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Antarctica Cruises, Tours & Trips

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Adventure Life's Antarctica cruises & tours are the ultimate way to visit the white continent in comfort, safety and style. Thousands of travelers have trusted Adventure Life's Antarctica tour experts to help them choose the perfect small ship cruise to Antarctica. Depart from Ushuaia, Argentina or Punta Arenas, Chile on a minimum 6-day trip and choose from small expedition ships, luxury ships, fly/cruise combinations, and even cruises that include skiing, sea kayakingcamping in Antarctica. Onboard, guides lecture about the region's natural history, weather, and captivating Antarctic animals like penguins, seals & whales. Dozens of ships sail the Antarctic waters, and we can help you find the best cruise for your needs. Contact us with your interests, schedule & budget, and we'll help you plan the perfect Antarctic cruise.

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Antarctica Cruises (166 Results)
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Top Antarctica Cruise Deals for 2020-2021

Antarctica Cruise Deals
Trip NameSaveFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Crossing the Circle via Falklands (Malvinas) & South Georgia: Epic Antarctica35%$1499523Feb 15, 2020On this 23-day expedition visit Antarctic research stations, witness minke whales breaching from your Zodiac, share magical moments with king …
Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica: Explorers and Kings35%$1659520Feb 27, 2020Join a truly epic adventure through the remote Falkland Islands, the paradisaical South Georgia, and the extraordinary landscapes of the Antarctic …
Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctica: Explorers and Kings30%$1549520Feb 14, 2020Experience a true polar expedition to the northernmost tip of Antarctica on this 20-days small ship cruise aboard the Ocean (Sea) Adventurer. Visit …
Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake40%$107958Dec 3, 2019Explore King George Island and the Antarctic Peninsula, skipping the Drake Passage on this 8-day polar experience. Zodiac cruise in search of whales, …
Antarctic Express: Crossing the Circle35%$1749511Dec 18, 2019Immerse yourself in the Antarctic environment and experience a roller coaster of emotions on this 11-day cruise aboard the Ocean Adventurer. Visit …
Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent40%$899512Dec 7, 2019On this 12-day cruise explore the wildlife rich shores of the South Shetland Islands, and make numerous stops along the Antarctic Peninsula. Travel …
Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica: Explorers and Kings25%$1319520Dec 20, 2019Board the Ocean Endeavour for this 20-day quintessential Antarctic experience visiting the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, South Shetland Islands, …
Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent35%$849511Mar 16, 2020Encounter the world where Mother Nature creates the rules on this 11-day adventure to the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Cruise …

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Antarctica Travel Tips & Cruise Guide

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How to Choose an Antarctica Tour or Cruise
Where to Go?  
Most cruises to Antarctica depart from Ushuaia, Argentina, though several, especially Antarctic Air Cruises, leave from Punta Arenas, Chile. A few, those visiting the Ross Sea, may visit or depart from New Zealand. or even South Africa. If you have limited time and budget you'll likely choose to visit the Antarctic Peninsula, as only longer cruises include the Weddell SeaFalkland Islands, and the mountainous South Georgia.
 
How Long?
The shortest trip length available to Antarctica is six days with an Express Air Cruise, where you sail or fly to King George Island and return on a flight or cruise. Without the flight, you'll need at least a ten day trip starting and finishing from Ushuaia to get an optimal experience on the Antarctic continent. Trips to the Ross Sea last around 30 days. To explore the Falkland Islands and South Georgia in addition to the Antarctic Peninsula budget at least an 18-day cruise.

On which ship?
All of our ships that sail to Antarctica have strengthened hulls designed for the demands of the Antarctic and exceed the highest safety standards. We only offer cruises on small ships, as large cruise ships are not allowed to disembark in many places. Only 100 passengers are allowed to disembark in Antarctica at one time, so we recommend a ship of around 100 passengers if you want to maximize your time exploring, as all passengers can be on land at once and don't have to rotate in shifts on land. 

Contact an Adventure Life Antarctica cruise expert for help choosing the perfect ship for your needs. 

What is there to do and see?
All of our small ship Antarctica cruises feature zodiac excursions and hikes for up-close encounters with Antarctic wildlifeSome ships have sea kayaks that give a unique perspective of penguins, whales and other wildlife. Some tours include  skiing and camping in Antarctica for the ultimate adventure trip to the white continent.

How much does a trip to Antarctica cost?
The most economical cruises to Antarctica start at just under $5000 per person for a 6 to 10 day voyage. Cruises departing Ushuaia or flight/cruise options leaving from Punta Arenas for the Antarctic Peninsula are the most affordable departure ports. Here is a list of the most economical cruises to Antarctica.
Traveling in the Extreme Climate of Antarctica

Flexibility, and patience is key. The weather in both Antarctica and Patagonia is unpredictable and can impact both flights and landings at sea. 

The captian of your ship will make decisions on where to visit and what activities are available based upon wind, temperature, and sea conditions.

An Antarctic itinerary should be considered a rough "plan A" that will be adjusted as the climate dictates.
Antarctic Trip Highlights

The most popular regions for Antarctic cruises are the Antarctic Peninsula, the Weddell Sea, Ross Sea, and the sub-antarctic South Georgia & the Sandwich Islands, and The Falkland Islands.

The Antarctic Peninsula - is the most frequently visited region. Don't miss the South Shetland Islands including King George Island & Deception Island. On the western side of the Peninsula, the The Lamaire Channel, Neko Harbor, Port Lockroy and Paradise Bay offer breathtaking views and visits to penguin rookeries. This is the most accessible, and wildlife-rich area of Antarctica.

The Ross Sea - is remote and normally visited on cruises of 30 days or more. Explore the marine reserve, recently-formed in 2016, protecting what the journal Biological Conservation called the Ross Sea “the least altered marine ecosystem on Earth.” Cruise to the volcanic Ross Island and the huge Ross Ice Shelf with the Transantarctic Mountains as a backdrop. Sail to the remote Peter I Island and Macquarie Island as you approach New Zealand.

The Weddell Sea - is the area east of the Antarctic Peninsula infrequently visited and frequently clogged with massive icebergs, and is the resting place of Shackelton's ship, the Endurance.

South Georgia & the Sandwich Islands, and The Falkland Islands - are not technically part of Antarctica, but are frequently visited on cruises to the white continent. These sub-antarctic islands are inhabited by myriad wildlife species such as penguins, sea birds, and seals in mind-blowing numbers.  
What to know before you go Antarctica - Cruise tips & tricks

Antarctica entices adventurers from all different backgrounds, but it's a vacation like none you've ever taken before, so we want to make sure you know a few quick things before you book your Antarctica cruise expedition:
  • Book early! Less than 50,000 people stepped foot on Antarctica last year and most ships fill up many months or even years ahead of time. Plan your trip at least a year ahead of time, or even earlier if you can, for the best prices and selection.
  • Choose a smaller ship, with less than 200 passengers. By choosing a smaller cruising vessel for your Antarctica cruise, you are guaranteeing yourself a superior onboard  experience with better service and more opportunities for daily excursions. Ships carrying more than 500 passengers are not allowed to land their passengers ashore in Antarctica.
  • Visit South Georgia Island. While cruises that visit South Georgia are longer than those that do not, you will have once-in-a-lifetime chances to see incredible wildlife like the giant king penguin rookery and visit a historical stop on Shackleton's explorations.
  • Choose a ship with comfortable cabins and amenities. Cruises through Antarctica tend to be longer than other warm weather cruises, and you'll also spend comparably more time onboard, which is why it is nice to have a spacious and comfortable accommodation, perhaps with your own private balcony to take in the wonderful sights of the ice-swept landscapes and extreme weather. The more comfortable your room and ship are, the better will be your overall experience.
  • Choose which activities you want to do in Antarctica. Not every itinerary includes every activity - in fact, the only activities that almost all Antarctica itineraries feature are zodiac excursions and hiking, so if you want to kayak, scuba dive, stand-up paddle board, camp, or do some other activity, check with us to make sure it can be added to your itinerary, or we'll help you find an itinerary that is better suited to your interests. 
  • Be prepared for rough seas. If you are affected by motion sickness, then take tried and tested medications or treatments. Consider taking a flight cruise that can fly you either one, or both ways from Punta Arenas, Chile to King George Island.

Our Most Remote Antarctic Expeditions

Getting to Antarctica - How to Travel to the White Continent

Traveling to Antarctica and Back
The vast majority (about 98%) of visitors arrive from either UshuaiaArgentina or Punta ArenasChile at the southern tip of South America. Neither of these port cities have international flights, so travelers must first fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina or Santiago, Chile respectively. There are not even international,

From Ushuaia to Antarctica 
Ushuaia, Argentina is the primary port for cruises leaving to Antarctica and claims the title of "world's southernmost city". Sail across the Beagle Channel near Puerto Williams, Chile (the world's southernmost town) near Cape Horn, and through the Drake Passage across the Southern Sea. Choose between cruises that go directly to the Antarctic Peninsula, or longer trips that sail to the Falkland IslandsSouth Georgia Island, or even to the Ross Sea and on to New Zealand.

Flights From Punta Arenas, Chile to Antarctica
The two hour flight from Punta Arenas Chile to King George Island near the Antarctic Peninsula is the fastest way to arrive to the Antarctic. Most flights are carrying passengers of cruise-flight packages that fly one way and sail the other direction cutting the minimum Antarctic trip length to as short as 6 days.

How do you get from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas?
There is no way to fly directly between "neighboring" Ushuaia, Argentina and Punta Arenas, Chile. Most travelers opt to fly between Ushuaia and Calafate, Argentina then take a bus for about 8 hours to Punta Arenas. Bus travel between El Calafate and Punta Arenas involves about 5 hours to Puerto Natales, Chile (which is the access point for the exceptional and highly-recommended Torres del Paine National Park) and another 3 hours to Punta Arenas. 
Antarctica Purpose-Built Polar Vessels
Antarctica - once a destination primarily for researchers and scientists aboard the sparsely decorated expedition ships - has recently become a quintessential bucket list destination for many adventure travelers and world explorers. That means that the ships that operate here have truly gone up in quality in recent years, now featuring such onboard amenities as:
  • Hot tubs
  • Spas
  • Saunas
  • Gyms
  • More comfortable quarters
Plus, these new specially designed cruising vessels are able to faster, further, and operate more sustainably to make your overall experience not only more engaging and comfortable but also more ecologically conscious. 
Make your Antarctica Trip Sustainable!
As an ambassador to the frozen continent of the Antarctic, you have a responsibility to not only share your story afterwards but to make sure that your experience is an environmentally friendly one. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help keep your trip to the White Continent "green":
  • Don't introduce any non-native species that could become invasive species.
  • Always listen to your guides and the ship's crew while on day-trips.
  • Make sure to observe animals from a safe distance and never try to touch them (at least 15 feet is a good recommendation).
  • Don't feed any animals.
  • Stay on designated walking paths.
  • Allow animals enough space to make their own navigation decisions. 
  • Do not surround any animal or go between baby animals and their mothers.
It also helps to do a bit of independent research and reading on the effects of climate change on Antarctica so that you can greater appreciate the fragility of this seemingly impenetrable continent of ice.

For more travel information and guidelines, visit the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators page.

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Fun Facts About Antarctica

Continent of Extremes - Antarctica is the coldest, driest, windiest, and has the highest average altitude of any continent. It also sits upon active volcanoes like Mt. Erebus and the sub-glacial volcano at Deception Island, which has hot springs where you can go swimming in Antarctica!

Population - The only people who live in Antarctica are about 4000 resident scientists in the summer and about 1000 in the winter. There are no cities in Antarctica as the entire populace lives in about 70 different research stations run by around 30 countries.

Government - There is no government of Antarctica, only pending territorial claims. 52 nations have signed on to the Antarctic Treaty which designates Antarctica a military free zone dedicated to scientific research.   

The Coldest Place on Earth - On a high ridge on the East Antarctic Plateau is where temperatures can dip to a record minus 136 degrees Fahrenheit (-93.2 degrees Celsius).

A Land of Ice & Water - around 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice averaging 1.9 km (1.2 mi; 6,200 ft) in thickness and between 70%-90% of the world's fresh water is here. The northernmost regions of the Antarctic Peninsula are about the only places not covered by ice. 

A Not-So-Fun Fact - If all the ice in Antarctica melted, global sea levels would rise at least 60 meters, over 200 feet! 
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Antarctica
If you've been yearning to check off the 7th continent from your globetrotting explorations but simply can't figure out an answer to the question "Why visit Antarctica?" then here are a few reasons that might convince you:
  1. PENGUINS! Penguins can only be found in the southern hemisphere, and Antarctica is home to 17 different types of penguins, which means any Antarctica excursion is sure to bring you up close to the long marching lines of "penguin highways" or right overtop of them as they torpedo through the water below your zodiac.
  2. WILDLIFE! Other than the tuxedoed penguins, you might expect Antarctica to be a barren continent devoid of life, but you would be very wrong - Antarctica is also home to all manner of seabirds, humpback, killer, and minke whales, and many different species of seals, including fur seals, leopard seals, elephant seals, Ross seals, Weddell seals, and crabeater seals. 
  3. SUN! While a trip to Antarctica is certainly no beach vacation, you will find that this polar desert can be pretty sunny, receiving less than a foot of precipitation each year and making it the driest continent on earth. Just make sure to pack some sunscreen and shades.
  4. ACTIVE ITINERARIES! Trekking across glaciers, navigating around icy bays in zodiacs, photographing some of the most beautiful and breathtaking landscapes, and hiking around daunting cliffs and the base of towering mountains will keep you on the go as you explore the White Continent. If you're really up for adventure, you might also be able to stand-up paddleboard, mountaineer, cross country ski, camp, kayak, snowshoe, and perhaps even scuba dive!
  5. GREAT FOR SOLO TRAVELERS! If you're a solo world explorer, then you'll be delighted to find great rates for shared cabins on the Antarctica cruises, which many say makes Antarctica the best destination for solo travelers. 
Which Pole Should I Visit? Antarctica or the Arctic?
Though many people think the experience would be the same at either pole, they are in fact quite unique experiences in a number of ways and actually have less in common than they are different. 
  • The cruising season in the Arctic is from May-September, while in Antarctica it runs from November through March.
  • While temperatures in Antarctica can be more extreme than in the Arctic, the cruising season tends to stay between 20-30 degree Fahrenheit, with plenty of sunny days (sometimes with 24 hours of sunlight each day). 
  • A trip through the Arctic might bring you through any of the following countries: Canada, the US, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Finland. Longer comprehensive cruises might do the whole Northwest Passage or cruise almost all of the Arctic Circle. Cruises board either in Scandinavia, Russia, or Canada.
  • Antarctica trips either start in Ushuaia, Argentina for cruises or Punta Arenas for the fly cruises over the Drake Passage. 
  • Polar bears or Penguins - While penguins are so prolific in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean that the idea of not seeing hundreds on your cruise seems absurd, the polar bears of the Arctic can be much harder to spot (though some feel that they are more majestic and rewarding when you do spot them). NOTE: Polar bears live in the Arctic and penguins live in the southern hemisphere, so there is nowhere (other than perhaps a zoo) where you will see them both living in their natural habitat on the same trip. 
  • Wildlife in Antarctica features more whales and many different types of seals. 
  • Active travelers might prefer Antarctica for the chances to do activities like camping, kayaking, mountaineering, cross-country skiing, paddleboarding or scuba diving, which aren't included on Arctic tours for safety reasons.
  • Ice vs. Land: Antarctica is aptly named the White Continent because its landmass is almost entirely permanently frozen ice and glaciers with towering rocky mountains, while the Arctic Circle goes through a summer season of lush vegetation when its icy coat melts away.

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