Between the Poles - Our Epic Global Expedition Cruise with Hurtigruten Expeditions
Price: $40,598USD Per Person
(based on Polar Outside, Category N2, September 2, 2022 - MS Fram)
Savings: Canadian Residents Save 20%
Departure Date: September 2, 2022
Video: Explore the world with us | Hurtigruten
- Overnight in Edmonton before the expedition cruise, including breakfast
- Economy flight from Edmonton to Cambridge Bay before the expedition cruise
- Economy flight from Punta Arenas to Santiago de Chile after the expedition cruise
- Transfer from the hotel in Edmonton to the airport before the expedition cruise
- Transfer from the airport to the ship in Cambridge Bay before the expedition cruise
- Transfer between the ship and Punta Arenas airport after the expedition cruise
- Stateroom of your choice (Polar Outside and Arctic Superiors are available)
- 750€ onboard credit
- Laundry service
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including select beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants at lunch and dinner
- Fine-dining À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is included for suite guests
- Complimentary tea and coffee
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board (Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection - Streaming is not supported)
- Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
- English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
- Range of included activities
- Experts from the Expedition Team present detailed lectures on a variety of topics
- Use of the ship’s Science Center which has advanced biological and geological microscopes
- The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research projects
- The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
- The ship has hot tubs, an infinity pool, a sauna, an outdoor and indoor gym, and an outdoor running track
- Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations
- Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
- Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
- Expedition photographers will help configure your camera settings before landings
Photo: Map of Pole to Pole Adventure onboard MS Fram
Day 1: Edmonton, Canada
Your epic adventure begins in Edmonton, a city on the North Saskatchewan River in the province of Alberta and North America’s northernmost metropolitan region. Forbes Magazine recently called Edmonton “one of Canada’s hottest destinations”. If you arrange to arrive early, you’ll have time to find out why.
Edmonton is lively and colorful, with all the features of a modern metropolis. There’s a thriving food scene, craft breweries and distilleries, plenty of independent shopping boutiques, and a cutting-edge arts scene. In short, it’s the perfect place to get ready for the next two months at sea.
Day 2: Edmonton - Cambridge Bay
In the morning, you’ll fly from Edmonton to Cambridge Bay, where your expedition ship MS Fram awaits you.
Cambridge Bay is a settlement of around 2,000 people on Victoria Island—one of Arctic Canada’s largest islands. In the local language of Inuinnaqtun, Cambridge Bay is called ‘Iqaluktuuttiaq’, meaning a ‘Good Fishing Place’. It’s aptly named. Visitors flock here for the Arctic char fly-fishing in the nearby rivers.
The abundant wildlife found here is also an attraction for explorers to this area. Others come to visit the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, a world-class center for studying climate change and all things related to the Arctic. It’s only fitting for your cruise to start here, where Arctic explorers of old often sheltered while seeking the Northwest Passage. Now you too can add your name to this illustrious list, which includes the legendary Norwegian adventurer Roald Amundsen.
After check in on the ship and collect your complimentary expedition jacket, you’ll have some time to settle into your cabin or walk around exploring your new home away from home. A mandatory safety briefing will be held before departure to make sure we are all suitably prepared for the cruise ahead.
The evening’s dinner—the first of many on board—begins with a toast by the captain, wishing everyone an enjoyable expedition. You’ll then meet the Expedition Team in a separate welcome session, who will also relay some important health and safety information.
They also run you through important guidelines from AECO, the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators. You’ll learn how you can protect wildlife habitats, keep a safe distance from wild animals, and how to visit Arctic communities in a dignified and respectful way.
Photo: Aerial View of the Northwest Passage - Photo Credit: NASA/Hurtigruten Expeditions
Days 3 - 10: Northwest Passage Exploration
We’ll set course for the heart of the fabled Northwest Passage. Since the late 15th century, the search for this fabled seaway through the Canadian Arctic was a holy grail for hardy sea adventurers.
John Cabot led the first recorded voyage here in 1497. James Cook attempted but failed to sail it in 1776, and many may have heard about the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845. The first to conquer the Northwest Passage by boat was Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, on an expedition lasting from 1903 to 1906.
Sea ice varies from year to year, making every expedition here unique. In this modern era, we’ll chart our own adventure with our state-of-the-art navigation equipment, setting a course for Eastern Canada. During the passage, we will land at sites linked to early exploration history, visit Inuit communities, and watch for Arctic wildlife such as polar bears, whales, seals, and a variety of seabirds.
There may be opportunities for small boat (RIB) cruising between ice floes. In true expedition style, we’ll go ashore and experience the pristine wilderness of the Canadian Arctic firsthand.
The Captain the Expedition Team Leader continuously assess the weather and sea conditions and will adapt the activities accordingly, adjusting the itinerary to take the sea ice into account. Like all good explorers, we must respect and work with nature, never against her.
Along the way, we hope to show you some of the following places:
Gjoa Haven honors the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who wintered here in 1903 on the Gjøa expedition. He called the place ‘the finest little harbor in the world’ and learned a great deal from local Netsilik Inuit people about survival and travel in the polar regions. These skills were instrumental in helping Amundsen become the first man to reach the South Pole, almost a decade later.
Fort Ross was established in 1937. The Canadian Coast Guard maintains two small huts ashore, which are occasionally used by the local Inuit people for shelter. It was one of Hudson’s Bay Company’s few trading posts in the Canadian Arctic.
Beechey Island is closely linked to the history of exploration of the Northwest Passage, particularly the voyage led by Sir John Franklin, whose two ships sailed into the passage in 1845 but never returned. The Franklin Expedition was known to have spent the winter here in 1845 and three of his men are buried here.
Radstock Bay is dominated by the striking rock of Caswell Tower. The shoreline here is excellent for a short walk to a prehistoric Inuit site. Caswell Tower itself features a challenging hike to the summit for great views.
Dundas Harbour is an abandoned settlement featuring an old Royal Canadian Mounted Police camp and an old Hudson’s Bay Company trading post, with several archeological sites from the Thule period.
Set on the picturesque Eclipse Sound with Bylot Island in the distance, Pond Inlet, called ‘Mittimatalik’ in Inuktitut, is a traditional Inuit community on Baffin Island. Pond Inlet is surrounded by mountain ranges, with glaciers, scenic fjords, ice caves, geological hoodoos, and drifting icebergs to marvel at.
Throughout the journey, we’ll sail past spellbinding scenery and be on a constant lookout for wildlife such as the mighty (but elusive) polar bear.
Days 11 - 19: Greenland & Atlantic Canada
As we emerge from the Northwest Passage, we leave Canadian territory behind us (for now) and set course for Greenland. The informative lectures in the Science Center continue as we sail across Baffin Bay and the Davis Strait. The topics may include the wildlife you might see, Greenlandic culture, expedition history, geology, photography, and lectures on famous historic explorers.
Ilulissat, Greenland: Ilulissat (translated simply as ‘Icebergs’) is set in the stunning scenery of the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This place is picture perfect. It’s also a vibrant hub for adventure seekers who head out onto the polar ice sheet. There are almost as many sled dogs living here as people.
Just outside the town, you can often see enormous icebergs floating in the deep blue waters. They originate from the Jakobshavn Glacier, which calves some 35 billion tons of icebergs each year. These bergs make their way down the 12-mile fjord before entering Disko Bay. Their shimmering forms and delicate hues are a nature photographer’s dream.
Sisimiut, Greenland: Greenland’s second-largest settlement sits 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the central coastal area of the Davis Strait. Its name translates into ‘The People at the Fox Holes’, a reference to the many Arctic fox burrows that lie nearby. Another local animal is the musk ox, whose wool is used to make a local fabric called qiviut—said to be 10 times warmer than sheep wool.
Kvanefjord, Greenland: The Kvanefjord is a fjord stretching 30 miles along the west coast of Greenland in the Sermersooq district, which means ‘Place of Much Ice’. The fjord extends over six miles inland before branching into three smaller channels, each with a glacier at its head.
We’ll spend this day exploring this amazing fjord, and the captain will search for places to drop anchor and head ashore. There will be plenty of opportunities to watch for wildlife, either from the deck or on land, or perhaps you’d just like to stretch your legs and enjoy the stunning scenery.
After Kvanefjord, we set out across the Labrador Sea. Relax, get to know your fellow travelers, and make full use of the onboard facilities. In the Science Center, the Expedition Team’s fascinating lecture program focuses on the wildlife and ecosystems of the Arctic region.
Red Bay, Canada: Red Bay is a former Basque whaling settlement on the coast of southern Labrador in the Strait of Belle Isle. Keep your eyes peeled for humpback and minke whales as we sail through these waters.
A fair share of whaling vessels met their doom before reaching the shores of Red Bay. Wrecked galleons and chalupas—small boats used by whalers in the 16th century—are just some of the ships that have been found preserved in these icy waters. These discoveries make Red Bay one of the most important underwater archeological sites in the world.
Corner Brook, Canada: As we sail into the Bay of Islands, surrounded by the jagged slopes and dense forests of the Long Range Mountains, we’ll chart the same course as Captain James Cook over 250 years ago.
Just like the famed British explorer, we’ll head to Corner Brook, at the mouth of the Humber River. This is the second-largest city in the Newfoundland and Labrador province, after St. John’s. While St. John’s is trendy and international, Corner Brook is definitely traditional and local.
Days 20 - 27: Halifax to Colon
The next leg of your journey begins in Halifax, the cosmopolitan capital of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. This well-situated seaport looks out over one of the world’s largest natural harbors. Halifax has all the allure of a modern Canadian city. It’s a great place to do a little shopping before we head south to the tropics.
Over the next seven days at sea, the Expedition Team will deepen our knowledge of the oceans and ecology. At the same time, we’ll take advantage of the fantastic onboard facilities to run a program aimed at focusing on the mind, body, and soul. What does this mean? Read below to find out ...
Understanding our oceans: As we sail from Nova Scotia to Panama, you’ll be able to take part in an engaging program of hands-on lectures, workshops, and classes that cover topics such as marine biology and the history of sea navigation from the Vikings through today. As an added bonus, you’ll be invited to join the ship’s officers on the bridge, giving you a behind-the-scenes insight into what modern navigation is all about.
Learn from enthusiastic Expedition Team members that were handpicked for their expertise, and explore the ocean’s hidden ecosystems through microscopes in the ship’s Science Center. You can also participate in Citizen Science projects, which contribute to current scientific research around the world.
Finding inner peace: It’s not all experiments and learning though—rest and rejuvenation on this journey are just as important. Take time to stop, watch the waves, reflect, and enjoy precious time to rejuvenate yourself.
Help reset your body, mind, and soul with daily onboard yoga and meditation classes run by wellness professionals. These sessions will leave you feeling refreshed, recharged, and ready for your next adventure.
Also take this time to observe and appreciate nature’s wonder all around you. Contemplate the majesty of the sea or the shifting of the clouds above. Watch for wildlife out on deck while basking in the balmy Caribbean weather. You might even catch sight of dolphins, flying fish, and rare seabirds. Connect with the harmony of the birds’ movements and notice its calming effect on you.
Photo: The Panama Canal - Photo Credit: Andrea Klaussner/Hurtigruten Expeditions
Days 28 - 45: Panama Canal to Valparaiso, Chile
We’ll pass through the Panama Canal, a 50-mile-long man-made marvel of engineering featuring channels and open water that was opened to traffic in 1914. The canal links the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, and roughly halfway through the 12-hour transit, we’ll enter the Gatun Lake section. If you’re lucky, you may spot a crocodile or alligator on shore. Watch the trees and you may also catch a glimpse of monkeys and even a sloth or two.
After emerging into the Pacific Ocean, the next leg of our journey will take you to visit two national parks, as well as a range of endearing coastal communities across five Latin American countries: Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. But first, we’ll pay a visit to the amazing and rarely visited Darién region.
La Chunga, Darién National Park, Panama: It’s pure adventure today as we head to an authentic Emberá community in the middle of the jungle in Darién National Park. The indigenous Emberá people have lived in this area for centuries, long before the first Spanish explorer ever set foot in the New World. The community doesn’t receive regular visitors; we have worked closely with them to give you this rare opportunity. We’ll brief you beforehand on how to ensure that our visit to this isolated community is respectful and in line with their courtesy customs.
To get there, we’ll drop anchor in La Chunga Bay and head up through the jungle on the Sambú River using our small boats (RIBs). As we will be traveling inland, it will likely get a lot hotter; you’ll want to bring good protection from the sun and mosquitos. The journey up river will take approximately one hour but will be well worth it.
Bahía Solano, Colombia: The little town of Bahía Solano is the largest settlement on Colombia’s Chocó coast, near the mouth of Rio Jella and surrounded by thick jungle. It is also called ‘Ciudad Mutis’, after the 18th-century Spanish botanist José Celestino Mutis. Such a name could be an homage to the natural biodiversity that exists in the area’s jungles, mangroves, mountains, marshes, rivers, and bays.
The community opens their town to us and warmly invites you on a hosted walk through their settlement. Meet and talk along the way to the Afro-Colombian residents who live alongside the indigenous Emberá people, and other people from the interior.
Manta, Ecuador: MS Fram will bring us across the Equator early in the morning. Join a traditional onboard seafaring ceremony in which we seek King Neptune’s blessing. Setting foot on South American soil, our first port of call is Montecristi, located five miles inland from the tuna-fishing port city of Manta. This town was established in the 16th century by Manteños (indigenous Ecuadoreans) seeking respite from the frequent pirate raids on the coast. Montecristi is the actual birthplace of the Panama hat, despite its name.
Isla de la Plata, Ecuador: Isla de la Plata is a part of Parque Nacional Machalilla, Ecuador’s only coastal national park. The island sits a ways off the coast and is prone to large waves that can make landings a challenge. Its name, which means ‘Island of Silver’, is thought to come from the belief that English explorer and sea captain Sir Francis Drake buried a trove of silver here. A more blunt explanation is that the sunshine reflects off of the abundant bird guano here and gives the island a shiny, silvery look when seen from the mainland. You can believe whichever version you prefer! Alas, no treasure has ever been found on the tiny island, which measures a little over three square miles.
But what the island lacks in size or silver, it more than makes up for in the wide range of wildlife, which even rivals that of the Galápagos Islands.
Puerto Bolívar (Machala), Ecuador: Machala’s main claim to fame is Puerto Bolívar, an important Ecuadorian port where coffee, cocoa, shrimp, and bananas (which the locals call oro verde, or ‘green gold’, given their abundance) leave for export. The nearby Puyango Petrified Forest has one of the largest collections of fossilized trees in the world, thought to be about 100 million years old.
Salaverry, Peru: Pummeled by the Pacific Ocean’s wind and waves, Salaverry can be a tricky port to access. If we are able to land there, it is a good starting point to explore Trujillo, Peru’s third-largest city, along with the array of pre-Colombian archaeological sites scattered throughout the region.
Callao/Lima, Peru: Set on a strip of desert between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains, you’ll find the Peruvian capital city of Lima. Served by the seaport of Callao, Lima is the largest city in the country. It’s a modern, sprawling metropolis where traditions and modernity mix to create a heady cocktail of culture and cuisine. Among this modern metropolis, the fascinating and enigmatic adobe clay ruins of the Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca ceremonial pyramids are all that remains of a long-lost ancient culture.
Paracas, Peru: Nestled on a bay behind a peninsula, the humble and sleepy resort town of Paracas is surrounded by brown-sugar–colored cliffs and lovely beaches. Opposite the Paracas harbor is a mysterious local geoglyph carved into the landscape of a candelabra-like symbol. The origin and meaning of it remains a mystery. It could be related to the famous Nazca Lines, which you may have an opportunity to visit in the Pisco Valley on an optional excursion.
Arica, Chile: Unusual for a city by the sea, Arica is bathed in glorious sunshine almost every day of the year. Residents proudly describe the place as being immersed in a never-ending spring. You can’t miss the San Marcos Cathedral, designed by Gustave Eiffel (of Parisian fame) and inaugurated in 1876.
Iquique, Chile: Welcome to a slice of paradise by the Pacific Ocean, complete with palm trees and beachside promenades. You may have the opportunity to visit the nearby abandoned saltpeter mining town of Humberstone in the Atacama Desert. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a slice of history that you can literally walk through.
La Serena, Chile: Perched beside the ocean, La Serena is blessed with beautiful sandy beaches all along Avenida del Mar and beyond. You’ll find Chile’s second-oldest city to have a distinct Neo-Colonial look and feel to it. Its modern buildings meld with classic architecture, such as the 30 or so carefully restored stone churches, some of which are around 350 years old.
Valparaíso, Chile: Known as UNESCO’s ‘Jewel of the Pacific’, this UNESO World Heritage listed city is a maze of monuments, churches, historical funicular cable cars, trendy neighborhoods, cobblestone alleys, colorful houses, and charming plazas.
Photo: Beach life in Arica, Chile - Photo Credit: Camille Seaman/Hurtigruten Expeditions
Days 46 - 55: Patagonia
Castro: We’ve made it to Patagonia. In Castro, bring your camera to snap the brightly painted palafitos. These are traditional wooden houses on stilts, which line the edges of the fjord at Gamboa Wharf. The nearby UNESCO-listed Church of San Francisco is a masterpiece of carpentry, made entirely of wood in Neo-Gothic style.
Puerto Edén: The tiny village of Puerto Edén sits on a bay in a remote peninsula jutting into a fjord in the province of Última Esperanza (which means ‘Last Hope’). This is a good place to access the exceptional landscapes of Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, Chile’s largest protected area. This features a stunning network of peaceful fjords and gorgeous forest-covered mountains. There are no roads leading to or from this isolated village—and not even within it! There are simply boardwalks and footpaths connecting the homes of its fewer than 200 residents.
Puerto Natales: Take in the breathtaking views of the southern Andes as we arrive at Puerto Natales. The city is an entry point to Torres del Paine National Park, which attracts hikers and climbers from all over the world. Aside from a full-day optional excursion to the national park, you can also spend some time leisurely exploring Puerto Natales by foot. This sleepy city is a mix of Bohemian bars, outdoor gear retailers, corrugated tin houses, and restaurants serving international cuisine.
Chilean fjords: We’ll cruise amongst the fabled fjords and multitude of islands found within Chile’s rugged Magallanes Province, where jagged mountains reach for the sky. We will pass through the western part of the Strait of Magellan, named after the famous 16th-century Portuguese explorer who first traversed it. The scenery is so fantastic that you’ll feel an innate sense of wonder and awe.
Cape Horn & the Drake Passage: After looping around the glacier-carved Alberto de Agostini National Park, we’ll the Beagle Channel. Take in breathtaking landscapes as we pass between the national park and Isla Gordon, which belongs to the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. At the tip of South America lies the legendary Cape Horn. It was a major milestone in the old clipper routes connecting Europe with the Far East and Oceania. This is where the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean collide, creating powerful waves made even stronger by swirling westerly winds. For yachters, rounding Cape Horn is a maritime feat, comparable, for them, to summiting Mount Everest. Given the notoriety of these turbulent waters, we can’t guarantee a landing. However, if fortune plays in our favor that day and the weather is stable enough to dock on the island, you can be among a select few in the world to set foot on it. From Cape Horn, it’s a clear shot to Antarctica across the Drake Passage.
Days 56 - 62: Antarctica
This is the final frozen frontier—an unspoiled, vast, white desert at the bottom of the world, teeming with life. Majestic mountains coated in thick snow rise from the icy sea. Glaciers creep across the landscape, destined to crack and calve icebergs along the coast. The scenery is almost silent, except for the shrill cries of lovesick penguins, splashes from courting seals, and the sounds of calving ice. The 46 species of birds living here, such as terns, petrels, and jaegers, will also catch your attention.
During our seven days we spend around the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, we’ll likely go ashore at several places, giving you a firsthand look at the region’s amazing wildlife and landscapes. The Expedition Team will lead on landings, where they’ll create a perimeter for you to move around freely at your own speed. They will also lead ice-cruising in our small boats (RIBs) to admire icebergs and glaciers from a safe distance.
In addition, there are often opportunities for optional activities such as kayaking, camping, and snowshoeing, although the number of participants is limited. Consider joining ongoing Citizen Science projects, such as photographing whales and collecting water samples. By participating in Citizen Science projects, you can assist scientists around the world by uploading your whale photos and water sample information to a global database, where these photos can be used to study whale migration patterns and microbiology. You’ll gain an even better understanding of Antarctica’s fragile ecosystem by studying samples in the Science Center.
As outlined in the Antarctic Treaty, Antarctica is dedicated to peace, science, and tourism. That’s why we adhere to very strict environmental guidelines in this area. We are the outsiders here, so it is important to make the smallest impact as possible. The wildlife is used to the ice and cold weather, but not human interference.
Leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures! In fact, in many of the areas we visit, we even wipe out our footprints to prevent penguins from falling into them and getting stuck. As Antarctic ambassadors, we want future explorers to have the same opportunities as we have today experience this pristine continent.
Photo: MS Fram in Antarctica - Photo Credit: Dave Katz/Hurtigruten Expeditions
Days 63 - 65: Drake Passage & Beagle Channel
Inspired. That’s how many of our guests feel after seven fascinating and unforgettable days exploring Antarctica. You (and your camera’s memory card!) will have lasting memories of unforgettable experiences that will stay with you forever.
MS Fram will now turn back northward and take you safely back across the Drake Passage and through the Beagle Channel. The Expedition Team’s lectures continue in the Science Center, where they will also recap the experiences from our cruise. If you start to feel a little nostalgic about the cruise, even before it ends, that’s absolutely normal. The good news is that there’s still plenty of time left to enjoy yourself. Count the stars from the hot tub on the observation deck and swap contact information with your fellow explorers.
Day 66: Punta Arenas/Santiago de Chile
We arrive in Punta Arenas in the morning. Alas, your Pole-to-Pole expedition has come to an end. You’ll be transferred to the airport, where you’ll fly to the capital, Santiago de Chile. If you have some extra time before heading back home, consider extending your journey to enjoy the Chilean capital. Consider ending your epic journey with a Post-Program to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Easter Island, where you can admire— and try to make sense of—the mysterious statues of giant heads.
Say farewell to the ship, the captain, the crew and the Expedition Team, but don’t leave your sense of adventure behind. When one chapter ends another begins, and there are more destinations—and expedition cruises—to experience.
Most of all, we hope that you will cherish all the magical moments you experienced on this expedition—that these moments will stay vivid in your mind and heart. We share an overall goal: Showing that expedition cruises can and should be sustainable, and to inspire all of us to do more to protect and cherish our wonderful planet. This is the appreciation we want you to take home with you and share with your friends and family. Here’s to seeing you on your next adventure!