Great Explorers and Solar Eclipse

Sailing in the wake of the great of explorers and taking in a total eclipse at the same time? What an adventure! A total solar eclipse is special but seeing it from the South Orkney Islands is sure to be an extraordinary experience. Our Explorer / Solar Eclipse combined voyage promises excitement, thrills and adventure all rolled into one.

You will be in good hands with our Expedition Team. Our expert astronomer will also be on hand delivering a series of in-depth lectures and providing insights during the Solar Eclipse and throughout the voyage. Crossing the legendary Antarctic Circle, we will venture far into remote waters, giving you the chance to see the rich wildlife in its natural habitat.

Extreme Adventures

Explore the Chilean fjords and the majestic Antarctica and experience a total Solar Eclipse before heading onto the Falkland Islands.

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, our Expedition Team will lead exciting ice-cruising and landing activities – guaranteed to make it an unforgettable voyage.

  • Experience the total solar eclipse in the South Orkney Islands
  • Discover the unique beauty that is Patagonia, Antarctica and the Falkland Islands
  • Hike, camp and kayak in unforgettable landscapes

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: Santiago de Chile

Cosmopolitan and Energetic

Santiago, the diverse capital of Chile is where your adventure begins. An overnight stay gives you some time to explore this exhilarating city. With so much to see and do – shopping, an eclectic mix of food, museums, panoramic views and nightlife – you’re guaranteed to find yourself wanting more.

Day 2: Santiago de Chile / Punta Arenas

The Start of your Expedition

Fly early in the morning to Punta Arenas where your ship awaits, ready for your expedition cruise to Antarctica.

Rich and comfortable, all of the cabins are outside, with 50% having private balconies. But one of the most inspiring features is the indoor / outdoor Observation Deck. Built over two levels, it is perfect for catching both the scenery and the wildlife with your binoculars.

Day 3: At Sea

The Drake Passage: Days 3 – 4

Following in the footsteps of the great explorers we sail through the Beagle Channel strait in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago at the southern tip of South America. About 150 miles long and 3 – 8 miles wide, it was named after Charles Darwin’s British ship, Beagle, which explored the area in 1833-34.

On board, our Expedition Team launch their lecture programme. Featuring information about Antarctic wildlife, history and geology, it’s not to be missed.

Day 4: Antarctica

Seeing Really is Believing: Days 5 – 9

Made up of over 90% ice, in places up to 4000 metres thick, Antarctica will leave a lasting impression. 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 5: At Sea

Observe the Wildlife

What better way to relax after your Antarctic adventures than unwinding at sea. Whether you choose to unwind on deck or spend time in the Science Centre, there’s plenty to do onboard. MS Roald Amundsen, named after the first man to cross Antarctica and reach the South Pole, has been specifically constructed for voyages in polar waters and is a new addition to the fleet. The state-of-the-art liner features new hybrid propulsion (a first for large ships) and environmentally sustainable hybrid technology that will reduce fuel consumption.

Day 6: South Orkney Islands

Darkness Descends

600km northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula, The South Orkney Islands consist of four islands situated in the Scotia Sea. Arriving early morning, it’s from here that you’ll witness the Solar Eclipse (weather permitting). Once you have been equipped with special-purpose solar filters, our Expedition Team will hand over to our professional astronomer to deliver insights and Impart information of this spectacular phenomenon.

Whilst we’re here, we also plan to explore the South Orkney islands themselves. 85% glaciers, it’s the perfect home for various species of penguins and seals.

Day 7: At Sea

Plenty to See: Days 12 – 13

After exploring this unforgettable continent, we set course for the Falkland Islands. Before we reach them, our Expedition Team will brief you about the history and biology of the Islands. There is an abundance of birds and wildlife to spot from the outer decks – keep an eye out for the albatrosses that often guide our way.

Day 8: The Falkland Islands

The Edge of Antarctica: Days 14 – 16

Clear blue skies, seamless horizons and stunning white beaches. The Falklands is a natural wonderland where diverse wildlife live side by side. Here, it’s not unusual to find sheep grazing alongside large colonies of albatross and penguins, whilst the skies are filled with caracaras, on the hunt for their next meal.

We dock at Stanley, the island’s capital for a full day, so you’ll have plenty of time to acquaint yourself with the town. Known for its red buses, red phone boxes and old pubs, it’s a stark contrast to the wilderness of the Antarctica. Perfect for roaming about on foot, you will have the chance to join an excursion to explore the wilderness and wildlife in the surrounding area.

Day 9: At Sea

The Magellan Strait

Make sure that you keep some time aside to check out the wildlife as we complete the loop of the Magellan Strait. There will also be the opportunity to revisit and recap everything that you have experienced on this cruise in the Science Centre.

Day 10: Punta Arenas / Santiago de Chile

We Bid you Adieu

We dock in Punta Arenas in the morning. From here you’ll fly back to Santiago de Chile. While you’re there why not tag one last adventure to your trip and pay a visit to Easter Island?

What’s included

Included in your voyage:

  • Expedition Cruise in a cabin grade of your choice
  • Overnight in Santiago de Chile before the voyage including breakfast
  • Return economy flights from Santiago de Chile and Punta Arenas
  • Transfer from the hotel in Santiago de Chile to the airport
  • Transfers between Punta Arenas airport and ship including a city tour and lunchbox
  • A rich programme of included activities on all voyages designed to immerse you in the destinations
  • Professional hand-picked English-speaking Expedition Team experienced in the region we sail in
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant jacket
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles and equipment needed for optional and included activities
  • All meals including beverages (ship beer and wine, sodas and mineral water in all restaurants) in restaurants Fredheim and Aune
  • A la carte restaurant (for suite guests only)
  • Complimentary coffee and tea throughout the day
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
  • Early riser and afternoon treat offered in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Rejuvenating wellness areas with separate treatment rooms, infinity pool, outdoor gym, running track
  • Gym, hot tubs and panoramic sauna
  • Free Wi-fi on board for all guests (be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported)

Engaging onboard activities and education:

  • In-depth lectures on science, history, biology, geography, geology or culture providing context to your voyage and helping you to understand the destinations you will experience
  • Explorer Science programme, with educational and Citizen Science activities – learn about the sights you’ll see while contributing to research
  • Professional onboard photographer – on-hand to give top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • Casual opportunities to engage with the Expedition Team and other guests, including a welcome event, daily gathers to recap the day and prepare for the day to come
  • Opportunities to dine and interact with the Expedition Team and officers
  • Destination-focused onboard library
  • Port presentations providing destination insight

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 0ou 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. Even though there are now alternative means of transport, the Hurtigruten line still runs, calling at 34 ports along the Norwegian coastline.

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 Norwegian 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. One of the most popular ships, the MS Polarlys, was refurbished in 2016. Featuring a modern, Arctic-inspired interior, there are three restaurants offering a range of different cuisine, a Multe bakery and ice cream bar, a sauna and fitness room. On deck you can while the time away and take in the view from one of the two hot tubs, or if you prefer, enjoy a drink at the bar at the front of the ship.

But Hurtigruten really does come into its own with its on-board Expedition team. Passionate and experienced about all things ‘Norwegian’, the team host lectures, presentation programmes and activities on a regular basis.

Features at a glance:

  • Expedition Team
  • Three restaurants
  • Multe bakery and ice cream bar
  • Explorer bar lounge
  • Wi-Fi
  • Sauna
  • Hot tubs
  • Fitness room
  • Conference room
  • Lift
  • Car deck

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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