Leave civilization behind and journey to the end of the world on this once-in-a-lifetime expedition. Your destination? Antarctica — that vast white wonderland of inimitable beauty, wildlife, and adventure. On this Vantage-exclusive voyage, you’ll spend an unmatched seven days traversing the continent’s mind-blowing landscape, discovering penguins, seals, birds, and more on naturalist-led wildlife expeditions to Cuverville Island, Half Moon Island, Neko Harbor, and Deception Island. Feel the wind in your face and the indescribable magic of stepping foot on one of the Earth’s most rugged, remote, and regal destinations, home to 43 bird and 23 mammal species, including the humpback whale and multiple penguin varieties! Along the way, you’ll conjure the spirit of explorers past as you navigate the Chilean fjords and the Beagle Channel, named for Charles Darwin’s expedition ship. You’ll also make landfall on romantic Cape Horn (weather permitting), cross the storied Drake Passage, and step ashore the Falkland Islands, where wildlife, history, and British influence fuse on these pristine Patagonian isles.
Your adventure begins in Santiago, where you’ll savor two nights in this cultural epicenter before boarding the ms Roald Amundsen, the first hybrid vessel to sail Antarctic waters. This state-of-the-art Hurtigruten vessel is not only environmentally sustainable, but also delivers matchless luxury. Leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but photos on this unforgettable trek to the Great White Continent with Vantage.
Fly overnight to Chile
Your adventures in the Southern Hemisphere begin with an overnight flight to Santiago.
Exploring Santiago’s charms
Santiago has been the capital of Chile since colonial times, but today’s vibrant metropolis boasts a world-class culinary scene, excellent museums, and enough charm to convince nearly 40% of the country to call this city home.
Upon arrival on Day 2, attend a Welcome Briefing at your hotel, following by an afternoon panoramic city tour that takes you to Plaza de Armas, Santiago’s main city square, and the Government Palace. Tonight, join fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner at the hotel.
A day in Santiago — or lively Valparaíso
Enjoy a day at leisure to further explore Santiago, or embark on an optional tour to colorful Valparaíso, one of Chile’s most important seaports and its second-largest city.
Set in the valley of the Andes, in a natural amphitheater overlooking the sea, the city boasts a historic quarter named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its 19th-century architecture and urban planning. Today, Valparaíso is a romantic and revived city, a renowned educational center, and culinary hotbed. Lunch and dinner will be on your own.
Fly to Punta Arenas and board the ms Roald Amundsen
Following breakfast this morning, we’ll board a chartered flight to Punta Arenas, where we’ll embark the ms Roald Amundsen, a state-of-the-art Hurtigruten vessel equipped with sustainable hybrid technology, and your new home away from home.
The Amundsen is also a floating university, and in addition to the high-tech activity center and special equipment on board, the vessel's staffers are handpicked experts in biology, history, photography, and geology, and will offer onboard lectures and activities pertinent to our ports of call and area wildlife.
Toast the start of the adventure tonight at the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Reception.
Cruise the scenic Chilean fjords
Unforgettable Moment: We’ll awake to the scenic splendor of the Chilean fjords and the Beagle Channel, a waterway named after the ship that carried Charles Darwin on his voyage of discovery.
Spend some time on deck today — in addition to vistas of snow-capped mountains and misty forests, you may just spot dolphins, whales, seals, and a variety of other wildlife. At times, the water may be so placid and clear it’s like peering into a gigantic mirror. You’ll also spot chunks of ice bobbing in the water — a sure sign of what’s to come.
Cruise Cape Horn and the Drake Passage
We’ll continue into open waters and, if conditions allow, make landfall on Cape Horn — the southernmost tip of South America and an area known for high seas and challenging conditions. If we’re able to anchor off Cape Horn, we’ll go ashore and explore this isolated yet romantic piece of land known as “the End of the World.” It’s truly a travel milestone to make landfall here, and one that offers justifiable bragging rights to travelers.
We’ll also pass through the Drake Passage, connecting the southern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, on our way to Antarctica. Notorious among early polar explorers, this sea passage is still a unique voyage that few experience. Here, the warm water from the north meets the cold, less salty water from the south, making the ocean particularly nutrient-rich and the nutritional base for the unique marine life found here.
The last great wilderness left on Earth with no permanent human inhabitants, Antarctica today is totally dedicated to scientific research. Simple words can’t quite convey the feeling of glimpsing Antarctica’s shores for the first time, much less stepping onto them, and this is sure to be an unforgettable memory. Unforgettable Moment: We’ll spend seven incredible days exploring channels and passageways surrounded by the Antarctic Peninsula’s rugged, glacier-covered islands and rugged landmasses.
Legendary travelers were drawn here in spite of the stark and inhospitable surroundings. Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott famously raced to the South Pole in 1911 (Amundsen’s expedition beat Scott’s by 33 days), but perhaps the most famous explorer is Ernest Shackleton, leader of a crew that set off to cross the White Continent in 1914.
Shackleton’s ship, the aptly named Endurance, was crushed in the ice. Miraculously, the explorer still delivered his entire crew back to safety and civilization (albeit a year and a half later). Needless to say, walking onto mainland Antarctica is a true once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.
We’ll marvel at our striking surroundings as we cruise through this remote expanse. Antarctica is hospitable to very few, except millions of penguins and an array of seals, birds, and other species, so be sure to keep your cameras at the ready! As we cruise, our Expedition Team will deliver more lectures and talks that will enhance our knowledge of this area and aid our expeditions on land.
Activities on Antarctica’s shores
Over the next few days, we’ll explore Antarctica’s white-blue icebergs, mountain ranges, and vast land and sea life. Ice, wind, and weather dictate life in Antarctica, just as they dictate our route and our landings. We’ll determine our landing sites accordingly as our expedition progresses. We’ll keep our cameras at the ready as our highly maneuverable expedition vessel weaves through islands, bays, and channels.
Unforgettable Moment: Where conditions allow, we’ll go ashore on naturalist-led wildlife expeditions by versatile Zodiac landing crafts. Sites we may explore include Cuverville Island, home of the largest population of Gentoo penguins; Half Moon Island, a craggy home for Chinstrap penguins and awesome views of neighboring glacier-covered isles; Neko Harbor, a bay that regularly sees minke and humpback whales, Gentoo penguins, Weddell and fur seals; and Deception Island, Antarctica’s most popular site featuring an active caldera, a thermally-heated pond, and abandoned buildings and whaling industry remnants. But no matter where we explore, our team of onboard naturalists will help us view the nature and beauty of Antarctica every step of the way.
Enjoy a day at sea on the luxurious ms Roald Amundsen
We’ll spend a day at sea as we sail toward the Falkland Islands. Take this time to relax aboard your state-of-the-art Hurtigruten vessel, built by Rolls-Royce and outfitted with luxurious amenities, including a wellness center, sleek sun deck, hot tubs, and large outdoor infinity pool perfect for taking in some sun while simultaneously taking in the unforgettable views.
Exploring the Falkland Islands
Our next three days are spent exploring the Falkland Islands, one of the last untamed areas on Earth.
Unforgettable Moment: Full of ruggedly beautiful landscapes, the Falklands are a collection of hundreds of islands home to an incredible array of wildlife including King penguins and albatrosses. As we venture ashore, we’ll pass an old shipwreck and spend time mingling with penguins, seals, and elephant seals. One site we’ll visit during our time here is Port Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands. After departing Antarctica, Port Stanley will be a surreal contrast but a delight to explore on foot — this quaint town resembles a miniature England with its cherry-red phone boxes, buses, and English pubs. Another landing site is West Point Island, located in the northwest corner of West Falkland. A working sheep farm with a spectacular cliff-filled coastline, this island is home to numerous species of plants, birds, and marine mammals, from black-browed albatrosses to rockhopper penguins.
While here, you can join several excursions, including history tours, birdwatching tours, nature walks, and even a scenic plane tour where you can discover the Falklands by air in a classic island-hopping aircraft.
Please note: Possible landing sites are subject to weather conditions and are at the discretion of the captain and crew. Itinerary is subject to change.
At sea, cruising the Magellan Strait
While sailing the Strait of Magellan, one of the most undisturbed and beautiful places in the world, we’ll recap everything we’ve experienced on this adventure and participate in another round of scintillating onboard lectures. As the adventure comes to a close, make sure you soak up some time on deck looking for wildlife.
Disembark the ms Roald Amundsen and return home
Fly from Punta Arenas to Santiago, where you’ll connect with your return flight home.
Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.