Natural Habitat Adventures

Ultimate Antarctica by Expedition Yacht

Accommodations

Please note: In Punta Arenas, the January 2023 trip will stay at Hotel Almasur, and the February 2023 trip will stay at Hotel Jose Nogueira.
Hanse Explorer
Location
Antarctic Peninsula

A true expedition yacht in every sense of the word, Hanse Explorer is a multi-season veteran of polar waters, including breaking pack ice at the planet's most extreme latitudes. Built in Germany in 2006, she was completely retrofitted in a multi-million-dollar redesign in 2020, including new state-of-the-art stabilizers. The rugged steel-hulled exterior, with the highest commercial ice classification, wraps an airy, elegant interior with distinctly modern flair. Standard dark teak and leather have been replaced with light woods and a neutral palette of cream, white and silver with accents of nautical blue, to achieve an atmosphere that is both casual and chic. But it's the addition of so much new glass that has created the biggest impact, in an effort to flood the space with natural light and provide optimal wildlife viewing while enhancing a sense of oneness with the natural environment. Glass-paned sliding doors create a seamless transition from the saloon to the outside decks. The bridge has been renamed the observation lounge, inviting guests to consider it a space to linger and chat with the captain as they survey the tableau of Antarctic ice and abundant wildlife. The dining room, headed by an acclaimed international culinary team, likewise offers an unobstructed view on the sea and landscape beyond, including whales that sometimes distract guests during dinner. 

The goal with the refit, according to the ship's owner, Sven Lindblad, who has helmed expedition cruise pioneer Lindblad Expeditions for many years, was to maximize the connection with the outside world. By creating a calm interior with understated elegance, there is no effort to compete with the grandeur of the passing scene. Guests sailing on the Hanse Explorer are hardly restricted to the indoors, however. The vessel carries two Mark-IV Zodiacs for pushing through Antarctic brash ice and landing on shore to walk among penguins and other vast seabird colonies. Kayaks offer a chance to paddle with marine life at eye level. And on the newly opened top deck, a hot tub promises relaxation with an unparalleled view, as does a new lounge space with comfortable sofa-style seating in the round. A sauna complements the Jacuzzi experience. When it's time to take a break from exploring the icebound wilderness in the open air, retreat inside to the cocktail lounge where the ambience is enhanced with a Bose sound system, or pick up a book from the small onboard library and up your knowledge of polar exploration as you relax on the expansive sectional sofa.

Well-appointed staterooms more than comfortably accommodate up to 12 people in seven cabins (plus extra space for the Expedition Leader and crew). Elegant and practical, the staterooms are bright, spacious and full of amenities you'll appreciate. Bathrooms are all en suite, and each cabin is equipped with a TV, desk, and ample closet and bureau space. Rooms may be configured to your specifications as one queen or twin singles. All rooms have individual heating controls.

Hanse Explorer also has state-of-the-art navigational equipment, a highly fuel-efficient engine with fuel capacity to travel for 8,000 nautical miles, and a reverse osmosis desalination system for fresh water. New retractable zero-speed fin stabilizers were also installed in 2020 that hold the ship steady while still allowing her to continue breaking ice. In every aspect, Hanse Explorer is one of the toughest, safest, most nimble and comfortable ships of her size.
Hotel Alamasur Punta Arenas
Location
Punta Arenas, Chile

This centrally located hotel is just two blocks from the Plaza de Armas in the heart of town, steps from historic monuments, museums and the port on the Strait of Magellan. Built in a half-timbered style incorporating wood beams, plaster, stone and wainscoting, the space is warm and inviting. Comfortable guest rooms have clean-lined décor with individually controlled heating, Wi-Fi, direct-dial phones, plasma cable TV, electronic safe and mini bar. A gym, sauna and hydro-spa are available for relaxing and recharging. The hotel’s Nao Victoria restaurant features traditional local gastronomy creatively prepared by a talented chef. An expansive breakfast buffet features a multitude of morning selections.
Hotel Jose Nogueira
Location
Punta Arenas, Chile

Steps from the city's main Plaza de Armas square and the Magallanes Museum, this refined boutique hotel occupies one of the oldest buildings in Patagonia, a grand 1890 brick mansion with an ornate stone facade. Located in the center of town, it was originally built as the home of Patagonian sailor and businessman Jose Nogueira and his entrepreneur wife Sara Braun. Declared a national monument in 1982, the hotel still exudes its original splendor, with neoclassical décor featuring rich dark woods, leather furniture, oriental rugs, lavish draperies, and elegant lighting. Its 23 en suite guest rooms have hardwood or parquet floors, writing desk, Wi-Fi, flat screen cable TV, safe and mini bar. Two dining rooms contain original furniture, lamps and curtains from the mansion’s private-home era, while a lavish buffet breakfast is served each morning in the light-drenched conservatory. The hotel also houses Punta Arenas’ most historic watering hole, the Shackleton Bar. Have a cocktail or light meal, or choose a bottle of Chilean wine from the lavishly stocked wine cellar. The bar also holds a meticulous recreation of the original whisky taken to Antarctica by Sir Ernest Shackleton on one of his expeditions between 1907 and 1909 and found 100 years later.
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