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Linda Garrison

Sleep Outdoors in Antarctica on Hurtigruten Cruise

By December 3, 2012

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Do you love adventure? How about going camping in Antarctica?
penguins in Antarctica
Hurtigruten is spicing up its already exciting Antarctica cruises by adding an overnight shore excursion option to pitch tents and camp on the frozen landscapes of the White Continent. Anyone who has read the stories of the earliest explorers to Antarctica like Roald Amundsen and Earnest Shackleton will probably have wondered what it was like to sleep outdoors for months at a time in frigid conditions. This opportunity provides only a glimpse, but it comes with the perks of modern equipment and safeguards. At about $500 per person, this excursion is pricey, but think about the bragging rights when you get home!

Hurtigruten is also offering special pricing for its January 20 Weddell Sea sailing and four Classic Expedition departures - upwards of 25 percent off regular fares. This is a savings of $4,000 to $9,000 per couple.

Here's a few details of this tantalizing shore excursion. Two experienced expedition guides will accompany groups of 15 participants each. These guests will help set up the two-person tents and will be supplied with all cold-weather gear (except pajamas). The guides will lead activities dependent on the situations - short walks, talks, listening to the polar sounds, offering hot drinks and a cold drink toast, wake-up calls for the White Continent sunrise, and more. Developed in collaboration with the Norwegian Polar Institute, the company abides by IAATO guidelines - all meals are still on board Hurtigruten's MS Fram. (I guess that means no s'mores cooked over an open fire.) Although offered on every departure, the final decision regarding which sailings as well as locations of the camping option are determined by weather and land conditions.

Hurtigruten offers five different Antarctica itineraries aboard its expedition ship, MS Fram, with starting prices from $5,327 to $10,321:

  • 10-day "Classic Expedition" focuses solely on Antarctica, sailing through the Drake Passage to landings that immerse guests in the remote landscape and exotic wildlife of The White Continent;
  • 13-day "Polar Circle Expedition," similar to the 10-day experience, spends its extra days traveling as far south as the Antarctic Circle;
  • 13-day "Weddell Sea Expedition" follows the path forged by British Captain James Weddell, who reached 74 latitude in 1823 - a first for explorations;
  • 17-day "Christmas Expedition" celebrates the season with traditional carols, festive meals, Santa Claus visits and a New Year's gala and includes the Falklands and South Georgia;
  • 19-day "In the Realm of the Great Explorers" explores the areas visited by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, and takes in the sub-Arctic eco-system of the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia.

More on Antarctica cruises from About.com

Antarctica (c) Linda Garrison

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