Hurtigruten Expeditions has announced its return to Antarctica with the Roald Amundsen and the Hybrid Battery Fram. The two will depart from Punta Arenas, Chile. The Fram was previously scheduled to depart from Ushuaia, Argentina.
Due to the travel restriction situation, the company said, the third ship scheduled for Antarctica, the newly appointed hybrid battery-powered Fridtjof Nansen, will instead offer expedition cruises to the Norwegian coast from Hamburg. It will complement the refurbished Otto Sverdrup hybrid battery, as most of its crossings are sold out for the first quarter of 2022.
Affected customers have been contacted with reservation change options.
“Preparing for a two-ship Antarctic season marks a remarkable turning point for us. With the Roald Amundsen and Fram departing from Punta Arenas, and the Fridtjof Nansen offering expedition cruises in Europe, we are back with all of our expedition fleet activities planned for the start of the new year, ”said Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of the Hurtigruten Group.
“Knowing that all Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express ships are also back on schedule and that all hotels and offers ashore will once again be open to customers, we look forward to the year of adventure travel 2022 with optimism and enthusiasm. “
The first departure of the Roald Amundsen will be a Solar Eclipse navigation. The ship will take guests to the Scotia Sea near the South Orkney Islands, a group of four islands nearly 400 miles northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula, which is expected to be the best place to experience the eclipse. The region’s next solar eclipse phenomenon will not occur in 400 years.
“Watching a solar eclipse from the deck of an expedition ship sailing between icebergs off the coast of the South Pole continent may very well be the closest to feeling like you are on another planet,” commented Asta Lassesen, CEO of Hurtigruten Expeditions.
Hurtigruten Expeditions has been organizing expedition cruises from Chile since the early 2000s.
“Twenty years of experience under the aegis of the Chilean authorities and with highly professional local partners gives us the confidence to focus on a combination of Santiago de Chile and Punta Arenas as the gateway to Antarctica for the coming season. Lassesen added.
Hurtigruten Expeditions will transport customers arriving from Santiago de Chile to Punta Arenas on domestic charter flights.
Logistics on land and at sea will follow strict, always user-friendly protocols, according to Hurtigruten. All guests and crew members should be vaccinated.