Hurtigruten has extended its early-booking deals on four of its seven Antarctic itineraries, with savings of up to 20% on the Nov. 2011 through Feb. 2012 sailings. These once-in-a-lifetime voyages explore the vast and mysterious wilderness of the White Continent, the coldest, driest and windiest destination on earth, replete with gleaming icebergs, blue whales and orcas feeding mere feet from the ships, and penguin populations whose individual rookeries number in the tens of thousands. Bookings of the 12- to 19-day cruises must be made by May 31. Prices with savings range from $6,190 to $13,684 per person, double, and include a night in Buenos Aires before and after the cruise, all meals onboard, expert guides, lectures and PolarCirkel boat landings.
* The 19-day “Shackleton’s Christmas,” departing Dec. 18, follows the same path as Shackleton’s original Endurance Expedition of 1914, navigating the western-most outposts of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia Island before heading to Antarctica. But adds traditional carols, festive meals, Santa Claus visits and a New Year’s gala added in celebration of the holidays. Prices range from $7,916 to $13,684 with savings.
* The 17-day “Chilean Fjords & Antarctica” spends four days in the White Continent and five days along the stunningly scenic Tierra del Fuego and Chilean Fjords. Two departures, Nov. 20 and Dec. 4, are priced from $6,329 to $11,374 with savings.
* 12-day “Antarctic Discovery” focuses solely on the White Continent, sailing through the Drake Passage and down into the southern ocean during Antarctica’s gorgeous summer. Early-booking fares of the Jan. 3, 12 and Feb. 14, 2012 departures are $6,190 to $11,083.
* The 15-day “Weddell Sea Adventure” follows the path forged by the Swedish Antarctica Expedition of 1901-04, whose scientific results covered extensive ground in biology, zoology, geology, meteorology and magnetism while also reaching south 74º latitude – a first for explorations. Prices with savings are $6,793 to $12,690 for the Jan. 21, 2012 sailing.
Hurtigruten’s deluxe expedition ship, MS Fram, accommodates 318 guests in suites and staterooms and features a restaurant, two bars, panoramic lounges library, and Internet café and conference rooms. The early-booking savings can be combined with discounts available in the 1893 Ambassador Program, Hurtigruten’s customer loyalty program, which includes 5% off Explorer Voyages to Antarctica in addition to exclusive discounts and recognition benefits for members.