Kathryn Beadle wraps up for Hurtigruten

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Kathryn BeadleKathryn Beadle, is the former Managing Director of Hurtigruten, the specialist cruise line that has been sailing the Norwegian coast for over 100 years, accessing small and little known ports along the stunning fjords.
Hurtigruten also voyages to Antarctica, which Kathryn describes as the last untouched continent that is truly awe-inspiring and very peaceful, with no noise pollution, merely the sounds of the wind and creaking of icebergs.  Nearer the coast, there are interesting animal noises, with penguins, seals and albatrosses all contributing their individual calls to create a hefty din.  The quality of the light is very intense, Kathryn reports, as are all sensations, nothing in the Antarctic is moderate or half-hearted.  This is a photographer’s paradise, with the whitest white and richest, jewel-like colours, tinged with blue and green traces.  And at night, even during the short summer darkness, the astral atmosphere is spectacular, creating light displays from the stars that make the most fabulous rainbow seem a little boring. 

And what of the wildlife?  Well, the penguins are certainly much in evidence, and despite Hurtigruten’s 5 metre rule (keep that distance between you and the animals), the birds are totally unafraid of people, as they’ve never been hunted, so getting up close and personal with a penguin is a genuine possibility.  The whole food chain is obvious in Antarctica, penguins eat krill, seals eat penguins and fish, whales eat everything!   Nothing warm and fluffy about this.  The albatross, in all its glory, is present too, a protected species which Hurtigruten raises funds for.

The MS Fram, a small, 300 berth ship, allows passengers to land on the ice, via RIBs, frequently.  There are strict rules with regard to the pristine environment and Kathryn’s favourite mantra ‘take nothing away except memories’ is closely adhered to.  Visiting Antarctica requires proper respect for the weather and all its vagaries, so safety on the Fram is of paramount importance, with flexible itineraries responding to local, real time conditions.  Here wind and ice can dictate what happens next.

Hurtigruten AntarcticaVoyages to the Antarctic begin in Argentina, crossing Drake’s Passage, which takes 24 hours and can, at times, be very rough.  During this time, passengers are prepared for the experiences ahead with talks and lectures from regional experts.  Next your journey might travel to the Falkland Islands, Elephant Island or South Georgia.   This last is, of course, famous to many for being the burial place of Sir Ernest Shackleton, hero of the voyage of the Endurance in 1914/16.  It’s an inspirational story, with the lessons learnt often used today in motivational training.  South Georgia is also home to several abandoned whaling stations which tell, by their very existence, the story of a hard, dangerous life in an unpredictable, harsh environment.

Hutigruten’s Antarctic voyages are unique, with camaraderie on board growing through every shared, remarkable adventure.  Life on board is very comfortable, though informal, your best fleece is what’s required at dinner rather than a tiara!  Kathryn reflects that human existence is put into a very different perspective once you’ve travelled to the white wilderness, even the most sceptical appear transformed.   

Read more about Hurtigruten or call 0844 272 8961

Read Steve Newman’s review on his trip to Antarctica

Hurtigruten Antarctica


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Other Members' Thoughts - 8 Comment(s)

  • JennieSilver
    almost 4 years ago
    This from Dr John Mason via Hurtigruten:

    I have been operating cameras in the Arctic for over 30 years. My view is that wearing no gloves at all is really NOT an option even when the temperature is near zero - especially if there is wind chill.

    I always wear gloves when operating my cameras and this is even more important if one is waiting outside for long periods for the aurora to appear.

    I use a remote control handset to fire the shutter, so I am not actually touching the camera except to change the exposure time where necessary, and that is just one turn-wheel and this can be operated with gloves on.

    I basically have three pairs of gloves - a pair of thin silk glove liners nearest to the skin, then a pair of lined leather gloves, and finally a very thick pair of over gloves. All three pairs have only ever been necessary in temperatures below minus 20deg C, or if there is excessive wind-chill. It is very important to keep the gloves dry as moisture will reduce their effectiveness.

    Incidentally it is also VERY important to minimise the time spent fiddling with cameras while outside because watching and experiencing the aurora is the key thing in my view.

    Trust this is helpful!

  • pink
    almost 4 years ago
    hi kathryn, and thanks for the inspiring article.
    we are having a discussion on the forum about the best gloves to wear for that impossible combination of sufficient warm + camera-operating-flexibility. any suggestions?
  • Silver-Travel-Advisor
    over 8 years ago
    Kathyrn Beadle offers the following helpful information on that tricky subject of what to wear for dinner:-

    Thanks for your question. The dress code on board our ships is very informal. Most guests are happy to go for dinner wearing jeans and a jumper. If you are doing the Classic Round Voyage, your meal on the penultimate night (as you are leaving Rørvik) is a little more ceremonious as the restaurant staff and ship’s officers like to say thank you and goodbye. On this evening, some guests like to dress a little smarter (gentlemen in a jacket & trousers, ladies in a dress or similar), but there’s never a call for tuxedos and cocktail dresses etc. I hope that this information is useful to you. Best wishes, Kathryn Beadle

  • Ginny-May
    over 8 years ago
    Can i ask those who have been on a mid-summer Hurtigruten cruise; I'm sure I read somewhere that dress on these cruises is casual. can someone tell me if there is no need to dress smartly for dinner in the restaurants; I 'm entirely happy with this, but don't want to pitch up with no smart clothes if dressing for dinner is the norm.
    Thanks, Ginny
  • ESW
    over 8 years ago
    Be warned a trip on Hurtegruten, "The World's Most Beautiful Jouney " can become addictive..... We've done the Norwegian Coastal voyage 6 times now and have throughly enjoyed each tri. it isn't a cruise, it is an adventure, especially if you go on one of the old boats.

    Apart from three stretches of open sea which can get rough, most of the journey is between the mainland and the islands so is usually very smooth.
  • Silver-Travel-Advisor
    almost 9 years ago
    We asked Kathryn Beadle for her thoughts in response to Boxy's comment, and we hope she has reassured you to try a Northern Lights cruise. Silver Travellers who have experienced it have posted glowing reports.

    " Hurtigruten is unlike traditional cruise lines in that the waters we sail in for the majority of the journey have land either side so are more sheltered, in fact we are only out in the open sea for a total of 4 hours of our 6 night itinerary. We also stop frequently, 34 times on our journey from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes in the North and at each stop you can get off and reconnect with your land legs! However ‘mother nature’ as we know is fickle and will sometimes present us with weather challenges but this all adds to the adventure of sailing in Arctic waters."
  • Boxy
    almost 9 years ago
    I would love to do a Hurtigruten cruise to see the Northern Lights. I am just worried about how rough the voyage would be in the winter. I do tend to be sea sick so am a bit apprehensive.
  • bee82
    almost 9 years ago
    It's my dream to take a Hurtigruten cruise to Antartica - one of those trips of a lifetime. I so want to see the wildlife and experience that adventure.