Hurtigruten has announced pricing specials on its Spring and Summer line-up of Exploration Cruises – cruises designed to take in some of the world’s most remote destinations. All offer savings of 25% on the price of suites aboard the world’s newest and most deluxe expedition ship, the MS Fram, and free air from New York’s JFK or Newark’s Liberty Int’l Airport, if booked by April 31, 2010.
And to make it even more of a deal, Hurtigruten is allowing the discount to be combined with a two other offers: “10% Repeater Discount” – for passengers who sailed on any Hurtigruten ship in the past three years; and “AARP” – members receive a $50 shipboard credit; as do “AAA” members. Add-on airfares from dozens of North American gateways range from $100 to $600.
Included cruises are three “Greenland” September departures – discounted rates for suites are $5,649 to $9,314 per person, double; the 11-day, May 29 “Climate Pilgrimage” sailing to Northern Norway and the Arctic island of Spitsbergen — $5,108 to $7,137 for suites (other cabin grades on this cruise enjoy a 15% reduction – no free air – $4,100 to $5,263); and a new European cruise — “Baltic Adventure” — a fascinating 11-day, roundtrip journey that takes in major sites in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia and Poland – suite fares are $4,325 to $5,522.
While guests see the effects of ‘global warming’ firsthand in Greenland, from both the deck of the luxury expedition ship and on shore, experts in numerous disciplines, including geology, weather, marine life, environment, history and culture, fill in the gaps of their understanding of this ice-encrusted ancient land. Passengers take in sights and scenery little changed in 5,000 years while moving from village to village, as well as spend time ashore, meeting and sharing time with the local population. Scenic highlights include Eqip Sermia Glacier, a huge wall of ice that calves directly into the sea; towering icebergs in Disko Bay and at the mouth of Jakobshavn Ice Fjord, a World Heritage Site; and Jakobshavn Glacier, the world’s most active glacier. Guided walking tours take in Inuit villages and towns, with tongue-twisting names – Qeqertarsuaq, Ukkusissat, Itelleq and Ilulissat – and illustrate how the friendly local populations flourish in one of the harshest climates on Earth.
Guests on Hurtigruten’s “Climate Pilgrimage” visit research stations, track wildlife, participate in field studies and meet with some of the field’s top climate research scientists during visits in Northern Norway and the Arctic island of Spitsbergen. The warming of the Arctic now allows vessels to cross the 80th parallel – something not possible less than 20 years ago. Walruses, whales and polar bears rule this region and the MS Fram will treat guests to a close look at the marginal ice-zone and its large yearly variations.
“Baltic Adventure” showcases the variety, beauty and fairy-tale quality of the Baltic Sea. The 11-day adventure begins and ends in Norway’s Oslo, exploring the city and visiting the museum that houses the original Fram – the only wooden-hulled ship to explore both poles, more than 100 years ago. Highlights include Sweden’s Stockholm, known as the “Venice of the North”; Finland’s Helsinki, boasting a lively marketplace, rich cultural life and architectural gems; St. Petersburg, Russia’s cultural capital, home to the famed Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum; Estonia’s capital city of Tallinn, a World Heritage Site due in large part to its 13th-century Toompea Castle and Kadriorg Palace; and Poland’s port city of Gdynia, a sister site of the 1970 rebellion, and now an important center of commerce.
The 12,700-ton, eight-deck MS Fram, makes significant use of Greenland’s culture as inspiration for design while incorporating a striking Scandinavian feel. Suites include seating areas, some with two rooms, TV, mini-bar and queen-size beds. The ship boasts an Internet café, a large glass-enclosed observation salon offering panoramic views, restaurant with ocean views, wellness center with saunas, work-out room and two glass-screened heated outdoor whirlpools; a friendly and well-informed crew is ready to offer assistance and suggestions when asked.
All sailings include cabin category selected, three meals daily aboard ship, services of naturalist guides, specified land excursions and PolarCirkel excursions, ship transfers, government fees, cruise taxes and port charges. Airline fuel surcharges, air taxes and ticketing fees are additional.
Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen as well as year round along Norway’s coast. Additional information on all of these adventures, as well as brochures and reservations, can be obtained from travel agents or Hurtigruten’s visitor-friendly web site, www.hurtigruten.us; or by phone: (800) 323-7436; fax (888)-524-2145; for brochures (800) 582-0835, 24 hours a day