We just returned from the Hurtigruten Midnatsol Chilean Fjords and Antarctica cruise, February 3 to 17, 2017. We had a fantastic time and were completely glad that, after a lot of research and planning, we chose this ship and itinerary. Hurtigruten does an outstanding job with the excursions, cruisings, landings, destination information and safety. Some other specifics could use more organization. But it was Antarctica that we came for and we got it beyond expectations.
We flew to Santiago and were given one night at the Sheraton by the cruise line as well as transfers and charter flight to and from Punta Arenas, Chile. The hotel, while adequate, was not one we would choose again as it needs updating and the air conditioning does not work well. However, it sufficed before the journey. There were 384 passengers onboard, a mix of Americans, Germans, French, Japanese and a few Australians and Canadians.
We each were assigned into groups and busses for the two charter flights to Punta Arenas. We were advised that, because the ship had arrived late, boarding would be delayed by 4 hours. The flight was uneventful and we had beautiful views of the snow capped mountains in Patagonia. One point though, seat assignments were not negotiable and couples were not seated together. Due to the ship’s delay, the cruiseline hired a company that took us all on a 4 hour tour of the city and provided a box lunch. This was unfortunate as we spent almost two hours walking in a cemetery and two hours on the bus waiting to board. Boarding was chaotic and time consuming, but once aboard, it was obvious that things would get under control.