Day 1: Australia – – Santiago
Head to the nearest airport and catch your international flight to Santiago, the capital of Chile. A hotel transfer awaits your arrival and takes you to the accommodation for check in. Use the rest of the day or evening to rest up in your room, or venture out into the local neighbourhood to begin exploring.
Day 2: Santiago (B)
Wake up at your leisure and have this morning as free time until you join up with the group for a half-day sightseeing tour of Santiago. This outing leads you through the city’s historic centre, taking in sights such as La Moneda (or the Presidential Palace), Plaza de Armas, Palacio de la Real Audiencia (now the Museum of Natural History), and Casa Colorada. Learn about the history and colonial legacy of these landmarks ahead of ending the tour by summiting Cerro Santa Lucia to admire the views of the city below and the Andes on the horizon. You have tonight as free time.
Day 3: Santiago (B)
The day is yours to do with what you like in Santiago. Make your way to the top of Cerro San Cristobal – the second-highest point in the city – to explore its park and admire the outlook over Santiago. A cable car can whisk you to the park, or more active travellers may tackle the ascent on foot. Wander local arts and crafts markets of Los Dominicos or Santa Lucia, or seek out Mercado Central to soak up the atmosphere of this seafood market and dine on ceviche at one of the restaurants. Find out about the impact of Pinochet’s 17-year-long dictatorship at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, or take in the collection of Chilean art at the Museum of Fine Arts.
Day 4: Santiago – – Punta Arenas – Expedition Cruise (B, D)
A transfer takes you to the airport for a quick internal flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas. This city, near the Patagonia region, is your embarkation point for the expedition cruise and the ship for this adventure, the MS Roald Amundsen, awaits your arrival. Settle in on-board and begin to get to know the cruise ahead of setting sail.
Day 5: Beagle Channel – Drake Passage (B, L, D)
The MS Roald Amundsen begins moving through the Beagle Channel, located in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago and home to tiny islands, tucked-away bays and beautiful wildlife. Upon clearing the Channel, the ship glides into the notorious waters of the Drake Passage to make this famed crossing. The Drake Passage sits between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, and is legendary for its unpredictable conditions. Making the journey across is a rite of passage for many travellers venturing to Antarctica.
Day 6: Drake Passage (B, L, D)
Continue to cross the Drake Passage today. The day is spent entirely at sea and so is a great opportunity to take advantage of the world-class facilities aboard the MS Roald Amundsen. The ice-strengthened ship is one of the latest additions to the Hurtigruten fleet and has been built specifically for polar expeditions. It flaunts state-of-the-art technology and environmentally sustainable design. This is in addition to its leisure amenities: three restaurants, a dedicated Science Center used as a base by the Expedition Team, an elegant guest lounge, gym and wellness centre, indoor-outdoor observation decks, infinity pool, hot tubs and more. Naturally, there is a sauna, too. When you’re not making use of these spaces, choose to relax in your stylish cabin or suite – all feature a clean Scandi-inspired aesthetic.
Day 7: Antarctica (B, L, D)
This is it – you have made it to Antarctica! The first time you lay eyes on this remarkable frozen continent is an experience you’ll never forget, and you can eagerly anticipate the next few days that are wholly dedicated to discovering the marvels of this icy frontier. There are multiple landings and shore excursions planned, all led by the Expedition Team, however weather conditions will dictate when and where these happen. Look up in awe at massive icebergs, encounter huge colonies of cooing penguins, admire the pristine landscape, and keep an eye out for iconic wildlife – including several species of seals and whales.
Day 8: Antarctica (B, L, D)
Continue to relish the opportunities afforded of your Antarctic expedition, and every chance to make shore landings, get up-close to animals, and learn more about this incredible place.
Day 9: Antarctica (B, L, D)
Move around different points of the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands to appreciate the continent from all of its photogenic angles.
Day 10: Antarctica (B, L, D)
Another day to marvel and appreciate the wonder of Antarctica.
Day 11: Antarctica (B, L, D)
Today is your final day spent sailing around Antarctic waters. Keep your fingers crossed for any wildlife sightings of animals you’ve not yet seen, continue to tap into the knowledge of the Expedition Team, and snap as many photos as you can possible can.
Day 12: At Sea (B, L, D)
MS Roald Amundsen starts its journey to your next destination and the day is spent at sea. Relax in your cabin or suite, share stories of your time in Antarctica with fellow passengers, and enjoy the amenities of this luxury ship.
Day 13: South Orkney Islands and the Solar Eclipse (B, L, D)
Cruise into the South Orkney Islands this morning. Four major islands make up this group, however there are also some smaller isles – plus a cluster named the Inaccessible Islands. The South Orkney Islands are known for the wildlife-spotting opportunities. Your early morning arrival is timed to coincide with the solar eclipse (weather permitting). Head up on deck to receive your special-purpose solar filters (essential for protecting your eyes) and watch this remarkable phenomenon. Passengers in a cabin facing the right direction may even be able to witness the eclipse through their window! A professional astronomer makes up part of the Expedition Team and will be on-hand for the duration of the cruise, as well as on deck for the actual eclipse, to answer any questions, deliver in-depth lectures and provide expert insights. Once the eclipse has passed, the ship begins to move around the South Orkney Islands, allowing you to take in the colonies of penguins and seals that reside here.
Day 14: At Sea (B, L, D)
Set your sights on the Falkland Islands as the ship moves away from Antarctica. The next two days are spent at sea, and there are a series of lectures and talks from the Expedition Team to attend and which offer insight into the history and ecology of the islands. Don’t forget to head up on deck to spend some time scanning the skies in search of the albatross that often appear overhead. You might also log a few hours in the Science Center to hear about and even analyse samples taken from Antarctica during the expedition.
Day 15: At Sea (B, L, D)
Another day at sea to continue enjoy the on-board leisure amenities.
Day 16: Falkland Islands (B, L, D)
You make port in Stanley, the tiny capital of the Falkland Islands, for the day. Take note of its British-inspired streets – down to the red phone boxes and double-decker buses – and wander around the compact centre on foot. There are good cafes, restaurants and pubs to seek out when you’re in need of refreshment. There are also optional excursions into the surrounding area (additional cost applies).
Day 17: Falkland Islands (B, L, D)
The ship sails to various points in the Falkland Islands, offering chances to see remote farming communities, rugged wilderness, white-sand beaches and even curious penguins. Some shore excursions for hikes and bird-watching are also on the itinerary.
Day 18: Falkland Islands (B, L, D)
Continue discovering the Falkland Islands.
Day 19: Magellan Strait (B, L, D)
Having completed a loop of the Magellan Strait, it is time to plot a course for your return to the mainland. Use this day to attend a recap of everything you have experienced in the Science Center, and swap tales and photos with fellow passengers.
Day 20: Punta Arenas – – Santiago (B)
Arrive into Punta Arenas in the morning, say goodbye to the staff and crew, and then disembark MS Roald Amundsen. A transfer ferries you to the airport for your flight to Santiago, and you will be taken to your hotel once back in the Chilean capital. Tonight is your final night in Chile and is marked as free time.
Day 21: Santiago – – Australia (B)
Be transferred to the airport in Santiago at the necessary time and board your return flight to Australia.
Day 22: Australia
Arrive back in Australia today.