Antarctica & Patagonia Expedition (Southbound)
- The Antarctic spring means the courting season for wildlife and stunning icebergs
- Explore Patagonia, the Chilean fjords, and Antarctica on one expedition cruise
- Our Antarctica expeditions have the lowest possible CO2 footprint of all the travel here
- Our Expedition Team offers meaningful context to what you see and experience here
- Transfer from the ship to the Ushuaia airport after the expedition cruise
- Flight in economy class from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires
- Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim
- Fine-dining Lindstrøm, À la carte restaurant, is 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 fill at onboard water refill stations
- English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
- Range of included activities
- Experts from the Expedition Team deliver detailed lectures on a variety of topics
- Use the ship’s Science Center, which features an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
- The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research
- The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
- The ship has hot tubs, a sauna, an outdoor and indoor gym, and an outdoor running track
- Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations
- Escorted landings by small boats (RIBs) while in Antarctica
- Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
- Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
- Expedition Photographers will help configure your camera settings before landings
- International flights
- Travel protection
- Baggage handling
- Optional shore excursions with our local partners
- Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
- Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area
- All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
- Excursions and activities are subject to change
- Please make sure you can meet all entry and boarding requirements
- No gratuities are expected
‘A wonderful mess’ - Valparaíso, Chile
Lonely Planet describes this picturesque World Heritage City as ‘a wonderful mess’. That about sums it up! Feast your eyes on a maze of neighborhoods and narrow alleys dotted across several hills overlooking the Pacific. Unlike your experience in Antarctica, you’ll find Valparaíso to be warm and bursting with color, and exciting smells, sounds, and people. This atmosphere must be lived and breathed first-hand. Wander its winding streets of colorful houses, visit mercados filled with local produce, or take a funicular up the Alegre and Concepción hills for sweeping views. Plaza Aduana is the city’s historic center, while the port district is filled with colonial buildings past their prime and old-fashioned bars.
Have a few extra days before the expedition cruise? Plan ahead and join an exciting Pre-Program adventure to the gorgeous Atacama Desert.
After embarking the MS Fridtjof Nansen, check-in and relax in your cabin. Then you will attend an important health and safety briefing, where you will meet the Expedition Team. We hope you’ve worked up an appetite, because then the time has come for the welcome dinner.
Enhance your knowledge - At sea
Two days at sea means relaxing and learning enthralling information. Context is truly the key to your exploration and adventure. The more deeply you understand what you see and experience along the way, the more you can appreciate the cultural nuances and the intricate features of the nature we encounter. The experts on the Expedition Team specialize in fields ranging from biology, volcanism, oceanography, geology, ornithology, glaciology, history, photography, and many more. Listen attentively as they deliver a series of lectures that might touch on any of these fascinating topics. There will also be hands-on presentations in the Science Center involving microscopes, rock samples, and anatomical replicas, along with on-deck guiding, whenever possible.
We make sure your mind is well fed, but we certainly don’t neglect your body, either. Three onboard restaurants serve up exquisite meals to keep you and your taste buds delighted. To keep your body in tip-top shape, the ship offers indoor training facilities, an infinity pool, an outdoor running track, and an outdoor gym. After this tiring mental and physical activity, recharge your batteries with a wellness treatment in the spa, free your pores in the sauna, or soak in one of the outdoor hot tubs.
Chilote Capital - Castro
Time to stretch your legs while ashore in Chile’s third-oldest city. It is the largest city on the island of Chiloé, which is thought to have first been settled more than 7,000 years ago. This rustic city’s main attractions are the colorful ‘palafitos’, wooden houses mounted on stilts along the water’s edge. Intrepid photographers can walk to the opposite shore or to nearby hills to find good angles of these interesting, iconic neighborhoods. Two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Iglesia San Francisco and Iglesia de Señora de Gracia de Nercón, are also worth seeing. If archaeology and ethnography spark your interest, the regional museum of Castro is a nice spot, and the Chiloé museum of modern art houses a significant collection of contemporary art.
Through fabled Patagonian waters - At sea
Southward we sail, through the fabled waters of Patagonia and to one of the world’s most remote and beautiful places: the province of Última Esperanza, which means ‘Last Hope’.
The sailor Juan Ladrillero gave it this name, as he sought the Strait of Magellan in 1557. This was his ‘last hope’ to find the strait after exploring the maze of channels between the Pacific and the mainland. As we sail through unmatched Andean seascapes, take some time to reflect. Find a comfortable chair with a view and feast your eyes on the vast expanse of undisturbed nature. The compelling onboard lectures will inform you about the history and wildlife of the upcoming destinations.
Isolated paradise - Puerto Edén
We will make several stops as we head south. With just a few exceptions, each location will be less and less populated. The village of Puerto Edén is a perfect example. This tiny, charming village is known for its isolated location at the end of a deep fjord, surrounded by mountains and only accessible by sea. Once a month, a ferry is available to transport residents to the nearest coastal city, Tortel, located just over 60 miles away. Due to the region’s large tidewater glaciers, it also rains quite a bit here. And by ‘quite a bit’, we mean it rains quite a lot! Its secluded and wet conditions makes roads unnecessary in the village, so there are none—pedestrian boardwalks connect the houses and shops. The population of 250 people includes the 15 remaining members of the indigenous Kawéskar people.
Hikers’ refuge - Puerto Natales
Scottish and German immigrants founded Puerto Natales in 1911. They came to export lamb and wool back to Europe. Today, the city has around 20,000 residents and plays host to constant flow of adventure travellers from around the world—a stop on their way to the world-renowned Torres del Paine National Park. Join us on an optional excursion to the national park or simply hang out in Puerto Natales itself.
There are a number of trendy eateries here, along with Bohemian-style bars and outdoor gear suppliers. Gin lover? Take a tour of the Last Hope Distillery, which could just be the southernmost distillery in the world. Or, head to Etherh Aike, a small artisan village where you’ll have the opportunity to admire and purchase their crafts. The waterfront is particularly photogenic, such as the wooden posts of the old pier stretching toward the fjord and snow-capped mountains in the background. You can also admire the fingers of the hand monument and the dancing figures of the wind monument.
Exploring a fjord-filled paradise - Chilean Fjords
Civilization is behind us now, as we set off toward the deep fjords of Chile. One of the most enjoyable sights is the view from the deck of the towering mountains plunging into the icy water. Weather and time permitting, we might launch our small boats (RIBs) for a scenic cruise around the majestic fjords. . The Expedition Team might even lead you on a hike ashore to see first-hand how the glacial ice has scoured its way between the mountains, creating gorgeous isolated islands and hidden bays. We may take samples of ice from the region to study them under the microscopes in the onboard Science Center.
Cape Horn and the Drake Passage - At Sea
After sailing through the scenic Beagle Channel, we will turn to head straight south toward Antarctica. In doing so, we will pass the southernmost tip of South America, Cape Horn. Its fame as an essential spot for round-the-world sailings is matched by its notoriety for strong winds and wild waves whipping around the cliffs. To say the least, these conditions make landings difficult—it is not a feat for the faint of heart. The captain and the Expedition Team members will carefully consider the day’s conditions to decide whether it will be safe enough to try and land ashore. Should the weather allow, you might be among an elite few who have set foot on this dramatic island.
From Cape Horn, we head straight down into the legendary Drake Passage, which places us on the doorstep to the pristine seventh continent. During the days we need to make this crossing, the Expedition Team will give important lectures, where you’ll learn about exploring Antarctica while adhering to the IAATO’s sustainability guidelines. You’ll also learn about the different wildlife species you may encounter, how to observe and not disturb them, and what to do and not to do if a penguin approaches you. We are committed to making the landings safe for you, for the wildlife, and for this pristine environment. That means leaving nothing behind and taking nothing with us but pictures and amazing memories.
The most remote and beautiful place on Earth - Antarctica
Has nature ever left you completely stunned? Prepare for that feeling as we reach Antarctica. Its immensity amazes and its stark beauty astonishes. Some guests burst into tears from joy and sheer awe. To make the experience even more magnificent, your visit in late austral spring means many sculpted icebergs will be floating in the straits. Romance will also be in the air, as the gentoo and chinstrap penguins engage in courtship and mating. These clumsy yet charming creatures will melt your heart as they waddle around flirting with their partners and building their nests. Keep an eye out for a variety of seabirds such as gulls, terns, and herons. There are as many as 45 different species here.
Throughout your four days here, you will join the Expedition Team on a range of landings and ice-cruises using small boats (RIBs) that will bring you to scenic locations and penguin colonies on and around the Antarctic Peninsula and surrounding islands. Weather permitting, you may also be lucky enough go snowshoeing in an optional activity, if conditions allow.. Or kayak among the giant icebergs (also an optional activity subject to weather and ice conditions). You never know when a penguin or seal might turn up nearby in the water to investigate you.
To further engage with Antarctica’s unique environment, you can join different Citizen Science projects, such as photographing whales, seabirds, and leopard seals; samplingphytoplankton; or cloud and sea ice observation. Your participation in these projects not only helps scientists around the world, but also allows you to gain a better and more meaningful understanding of Antarctica’s fragile ecosystem. The onboard lectures enhance your experience. And by analyzing samples taken during the day, you will observe another kind of Antarctic ‘wildlife’ on a cellular level using the Science Center’s advanced microscopes.
Triumphant northward return - At sea
After spending four days in Antarctica, the time has come to head back north. Your mind will be chock full of unforgettable sights and sounds. Your camera’s memory cards will be even fuller and loaded with impressive images. Head over to the Science Center to talk about your experiences in Antarctica with members of the Expedition Team and other guests and keep the experience going a little longer. Don’t forget that you can unwind from all the excitement with a pampering in the Wellness Center.
One adventure ends and another begins - Ushuaia/Buenos Aires
The expedition cruise ends as we reach Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost province of Argentina. Your Antarctic adventure may be over, but that just means the next one is beginning. We will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires. Consider spending a few extra days here before heading back home. With its museums, theaters, and wide selection of tango shows, it is well worth taking the opportunity to explore this exciting city.
If you’re still hungry for adventure and beautiful scenery, we strongly recommend joining a Post-Program to the incredible Iguazú Falls.
We hope that your Antarctic exploration will hold a special place in your heart and mind for decades to come. Let your experiences on this expedition inspire you to embark on many more adventures, always with sustainability and respect for nature at the forefront.