The Ultimate Expedition and Solar Eclipse

A solar eclipse is special but when it happens over Antarctica it promises to be an extraordinary experience. Our Solar Eclipse voyage couples this exciting, unique adventure with the thrill of discovering the 7th continent and the rich landscape of The Falklands and South Georgia.

Our expert astronomer will be with the Expedition Team for the duration of the voyage, delivering a series of in-depth lectures and providing insights during the Solar Eclipse. 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

Join us for this amazing expedition cruise to the Falklands, visit unspoilt South Georgia and experience a total solar eclipse from the South Orkney Islands before our ultimate exploration of Antarctica. It promises to be an indescribable experience quite like no other.

Explore the amazing scenery and wonder at the vast wilderness as you follow in the footsteps of the early Antarctic explorers Shackleton and Cook. This is an extreme and action-packed 23-day winter adventure.

  • Experience the total solar eclipse in the South Orkney Islands
  • See the abundance of diverse wildlife in South Georgia, the ‘Galapagos of the Poles’
  • Hike, camp and kayak in unforgettable landscapes
  • Get up close and personal with the powerful beauty of Antarctica

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. Learn more about The Ultimate Expedition and Solar Eclipse cruise.

Day 1: Buenos Aires

The Birthplace of Tango

Buenos Aires, the vibrant and bustling capital of Argentina is the starting point for our expedition. An overnight stay gives you the chance to acquaint yourself and explore this lively city.

Day 2: Buenos Aires / Ushuaia

Tierra del Feugo

An early morning flight to Ushuaia gives you some time to experience this beautiful city before picking up the ship and sailing through the scenic Beagle Channel.

There is also the opportunity to take advantage of an optional excursion to Tierra del Feugo National Park. Created in 1960, the park covers some 68,909 hectares and combines marine, wood and mountain environments. It promises the most unusual scenery and the purest air ever found.

Day 3: At Sea

The Vast Open Sea

Enjoy the abundance of wildlife from the deck and learn more about their habitat and environment with our in-depth lectures as we cross the open sea towards the Falkland Islands.

Day 4: The Falkland Islands

The Wonders of Nature: Days 4 – 5

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. There is also an included self-guided walk (can be taken as part of a group or on an individual basis). Starting at the historic Jubilee Villa gardens the walk takes in Christchurch Cathedral, Whalebone Arch and the Historic Dockyard Museum.

Day 5: At Sea

Cruising: Days 6 -7

You know that Antarctica is getting closer when we cross the famed Drake Passage. As we journey south, our on-board Expedition Team start their lecture programme on the region’s wildlife, whaling and polar history.

Day 6: South Georgia

The Galapagos of the Poles: Days 8 – 10

The natural beauty of South Georgia makes it a favoured spot for nature photographers. Yet what makes this place special is its unique position inside the Antarctic ecosystem. Remaining outside of the yearly sea ice, it lends itself as the perfect environment and home to tens of millions of breeding penguins, seals and seabirds.

Conscious of protecting their natural habitat, our activities are designed to bring you close enough without disturbing the wildlife. We also hope to visit a whaling museum and to pay our respects at the grave of the great explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Founded by Welsh settlers in the late 19th century, Puerto Madryn, still has a number of Welsh influences, including tea. Included in the itinerary is trip to one of the tea houses, where, once you’ve  enjoyed your tea, you can sit back and observe the sea lions.

Day 7: At Sea

Heading to Antarctica: Days 11 – 12

Focusing on the history, environment and wildlife of the continent, another day at sea gives you time to learn and familiarise yourself with the wonders of the Antarctic. Setting our course for Elephant Island, we will cruise by the Washington Strait and Coronation Island.

Day 8: South Orkney Islands

Prepare for the Eclipse

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 9: At Sea

Setting the Course for Antarctica: Days 14 – 15

As we continue south, the white shimmer of Antarctica will be looming in the distance. Days at sea are ideal opportunities to learn more about the wonders of the Deep South and its abundance of wildlife or for simply relaxing and enjoying the seascapes.

Day 10: Antarctica

Wildlife in its Natural Habitat: Days 16 – 20

You’ll notice that the air becomes crisper and cooler as we approach Antarctica. This is a true wilderness and where our Captain comes into his own. Working with the elements he’ll attempt landings on several sites in the South Shetlands and on the Antarctic Peninsula to show you the diversity of the incredible landscape and rich wildlife on display in this pristine wilderness.

To make this voyage extra special, we hope to cross the Polar Circle. At 66 degrees 33’ south, it’s far beyond the limit of most cruises in Antarctica, with areas that are permanently iced down and unnavigable in the winter.

To get close to its powerful beauty, when opportunities arise, our Expedition Team will take you for landings and ice cruising. You’ll also get the chance to kayak among the icebergs, take unforgettable hikes to explore some of the more remote places and perhaps pitch tents ashore.

Day 11: The Drake Passage

The Voyage North: Days 21 – 22

Heading for our return journey, you’ll get the opportunity to continue our lecture series and to recap this amazing experience. Setting sail once again for Ushuaia (the southern tip of Argentina) is roughly 950km in good weather.

Day 12: Ushuaia / Buenos Aires

Pointing South

Your cruise ends where it started, in Ushuaia, where you’ll fly back to Buenos Aires.

What’s included

Included in your voyage:

  • Return economy flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia
  • Transfer hotel to airport in Buenos Aires
  • Transfers in Ushuaia including an orientation tour
  • One hotel night in Buenos Aires before the voyage including breakfast
  • Hurtigruten Expedition cruise in cabin grade of your choice
  • A rich programme of included activities on all voyages designed to immerse you in the destinations you will visit, including ice-cruising and onshore exploration with the Expedition Team
  • 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)
  • A la carte restaurant (for suite guests only)
  • Coffee and tea throughout the day
  • Early riser and afternoon treat offered in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Gym, hot tubs and panoramic sauna

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
  • Use of the ship’s Science Centre
  • Explorer Science programme, with educational and Citizen Science activities – learn about the sights you’ll see while contributing to research
  • Introduction photo lecture, camera adjustment and tips and tricks, photo and film footage from the voyage shared in an Expedition logbook
  • 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
  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats whilst in Antarctica

What’s not included in your voyage:

  • International flights
  • Optional shore excursions with local partners
  • Optional small group adventures with our Expedition Team
  • 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

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

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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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