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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.
Although there are museums and some great architecture, what you really mustn’t miss is the vibe of this quirky and characterful town, so take the time to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the views.
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
Puerto Williams has the feel of a true frontier town, situated on windswept Navarino Island facing out across the Beagle Channel. The surrounding mountains offer a spectacular backdrop for hiking and kayaking, while to the south lies the infamous Drake Passage and, beyond that, the frozen continent of Antarctica.
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: 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: 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: 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: Deception Island
Part of the South Shetland archipelago, Deception Island is a flooded volcanic caldera that forms one of the largest natural harbours in the world. The island was once a whaling station, and it’s also an active volcano - the British Antarctic Survey base here was abandoned in 1969 following an eruption.
Arriving in Punta Arenas
The weather-beaten city of Punta Arenas is a laid back and welcoming place, in spite of its inhospitable location on the shores of the Strait of Magellan. Nearby attractions include penguin colonies and the dramatic scenery of Torres del Paine National Park, while beyond the southern horizon lie the frozen wastes of Antarctica.
Your home from home
Hurtigruten's pioneering hybrid vessels, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, offer a more sustainable way to explore the polar regions.
What we love
Hurtigruten's groundbreaking hybrid technology reduces fuel consumption and carbon emissions by 20%, a bold step towards a more sustainable future for the expedition cruising industry. These ships are designed specifically for exploring the polar regions, and the inviting suites and public areas represent a significant evolution of the Hurtigruten onboard experience.
|Capacity||530 Guests (500 in Antarctica)|
|Style||These pioneering hybrid ships offer a contemporary and relaxed ambience, acting as a comfortable 'base camp' at sea.|
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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.