This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine the final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience, and why every expedition is unique.
Exciting and diverse
Location: Santiago de Chile
The capital of Chile is exciting and diverse. There is a lot to discover here, from the Andean glaciers at the city borders, tall mountains and skyscrapers to quiet parks, colonial architecture, bohemian quarters and the fast-flowing Mapacho River. Your adventure starts with an overnight hotel stay here.
Embarking the expedition
Location: Santiago de Chile/Punta Arenas
You fly to Punta Arenas where MS Roald Amundsen is ready for this expedition to Antarctica.
The astounding fjords of Chile
Location: Chilean fjords
Enjoy cruising through the Beagle Channel, with channels, fjords and mountains plunging straight into the icy water. This wild and remote area seems almost undisturbed by humans. The ice has scoured its way between the mountains, leaving isolated islands and hidden bays and creating the unique fjord landscape of Chile.
Cape Horn and the famed Drake Passage
Location: Drake Passage
When ranking the most iconic places on Earth, Cape Horn is high on the list. At almost 56 degrees south, it is the southernmost point of South America. Before the Panama Canal, seafarers had to pass this infamous rocky island in order to cross from one side of the Americas to the other. The crew will do their best to make a landing on Cape Horn – however, this is an area known for high seas and challenging conditions and if they make it this will be a great achievement. Then MS Roald Amundsen will use 1 ½ to 2 days to cross the Drake Passage, depending on the weather conditions. This enormous churn of water is funnelled by western wind drift from the Pacific through the Drake Passage and into the Scotia Sea to the east. The Drake Passage is part of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the most voluminous current in the world. About 95 to 150 million cubic metres of water per second are transported from west to east. As you cross the Drake, you sail over the mid ocean West Scotia Ridge and over the nearly 6.000 metre deep South Shetland Trench. The weather can be terrible on the Drake, but it can also be placid, often called the “Drake Lake”. Usually, it’s somewhere in between.
Antarctica – impossible to describe
Antarctica is isolated from the rest of the world by ocean currents. 90 per cent of the world´s ice is here, 4.000 meters thick, covering the landmass. In winter it is further cut off by sea ice forming off the coast - virtually doubling the size of the continent. In summer, it is a breeding ground for millions of penguins, whales and seals that, for the rest of the year, simply spend their time at sea. Most wildlife thrives on a cornerstone species: krill. The krill population in the Southern Ocean represents the largest biomass of one species on Earth – including human beings. As outlined in the Antarctic Treaty, this is a continent dedicated to peace, science and tourism. No human activity is allowed to alter the perfect natural balance. You are visiting a place that has evolved through millenniums without human interference. Therefore, very strict environmental guidelines and rules need to be adhered to. You want to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures! What is so overwhelming about Antarctica is that its location makes every voyage to the continent an expedition. Even the most sophisticated technology cannot override some of the climatic challenges that are a part of this environment. Therefore, the crew need to be pragmatic; change landings, re-route and shift plans as you go along. This also means that advantage will be taken of the often ideal conditions – spend hours ashore, on the water with kayaks, hiking or simply cruising amongst huge pods of whales. Weather, wind and ice conditions have a great influence on the programme and schedule. Crew will attempt to land several places, including Deception Island, Half Moon Island, Brown Bluff, Cuverville Island and Neko Harbour. All of these places are serene and offer untouched nature, oportunities to observe penguin colonies, seals, , glaciers, icebergs in every shape and colour and old whaling stations and. It´s hard to sum up all the impressions you will gain. As a well-known quote from veteran Antarctic travellers puts it: “If you can describe Antarctica with words, you have probably never been there.”
Lectures and wildlife watching from deck
Location: At sea
After exploring this superlative-exhausting continent, the crew set course back for The Falkland Islands. The Falklands consist of two large islands and around 700 smaller ones. Captain John Strong of HMS Welfare made the first recorded landing here in 1690. You will continue your lecture series that focuses on the dramatic history and diverse wildlife of the islands as you keep a watch for wandering albatross.
At the edge of Antarctica
Location: The Falkland Islands
Having just been in Antarctica, it might seem a bit surreal to arrive in a town that looks like a miniature England, with red phone boxes, red buses and English pubs. Stanley is the capital on the Falkland Islands. Roam the city streets, the town is easy enough to discover in a day on foot, or join one of the excursions to explore the wilderness and wildlife in the surroundings. The Falklands are teeming with wonders of wildlife and nature. This is an unpolluted environment with fantastically clear blue skies, seamless horizons, vast open spaces and stunning white sand beaches. As you reach the westernmost settled outposts in the Falklands you will see remote farms that have been family owned for six or seven generations. The sheep graze alongside immense colonies of albatross and rockhopper penguins, while predatory striated caracaras patrol overhead and upland geese forage at the water’s edge. Bird lovers will rejoice if we go ashore on Carcass Island. This is a bird paradise with several ducks, geese, penguins, albatrosses, caracaras and wrens. It is also one of few islands down here with trees. Small boats will be used to go ashore for exploring, hiking or take a closer look at all the birds.
The Magellan Strait
Location: At sea
As the crew complete the loop of the Magellan Strait, you will have a recap of everything the crew have experienced on this expedition. Make sure you spend some time on deck looking for wildlife.
The end of the expedition
Location: Punta Arenas/Santiago de Chile
Arrive back in Punta Arenas in the morning. After the flight back to Santiago de Chile, you can extend your vacation with a post voyage extension to experience the impressive region.