Two penguins in Orne Harbour.

Who is the Hurtigruten Antarctica cruise for?

Going on an Antarctica expedition cruise is a journey like no other, as it beckons to the intrepid traveller seeking the unparalleled beauty and adventure of the polar regions. The enigmatic allure of the white continent, with its vast and untouched landscapes, attracts explorers from around the globe. The Hurtigruten Antarctica Cruise stands as an iconic gateway to this remote, mesmerizing world, and it’s essential to understand who this extraordinary voyage is best suited for. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a nature and wildlife lover, a history and science buff, or someone in search of a more sustainable travel experience, this article will guide you in determining whether this exceptional expedition aligns with your travel aspirations.

Ms Fridtjof Nansen in the icy waters with icebergs in Antarctica.

The appeal of Antarctica

The appeal of the frozen continent lies in its unique allure as the ultimate Antarctic adventure. Antractica unveils some of the world’s most spectacular views, where jagged icebergs contrast with crystal-clear waters, and towering glaciers glisten under the pristine polar sun. It’s a place where the extraordinary becomes the every day, offering a front-row seat to the grandeur of Earth’s last untouched wilderness and the mesmerizing Antarctic wildlife that thrives in this captivating, otherworldly landscape.

Who Should Consider the Hurtigruten Antarctica Cruise?

If you’re seeking an extraordinary polar adventure that seamlessly blends luxury, education, and sustainability, then consider the Hurtigruten Antarctica Cruise.

Adventure seekers

Hurtigruten’s Antarctica Cruise is undeniably a thrilling expedition tailored for the adventure seekers among us. Designed to cater to those with a deep yearning for exploration and a love of the wild, this cruise promises an experience like no other.

It certainly excites with exhilarating activities such as kayaking through icy waters, offering intimate wildlife viewing encounters, and even the spine-tingling polar plunge into frigid polar waters for the boldest of souls.

For those eager to take their quest for adventure to the next level, optional activities such as overnight stay camping on the pristine Antarctic terrain are available, providing an unparalleled connection with this rugged, untouched landscape.

Truth be told if you don’t participate in any of these activities, you will likely get your fix adrenaline simply by crossing the Drake Passage!

Kayakers in the waters close to Orne Harbor in Antarctica.

Nature and wildlife enthusiasts

The Hurtigruten Antarctica Cruise holds a profound allure for nature and wildlife enthusiasts, providing an ideal platform for those deeply passionate about the natural world. This expedition offered us great opportunities to witness the extraordinary biodiversity of Antarctica.

With small boats (Zodiac boats) you can venture close to the shoreline and icebergs, getting up close and personal with the mesmerizing residents of this frozen realm. From the charming waddles of Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adélie penguins to the majestic presence of seals basking on ice floes or rocky beaches, the cruise guarantees remarkable encounters with the wildlife of Antarctica. 

A seal on black sand on a beach in Deception ISland.

History and science buffs 

The allure of the Hurtigruten Antarctica Cruise extends beyond its natural wonders, making it a captivating expedition for history and science buffs alike. This voyage offers a unique blend of education and adventure, providing a profound understanding of Antarctica’s history and its crucial role in scientific exploration.

Onboard, passengers have the opportunity to engage in enlightening lectures and workshops, delving into the legacies of the great explorers who charted these icy waters and the groundbreaking scientific research conducted by the scientific community in this remote continent. With an onboard science center, passengers can actively participate in experiments and gain a deeper appreciation for the vital work carried out in this pristine wilderness.

What is more, depending on the landing sites you are going to visit on your expedition, you are likely to see the remnants of the whaling past as well as derelict bases from the WWII era.

On our Highlights of Antarctica cruise, we had numerous lectures, including: 

  • Discovery of Tierra Australis
  • What We Can Learn From Biopsyng Whales?
  • Reading Geological Map of Antarctica,
  • and more…
A lecture about seals on Hurtigruten Antractica Cruise.

Cruise enthusiasts 

For cruise enthusiasts, Hurtigruten’s Cruise offers a unique and enticing opportunity to explore the world’s most remote and awe-inspiring destination in luxurious comfort. With Hurtigruten’s ships, modern amenities and luxurious comforts seamlessly blend with the wild beauty of Antarctica. Passengers can relish in the cosy cabins, fine dining experiences, and relaxation on the deck while cruising through this mesmerizing polar landscape.

Aune restaurant table at dinner on Highlights of Antarctica cruise.

Environmental and Sustainable Travel Advocates 

Hurtigruten stands as a steadfast advocate for environmental and sustainable travel, leading the charge in eco-conscious voyages to Antarctica. Their unwavering commitment to sustainability is evident through pioneering initiatives like hybrid-powered ships and a dedication to reducing emissions and single-use plastics.

For eco-conscious travellers, choosing this cruise represents a meaningful alignment of values, as they can explore the pristine wilderness of Antarctica with peace of mind, knowing that their voyage minimizes environmental impact and supports conservation efforts in this fragile ecosystem.

Those seeking enrichment and education

For those seeking enrichment and education, the Hurtigruten Expedition Cruise offers an enlightening voyage that delves deep into the heart of this enigmatic continent. The cruise provides a platform for in-depth talks and lectures led by expert guides, fostering a greater understanding of the region’s history, unique ecosystems, and the impact of climate change.

Passengers can actively participate in citizen science projects, contributing to ongoing research and conservation efforts in Antarctica. From cloud observations to hands-on involvement in research, the cruise nurtures a profound connection to the natural world while providing a wealth of knowledge.

Science centre on Ms Fridtjof Nansen.

Who might not find it suitable?

The Hurtigruten Antarctica Cruise may not be the most suitable option for families with very young children. While the expedition offers an extraordinary experience, it also presents challenges for families with infants or toddlers. The harsh climate and remote locations can make it difficult to cater to the needs of very young children. Additionally, the voyage involves Zodiac boat landings and potentially strenuous hikes, which can be unsuitable for little ones. At the time of writing, Hurtigruten Expeditions does not offer clubs or daycare for children either. 

Hurtigruten’s Antarctica expedition may not be suitable for individuals with serious medical problems or mobility issues. The remote and challenging nature of the journey, with activities like Zodiac landings and potentially strenuous hikes, demands a certain level of physical fitness and health. In fact, Hurtigruten’s requirement for passengers to be assessed by their family doctor and obtain a fit-for-travel note underscores the importance of travellers being in good health to partake in the expedition safely. The extreme conditions and limited medical facilities in Antarctica mean that passengers with significant medical concerns may not be able to access the necessary care in the event of an emergency.

Explorers in red coats going up to the saddle in Orne Harbour.

While Hurtigruten’s Antarctica Cruise is comparatively more affordable than some other expeditions to the region, it may still be challenging for travellers on a tight budget. Antarctica expeditions, in general, come with a premium price tag due to the remote nature of the destination, the need for specialized equipment, and the associated logistics. Even though Hurtigruten provides a more cost-effective option, the overall expenses can add up quickly, including the cost of the cruise itself, necessary gear, and optional activities.

Why Hurtigruten?

State-of-the-art ships

Hurtigruten’s commitment to excellence is exemplified through its state-of-the-art ships, designed to offer unparalleled comfort and exploration. With vessels like MS Roald Amundsen, MS Fram, and MS Fridtjof Nansen, passengers can embark on their Antarctic journey in modern, eco-friendly, and technologically advanced vessels. These ships not only provide a comfortable and stylish environment but are also equipped to facilitate remarkable experiences in one of the world’s most pristine and challenging environments, making Hurtigruten a top choice for travellers seeking a blend of luxury and adventure.

Ms Fridtjof Nansen in Antarctica.

Sustainability-focused cruise line 

Hurtigruten stands as a world leader in the cruise industry when it comes to being a sustainability-focused cruise line. With a relentless commitment to minimizing environmental impacts, they have been at the forefront of eco-conscious initiatives, including the introduction of hybrid-powered ships and the reduction of single-use plastics. This unwavering dedication to sustainable practices has not only set a high standard within the industry but also makes Hurtigruten an appealing choice for travellers who wish to explore the world while knowing their adventures are conducted with the utmost respect and care for the planet.

Expedition team

The Hurtigruten Antarctica Cruises boast excellent expedition teams, ready to elevate your voyage to new heights. Their team members are not only knowledgeable but also passionate about the region, ensuring an enriching experience for all passengers.

Led by a seasoned expedition leader, the team offers insightful guidance and in-depth knowledge, turning every moment on the cruise into a valuable learning opportunity. A professional photographer among the crew captures the breathtaking moments, allowing you to relive the magic of your journey through vivid imagery. With the expertise of an experienced captain, passengers can trust in the seamless navigation of the ship and enjoy uninterrupted access to observation decks, providing stunning views of the Antarctic landscapes.

Expedition team member talking about bird feathers on Hurtigruten Antarctica cruise.

Best possible itinerary 

Hurtigruten caters to a diverse range of travellers by offering a plethora of itineraries, ensuring that everyone can select the best possible itinerary to fulfil their Antarctic adventure dreams. Many itineraries start in Buenos Aires or Punta Arenas. They carry on to the Antarctic Peninsula via the Falkland Islands and South Georgia – the possibilities are vast.

Travellers can choose from routes that encompass the wild beauty of South America, cross the Antarctic Circle, or explore numerous possible landing sites teeming with wildlife. For the more intrepid, the Northwest Passage beckons with its untamed allure.

Comfort & luxury meets adventure

After thrilling sailing across the Drake Passage and exploratory adventures on the Antarctic Peninsula, passengers can unwind in style. The inclusion of hot tubs onboard adds an extra layer of relaxation, allowing travellers to soak in the stunning vistas while immersing themselves in pure comfort, harmonizing the exhilaration of the day’s adventures with the warmth and luxury of the evening’s reprieve.

Our own experience

We travelled to Antarctica on MS Fridtjof Nansen in December 2022 on a Highlights of Antarctica Hurtigruten cruise

We spent two days crossing the Drake Passage from Ushuaia, Argentina. And the expedition team made sure we had an amazing time. From compulsory muster drills and safety briefings to enriching lectures and hands-on workshops, we found ourselves busy and entertained.

The 5 days we spent exploring various islands around the Antarctic Peninsula and continental Antractica were filled with hikes, wildlife watching, cruising on zodiacs and attending more lectures and workshops. We even had staff from the Port Lockroy Post Office visit the ship and share their experiences about living in Antarctica.

MS Fridtjof Nansen ship had plenty of spots to observe the icy Antarctic landscapes from the deck or relax. We enjoyed the ship’s hot tubs, sauna, lounges and bars.

Seb and ieva standing on deck with the yalour islands in the background surrounded by sea ice and icebergs.

Bottom line

In conclusion, the Hurtigruten Antarctica Cruise offers an unparalleled experience for a diverse array of travellers. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, nature and wildlife lover, history and science buff, cruise enthusiast, an advocate for sustainability, or someone in search of enrichment and education, this expedition has something unique to offer. With state-of-the-art ships, a dedicated focus on sustainability, an exceptional expedition team, a variety of itinerary options, and a harmonious blend of comfort and adventure, Hurtigruten stands as a gateway to the mesmerizing world of Antarctica, offering the voyage of a lifetime.

Our own experience aboard MS Fridtjof Nansen in December 2022 was nothing short of extraordinary, reaffirming the magnetic pull of the polar regions and the enchanting allure of the white continent. There are plenty of places in the world to visit, but having experienced the beauty of Antractica with the Hurtigruten cruise line, we cannot wait to go back for a second time!

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