Explore Antarctica, The Falklands, and The Chilean Fjords With Former Nasa Astronaut Dr. Kathy Sullivan (18 Days)

Cruise Line: Hurtigruten
Santiago, Chile to Santiago, Chile
Tour Segment  Cruise Segment
Santiago, Chile

The capital of Chile is exciting and diverse. There is a lot to discover here, from the Andean glaciers at the city borders, tall mountains, and skyscrapers to quiet parks, colonial architecture, bohemian quarters, and the fast-flowing Mapocho River. Your adventure starts with an overnight hotel stay here.

Santiago, Chile
Air travel
Punta Arenas, Chile

You fly to Punta Arenas where MS Roald Amundsen is ready for this expedition to Antarctica.

Beagle Canal, Chile

Enjoy cruising through the Beagle Channel, with channels, fjords, and mountains plunging straight into the icy water. This wild and remote area seems almost undisturbed by humans. The ice has scoured its way between the mountains, leaving isolated islands and hidden bays and creating the unique fjord landscape of Chile.

Cape Horn, Chile
Drake Passage (Cruising)

When ranking the most iconic places on Earth, Cape Horn is high on the list. At almost 56 degrees south, it is the southernmost point of South America. Before the Panama Canal, seafarers had to pass this infamous rocky island in order to cross from one side of the Americas to the other. We will do our best to make a landing on Cape Horn – however, this is an area known for high seas and challenging conditions and if we make it this will be a great achievement. Then MS Roald Amundsen will use 1 ½ to 2 days to cross the Drake Passage, depending on the weather conditions. This enormous churn of water is funnelled by western wind drift from the Pacific through the Drake Passage and into the Scotia Sea to the east. The Drake Passage is part of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the most voluminous current in the world. About 95 to 150 million cubic metres of water per second are transported from west to east. As you cross the Drake, you sail over the mid-ocean West Scotia Ridge and over the nearly 6,000-metre-deep South Shetland Trench. The weather can be terrible on the Drake, but it can also be placid, often called the "Drake Lake". Usually, it's somewhere in between.

Drake Passage (Cruising)
Deception Island, Antarctica
Half Moon Island, Antarctica
Brown Bluff, Antarctica
Cuverville Island (Cruising), Antarctica
DAY 10
Neko Harbor, Antarctica

Antarctica is isolated from the rest of the world by ocean currents and 90 percent of the world's ice is here, 4,000 meters thick, covering the landmass. In winter it is further cut off by sea ice forming off the coast – virtually doubling the size of the continent. In summer, it is a breeding ground for millions of penguins, whales, and seals that, for the rest of the year, simply spend their time at sea. Most wildlife thrives on a cornerstone species: krill. The krill population in the Southern Ocean represents the largest biomass of one species on Earth – including human beings. As outlined in the Antarctic Treaty, this is a continent dedicated to peace, science, and tourism. No human activity is allowed to alter the perfect natural balance. We are visiting a place that has evolved through millenniums without human interference. Therefore, we adhere to very strict environmental guidelines and rules. We want to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures! What is so overwhelming about Antarctica is that its location makes every voyage to the continent an expedition. Even the most sophisticated technology cannot override some of the climatic challenges that are a part of this environment. Therefore, we need to be pragmatic; we change landings, re-route, and shift plans as we go along. This also means that we will take advantage of the often ideal conditions – spend hours ashore, on the water with kayaks, hiking, or simply cruising amongst huge pods of whales. Weather, wind, and ice conditions have a great influence on our programme and schedule. We will attempt to land several places, including Deception Island, Half Moon Island, Brown Bluff, Cuverville Island, and Neko Harbour. All of these places are serene and offer untouched nature, oportunities to observe penguin colonies, seals, glaciers, icebergs in every shape and colour, and old whaling stations. It's hard to sum up all the impressions you will gain. As a well-known quote from veteran Antarctic travellers puts it: "If you can describe Antarctica with words, you have probably never been there".

DAY 11
Antarctica (Cruising), Antarctica
DAY 12
Antarctica (Cruising), Antarctica
DAY 13

After exploring this superlative-exhausting continent, we set course back for the Falkland Islands. The Falklands consist of two large islands and around 700 smaller ones. Captain John Strong of HMS Welfare made the first recorded landing here in 1690. We will continue our lecture series that focuses on the dramatic history and diverse wildlife of the islands as we keep a watch for wandering albatross.

DAY 14
Falkland Islands (Cruising), Falkland Islands (Malvinas)

Having just been in Antarctica, it might seem a bit surreal to arrive in a town that looks like a miniature England, with red phone boxes, red buses, and English pubs. Stanley is the capital on the Falkland Islands. Roam the city streets, the town is easy enough to discover in a day on foot, or join one of the excursions to explore the wilderness and wildlife in the surroundings. The Falklands are teeming with wonders of wildlife and nature. This is an unpolluted environment with fantastically clear blue skies, seamless horizons, vast open spaces, and stunning white-sand beaches. As we reach the westernmost settled outposts in the Falklands you will see remote farms that have been family owned for six or seven generations. The sheep graze alongside immense colonies of albatross and rockhopper penguins, while predatory striated caracaras patrol overhead and upland geese forage at the water's edge. Bird lovers will rejoice if we go ashore on Carcass Island. This is a bird paradise with several ducks, geese, penguins, albatrosses, caracaras, and wrens. It is also one of few islands down here with trees. We use our small boats to go ashore for exploring, hiking, or take a closer look at all the birds.

DAY 15
Falkland Islands (Cruising), Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
DAY 16
Falkland Islands (Cruising), Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
DAY 17

As we complete the loop of the Strait of Magellan, we will have a recap of everything we have experienced on this expedition. Make sure you spend some time on deck looking for wildlife.

DAY 18
Puerto Natales, Chile
Air travel
Santiago, Chile

We arrive back in Punta Arenas in the morning. After the flight back to Santiago de Chile, you can extend your vacation with a post voyage extension to experience the impressive region.

Explore Antarctica, The Falklands, and The Chilean Fjords With Former Nasa Astronaut Dr. Kathy Sullivan map

About the Ship

South America landscape
MS Roald Amundsen

In July 2018, Hurtigruten will add a brand new ship to its fleet: the MS Roald Amundsen. This state-of-the-art vessel will feature new and environmentally sustainable hybrid technology that will reduce fuel consumption and show the world that hybrid propulsion on large ships is possible.

What's Included


  • Wind and water resistant jacket

  • Landings and activities on board and ashore

  • English speaking expedition team that gives lectures and accompanies landings

  • Complimentary use of Muck Boot® rubber boots.

Not Included

  • International flights

  • Travel insurance

  • Luggage handling

  • Optional excursions and gratuities

About Us

Exploring since 1893, Hurtigruten operates premium exploration voyages to Norway, Antarctica, Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen, Europe, Africa, South/Central America and Arctic Canada. Our itineraries to these unique destinations focus on the stunning diversity of its wilderness, inhabitants, flora, and fauna. Hurtigruten’s unique heritage, combined with highly skilled crews and a diverse fleet of nimble, intimately-scaled expedition ships, enable us to offer guests unforgettable experiences in some of the most exciting corners of the world.

Insider Tip

Choose from a variety of cabin options ranging from Interior, Ocean View and Suite categories on any one of our 15 ships offering modern facilities carefully blended with true character.

Terms & Conditions

The terms and conditions of this contract apply to the sea passage as well as to all other products or services of any kind whatsoever provided for or arranged by Hurtigruten AS, their agents or independent contractors. These terms and conditions represent the entire agreement and a binding contract between Hurtigruten AS and the customer. These pro-visions supersede any oral or written representations. Any change in these provisions must be in writing signed by the president of Hurtigruten AS.The transports of passengers, baggage and vehicles is subject to the provisions of the Act no. 39 of 24 June 1994 Norwegian Maritime Code, as amended (‘Norwegian Maritime Code’), and package tours are subject to the provisions of the Act no. 57 of 25 August 1995 Relating to Package Tours (‘Package Tours Act’). Copies of the Norwegian Maritime Code and the Package Tours Acts, in Norwegian and in English, are on file with Hurtigruten AS and available upon request. The terms and conditions of this contract are drawn up in accord ance with the Norwegian Maritime Code, Package Tours Act, and the regulations laid down by the Norwegian Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion. However, in case of conflict between this contract and the Norwegian Maritime Code or Package Tours Act, this contract shall take precedence.

Click here to read more.

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for Hurtigruten

Virtuoso Verified Traveler

All reviews are from confirmed guests sharing exclusive insights

Sort reviews by