Hurtigruten plans to offer camping, hiking, kayaking and small boat excursions in conjunction with its Antarctica sailings aboard the 2007-built, 318-passenger Fram. The company said that combining these excursions with the numerous landings, thousands of penguin hosts, and the stunning scenery of the White Continent, makes any of the five 2014-2015 season Antarctica itineraries a trip-of-a-lifetime. Current fares (best prices are for earliest bookings) range from $7,299 for an inside cabin to $18,217 for a Grand Suite, per person, double, depending on itinerary.
According to a prepared statement, camping started last year and remains one of the most sought out of excursions. Guests help in pitching the two-man polar tents before spending the evening on short hikes with expedition leaders and getting a different perspective of the scenery. The night is spent in warm sleeping bags on mattress pads listening to the waves of the ocean and distinct cracks of calving glaciers. Hiking is done in snowshoes or regular hiking boots, allowing participants to go beyond the ordinary. The ship’s fleet of double and single kayaks allow for maneuvering the ice-cluttered waters with the possibility of seals and penguins swimming nearby.
Hurtigruten said the most remote of its offerings is a 15-day circle-Antarctica voyage, crossing the Polar Circle - 66° 33’ and making landings in some of the rarely visited areas of the Antarctica Peninsula. Possible highlights include the former research Station W on Detaille Island; the relatively unaltered and completely equipped British scientific research station from the 50s, known as Station Y Horseshoe Island; as well as several other more established sites. Departures are Jan. 28 and Feb 11, 2015.