Saturday, 7 May 2011

HURTIGRUTEN’S 12-DAY “ANTARCTIC DISCOVERY” IS IDEAL FOR TRAVELERS WITH SHORTER VACATION ALLOWANCES

Booking by May 31, 2011, Saves up to $1,231 per

Hurtigruten’s very popular 12-day “Antarctic Discovery” allows the many 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 deluxe expedition ship MS 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. The mesmerizing effect of Antarctica’s endless landscapes of glaciers and icebergs is only broken when colonies of thousands of penguins come into view, one of several exotic animal highlights. 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. Members of Hurtigruten’s 1893 Ambassador Loyalty Program receive an additional 5% discount.

Travelers spend a night in Buenos Aires on both ends of the voyage, where they often find it difficult to choose amongst the many attractions available in this “Paris of South America” city, including art museums by the dozen, small bookshops on nearly every corner and a world famous zoo. Guests visit Ushuaia before embarking on the luxurious MS 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 popular 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. The handpicked experts and staff of the onboard expedition team – which includes trip and expedition coordinators, noted lecturers, professors and ornithologists – optimize the Antarctica experience with incredible lectures and insight into the culture, wildlife and landscape of each area.

The diverse optional excursions personalize the cruise experience while offering a more in-depth understanding of the local history and culture. Choices include guided sightseeing in Buenos Aires, which takes guests from the designer boutiques of cafes of trendy Palermo to the vibrant wooden abodes of La Boca; a tour through unique and isolated plants and wildlife of Tierra del Fuego National Park in Ushuaia; and a tango show accompanied by dinner. Longer options range from the four-night “Machu Picchu and Cusco” pre-cruise extension, which introduces guests to Peruvian culture, to the natural wonders of the Iguazu Falls on a three-night pre- or post-cruise stay in the northeast corner of Argentina.

Rates include accommodation in cabin grade of choice; round trip flights between Ushuaia and Buenos Aires, including current taxes and surcharges; two nights in Buenos Aires, including breakfast; all meals on board; a wind and water proof jacket; and all aspects of the onboard program, including lectures. Optional excursions, international flights and cruise fuel surcharge are additional.

Hurtigruten is a world 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’s fleet of 14 intimate ships, carrying 100 to 646 passengers, allows passengers to enjoy unique destinations in a relaxed atmosphere. Additional information on all of these adventures, as well as brochures and reservations, can be obtained from travel agents or Hurtigruten's visitor-friendly web site, http://www.hurtigruten.us/; or by phone: (877) 301-3117; fax (888) 524-2145; for brochures (800) 582-0835, 24 hours a day.