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Hurtigruten Cruises to Antarctica

The Antarctic has become a major destination in cruises by those who prefer an adventurous and unique holiday experience. The polar continent located way down Earth’s southern end is renowned for its awesome grandeur. Hurtigruten is one of the few shipping companies that operates both a passenger cruise and cargo service in the northwestern coast of Norway. This shipping company also operates cruises along Greenland, South America and the Antarctic.  Imagine, a cruise aboard the MS Fram of the Hurtigruten lines. Its route offers the intrepid adventurer a chance to follow the footsteps of famous adventurers and explorers such as Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton.

The MS Fram sails the southern ocean on three distinct schedules.

  1. November cruises takes you when its springtime in Antarctica. The place looks clean and fresh and with only a few vessels in the area, the tourist will experience the magnificent desolation of the polar ice. Light conditions are sure to be phenomenal which highlights the beautiful landscape formed by ice. The penguins are heading for their nesting sites.
  2. Cruises that take place in December bring plenty of snow in 24 hour sunlight. It is nesting season for the penguins.
  3. From January to March is the peak season for Antarctic cruises. See lots of penguins and chicks starting to learn how to swim.

A cruise onboard the MS Fram to the Antarctic takes as long as ten days. Starting in Buenos Aires, along the shores of the Rio Plata, you fly to the world’s southernmost city of Ushuaia where the MS Fram awaits for your adventure to begin. From the city, the liner cruises to the Drake Passage near the Beagle Channel and Cape Horn. On the next day, you are already in Antarctica.

The itinerary and the ability to make landfall on the continent is highly dependent on the weather. Notable places where the cruise takes you include Deception Island. This is one of the safest harbors in the Antarctic. A caldera forms the center of the island and it is subject to magnificent viewing conditions. Near the island is Whaler’s Bay with its rich population of large marine mammals. Next stop is the narrow Lemaire Channel where its iceberg lined passageway is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful sights in the voyage.

When there are opportunities to make landfall, places such as Half Moon Island with its chinstrap penguin rookery and Cuverville Island and its large gentoo penguin population, are one of the enchanting locations where the MS Fram will surely bring you.

MS Fram is a very modern ship built only in 2007. It has been named after the explorer Fridtjof Nansen’s ship. Creature comforts for the tourist include a gym, Jacuzzi and a sauna. It has 280 berths enough for 400 passengers. The vessel is equipped with a reinforced hull which enables it to safely ply arctic waters.

Although smaller than most cruise vessels, there are two lecture/conference rooms, an observation lounge, restaurant, bistro, fitness room, a library and an internet café. There is a specially built deck where a tender can easily and safely transport passengers from the liner to onshore expeditions. When not sailing in Antartic waters, the Fram operates in Greenland and the adjacent Arctic Ocean.

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