Hurtigruten Releases 2012/13 Explorer Voyages Brochure

In response to increasing demand by travelers seeking true adventure in remote landscapes, Hurtigruten’s new 74-page full-color Explorer Voyages brochure details 17 voyages, ranging from eight to 19 days, and features four new voyages, three additional Antarctica departure dates and savings of up to 25%.

New itineraries are the 14-day “National Park Expedition” in Greenland, stopping in the rarely visited North East Greenland National Park; the eight-day “Explorer Voyage,” sailing along Spitsbergen’s west coast; “Autumn Adventure,” an eight-day course taking in the Isles of Faroe, Orkney and Shetland; and a relaxing 19-day “Trans-Atlantic Crossing,” which sails from the Canary Island’s Las Palmas to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Travelers save up to 20% on next year’s sailings in Greenland, Spitsbergen and Europe by booking before Sep. 30, 2011 and in Antarctica by Dec. 31, 2011.

The popular 1893 Ambassador Program, recently expanded worldwide, grants repeat passengers an added 5% off the voyages as well as a host of other amenities. Additionally, travelers booking a suite on any of the Greenland voyages receive a free business class upgrade with Air Greenland.

As a leader in expedition cruising, Hurtigruten takes its commitment to safeguarding these remote destinations seriously and belongs to both AECO and IAATO – organizations that demand its members maintain responsible travel safeguards for future generations. They also are promoting the clean-up of the Svalbard archipelago as well as making its deluxe expedition ship, MS Fram, available to marine biologists and other scientists as a platform for scientific research.

Antarctica: to satisfy increasing demand of this consistently popular Hurtigruten destination, the line has doubled the number of departures on its “Classic Expedition” for the 2012 season. Travelers, enchanted by the tuxedo-suited greeters that welcome them to the “White Continent,” soon learn that penguins are just a small part of the experience. Guests delight in all that Antarctica offers – dramatic scenery, countless species of bird and marine life, and haunting landscapes. Five itineraries of 10 to 19 days run November through February, beginning and ending in the lively capital of Buenos Aires, known for football, tango and Mendoza wine. Early-booking savings, good through Dec. 31, 2011, means fares range from $5,567 to $13,719 per person, double, and include round-trip air between Buenos Aires and the boarding port in Ushuaia.

Spitsbergen: located midway between Norway and the North Pole, Spitsbergen is the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago and offers no roads to link communities – making Hurtigruten’s sailings the best way to take in the remote vistas. Polar bears reign supreme amidst a landscape of towering glaciers, spectacular fjords, Arctic deserts, the Midnight Sun, sharing the region with a wealth of both marine and land animals and migratory birds. The carefully chosen members of the Expedition team are on hand to explain and accompany guests ashore to see the unique Arctic sights revealed on these itineraries, such as the ice-filled Hinlopen Strait; Nordauslandet Island; historical settlements of Barentsburg and Ny-Ålesund; the stunning Hornsund Fjord; Bear Island; Lilliehook Glacier; and Andreeneset, where the remains of the ill-fated 1897 Andree Balloon Expedition were found in 1930. Three eight-day Spitsbergen itineraries, all on the highly-regarded MS Fram, are offered at $3,053 to $6,702 per person, double — when booked by Sept. 30, 2011.

Greenland: a polar destination like no other, Hurtigruten’s Greenland offers breathtaking nature – mountain formations, wildlife, icebergs and glaciers – and, utilizing visits to Greenlandic communities and settlements, a deeper understanding of the Inuit people’s heritage and culture. As a focal point for climatic research, Greenland attracts an array of scientists and travelers seeking to understand how the world’s climate impacts the environment. Three itineraries – nine, 12 and 14 days — explore the western coast of this massive island, visiting small villages as well as rarely visited regions. Highlights feature walking tours of Inuit towns with tongue-twisting names — Qeqertarsuaq, Ukkusissat, Ilulissat and Uummannaq; abundant wildlife that includes numerous species of whales, seals (numbering about 2 million), walruses, musk oxen, Arctic foxes and hundreds of bird species; and, on the 12-day adventure, Iceland’s Reykjavik and Grundarfjordur. On-board Expedition Leaders and experts teach guests about the biology, climate, history and geology and interaction with local people ensures lasting memories. Sailings depart in June, July and September, with the early-booking savings range in price from $5,916 to $10,731 per person, double, if booked by Sept. 30.

Europe — an array of countries and experiences are available aboard the MS Fram as it travels along the coast of Europe during its spring and fall sailings. The spring schedule offers a trio of possibilities: a 10-day “Easter Voyage” from Lisbon, Portugal to Hamburg, Germany, visiting Spain, France and the Channel Islands on the way; an 11-day “Spring Adventure” exploring Norway’s west coast and many of its most stunning fjords, ending in Hamburg; and the 9-day “Pearls of the Baltic” — Copenhagen, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Estonia and Stockholm. Fares booked by Sept. 30 range from $2,101 to $5,534 per person, double.

In the Fall, travelers venture further south with two brand new itineraries: the 8-day “Autumn Adventure” sails from Reykjavik, Iceland to Bergen, crossing the North Sea and making stops in the Faroe, Orkney and Shetland Isles, and Edinburgh on its way; and the 19-day “Transatlantic Crossing” which focuses on relaxation as it makes its journey from Las Palmas to Buenos Aires – and features an Equator Baptism. The fall line-up also includes the 17-day “Migrating South,” venturing to France’s Rouen and Nantes, Spain’s La Coruña and Arrecife, Portugal’s Leixões, Lisbon and Portimão, Morocco’s Casablanca and Agadir, and the Canary Islands. Early-booking rates range from $1,410 to $7,148 if booked by Sept. 30, 2011.

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