Early-Bird “Expedition Voyage” Specials from Hurtigruten

Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen are destinations probably found on most experienced traveler’s “Life List” and Hurtigruten (formerly known as Norwegian Coastal Voyage) is offering early-booking savings on all of these unique air-inclusive voyages during its 2008-09 season. Booking by December 31, 2007 saves up to $350 per person on all Oct, 2008.-Feb. 2009 Antarctica and June-Aug. 2008 Spitsbergen sailings; booking by January 31, 2008 saves $350 per person on cabins and $500 on suites for all June-Aug. 2008 Greenland cruises. Discounts may be combined with AARP savings of $100 to $150 per cabin.

Antarctica fare savings of $350 per person apply to all itineraries including the new 17-day itinerary, which ventures as far south as Marguerite Bay, a rarely visited region of the White Continent, 13-day Argentina & Antarctica, 19-day Antarctica & The Falklands/Malvinas, 19-day Antarctica, Argentine & The Chilean Fjords, and 21-day or 22-day Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Weather permitting, landings in Antarctica are made at Half Moon and Deception Islands, Ukrainian Vernadsky and Polish Arctowski Bases, Almirante Brown, Port Lockroy, Neko Harbor and Petermann Island. Regular rates range from $6,799 to $17,699 per person, double aboard the world’s newest expedition ship, the 318-berth MS Fram, or the MS Nordnorge. AARP members save an additional $150 per cabin.

Book any 2008 Greenland cruise before January 31, 2008 and receive $500 off all suites or $350 off all cabins. Itineraries are 15-day shoulder-season sailings between Iceland’s Reykjavik and the eastern and southern Greenland coasts; eight-day programs in the Disko Bay region; and 15 days combining the Disko Bay and Thule in Greenland’s northern reaches. The packages offer sea and land-based excursions, presentations on numerous aspects of life in Greenland, and included and optional activities. Prices before discounts range from $3,673 – $21,899.

Booking any nine- or 16-day 2008 Spitsbergen adventures by December 31, 2007, for departures between June and Aug. 2008, saves $200 per person; and $350 on the 12-day voyage. These air-inclusive Expedition Cruises to this remote Arctic island offers guests a hands-on visit to a unique Arctic environment where the Midnight Sun casts a 24-hour spotlight on polar bears, Svalbard reindeer, Arctic foxes, whales, walruses and ringed and harp seals and dozens of other animals and migratory birds still roam the stunning landscapes of their natural habitat. Pre-discounted fares for the Spitsbergen Arctic Adventure (nine-day) are $6,299 – $6,700; 16-day Spitsbergen Ultimate Voyages are $7,399 – $8,399; 12-day Grand Arctic Expeditions are $9,599 to $11,699. AARP members enjoy an additional $100 per cabin savings.

All of these soft-adventure cruises are designed for active, experienced travelers who want to be stimulated with interesting company and take home an appreciation and greater understanding of what they have seen. Hurtigruten uses naturalist guides, noted guest lecturers and PolarCirkel boat landings to focus on exploring these pristine polar regions of glaciers, huge icebergs, abundant wildlife and the historical, cultural and traditional aspects of the local people.

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