welcome to the breathtakingly and stunningly beautiful Chilean fjords. Scarcely explored, this remote region promises to be an experience that you will never forget. Epic colonies of penguins, gargantuan ocean seals lazing on the beaches and pods of humpback whales await you.

Day 8: At Sea

Cape Horn and the Drake Passage: Days 10 – 11

The morning sees us sailing through the scenic Beagle Channel before we continue into open waters, and, if conditions allow, a landing on Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of South America. Buckle up as we then set sail for the legendary Drake Passage.

Our lecture series continues en route, preparing you for the wonder that is Antarctica. Keen to preserve the environment, you’ll also learn how to make your visit as safe and sustainable as possible, as well as how you can help collect data for scientific research.

Day 9: Antarctica

Remote and Beautiful: Days 12 – 15

Remote and arguably one of the most beautiful places on earth, Antarctica is made up of over 90% ice. In places, the ice can be up to 4000 metres thick! In the winter, sea ice virtually doubles the size of the continent and in summer, it becomes a fertile breeding ground for penguins, seals and whales.

Dedicated to peace, science and tourism, we follow strict environmental rules to ensure that we do not disturb the fragile ecosystem. Although wild and unforgiving, to give you a glimpse of the diverse wildlife, our experienced captain will attempt landings in the South Shetlands and on the Antarctic Peninsula. If possible, we hope to cross the Polar Circle and venture into the permanently iced down and almost unnavigable areas, that are far beyond the limits of most cruises.

Day 10: At Sea

The Drake Passage: Days 16 – 17

MS Fran will guide us safely through the infamous Drake passage over the next couple of days. On board, our Expedition Team launch their lecture programme. Featuring information about Antarctic wildlife, history and geology, it’s not to be missed. On board is also a Science Centre where you can discover a different type of ‘wildlife’ at cellular level from the samples collected during the expedition so far.

Day 11: Ushuaia / Buenos Aires

Farewell

Ushuaia is the final destination of our expedition cruise. From here, you will pick up your transfer to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires. Of course, if you haven’t had your fill of adventure, you could always your stay and book in a trip to Iguazu Falls.

What’s included

Included in your voyage:

  • Transfer from the ship to Ushuaia airport after the expedition cruise
  • Flight in economy class from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires
  • Expedition Cruise in a cabin grade of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (ship beer and wine, sodas and mineral water in the restaurant) in the main dining restaurant Aune
  • A la carte restaurant (for suite guests only)
  • Complimentary coffee and tea throughout the day
  • Free Wi-fi on board for all guests (be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported)
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
  • Professional hand-picked English-speaking Expedition Team experienced in the region we sail in
  • Range of included excursions
  • Indoor and outdoor gym, outdoor running track, hot tubs and panoramic sauna

Engaging onboard, landing activities and education:

  • Experts on the Expedition Team delivering in-depth lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Centre which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • Citizen Science programme that allows guests to assist with live scientific
  • Professional onboard photographer – on-hand to give top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come
  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats whilst in Antarctica
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles and equipment needed for optional and included activities
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant jackets

What’s not included in your voyage:

  • International flights
  • Optional shore excursions with local partners
  • Optional small group activities with our Expedition Team
  • Optional treatments in the ship’s onboard wellness and spa area
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling

Please Note:

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • It is essential to complete a medical questionnaire
  • Please ensure that you meet all visa entry requirements

Life On Board

The Hurtigruten line was originally launched to transport people and goods along the coast of Norway. It was particularly prevalent in winter when infrastructure was still in its infancy and land travel was generally more difficult.

They are though, not traditional cruise ships and life on board a Hurtigruten ship is vastly different to what you might expect onboard a traditional cruise liner and offers less in terms of entertainment. However, as a majority of their ships are much smaller than traditional cruise ships (150 – 500 passengers as opposed to 1000s) it means that they can enter the fjords in both winter and summer. And because they stop at so many ports, you will get to see more of the coastline as opposed to just the highlights.

They also don’t fall short when it comes to comfort and amenities. The cabins are all elegantly furnished with a choice of cabin to suit all budgets.

The MS Fram, built in 2007 and refurbished in 2020, was the most famous explorer ship of its time. The newly refurbished edition brings on the heritage of the original Fram, whilst boasting the most advanced technology to make her exceptionally well suited for expedition voyagers in Polar Regions.

The Explorer Lounge and Bar has comfortable sitting areas at the top of the ship and large panoramic windows, giving you all round views of the ever-changing landscape. The rest of the ship is equipped with restaurants, a well-fitted gym with panoramic ocean views to enjoy whilst you are exercising, a sauna and outdoor hot tubs.

 

Can’t see what you are looking for? Don’t worry, in all probability we can still do it.
Call us on 01582 349480.

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About Suitcase Travel

A family run boutique travel agency, we specialise in creating memorable travel experiences. Offering unique adventures, tailored to your specific requirements, we focus solely on you, helping you to understand the experience that your holiday will give you and equipping you with those all-important tips that will help to make your holiday that extra bit special. Oh, and the best part? Our service is free – it literally costs you no more than if you were to book direct. Come and talk to us and we’ll help you to create memories that really will last a lifetime.

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