Day 1: Australia – – Santiago
Head to the airport at the necessary time and board a flight that takes you to Santiago, the capital city of Chile. A hotel transfer greets you upon arrival in this vibrant city and takes you to the accommodation for check in. Have the rest of the day to relax in your hotel room, or start to get a flavour of Santiago by taking a walk around the local neighbourhood.
Day 2: Santiago (B)
You have this morning as free time until you join your fellow travellers and set out on a half-day city tour of the historic centre of Santiago. Tick off the splendid Presidential Palace, known as La Moneda, before moving onto other sights such as Plaza de Armas, Palacio de la Real Audiencia (the Museum of Natural History), and Casa Colorada, the former home of the Spanish governor. Soak in the city’s buzzing atmosphere, historical facades and colonial architecture as you wander and explore. The final stop of this guided outing is the summit of Cerro Santa Lucia – an incredible lookout point for admiring the city below and the further afield Andes. Don’t forget to bring your camera! The evening is at your leisure.
Day 3: Santiago (B)
Have the day at leisure. Peer at the ancient artworks housed inside Museo Chileno de Art Precolombino, take in the modern pieces at the National Museum of Fine Arts, or learn about a more notorious chapter of Chile’s past at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, which documents the brutal regime of Augusto Pinochet. Those that love markets should make a beeline for Mercado Central to wander between the stalls selling fresh seafood or sit down to platefuls of ceviche or clams au gratin at one of the restaurants. Take in another panorama of the city from Cerro San Cristobal by hopping in the cable car for a scenic ascent to the summit. Active travellers might even opt to hike up the hill. Make sure to end the day with a quintessential Chilean sundowner – the classic pisco sour.
Day 4: Santiago – Punta Arenas – Expedition Cruise (B, D)
A transfer collects you from the hotel after breakfast and takes you to the local airport for your flight to Punta Arenas. This city is located near Patagonia and is the embarkation point for your expedition cruise. The MS Roald Amundsen awaits your arrival, and you are welcomed aboard this hybrid-powered vessel to settle into your cabin or suite.
Day 5: Patagonia – Beagle Channel (B, L, D)
The MS Roald Amundsen sets out on its voyage through the incredibly scenic Beagle Channel. This strait makes up part of the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago and flaunts a dramatic backdrop of mountains and glaciers. The area is relatively untouched by tourism, and offers an undisturbed glimpse into the beauty of Patagonia. Stand up on deck to take in the Channel’s islands and bays, and keep eyes peeled for some of the local wildlife – nesting birds, sea lions and even dolphins. The entire day is spent cruising meaning that you have ample opportunity to explore the decks of the ship and become better acquainted with your fellow travellers.
This new Hurtigruten ship is one of the latest additions to the fleet, has been specifically designed for polar expeditions, and boasts environmentally sustainable hybrid technology – think reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Cabins have a Scandi-style feel, using materials such as granite, oak and birch. Some cabins have private balconies, and the suites have outdoor hot tubs. There are three restaurants on-board – Aune Main Dining, Fredheim and Lindstrom – and all of your meals are included while cruising. Relax in the two-level Observation Deck, or seek out the Science Center to meet the crew, attend lectures, find a read in the library, and take workshops on photography, biology and more. The MS Roald Amundsen is also home to an excellent gym, a dedicated wellness centre, infinity pool and hot tubs, and, of course, sauna spaces.
Day 6: Cape Horn and Drake Passage (B, L, D)
A landing at Cape Horn, the southernmost point of South America, is intended for today however is weather and conditions dependent. The ship then sets out to cross the legendary Drake Passage. Located between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica, the Drake Passage is arguably one of the world’s most notorious bodies of water; known for its often rough and unpredictable conditions. Making it across the Drake Passage is almost a rite of passage for adventurers to Antarctica.
Day 7: Drake Passage (B, L, D)
Continue moving through the Drake Passage. As well as making use of the ship’s leisure facilities, you’ll also be invited to attend lectures given by the hand-picked Expedition Team in the Science Center. Join some of the Citizen Science activities to get involved with current research projects, and use this day to ask questions and find out more about what to expect when you arrive in Antarctica.
Day 8: Antarctica (B, L, D)
Welcome to Antarctica! You made it! This frozen continent is one of the world’s last true frontiers; an incredible landscape of giant icebergs, colonies of cooing penguins, snow- and ice-blanketed horizons, and glass-like waters patrolled whales and leopard seals.
The next six days are spent exploring Antarctic waters and making shore landings, as guided by the Expedition Team, where possible. Several landing attempts will be made around the South Shetlands and Antarctic Peninsula, giving you the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore a pristine landscape few travellers get to experience.
Please note that all shore landings are subject to weather conditions and cannot be guaranteed.
Day 9: Antarctica (B, L, D)
Continue exploring Antarctica with shore landings, and learn about this remarkable place with lectures and insights from the Expedition Team.
Day 10: Antarctica (B, L, D)
Another day in Antarctica waters. When you’re not preparing to make shore landings, take a seat in the Observation Deck to keep a watchful eye for some of the region’s most incredible wildlife.
Day 11: Antarctica (B, L, D)
Continue to marvel at the awe-inspiring beauty of Antarctica.
Day 12: Antarctica (B, L, D)
Continue to marvel at the awe-inspiring beauty of Antarctica.
Day 13: Antarctica (B, L, D)
Today is your last full day in Antarctica. Relish any final shore excursions, and keep fingers crossed for last-minute sightings of wildlife you’ve not yet spied.
Day 14: At Sea (B, L, D)
Say goodbye to Antarctica as the MS Roald Amundsen sets a course for the Falkland Islands. Learn more about the history and biology of this archipelago from the Expedition Team, and cast your gaze to the skies to scan for any albatross.
Day 15: At Sea (B, L, D)
The day is spent at sea as the ship sails closer to the Falkland Islands. Pay another visit to the Science Center to get involved with some data research or analyse samples taken during the cruise, or maximise the time you have with the ship’s more leisurely-inclined facilities. Take a steam in the sauna, notch up a few laps on the outdoor running track, soak in the hot tub, and indulge with world-class cuisine at the three diners.
Day 16: Falkland Islands (B, L, D)
Stretch your legs by exploring Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands. This compact city has a welcoming village feel, and its red phone boxes, old pubs and double-decker buses are a definite contrast to the stark, all-white landscape you’ve just experienced in Antarctica. The centre of Stanley is very walkable, or you might take up an optional excursion (additional cost applies). The ship is docked in Stanley for the day, so you have ample time to uncover the city’s charms, from the Historic Dockyard Museum and the Whalebone Arch, to the Liberation Monument, the Pioneer Cottages and Kay’s Gnome Garden. Take a repose in one of the cosy cafes or diners.
Day 17: Falkland Islands (B, L, D)
Your time in the Falkland Islands sees you pass remote family-owned farms, beaches home to preening penguins, and rugged landscapes. The Falkland Islands itinerary includes plans for shore excursions, hikes and bird-watching opportunities.
Day 18: Falkland Islands (B, L, D)
Continue to explore and appreciate the beauty of the Falkland Islands today.
Day 19: Magellan Strait (B, L, D)
MS Roald Amundsen completes its loop of the Magellan Strait and so begins the return journey to the mainland. Take time to reflect on your expedition in the Science Center, by sharing stories with fellow passengers, and looking back on all the photos you’re sure to have taken!
Day 20: Punta Arenas – – Santiago (B)
Arrive back in Punta Arenas this morning. Say your farewells to the MS Roald Amundsen crew and staff and disembark the ship. A transfer awaits to take you the airport for your flight back to Santiago. Check into your hotel in the Chilean capital upon arrival and have the rest of the day as free time. This is your final night in Chile.
Day 21: Santiago – – Australia (B)
Have breakfast at the hotel and be ready in time for an airport transfer. Board your return flight back to Australia.
Day 22: Australia
Arrive back in Australia