The ship itself is unpretentiously elegant in its simplicity. Hurtigruten aptly delivers cruise comfort without displays of extravagance. Spacious public areas have excellent sight lines to the amazing views along the way, and stylish furnishings throughout the lounges add to the classic feel of the vessel. Requisite pampering is delivered by genuine staff and life’s simple pleasures are honored with ondeck hot tubs or a welcoming sauna session to warm the soul. Ditch expectations of glitzy entertainment and instead focus on Mother Nature’s production show of stunning scenery. Rather than emphasizing the thread count of linens or the luxuries of indulgence, this cruise earns its well-deserved kudos from the experiences and memories of a lifetime.
Grappling with the challenges of Antarctic survival is a daily ritual for the local wildlife, but translates into an entertaining show for us.
The ship’s accommodations make an appeal to every lifestyle and budget. Grandiose suites with private balconies offer the allure of extravagance for pleasure seekers, and 10 grand suites offer floor- to- ceiling bay windows complementing upscale cruise luxury. If budget concerns enter into the mix, an assortment of more modest staterooms provide value.
When hunger beckons, the main dining room answers with bountiful breakfasts that fuel bodies for a day of outdoor exploration, and casual lunch buffets offer a variety of dishes for midday cravings. Evening dinners are mixed between buffets and sit-down service and lean toward current trends, and an alternate venue provides an intimate dining premise with more elaborate menu designs.
One noteworthy spot on board for ample viewing opportunities is the large, two-story panorama lounge above the bow with wall-to-wall windows that let in natural light and provide extraordinary views.
Indeed, Antarctica is a perpetually evolving landscape with relentless attributes of surreal scenery that supplies a mindenhancing potion of nature. Hurtigruten assumes an extremely proactive role in its IAATO membership, an organization that advocates environmentally responsible practices assuring that the ecosystem and its abundant wildlife is not threatened or overwhelmed.
Cruising Antarctica is not so much sailing toward a specific destination, but traveling into the continent with complete immersion into the surroundings. There is something magical about the multidimensional white blanket of ice and snow, dormant in a golden silence that stirs the soul. There may not be any roads, but there are avenues of discovery in every nautical mile of this adventurous expedition cruise. Blissfully calm but never boring, this isolated continent will rock your world with spontaneous sights availing themselves according to the whims of nature.
Galapagos sea lion