Hurtigruten is moving the Midnatsol to Antarctica for the 2016 / 2017 season, more than tripling the company’s guest capacity for sailings in the region.
The Midnatsol will join the Fram, increasing the company’s seasonal berths from 2,268 in 2015/16 to 6,800 berths in 2016/17. Antarctica itineraries include highlights such as the Falkland Islands, Chilean fjords, Patagonia, the Magellan Strait and Cape Horn. Sailings will depart from October 2016 to March 2017 with prices ranging from $5,999 to $6,666 per person, double occupancy.
In its first season sailing the southern hemisphere, the Midnatsol will sail 10 Antarctic voyages departing from Punta Arenas in the Chilean Patagonia and ranging from 15 to 18 days. Every sailing features an experienced expedition team to lead guests on landings and shore excursions, including hiking on glacial ice dating back thousands of years, strolling near penguins, kayaking among seals and snorkeling in Antarctica’s frigid waters. Onboard, scientific lectures will give guests an insight into some of the same mysteries that have attracted the world’s explorers, scientists and adventurers to Antartica for more than 100 years.
“This is an important strategic choice for Hurtigruten as we strengthen our position in the growing exploration market,” said Daniel Skjeldam, CEO for Hurtigruten.
To accommodate the growing demand in the polar regions, Hurtigruten is also refining the itineraries and programs associated with their 200-berth deluxe explorer vessel, Fram. Using Ushuaia, Argentina, as its base, the expedition teams will seek out new sites and destinations in Antarctica that are inaccessible to larger groups. Guests will have the opportunity to take on more challenging excursions, such as skiing on glaciers and expedition camping among penguins.
The Midnatsol, which was designed for the Arctic region, will undergo minor adjustments. The ship already has an ice class 1C rating, helipad, a redundant propulsion system and will be equipped with a state-of-the-art customized oil retention system. The Midnatsol also boasts some of the lowest fuel consumption per passenger of any ship in the industry, the line said.
Brochures, due out in July, can be pre-ordered online or by calling 800-582-0835.