MS Roald Amundsen sails into the Hurtigruten fleet in Spring 2019. This state-of-the-art expedition ship features new and environmentally-friendly hybrid technology and electrical power, which reduces fuel usage and CO2-emissions. Setting sail with a maximum of 530 passengers on board; you'll soon feel at home in your modern and well-equipped sea-facing cabin or suite and get to know your travelling companions and the resident crew and Expedition Team. The laid-back and friendly on-board lifestyle and the casual dress code are equally matched by the locally-inspired and tasty cuisine. The focus is very much on what you can experience ashore and the on and off ship activities. Spend your days at sea relaxing on the outdoor explorer deck and enjoying the views from the observation lounge. Work out in the fitness room and take a brisk stroll around the outdoor walking deck, before enjoying some downtime in the wellness area.
The cuisine on board is locally-sourced and made from the freshest of ingredients. Take your seat in the T Alune Main Dining restaurant at breakfast, lunch, and dinner to enjoy first-class service and a varied menu of starters, main courses, and desserts. Pay a small supplement to dine on gourmet fare in the Fredheim and Lindstrom Restaurants.
Explorer Lounge & Bar on Deck Ten is the social hub of the ship. From your morning coffee through to pre-dinner drinks and late evening nightcaps; this is the place to mix with your fellow passengers and take in the ever-changing outside views.
The entertainment on board MS Roald Amundsen is relaxed and low-key. The Expedition Team host a programme of enrichment talks and evening get-togethers; while out on deck they guide you through the points of interest, nature, and other fascinating sights. Enjoy ambient background music in the evening as you socialise with your fellow guests in the lounge and bar.
Day 1: UNESCO Site and Ancient History – London, UK, to Quito, Ecuador
Fly from London to Quito, Ecuador. Once you have made your way to Quito, take in the well-preserved heritage of the city, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is beautifully situated in an Andean valley at an elevation of 2,850 metres, making it the second-highest capital city in the world. Enjoy an overnight stay at a centrally-located hotel in Quito.
Day 2: Explore Fascinating Quito - Quito, Ecuador
After breakfast, you'll be driven north to the equator and visit the Inti Ñan Museum. Afterwards, ascend the Teleférico – one of Quito’s most popular attractions. The ride lasts only ten minutes but takes you to an altitude of 4,050 metres. At the top, the lookout offers you incredible views of Quito, the surrounding valleys, and snow-covered volcanoes (along with coffee, snacks, and oxygen for the short of breath). Remember to bring a sweater or light jacket - it can get chilly up there! Return to the city to enjoy lunch in Quito´s charming Colonial Quarter. The afternoon's sightseeing is a good example why Ecuador's capital earned the honour as UNESCO´s first World Heritage site. Dinner will be served at the hotel before your overnight stay.
Day 3: Glorious Galápagos - Quito to Galápagos Islands (Baltra Island/Santa Cruz Island)
After breakfast, you'll depart the hotel and be driven to Quito Airport for our flight to the Galápagos Islands (via Guayaquil). Upon arrival at Baltra´s airport, you'll be met by the local representative before boarding a bus for the short transfer to Itabaca Channel, which separates Baltra Island from Santa Cruz Island. Here, step aboard a small ferry that crosses the azure waters of the channel to Santa Cruz, a journey that takes about five minutes.
On the other side, travel through a rural agricultural area surrounded by wild landscapes and abundant flora and fauna. Keep your eyes peeled for the finches that are famous for being the basis of Darwin's theory of evolution. See the famous Galápagos land tortoises in their natural environment and learn how private ranches help protect these special creatures and their natural habitat. Tortoises of all different ages and sizes gather here: small young ones with shining carapaces, and older individuals with weathered and worn shells. Lunch will be served in the highlands.
The famous Lava Tunnels are another amazing experience. Formed by lava flows from the volcanoes, they range from the highlands down to the sea. Join an amazing half-hour hike through one of the tunnels to the point where it gets too small to pass. A naturalist guide will share a detailed story of the origin of these fascinating tunnels. Afterwards, continue to your hotel in the town of Puerto Ayora. Once settled, join a walk to the nearby Charles Darwin Research Station; home to educational museums charting the history and development of the Galápagos Islands, and protection of their natural heritage. You may also catch sight of a native giant land tortoise, one of the many different tortoise species that exist in the Galápagos; and the station is the only place where most of the species reside at one site.
The afternoon is at your leisure to explore small yet picturesque Puerto Ayora and its many shops with local arts and crafts. Later, join your fellow explorers for dinner at the hotel's restaurant.
Days 4 to 5: Galápagos Island Hopping - Galápagos Islands
Following breakfast at the hotel, the next two full days will comprise touring the nearby uninhabited islands by boat. NB: only one of the four islands listed will be visited per day: Bartolomé Island, famous for Pinnacle Rock and Galápagos penguins; South Plaza Island, home to a colony of land iguanas; Santa Fe Island, known for having the islands´ most beautiful sea coves; or North Seymour Island, considered a microcosm of the entire archipelago. The visits are regulated by the Galápagos National Park and Hurtigruten are only notified of permission 30 days prior to the visit. Regardless of the islands you visit, lunch is served on board the vessel during the tour. Later, enjoy dinner at the hotel before your overnight stay.
Day 6: Ancient Galápagos to Colonial Lima - Baltra Island to Lima
Breakfast at the hotel is followed by a transfer to Baltra airport for your flight to mainland Ecuador. En route to the airport, there will be a stop at 'The Twins' or 'Los Gemelos' - two impressive volcanic depressions in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. A box lunch is served on the flight from Baltra Island to Lima (via Guayaquil). At Lima airport, you'll be met by your local representative who'll transfer you to your hotel in the city for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 7: Lima – UNESCO World Heritage - Lima to Callao, Peru
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel. After check out, you'll be transferred to the ship taking in a 'Half-day Lima Highlights Tour', including a visit to the city´s historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tour highlights include Casa Aliaga, a nearly 500-year old mansion built for one of Pizarro’s lieutenants, and Santo Domingo Convent, the best-preserved colonial building in the whole of Lima. The tour finishes at the quayside in Callao, where MS Roald Amundsen stands ready to continue the expedition at sea.
Day 8: Home of the Nazca Lines - Pisco, Peru
Early in the morning, the ship arrives at Puerto General San Martin; gateway to the quiet colonial town of Pisco and its fertile coastal valley with the mysterious Nazca lines and geoglyphs. The lines were scratched on the ground's surface between 500 BC and 500 AD and are among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size, and continuity. The geoglyphs are several kilometres long and illustrate living creatures, stylised plants, and imaginary beings, as well as geometric figures. The best views are from above with a scenic flight one of the optional excursions available today. Other options includes boat tours to the Ballestas Islands to view endangered Humboldt penguins, sea lions, and huge flocks of marine birds, visiting a picturesque nature reserve, or exploring the archaeological site of Tambo Colorado.
Day 9: Sailing South Along the Chilean Coast - At sea
As the ship sails south, the Expedition Team start their interesting lecture programme. The team members are experienced, modern-day explorers, each with their own area of expertise. They entertain and inform you by sharing their wealth of knowledge and interesting stories, and invite you to participate in talks and workshops. There may also be the chance to look behind the scenes and partake in the guest Expedition Staff Programme. The onboard expedition photographer is on hand to introduce you to the basics of expedition photography. MS Roald Amundsen is a truly remarkable expedition vessel. Take advantage of the ship´s facilities or simply find the perfect vantage point to take in the endless blue horizon.
Day 10: Adventure and Archaeology - Arica, Chile
Arica is blessed with a year-round warm and sunny climate. You'll spend a full day here - so plenty of time to enjoy the area's history, archaeology and adventure. Explore the city, walk up to the El Morro cliff top for panoramic views, see the beaches, or visit the archaeological sites with some of the world's oldest known mummies in Azapa Valley. You can also join the Expedition Team on a visit to nearby Lauca National Park. This amazing sanctuary is home to breathtaking snow-capped volcanoes, sparkling lakes, and isolated hot springs, together with pretty highland villages and an abundance of wildlife. Numerous sites and paths in this region are associated with the Chilean Inca trail.
Days 11 to 12: Treat Yourself - At sea
Another two days at sea are yours to enjoy. Take advantage of the on board facilities and treat yourself to some genuine relaxation. There will also be plenty of time to get to know your fellow explorers on board. Maybe spend time outdoors on deck to fully enjoy the experience of being at sea. There will also be a gathering with the Expedition Team to summarise the voyage so far, and present the plan for the following days.
Day 13: Pisco, Sunsets and Telescopes - Coquimbo and La Serena, Chile
Step ashore today at Serena, a seaside town and the capital of the Coquimbo region in Elqui province. The town overflows with colourful gardens and beautiful churches. In the archaeological museum, you can learn about the ancient Diaguita people who made their home in the region before the Incan conquest. You could also visit La Recova, a popular market where you can buy handicrafts and typical products from the region. La Serena also boasts a long golden shoreline, perfect for enjoying the sunset. Visit the beautiful rural Elqui Valley to sample Pisco, the national drink of Chile, and see where it is manufactured. Northern Chile is home to the largest concentration of astronomical observatories in the world thanks to its exceptionally clear skies. In the region around La Serena, you’ll see the telescopes of many international institutions housed in white, futuristic domes looming large over the valleys from their hilltop settings.
Day 14: Poetic Valparaíso - Valparaíso, Chile to London, UK
Your expedition comes to an end in the colourful and poetic city of Valparaíso. You'll have plenty of time to visit the UNESCO-listed Historic Quarter of Valparaíso before you depart on your flight back to London.