Exploring Elephant Island

Our first sight of land since leaving Ushuaia: Elephant Island, South Shetlands. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Sunday, January 18, 2015
I can tell you about my morning aboard Hurtigruten’s FRAM as she sailed through the Drake Passage en-route to Antarctica. It was a very pleasant morning, and guests onboard are settling into a nice shipboard routine.
What I will remember, though, is this afternoon.

Guests on deck aboard Hurtigruten's FRAM look on as we encounter both land and ice for the first time on our journey. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Guests on deck aboard Hurtigruten’s FRAM look on as we encounter both land and ice for the first time on our journey. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Throughout the morning, we began to see small bergy bits of ice around us. A few larger bergs loomed on the horizon off our starboard side, and guests were out on the deck of the FRAM to do some bird and whale spotting.
The FRAM is a hugely comfortable ship to be sailing these waters on, and her interior décor has a lot to do with that. Not only do her interiors pay homage to some of Norway’s most important explorers (portraits of Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen grace the two onboard elevators manufactured by OTIS), Fram’s interiors drew their inspiration from the market she was always intended to sail: Greenland.

Open deck space aboard FRAM is abundant and plentiful. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Open deck space aboard FRAM is abundant and plentiful. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Designers have even added a raised platform on Deck 8 to allow guests to overlook the ship's bow. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Designers have even added a raised platform on Deck 8 to allow guests to overlook the ship’s bow. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Designed by Arkitekt Arne Johansen AS of Norway, the names of Fram’s interior public areas all come from the native Inuit language of Greenland. The Nunami Lobby on Deck 4, for instance, translates roughly to “on shore”; while the Imaq Restaurant all the way aft derives its moniker from the Greenlandic Inuit word for “ocean.”
All of Fram’s public areas were situated on decks 4 and 7, with Deck 4 acting as the primary entertainment deck. Here, as with all other Hurtigruten ships, the 174-seat Imaq Restaurant is located all the way aft and surrounded by three banks of windows to ensure the polar scenery is never far from sight. Providing breakfast, lunch and dinner, the room’s décor is some of the most traditional aboard Fram, with plenty of dark woods and brass accents complemented by rich red carpeting and soft furnishings.

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