Since MS Midnatsol set sail on her maiden voyage on 15 April 2003 along Norway's coastline, she has become a favourite with guests. In common with the three previous Hurtigruten ships that bear the name (translating as Midnight Sun) she boasts a bright and colourful decor, alongside a collection of artwork that draws inspiration from the sunny Norwegian summer. On-board delights include her two-storey Panorama Lounge above the bow, which is flooded with light from floor-to-ceiling windows. There's also her 23 chic suites, many with balconies, which are available for a little more luxury if you wish.
The Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun are the highlights of many trips on MS Midnatsol, along with the laid-back and friendly on-board lifestyle. The casual dress code is equally matched by the simplicity of the cabins. The focus is very much on what you can experience ashore and the sights you can enjoy from on the deck as you travel around Norway and beyond.
The ship's open sun deck is the ideal place for chilling out in the sun during warm days at sea. The two Jacuzzis and sunbeds have a bar close at hand for refreshments. Unwind with a book in the library, keep in touch with home in the Internet cafe or simply watch the world go by in the Observation Lounge. You can also keep fit in the gym or enjoy some downtime in the sauna. A small playroom is available for fun times, if you're travelling with children.
The dining options showcase local Norwegian flavours and international cuisines, and change with the season. Restaurant Midnatsol serves a tasty buffet for breakfast and lunch with Norwegian specialities such as salmon, meat dishes, shellfish, and other fish to savour. Evening brings two sittings and a daily-changing menu of flavoursome starters, main courses and desserts to choose from. You can also pre-order from the a la carte menu of dishes. Midtsommer Cafe is open 24/7 and offers a selection of pre-prepared food options alongside fresh made-to-order choices including burgers, pizzas and chips.
MS Midnatsol has a trio of places to relax with a drink. The Pool Bar is open during the summer, while indoors on Deck Eight you discover Mysterier Bar and Paradis Bar. Each bar is well-stocked with your favourite tipple alongside a selection of wines, beers and mixed drinks.
The entertainment on MS Midnatsol is very low-key. Daytimes occasionally feature lectures and presentations from visiting historians and naturalists who bring to life the destinations and wildlife you may encounter on your cruise. Intermittent live music and piano playing sets the scene in the evening.
Day 1: Fly from the UK to Buenos Aires, Argentina
Fly from your chosen UK airport to Buenos Aires, the bustling capital of Argentina and birthplace of the tango for an overnight stay. Enjoy an optional city tour in the afternoon then spend the evening at your leisure and discover ”Paris of South America” for yourself.
Day 2: Tierra del Fuego - Buenos Aires to Ushuaia
Transfer to the airport and fly to Ushuaia, where MS Midnatsol awaits. Once on board, your expedition adventure commences with a welcome-on-board dinner.
Days 3 to 4: Crossing the Drake Passage
Prepare yourself for Antarctica as the ship crosses the infamous Drake Passage! MS Midnatsol is designed especially to bring polar exploration to all ages and learning levels. As the cruise continues south, there will be lectures for all ages on the environment, films about Antarctica, and the Nansen Science Centre offers the latest technology for preserving your memories. This will be the heart of the expedition community; where you'll gather for talks, recaps and spontaneous events, mingle, and share stories.
Days 5 to 9: Antarctica … another world
Breathe in the crisp, cold air like you’ve never experienced it before as you cross the Antarctic Convergence, one of the most remote areas on earth! There have been spectacular photo opportunities so far, but Antarctica itself is a whole new ball game. Go ashore to explore the breath-taking Antarctic scenery and to come close to penguins and seals. From the moment you set foot on the endless expanse of snow and ice, you'll feel like a real explorer. There will be ample opportunities to sight whales from the deck and to enjoy close encounters with wildlife and glaciers, old whaling stations, and relics. Every second of this journey has something new to offer! Nature is in command in Antarctica, so all landings are subject to change due to weather and ice conditions. Sailing through Antarctic waters offers a wide range of breathtaking sights such as the skyward soaring cliffs that are home to nesting cape petrels and kelp gulls below, and a stony beach makes a suitable landing place outside of nesting season. MS Midnatsol features a wide variety of custom-built expedition equipment including kayaks and paddleboards to give you the best opportunity to discover and explore like never before, and large inflatable explorer boats for landings in otherwise inaccessible destinations. Our expedition continues to Half Moon Island, a photogenic island blessed with some of the most beautiful Antarctic scenery imaginable. Savour the surroundings of the ring-shaped sunken active volcano of Deception Island in the South Shetland archipelago, where you may wish explore the caldera on foot during an organised hike. Wilhelmina Bay has stunning scenery and is often called 'Whale-mina Bay’, because of the large number of humpback whales spotted here in December. There will be plenty of planned activities to allow you to experience Antarctica in the best way. This might mean that one day you'll go shore to see penguins, the next day you'll cruise between the sea ice looking for leopard seals, and on the third day, go kayaking or on a longer hike or walk. Cuverville Island boast large colonies of Gentoo penguins, and when opportunities arise kayaks are launched enabling you to view the incredible ice-covered surroundings from a different perspective, pitch tents and hike ashore adding another dimension whilst you explore untouched places during your unforgettable and unique Antarctic experience. Back on board there are countless activities in the Science Centre. Join gatherings where the expedition team recount the day’s activities, make presentations, and the expedition leader discusses the next day’s plan. For younger guests, there’s the Young Explorer Programme; a scientific introduction to biology, history, wildlife, and learning more about navigation with lectures, field trips, and visits to the Science Centre.
Day 10: At sea
Enjoy lectures from the Expedition Team during a day at sea and keep an eye out for wildlife from deck as you voyage into the open sea towards the Falkland Islands.
Day 11-13: The Falkland Islands
Wonders of nature and wildlife abound in the beautiful Falkland Islands, offering stunning white beaches and open spaces where colonies of albatross and rockhopper, king and macaroni penguins are a familiar sight alongside the grazing sheep, while birds of prey survey the seamless horizons of clear blue skies. We pass an old shipwreck on our way ashore so there’s plenty of unique photo opportunities as inquisitive penguins get up close then happily waddle on their way. The island’s capital, Stanley, can easily be reached on foot
Days 14 to 16: At Sea to enjoy on board activities
After exploring the exhilarating continent of Antarctica and the Falklands, the ship sets a course to Montevideo. There’s time to further explore the Science Centre with the Expedition Team, or simply enjoy the passing views in the Panorama Lounge or in one of the outdoor Jacuzzis on deck.
Day 17: The end of the adventure - Montevideo
Sadly, every adventure must come to an end. It’s time to say goodbye to the crew and all your new friends as MS Midnatsol arrives into the vibrant city of Montevideo, home to the Plaza de la Independencia, Palacio Salvo and the Solis Theatre. Disembark MS Midnatsol and transfer to the airport for your flight back to London.