Hurtigruten’s Young Explorers Program Encourages Family Travel
PHOTO: Hurtigruten wants young explorers to dream and discover with its new program (Courtesy Hurtigruten)
As Mark Twain once wrote, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
To explore, to dream, to discover. What better reasons are there to travel, and who better to share that passion with than your children?
Exposing children to other cultures and customs opens their eyes and broadens their horizons, and teaches them important lessons beyond geography. Hurtigruten is taking that education a step farther with their new Young Explorers Program, where the focus is on fun, education and participation.
READ MORE: 10 Reasons to Visit Norway with Hurtigruten
With an eye to teaching children about the environmental challenges the Earth is facing, Hurtigruten has developed the Young Explorers Program for children ages 7 to 13 that combines age-appropriate lectures, field research, re-enactments and games.
Upon embarking, children are greeted by Young Explorers Program staff and take part in an "Introduction to Antarctica" session to prepare them for the adventure to come. Each child receives a field notebook with chapters on science, polar history, photography and nautical studies.
Once at sea, the lessons (and learning) begin. Young Explorers take part in science lessons held in the ship's Science Center where they learn about the Southern Ocean’s biology and geology through real field samples. Polar history is brought to life with a re-creation of the Amundsen party reaching the South Pole.
Budding photographers take lessons from professional photographers with the stunning landscape of Antarctica as their subject. Ship navigation officers are on hand to teach nautical basics, and the lesson culminates with a special meeting with the Captain.
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As the children move through each lesson in their workbook, they receive a stamp; upon completion, they earn an official certificate and a prize. Further, to get more hands-on experience, kids are invited to help set up the landing site before passengers disembark by assisting with everything from digging snow steps to placing flags and cones along a path to standing post over a penguin colony.
When children aren't out taking part in the Young Explorers Program, there’s plenty of time for family bonding regardless of the sailing. Families may wish to celebrate Christmas and New Year's Eve on the 18-day Legendary Magellan, Chilean Fjords and Antarctica cruise, which sets sail from Punta Arenas, traveling down the Chilean fjords before arriving at Cape Horn for Christmas Eve. After celebrating a traditional Norwegian Christmas onboard, it's off to Antarctica and the Falkland Islands before heading home to Punta Arenas. Another option for families is the 16-day Discover Patagonia and Antarctica itinerary with the UN Patron of the Oceans and Huritgruten Foundation Ambassador Lewis Pugh, a pioneer swimmer and ocean advocate. This itinerary takes passengers along the Patagonian eastern and southern coasts before stopping in Antarctica.
The Young Explorers Program is available on the Antarctica Discovery Style sailings on board the MS Midnatsol between November 2016 and March 2017. The program was designed following guidelines set out by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO).
More by Kristina Rundquist
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