Hurtigruten has designed 12-day Antarctic cruises to “allow North Americans whose vacation times are limited to two or three weeks per year the opportunity to visit one of the world’s most remote destinations.” The expedition ship Fram sails round trip from Buenos Aires on three 2012 departures, traveling through the famous Drake Passage and making stops in several stunning ports on the “White Continent” as well as Ushuaia, the world’s most southerly port. A selection of optional excursions, including pre- or post-cruise packages visiting Machu Picchu or the Iguazu Falls, allows guests to customize their adventures. Early booking prices for the Jan. 3, 12 and Feb. 14 departures are $6,190 to $11,083 per person, double, and must be booked by May 31; normal fares are $6,878 to $12,314.

Travelers spend a night in Buenos Aires on both ends of the voyage and visit Ushuaia before embarking on the Fram, which carries no more than 250 guests on these sailings. Possible landings in Antarctica include Half Moon Island, a rookery for Chinstrap penguins; Port Lockroy, a site that offers a view into life on an Antarctic base; Yankee Harbor, home to seals and 4,000 Gentoo penguin pairs; and Wilhelmina Bay, a feeding ground for whales and seals. Handpicked experts and staff of the onboard expedition team – which includes trip and expedition coordinators, lecturers, professors and ornithologists – optimize the Antarctica experience with incredible lectures and insight into the culture, wildlife and landscape of each area.

Hurtigruten is a leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen as well as year round along Norway's coast and Europe in the spring and fall. The company has a fleet of 14 ships, carrying from 100 to 646 passengers.