MS Fram
23 days

In-depth Antarctica & Patagonia Expedition Northbound

Price from £ 9919
£ 9494
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
MS Fram
23 days

In-depth Antarctica & Patagonia Expedition Northbound

Price from £ 9919
£ 9494
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
In-depth Antarctica & Patagonia Expedition (Northbound)
Departures
10 March 2023
11 March 2023
  • Prime season for whale watching, snow algae and colourful sunsets in Antarctica
  • See penguins and seals down in Antarctica and explore the scenic Patagonian coast
  • Enjoy high-quality cuisine and science-focused lectures and activities on MS Fram
  • Go ice-cruising and join landings with the expert Expedition Team

Current offers on this cruise:

  • Flight included

    Book your expedition cruise in 2022-2023 early and your flights from London will be included!
    See the full offer details
  • New Season

    Life changing experiences start here. Discover our new itineraries for 2022.
    Read more

Itinerary

Immerse yourself in the frozen world of the Seventh Continent and the natural beauty of Chile’s fjords. This is a late Antarctic summer expedition cruise when adolescent penguins grow into adulthood, and chances increase to see larger numbers and different whale species. Sunsets in Antarctica light up the white landscapes tinged pink and green by snow algae.
Day 1
Santiago de Chile
So much to see, so little time
Santiago de Chile from above - buildings, streets, river, park and skyline.
Photo: shutterstock

Welcome to Santiago, the vibrant capital of Chile. Even with just one night here, you’ll find this city has a lot to offer besides mouth-watering merlot wine. Plazas show off lovely colonial architecture and the distinct neighbourhoods house art galleries and award-winning restaurants. A wide range of cultural venues and museums entertain and enchant while glaciers beckon at the city border. You’ll be spoilt for choice.

A panoramic 360-degree view of Santiago is one of the easiest things to recommend. At nearly 304 metres, Sky Costanera offers stunning views of the city as well as the surrounding Andes and Chilean Coastal Range. The scenery is especially spectacular at sunset. Or there’s La Chascona to visit too, one of three homes famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda had in the city. You can also stroll around the 200 stalls of bustling La Vega market and try some local chirimoya fruit.

If you really want to get to know this place, you need to come a few days early. That will also give you the opportunity to add an optional pre-programme to the amazing Atacama Desert or Chilean Patagonia.

Santiago de Chile from above - buildings, streets, river, park and skyline.
Photo: shutterstock
Two people boarding MS Fram.
Photo: Genna Roland
Day 2
Santiago de Chile/Punta Arenas

Estimated time of departure is 18:00

Setting off
Two people boarding MS Fram.
Photo: Genna Roland

See Santiago from the air in early morning light when your plane leaves for Punta Arenas, Chile’s southernmost port. Your polar vessel MS Fram and its crew await you here, ready to take you further south than most people ever go.

After embarking the ship and checking-in, there will be a mandatory health and safety session for everyone. Later on, you will meet some of the crew, and of course, the Expedition Team. They will be your guides, hosts and travel companions for the next three weeks. There’ll be further opportunity to get to know each of them better during the welcome dinner.

Day 3-4
At sea
Sailing the Shake or the Lake
Whale diving into the Ocean.
Photo: Karsten Bidstrup

The Drake Passage is more than just the transition between Cape Horn and Antarctica. It is an ocean of emotion and anticipation. The Passage is named after the English sea captain and privateer Sir Francis Drake who discovered it by chance in 1578 when his ship was taken south by heavy winds, proving that there was open water below the southern tip of Chile.

The passage is famous for its high winds, large waves and strong currents, making it hard for the old sailing ships to sail here. But even though the water in the Drake Passage is usually rough, it can also be incredibly still. This unpredictable dual persona has resulted in the passage being nicknamed ‘The Drake Shake’ or ‘The Drake Lake’. Either way, our modern MS Fram was built for these conditions and worse, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

As we make our way south, the Expedition Team starts their lecture series to give you information about Antarctica’s wildlife, geology and history. You will learn why it’s important to wear our special boots when ashore and why we always vacuum our clothes and backpacks before every off-ship activity. Doing so will make your visit as safe and sustainable as possible, according to IAATO guidelines. You’ll also have the option of joining Citizen Science programmes to help collect data for current scientific research. Exploring Antarctica equipped with this new knowledge will make your adventure so much more interesting.

MS Fram is an explorer's dream with cutting-edge technology that makes it a match for any scenario the polar ocean can throw at it. That being said, you’ll also find it to be very comfortable and cosy. Head out onto the wide observation deck for some fresh air, maybe accompanied by birds following the ship. If you would rather enjoy the view of the horizon inside, the restaurants and the Explorer Lounge & Bar are the perfect places to do just that. 

Whale diving into the Ocean.
Photo: Karsten Bidstrup
Icy kayak top in front of a big ice flow.
Day 5-12
Antarctica
The White Wonder
Day 5-12
Antarctica
The White Wonder
Icy kayak top in front of a big ice flow.
Photo: Getty Images, Nico El Nino

About 90% of all the ice in the world is here, in an area twice the size of Australia, and home to about 12 million penguins across seven species. But even these impressive statistics don’t do Antarctica justice. Numbers can’t capture the magnitude and magnificence of its landscapes and words fail to fully describe the sensations and emotions of seeing a colony of several thousand penguins in person. It is a special place that really does need to be experienced.

It will be late summer in Antarctica when we get here, which means fantastic sunsets and penguin chicks starting to moult into adult plumage. This is also the best time for whale watching. Imagine standing on the ship when whales breach close by, splashing saltwater high up in the air. Now imagine sitting in a kayak in an optional activity when exactly the same thing happens. Talk about your close encounters! Antarctica has the ability to make you feel tiny and great at the same time. Snow algae will also be in bloom, brushing the normally pure-white landscapes with bright pink and green hues. A wide variety of seabirds, like geese, skuas, shearwaters and possibly even albatrosses, can be seen in the skies above and on the shores below.

Our expert Expedition Team will take you ice-cruising and out for landings to get you closer to this incredible world of ice and its wildlife. We’ll spend eight days exploring Antarctica with no fixed itinerary, attempting landings at several possible sites. Having sailed these waters for so many years, we know exactly what to do and where to go. You can trust us to take you to the best places at the best time to be there. Working with or around the weather and sea ice to make the most of each day is the expedition factor. It’s what makes this an authentic adventure.

Day 13-14
At sea
Attempting Cape Horn
Cape Horn Monument from the Sea.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner

After eight unforgettable days in Antarctica, MS Fram takes you safely back across the Drake Passage. The Expedition Team will now recap experiences of the frozen continent, and you can join them in the Science Center to study water samples of wildlife at a microscopic level.

We will spend approximately two days crossing the Drake Passage, giving you plenty of time to relax and go through the mental and digital pictures that you’ve taken. If you’re feeling invigorated after the activities and landings from last week, you can work off any excess energy in the gym. Doing so will also help you work up an appetite, even more than usual, for all the delicious dishes in the restaurant. Of course, we won’t hold it against you if all you’d like to do is sit in the sauna.

When we have put the Drake Passage behind us, we arrive at Cape Horn. The tumultuous waters here are as notorious as the Drake Passage, maybe even more. Should the winds and waves relent for long enough, we will make an attempt to go ashore. It will be an accomplishment of skill and of luck if we manage to, and something to rightly boast about for years to come.

Cape Horn Monument from the Sea.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner
Penguins between two bushes, Sea in the background.
Day 15
Chilean Fjords
Cruising through paradise
Day 15
Chilean Fjords
Cruising through paradise
Penguins between two bushes, Sea in the background.
Photo: Getty Images

This wild and remote wonderland was once the domain of the canoe-faring indigenous people who lived, sailed and hunted in these very fjords for centuries. Admire the serenity of this maze of waterways, surrounded by islands, glaciers and steep mountains.

If we have time on the day, and the weather is in our favour, we might launch small explorer boats to take you on a scenic cruise of the fjords or to a possible landing site. Still, the fjords can also be enjoyed out on deck while looking for wildlife like Magellanic penguins and maybe even elephant seals along the coastline. Dolphins and – if lucky – several species of whales can sometimes be spotted in the waters too.

Day 16-17
Puerto Natales
Gateway to the ‘Blue Towers’
Flowers to the left and sea to the right, buildings in the background, Puerto Natales.
Photo: Getty Images, emicristea

Located at the opening of Última Esperanza Sound, the city of Puerto Natales was founded in 1911 as a port for the sheep industry. Today, it is seen by most as an entry point to Torres del Paine National Park, famous for an impressive three-pronged mountain peak which can appear a shade of blue when the light is right. As such, ‘Paine’ (pronounced pie-nay) means ‘blue’ in the native Tehuelche language while ‘Torres’ is Spanish for ‘towers’.

We offer a popular optional excursion to this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, which usually gets booked up fast. You can also spend time enjoying the chilled-out vibe of Puerto Natales itself. Over at the waterfront, views across the fjord towards the mountains make for great photos, especially with various monuments and sculptures in the foreground. The old pier, bereft of the wooden boards and now just a series of posts in the water, is particularly popular and features on many postcard shots representing Puerto Natales. A growing range of bars, cafés and restaurants cater to the international hiking crowd, giving you plenty of options to wine and dine ashore.

Flowers to the left and sea to the right, buildings in the background, Puerto Natales.
Photo: Getty Images, emicristea
Bernardo O'Higgins National Park in Chile from sea side. Houses between mountains and sea.
Photo: shutterstock
Day 18
Puerto Edén - Anchored - Half day
Hard-to-reach hamlet
Bernardo O'Higgins National Park in Chile from sea side. Houses between mountains and sea.
Photo: shutterstock

At the end of a deep fjord surrounded by mountains, we arrive at the village of Puerto Edén in Bernardo O’Higgins National Park. With no roads to speak of and only accessible by sea, a village doesn’t get much more isolated than this. To get around, you must walk on the pedestrian boardwalks that connect the houses and shops of the 250 people living here. Your umbrella or raincoat will likely also be put to good use seeing as Puerto Edén has one of the highest rates of rain in the world.

The 15 remaining full-blooded members of the indigenous Kawéskar people settled in Puerto Edén late into the 20th century. They make a living fishing and weaving wicker baskets that they sell to passing passenger ships. The once-nomadic seafaring tribe used to travel in canoes that were 8 to 9 meters long, capable of transporting an entire family and their dog!

Tree sticks in the Ocean, hills and and one snow covered mountain in the background.
Day 19
At sea
The waters of Patagonia
Day 19
At sea
The waters of Patagonia
Tree sticks in the Ocean, hills and and one snow covered mountain in the background.
Photo: Getty Images, Westendo1

Your expedition cruise continues north through the fabled waters of Patagonia. It is thought that when Magellan sailed here in 1520 on his circumnavigation of the earth, he and his crew somehow imagined the natives to be giants of up to 5 metres in height. He therefore named them ‘Patagons’ after a related literary character in a Spanish novel popular at the time. While the natives were slightly taller than most Europeans then, they were far from giants. The name, however, stuck and thus was the region introduced to the world as Patagonia. Today, it is famed more for the beautiful Andean seascape rather than the alleged giants, even though you might actually spot another species of giant swimming and breaching in the water. There are still interesting lectures to attend and engaging Citizen Science projects to continue in the Science Center.

A park with trees, bushes, flowers, grass, benches and buildings in Castro.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner
Day 20
Castro, Chile
Chilote charm
A park with trees, bushes, flowers, grass, benches and buildings in Castro.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner

Castro is the capital of Chiloé Island and seems to have something for everyone. One of the first things you’ll notice are the characteristic and colourful wooden palafitos houses mounted on stilts along the water’s edge. There are also a number of arts and crafts stores here which make it a good place for souvenir shopping. For more bargains and a glimpse into the day-to-day life here, Feria Campesina Yumbel is a busy market selling all sorts of household goods and groceries.

Another highlight is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Iglesia San Francisco, a church that was built in 1567 when the city was first founded. If you are interested in art, the Museum of Modern Art of Chiloé is well worth a visit. There are a lot of great local snacks to try here too, so a light breakfast on the ship is a good idea, leaving room for churros and empanadas with sweet and savoury fillings.

Day 21-22
At sea
The last stretch
Person sitting in the expedition lounge, taking a picture of the ice landscape with an ipad.
Photo: Hurtigruten

Your expedition cruise is coming to an end, but it is not over yet. We recommend making the most of your remaining time on MS Fram, whether you prefer scouting for more birds and wildlife out on deck, talking to your new friends or enjoying your favourite drink in the Explorer Lounge & Bar. The Expedition Team will recap the highlights of your cruise and keep you active in lectures and science projects.

Person sitting in the expedition lounge, taking a picture of the ice landscape with an ipad.
Photo: Hurtigruten
Pelicans on the beach in Valparaiso.
Photo: shutterstock
Day 23
Valparaíso, Chile

Estimated time of arrival is 08:00

Homeward bound
Pelicans on the beach in Valparaiso.
Photo: shutterstock

When we dock at Valparaíso, your expedition cruise will come to an end. If you have the time, we recommend spending a few extra days to explore this eccentric city. The city’s many funiculars have been declared one of the world’s 100 most endangered historical treasures, bringing you up to colourful hill-top neighbourhoods for panoramas over the Pacific. If you want more adventure before going home, we recommend a Post-Programme to Easter Island, famous for its mysterious statues of giant heads and a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Whether you stay on or head home, saying goodbye to the ship, the Captain, crew, Expedition Team and fellow explorers will likely be tinged with sadness. The three weeks you will have spent together exploring the fabled continent of Antarctica, then up through Patagonia and its fabulous fjords, won’t be easily forgotten.

We hope you’ll remember your voyage with us as one of your all-time greatest expeditions. May it provide many fond memories and inspire you to continue to view the natural world with wonder and respect, and to do whatever we can to protect it.

Hurtigruten offers unique expedition cruises to some of the most remote and pristine waters of the world. As with all expeditions; nature prevails. Weather, and ice and sea conditions, sets the final framework for all Hurtigruten’s operations. Safety and unparalleled guest experiences are at all times our top priorities. All our indicative itineraries are continuously evaluated for adaptions, whether this is due to constraints the elements unexpectedly presents – or exciting possibilities nature and wildlife offer. That is why we call it an expedition.
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What's included

Included in your voyage

Hotel

  • Overnight in Santiago de Chile before the expedition cruise, including breakfast

Flights

  • Flight in economy class between Santiago de Chile and Punta Arenas

Transfers

  • Transfer from the hotel in Santiago de Chile to Santiago de Chile airport before the expedition cruise
  • Transfer between Punta Arenas airport and the ship, including orientation tour and lunchbox 

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurant Aune
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. 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
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities

Onboard Activities

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • Citizen Science programme allows guests to assist with live scientific research
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna, indoor gym
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come

 Landing Activities

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats while in Antarctica
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles and all equipment for activities
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings before landings

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities expected
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
MS Fram in Antarctica
Photo: Sandra Walser

Your ship

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2020
Ship yard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 318 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 11 647 T
Length 114 m
Beam 20.2 m
Speed 13 knots
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time, and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. MS Fram brings on the heritage of the original Fram, using the most advanced technology to make her exceptionally well suited for expedition voyages in Polar Regions.

Read more about MS Fram

Icebergs – one of many favorite photo motives when on an expedition with MS Fram
Photo: Tomas Mauch
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