New York, NY, December 2006 — In announcing what is believed to be a true first for the cruise industry, Norwegian Coastal Voyage has unveiled a new 66-day Expedition, "World Cruise "“ From Arctic to Antarctica," filling passenger's passports with visits to 44 ports in 17 countries on four continents, taking a longitudinal route from pole-to-pole. Upon stepping aboard the new 160-stateroom MS Fram, the world's newest and most deluxe expedition ship, on September 18, 2007, guests will take up residency and embark on an odyssey of experiences that begins in Reykjavik, Iceland and proceeds through the Arctic, Atlantic, Caribbean, Pacific and South Pole waters to Scotland, Ireland, Canada, the Eastern US, Western Caribbean, a transit through the Panama Canal, the west coast of South America, the Chilean fjords and Antarctica, ending in Ushuaia, Argentina on November 22. Whether taken in totality or in segments, the itinerary offers stunning scenery, varied seasons and fascinating ports of call.
"Norwegian Coastal Voyage is uniquely positioned to offer this exclusive voyage of discovery — combining our company's extensive experience in expedition cruising, a purpose-built luxury expedition cruise ship, an experienced crew very familiar with the unique ports you'll visit on this journey, and experts and lecture sessions on the more remote destinations such as Antarctica" says Hans Rood, president of Norwegian Coastal Voyage.
Whether it is the stunning colors of the fall foliage, the warm waters and sun-drenched western Caribbean or the once-in-a-lifetime settings of the Chilean Fjords and Antarctica, guests will be hard-pressed to find a greater variety of seasons and scenery or uniqueness of ports of call, many that larger cruise ships cannot visit, on any other single itinerary. Most port calls are nine to 12 hours in length, plenty of time for independent exploration or taking tours. The size of the ship makes it easy to dock in the center of many of these towns and cities with easy on/off capability. And for those unusual ports of call where docking is not offered, the MS Fram offers landings with comfortable PolarCirkel tenders specifically designed to visit off-the-beaten-track destinations.
Leaving Iceland at the end of the Greenland season, the MS Fram sails the British Isles, stopping in Stornoway and Oban, Scotland; Londonderry, Cobh and Galway in Ireland; and the UK's Isle of Man, crossing over to Northern Canada's St. John's, St-Pierre, Sydney and Halifax and then follows the beauty of the fall foliage along the American coast from Bar Harbor, Maine to Gloucester and Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts to Newport, Rhode Island and then New York City. Heading south to the warmer sections of the eastern seaboard, the next stop is Charleston, SC, followed by Savannah, GA, and Port Canaveral and Key West in Florida. Belize City is the first Caribbean port; then Guatemala's Santo Tomas de Castilla; Roatan, Honduras; San Andres Island, Colombia; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.
The MS Fram visits Bocas del Toro and the San Blas Islands, Panama before entering the Panama Canal at Cristobal, where guests get an eye-level view of the "mules" and canal operation, coming out at Balboa on the Pacific side. Then it's across the equator to Quito, Ecuador; and three stops in Peru — Salaverry, Lima and General San Martin. Ports in the 3,000-mile long country of Chile are Arica, Iquique, Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabucco, Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas. Several days are spent cruising the scenic Chilean Fjords before heading to Antarctica for three days with several PolarCirkel landings and onto Ushuaia for the end of the adventure.
The 12,700-ton, 318-berth, eight-deck ship, the first cruise ship built exclusively for sailing in the challenging maritime environment of Greenland from May through September, makes significant use of the country's culture as inspiration for design while incorporating a striking Scandinavian feel with the extensive use of wool, leather and oak. The ship is named after the polar ship built and used by Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen on a three-year expedition around Greenland in the late 1800s. Cabins are stylish and comfortable; a variety of suites and junior suites offer queen-size beds and TVs. The ship also boasts excellent conference and meeting facilities, an Internet cafÃ©, a large glass-enclosed observation salon offering panoramic views of the outside scenery, restaurant with ocean views, wellness center with saunas, work-out room and two glass-screened heated outdoor whirlpools.
Rates for the 66-day voyage are $9,999 to $37,799 per person, double occupancy and include selected cabin category, all meals on board, expert and naturalist guides and port charges.
Information, brochures and reservations can be obtained from Norwegian Coastal Voyage Inc., (800) 323-7436 or (212) 319-1300; fax (212) 319-1390; for brochures (800) 666-2374, 24 hours a day; www.norwegiancoastalvoyage.us.
For more on Cruise at ITKT