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Setting sail from Valparaíso
Characterful, colourful and a little chaotic, the port city of Valparaíso enjoys a somewhat awkward setting, scattered across 45 vertiginous hills. Thanks to this difficult topography the city streets are punctuated by steep staircases and funicular elevators, and energetic explorers will be rewarded with wonderful views of the pastel hued buildings that hug the slopes. Valparaíso's most famous former resident was the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, and you can visit one of his former residences, La Sebastiana, which now houses a small museum.
Amble through the city, taking the really cheap cable cars when you can to help you up and down the hills!
Chile: Castro (Chiloé Island)
Rugged and unspoilt Chiloé, situated at the southern end of Chile’s Lake District, is a unique and culturally distinct island that stands apart from the rest of the country. The main town, Castro, is notable for its colourful waterfront homes on stilts (known as palafitos), and is the gateway to the dense forests and rolling hills of the island interior.
Chile: Puerto Eden
Chile: Puerto Natales
Puerto Natales, situated at the southern end of the Chilean Fjords, is a major tourism hub for southern Patagonia. Formerly a fishing port, the town is now the gateway to the Torres del Paine National Park, a spectacular landscape of granite peaks, grassy steppes and azure lakes, populated by guanacos, condors, pumas and more.
Chile: Puerto Williams
Chile: Cape Horn
Surrounded by notoriously treacherous waters and battered by gale force winds known as the Furious Fifties, Cape Horn is the dramatic southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. This is the point where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet, watched over by a lonely lighthouse.
Antarctica: Barrientos Island
Antarctica: Half Moon Island
Half Moon Island is home to several thousand chinstrap penguins, as well as cormorants, terns and the notoriously territorial skuas, who will divebomb anyone who gets too close to their nests! There are also fantastic views of mountainous Livingston Island.
Antarctica: Whalers Bay (Deception Island), Mikkelsen Harbour
Antarctica: Cuverville Island
The rocky slopes of Cuverville Island provide a home for some 6,500 pairs of gentoo penguins, the largest colony on the Antarctic Peninsula. Other bird species nesting on the island include skuas, southern giant petrels and Antarctic shags.
Antarctica: Neko Harbour
Neko Harbour, situated on the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, is a spectacular bay surrounded by glaciers that regularly calve into the icy waters. Gentoo penguins and Weddell seals are a common sight here, and the only sign of human activity is a small unmanned refuge hut belonging to Argentina.
Antarctica: Almirante Brown
Antarctica: Port Lockroy
Port Lockroy was the site of the first permanent British base in the Antarctic, established in 1944 as part of a wartime mission known as Operation Tabarin. Today the former ‘Base A’ houses a museum and souvenir shop, as well as the world’s most southerly post office, which means you can send a postcard home from Antarctica!
Antarctica: Pléneau Island
Located at the southern end of the Lemaire Channel, Pléneau Island is the site of some spectacular iceberg scenery, and is also home to species including Gentoo penguins, Antarctic terns, south polar skuas and southern elephant seals.
Antarctica: Petermann Island
Petermann Island lies at the southern end of the Lemaire Channel, and is home to the world’s southernmost colony of gentoo penguins. Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags also nest on the island, and there are signs of past human activity too, including a memorial to three British Antarctic Survey workers who died here in 1982.
31 October - 1 November
Arriving in Ushuaia
Ushuaia is sometimes described as 'the city at the end of the world', though its rugged beauty is far from apocalyptic. Perched on the ragged southern edge of Argentina, where the snow-capped Andes fall away into the churning sea, the city has a frontier town feel to it, and serves as the base for expeditions into the icy waters of Antarctica. There are also plenty of outdoor pursuits on offer here, including hiking, skiing and fishing, and the Tierra del Fuego National Park is home to spectacular scenery and wildlife including penguins, guanacos, sea lions and condors.
What can we say? You can’t miss anything in the town, it’s so small!
Your home from home
This purpose-built ice class expedition vessel is perfectly kitted out for polar exploration, with zodiacs and expert lecturers on board, and accommodates 318 guests in comfortable cabins.
What we love
Fram emerges in 2020 from an extensive refurbishment, with upgraded cabins, suites and public areas. Designed for polar cruising, she regularly visits the Arctic and Antarctic, with an ice-strengthened hull and a wealth of technological gizmos on board. Cabins are simple but comfortable, and the observation lounge and restaurant are designed to provide wonderful views of the ever-changing landscape outside. If you're feeling brave there are even outdoor Jacuzzis to keep you warm as the icebergs float past!
|Capacity||318 Guests (200 in Antarctica)|
|Style||A Hurtigruten voyage is all about the destination, with a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere on board.|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Valparaíso
The 23 room Palacio Astoreca comprises two buildings, including a completely restored national monument.
For contrast, visit clean and orderly Viña del Mar just up the coast.
Where to stay in Ushuaia
Los Cauquenes Resort and Spa is your best option, if you have time to stay.
Tours from Ushuaia
What you choose to do on tour will need to supplement whatever cruise you are taking. So if you are heading to Antarctica, whilst here you will want to go to the Tierra del Fuego National Park.