Recapping Antarctica aboard Hurtigruten’s FRAM
I’ve purposely waited nearly three weeks before writing my recap of my voyage to Antarctica aboard Hurtigruten’s purpose-built polar expedition ship, FRAM. As I write this, I couldn’t be further removed from the entire experience – I’m sailing aboard a ship that holds well over 3,500 guests and is, at this moment, cruising through the sweltering waters of the Caribbean.
So why wait so long? Simply put: my voyage aboard the FRAM was overwhelming in so many ways. I needed to step back, look at the entire voyage, and figure out how to possibly encapsulate that entire experience.
I didn’t file day-by-day reports of our last three days of the voyage, for the simple reason that there wasn’t much to say about them. We sailed the Drake Passage early due to a medical situation onboard, and shipboard life generally followed a sedate pattern.
Upon arrival in Ushuaia, we were offered a small selection of complimentary tours as compensation for our missed day in Antarctica. The tours weren’t terribly special (Ushuaia’s pretty small, after all), but to their credit, Hurtigruten did pull something together at the last minute and offer their guests these experiences on short notice.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: service levels are disappointingly uneven aboard the FRAM. Some crew members go the extra mile for yo