For the first time in two years, adventurous guests are again exploring Antarctica, announced Hurtigruten Expeditions, sharing some pictures from its latest adventure in Antarctica.
“We are thrilled to share this long-awaited return with our guests”, said company CEO Asta Lassesen in a news release on Dec. 3, 2021.
As the season’s first guests set foot on pristine white Orne Harbour and Duse Bay – surrounded by snow-capped mountains and penguins curiously welcoming the modern explorers – it was a long-awaited reunion with the White Continent.
“Returning to this truly unique destination is a landmark reminder of its greatness and richness for all of us. And seeing the spark in the eyes of the guests who experience the lush wildlife, the rugged nature, and the interesting historical remains of early day exploration, is simply moving,” said expedition leader Tomasz Zadrozny of MS Roald Amundsen.
"Great news for South American travel industry"
Being back in Antarctica is also a milestone for the expedition cruise industry, including Hurtigruten Expeditions – the world's leading and largest expedition cruise line – after an almost two year-long pandemic pause in Antarctica operations.
“It is great news for the South-American travel industry to see the first ships safely, sustainably and responsibly exploring in Antarctic waters again. This activity is highly appreciated and of great value. There are no better ambassadors for this region than guests who have experienced and learned about these areas for themselves,” said Regional Director Ximena Castro of the Chilean National Tourism Service (SERNATUR).
The battery-hybrid powered MS Roald Amundsen, named after the first man to reach the South Pole, spent 1.5 days crossing the Drake Passage – the famed body of water that separates South America's Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica – before reaching the White Continent.
“This is a long-awaited dream coming true! We have spent the period since our last season in the deep South in preparations to offer even richer, unforgettable experiences at this one-of-a-kind destination. Now it all comes together between icebergs, penguins, seals, whales, birds, and other unique wildlife,” said Lassesen.
Hurtigruten Expeditions recently revealed a first preview of expeditions for 2023/2024 season including a series of new Antarctica voyages.
Preparing for unique solar eclipse
More than penguins, snow and the vast remoteness attracts visitors to return to Antarctica this December.
Guests onboard MS Roald Amundsen are being offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to a front-row experience of the 2021 solar eclipse.
The Dec. 4 solar eclipse is only visible in the Antarctic regions of the planet
“We will position the ship at a prime position outside the South Orkney Islands for the perfect spot to experience this spectacular natural phenomenon – if weather and other conditions permit”, said MS Roald Amundsen Master Remi Eriksen.
Post-pandemic adventure travel upswing
Learning, and understanding more about the areas explored, is key for the expedition experience, Master Eriksen explains. On all Hurtigruten Expeditions expedition cruises, guests are invited to draw on the knowledge and passion of hand-picked, 20+ members on-board Expedition Teams.
For this season, Hurtigruten Expeditions has returned to Antarctica with two ships – both departing from Chile.
The battery-hybrid powered MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fram, bring guests to explore the White Continent from Punta Arenas, deep south in the country.
In addition to the South Pole continent and the surrounding islands, Hurtigruten Expeditions also invites guests explore South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.
Adventure travel is on the rise, and not only to Antarctica, according to Hurtigruten Expeditions.
“We experience very strong 2022 and future bookings clearly demonstrating a substantial pent-up demand for adventure travel also to other unparalleled destinations such as West Africa Cape Verde and the Bissagos Island,” said Lassesen.