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The most isolated inhabited island in the world, Easter Island burst into fame in 1958 with the publication of Thor Heyerdahl’s Aku-Aku: The Secret of Easter Island, and the giant stone faces that line the island have captured the world’s imagination ever since. Here’s your chance to see them up close, in a small group, and discover what life is like on this far-flung tropical outpost. Overnight stays in the Chilean capital, Santiago, bracket your pre-trip adventure and ensure a relaxing experience, while our itinerary also gives you active options including walking and swimming.
Fly overnight to Chile
Your adventures in the Southern Hemisphere begin with an overnight flight to Santiago.
Exploring Santiago’s charms
Founded in 1541, Santiago has been the capital of Chile since colonial times. Upon arrival on Day 2, attend a Welcome Briefing at the hotel, following by an afternoon panoramic city tour that takes you to the Plaza de Armas, Santiago’s main city square, and the Government Palace. Tonight, join fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner at the hotel.
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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 a natural amphitheater overlooking the sea, the city boasts a historic quarter that has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its 19th-century architecture and urban planning. Today, Valparaíso is renowned as an educational center and lively repository of Chilean culture. 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 expedition vessel equipped with luxury amenities and sustainable hybrid technology, and it's your new home away from home! Toast the start of the adventure tonight at the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Reception.
Cruise the scenic Chilean fjords
We 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 soaring mountains and beautiful forests, you'll have the opportunity to spot dolphins, whales, seals, and a variety of other wildlife.
Cape Horn and the Drake Passage
We 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 are 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 is truly a travel milestone to make landfall here.
We’ll also pass through the Drake Passage, connecting the southern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, on our way to Antarctica. This sea passage was notorious among the early polar explorers and is a unique voyage that few have the chance to experience. Here the warm water from the north meets the cold, less salty water from the south. This makes the ocean particularly rich in nutrients and forms the foundational basis of the unique marine life found here.
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The last great wilderness left on Earth with no permanent human inhabitants, the continent is dedicated to scientific research and peaceful cooperation. Simple words cannot convey the feeling of being here, with its crisp air, towering icebergs, and endless white mountain ranges. We’ll spend seven incredible days exploring channels and passageways surrounded by the Antarctic Peninsula’s rugged, glacier-covered islands and craggy 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). 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 great explorer was able to deliver his entire crew back to safety and civilization (albeit a year and a half later). Needless to say, to step foot on mainland Antarctica is a true once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.
We’ll marvel at our striking surroundings — vast tundra and jagged icebergs mirrored in frigid seas — as we venture through a part of the world so remote and extreme that it has no permanent human residents. Antarctica is, however, home to millions of penguins, as well as an astonishing array of seals, birds, and other unique species, so be sure to keep your cameras at the ready! As we cruise, we'll enjoy a rewarding balance of onboard lectures that enlighten the mind and onshore excursions that thrill and invigorate.
Every day in Antarctica includes a sailing component, and you’ll be able to see more of the continent’s landscape, as well as penguins or seals lounging on ice floes; mountains, glaciers, and other unique scenery; and icebergs in varying shapes and colors. Have a camera ready at all times!
Ashore in Antarctica
The next few days are spent taking in Antarctica’s white-blue icebergs; towering walls of ice; snowy mountain ranges; and amazing land and sea wildlife, including whales, seals, and up to six penguin varieties. We’re always sure to keep our cameras at the ready as our highly maneuverable expedition vessel wends its way among islands, bays, and channels. This is a stark landscape of heady breathtaking terrain and a travel experience unlike any other.
Ice, wind, and weather dictate life in Antarctica, just as they dictate our route and our landings. As such, we determine our landings as our adventure progresses. Where conditions allow, we go ashore on naturalist-led wildlife expeditions by versatile Zodiac crafts to explore such sites as Cuverville Island, Half Moon Island, Neko Harbor, and Deception Island to better experience the otherworldly wildlife and landscapes found here. One thing is certain: No matter which of these magnificent spots we explore, your team of onboard naturalists will help you view the nature and beauty of Antarctica as never before. With an open mind and spirit of adventure, you will enjoy the most rewarding of journeys.
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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.
The ms Roald Amundsen is also a floating university, and in addition to the high-tech activity center and special equipment on board, vessel staffers are handpicked experts in biology, history, photography, and geology, and will offer onboard lectures and activities pertinent to your ports of call and area wildlife.
Exploring the Falkland Islands
Our next three days are spent exploring the Falkland Islands, one of the last untamed areas on the Earth. Full of ruggedly beautiful landscapes, the Falklands consist of two main islands and hundreds of smaller ones, collectively home to an incredible array of wildlife including King penguins and albatrosses. As we make our way to shore, we pass an old shipwreck, then 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. Having just come from Antarctica, Port Stanley is a surreal contrast but a delight to explore on foot; this peaceful town looks just like a miniature England, with its red phone boxes, red 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 we are 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.
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At sea, cruising the Magellan Strait
While we sail 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.