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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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10 Best Antarctica Cruises & Tours for 2021-2022

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Antarctica Cruise Deals

8 Best Antarctica Cruise Deals for 2021-2022

Trip NameSaveFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands$1125019Dec 19, 2021Board Ocean Victory for this 19-day expedition cruise to Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands. Set foot on the Antarctic peninsula and …
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South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula20%$645010Nov 17, 2021Board Ocean Victory on this 10-day cruise to the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. Set foot on the Antarctic continent as well as …
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Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica via Ushuaia10%$1970521Dec 30, 2021Board MS Seaventure in Ushuaia, Argentina, cruise through the Beagle Channel on your way to the Falkland Islands, then on to South Georgia, and …
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Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica via Puerto Madryn10%$1899522Nov 3, 2021This 22-day voyage aboard the MS Seaventure will take you to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands where you will witness …
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Antarctica, South Georgia & The Falklands10%$1899522Feb 24, 2023Explore the White Continent’s rugged landscape. Meet vast penguin colonies in South Georgia and the greet albatross in the Falkland Islands, during …
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Crossing the Circle10%$1313515Jan 17, 2022Sail aboard MS Seaventure on this 15-day Antarctica cruise starting in Ushuaia, through the Beagle Channel, Cape Horn and Drake Passage onward to the …
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Celebrating Antarctica10%$999513Dec 7, 2022Board the MS Seaventure for this 13-day voyage that will take you from Ushuaia, across the Drake Passage until you reach the Antarctic Peninsula …
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Holiday in Antarctica10%$1094513Dec 20, 2021Experience the best holiday during your 13-day voyage aboard the MS Seaventure. Explore the South Shetland Islands during Christmas Day and marvel at …
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Antarctica Cruise Tips & Travel Guide

How many days do you need to visit Antarctica?
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 trip.

Should I go on a small or a large ship to Antarctica?
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 an expedition 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 Antarctic expeditions include skiing and camping in Antarctica for the ultimate adventure trip to the white continent.

How much does a trip to Antarctica cost?
The average cost of a trip to Antarctica is around USD$9,000 per person. The most economical cruises to Antarctica start at just under USD$5000 per person for a 6 to 10 day trip. Cruises departing Ushuaia or flight/cruise options leaving from Punta Arenas for the Antarctic Peninsula are the most affordable departure ports. The largest factors in cost are the number of days in your cruise, the class of ship and class of cabin. Here is a list of the most economical cruises to Antarctica.
Traveling to Antarctica 2021 and 2022
Updated September 10, 2021.

Currently, the next planned departures for Antarctica are scheduled for November 2021, though as of the beginning of September, 2021, both Argentina and Chile have restricted entry by non-citizens with no clear date for reopening.

Nearly all trips to Antarctica begin in either Ushuaia, Argentina or Punta Arenas, Chile, and all travelers must comply with local travel restrictions, public health regulations and protocols. There may be current travel or health advisories in Argentina and Chile.

Most travelers scheduled for the 2020-2021 season were successfully rescheduled for the 2021-2022 season, while others have a Future Cruise Credit to be used on future departures of their choosing. Some ships are still offering "Early Booking Discounts", while others are offering new, flexible "Book with Confidence" terms. 

Please contact one of our Antarctica trip planners for the latest info and expert advice regarding traveling 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 captain 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 - Best Places to Travel in Antarctica

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 Lemaire ChannelNeko 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 Shackleton'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 Travel to  Antarctica - Travel 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! Fewer than 60,000 people step foot on Antarctica each year and many 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 on board  experience with more opportunities for daily excursions to small bays and ports. 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 significantly 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 on board, 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.
Best Antarctica Cruise Lines for 2021-2022

Quark Expeditions - have long specialized in polar cruising and offer some of the most adventurous and active itineraries at competitive prices. The new Ultramarine takes Antarctic cruising to the next level.

Lindblad Expeditions - National Geographic - are legendary high-end adventure cruises with emphasis on wildlife and natural history. The stunning new National Geographic Endurance featured a patented X-bow® with powerful wave-slicing action provides an extremely smooth ride in even adverse conditions of Antarctica.

Aurora Expeditions - recently launched the innovative and ecological Sylvia Earle and Greg Mortimer and even have combination cruise/flight trips where the trip out or back is a flight and the other cruising. 

Antarctica21 - has innovative flight/cruise combinations where you fly one way and sail the other way to the Antarctic continent. They have exceptional trips, the new Magellan Explorer cruise ship, and are among the most economical options for visiting Antarctica.

Silversea - is consistently among the top-ranked luxury small ship cruise lines, and their Antarctic cruises on the Silver Explorer, Silver Wind, and Silver Cloud are exceptional.

Ponant - The luxury-class French cruise line has several mid-sized ships that cruise Antarctica, most notably Le Commandant Charcot, which will be the world's first electric hybrid polar icebreaker set to launch in 2021.

Hurtigruten - have some of the most affordable long cruise options of around 20-days, though their ships tend to be on the large end with more than 500 passengers, with the exception of the small ship Fram, which carries 318.
Newest Ships Cruising Antarctica

Here are some of our favorite new ships that plan to visit Antarctica for the 2021-2022 season:

Ultramarine -  featuring two twin-engine helicopters, 20 quick-launching Zodiacs, spacious suites for the price, a spa, sauna gym, numerous outdoor wildlife viewing spaces, and active itineraries,  the Ultramarine will debut in November 2021.

Magellan Explorer - is a revolutionary vessel designed for extended periods at sea without visiting a major port, as cruises start and finish at St. George Island airport quickly and economically shuttling visitors by air between the Antarctic Peninsula and South America instead of sailing. 

Le Commandant Charcot - is perhaps the ultimate luxury Antarctic experience. This floating tribute to French cuisine and hospitality is propelled by environmentally friendly Liquefied Natural Gas and electric battery.

National Geographic Endurance - lest you experience extended expeditions of 22 days to South Georgia and the Falklands or a 34-day journey to the Ross Sea on the new, luxurious Nat Geo Endurance.
 

Getting to the White Continent - How to Travel to Antarctica

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 first before flying to Patagonia

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 Antarctic Circle to 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, just north of 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 El 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. Another option is taking a cruise from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia, or in the other direction.
 
How to travel to Antarctica. Where do Antarctica trips start/finish from and how can you visit?  
The vast majority of cruises to Antarctica depart from Ushuaia, Argentina, though several Antarctic Air Cruises, leave from Punta Arenas, Chile, and fly one direction while sailing the other. The few cruises visiting the Ross Sea generally 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 more expensive cruises include the Weddell SeaFalkland Islands, and mountainous South Georgia.

Nearly all trips to Antarctica begin in either Ushuaia, Argentina, or Punta Arenas, Chile, and all travelers must comply with local travel restrictions, public health regulations, and protocols. There may be special considerations for travelers from:

United States - Check the US Embassy to Argentina and Chile for travel advisories. There are direct flights from Miami and Houston to both Santiago and Buenos Aires.

India - Check the Indian embassy advice for travel to Chile and Argentina. There are some 1 stop flights to Chile but they are rare, the flights available usually range from 2-4 stops.

Canada - Check the Canadian government site for Argentina travel advisories and Chile. There are no direct flights from Canada to Argentina or Chile but there are many 1 stop options.

The United Kingdom - Check the United Kingdom's government's current travel laws and advice.

Australia - Check the Australian's government current laws.

 
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.
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. 
What to Know Before you Travel to  Antarctica - Travel 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! Fewer than 60,000 people step foot on Antarctica each year and many 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 on board  experience with more opportunities for daily excursions to small bays and ports. 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 significantly 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 on board, 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.
When, Where, and How to See Penguins in Antarctica

The best time to see the most penguins in Antarctica is from October to February when penguins tend to spend more time on land. Penguins tend to divide their time between land and water evenly with more time in the water in the Austral fall and winter, and more time on land in spring and summer.

Where to See Penguins

The Sub-Antarctic islands of South Georgia, the South Orkney Islands, and the Falkland Islands have thriving penguin colonies and one can see several different species at several different sites in a single day of exploring. 

The Antarctic Peninsula has multiple places to see penguins including the South Shetland Islands. The Ross Sea also has massive penguin colonies.

The only place emperor penguins can commonly be seen is Snow Hill Island in the northern Antarctic Peninsula.
The Seven Penguin Species of Antarctica

Of the world's 17 species of penguins, there are 7 in Antarctica, and one more, Magellanic Penguins can be found on the sub-antarctic Falkland Islands. Most of these penguin species can be seen on a trip to Antarctica:
  1. Adelie Penguins - are common along the entire coast of the Antarctic continent and is the most widely-spread penguin species.
  2. Emperor Penguins - the tallest, heaviest and perhaps most famous of the penguin species.
  3. King Penguins - the second largest penguin, and similar in appearance to the Emperors, King Penguins live in the sub-antarctic islands and northern regions of Antarctica.
  4. Rockhopper Penguins - get their name because they are found jumping from jagged rock to rock instead of waddling like most penguins. 
  5. Chinstrap Penguins - are easily distinguishable by their black chinstrap, which makes it look like they're wearing a bicycle helmet!
  6. Gentoo Penguins - are related to the Adelie and Chinstraps, and perhaps the speediest of the penguins in the water. 
  7. Macaroni Penguins - with their distinctive spikey orange crests, are perhaps the world's most abundant penguin species, though they only visit Antarctica part of the year.
How to travel to Antarctica. Where do Antarctica trips start/finish from and how can you visit?  
The vast majority of cruises to Antarctica depart from Ushuaia, Argentina, though several Antarctic Air Cruises, leave from Punta Arenas, Chile, and fly one direction while sailing the other. The few cruises visiting the Ross Sea generally 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 more expensive cruises include the Weddell SeaFalkland Islands, and mountainous South Georgia.

Nearly all trips to Antarctica begin in either Ushuaia, Argentina, or Punta Arenas, Chile, and all travelers must comply with local travel restrictions, public health regulations, and protocols. There may be special considerations for travelers from:

United States - Check the US Embassy to Argentina and Chile for travel advisories. There are direct flights from Miami and Houston to both Santiago and Buenos Aires.

India - Check the Indian embassy advice for travel to Chile and Argentina. There are some 1 stop flights to Chile but they are rare, the flights available usually range from 2-4 stops.

Canada - Check the Canadian government site for Argentina travel advisories and Chile. There are no direct flights from Canada to Argentina or Chile but there are many 1 stop options.

The United Kingdom - Check the United Kingdom's government's current travel laws and advice.

Australia - Check the Australian's government current laws.

 

Our Most Remote Antarctic Expeditions

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What's it like on an Antarctic Cruise?

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. 

Amazing Emperor Penguins - As birds, most Emperor Penguins miraculously never touch land during their entire 20 year life span! They live in the water in the winters and on ice in the summer. 

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 (except those Galapagos penguins who cross the Equator) , and Antarctica is home to 7 different types of penguins. This 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 to 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.
All Antarctica Travel Stories

Real Antarctic Traveler Stories & Reviews

Antarctica Travel FAQ's

What is the cheapest way to get to Antarctica?

The cheapest way to get to Antarctica is by flying from Punta Arenas (PUQ airport), Chile to St.George Island (TNM airport) one way, then the opposite way taking a cruise over five days. The minimum total cost from Punta Arenas is about USD$5000 on an Antarctica Express Air Cruise.

Do you need a passport to go to Antarctica?

Yes, you need a passport to enter Antarctica in addition to the country you access Antarctica from. Most travelers pass through Argentina or Chile before arriving to the Antarctic continent and you likely will need a visa in addition to a passport to enter those countries depending on what nationality you are.

Can I travel to Antarctica?

Yes, you can. About 90% of all travelers arrive in Antarctica by a cruise ship and the remaining 10% arrive by air. The vast majority of travelers aboard a ship designed for polar navigation in the world's southernmost city of Ushuaia, Argentina. Few highly-privileged individuals have the opportunity to visit the white continent. In the 2018-2019 season, the total number of people who visited Antarctica was about 55,500 with the majority coming from the United States, followed by China, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

How do I decide which ship to choose?

If you have specific departure dates in mind, these may guide your decision, as availability for Antarctica cruises can be quite limited. If not, then you will want to consider the following factors, among others:

Size of the vessel - Some travelers prefer the intimacy of small group travel that often means more time with the guide, more efficient embarkation/ disembarkation, and a cozier feel on board. Ships with fewer travelers also tend to offer more adventure options such as scuba diving, kayaking, and camping. Other travelers prefer the relative spaciousness (cabins still tend to be small on most boats!) and added facilities (Jacuzzi, gym, pool, etc) of the larger boats. Often, though not always, the larger ships tend to have more luxury amenities 

Itinerary - Many of the yachts offer a similar range of itineraries. However, some offer more diversity than others. If you have a special interest such as visiting South Georgia, crossing the circle, or traveling to the Falkland Islands, let our trip coordinator know.

Cost - The cost of Antarctica voyages varies tremendously from about USD$5,000 up to tens of thousands of dollars per passenger for luxury cruises. If you are working within a specific budget, let our trip coordinators know so that we can match you with the very best cruise. Size of cabins, length of itinerary, facilities on the boat, etc. can all impact the cost. Once we know your priorities, we can help you find the best option!

Special interest - Some vessels offer special cruises for divers, kayakers, climbers, campers, photographers, etc. If you have a special interest, please let us know.

Do I need a converter/ adapter for the electricity?

Each ship has its own type of electrical outlets, depending upon the country where it was built. Many of the ships are originally from Russia and use 220 volts, 50 cycle electricity with two round prongs. Ask your Operations Coordinator for details on the vessel you are taking. 

What are the fitness health requirements for traveling to Antarctica?

Although you do not need to be in excellent fitness to join an Antarctica cruise, you do need to be in overall good health. These remote areas do not have access to modern medical facilities. You should not join an Antarctica cruise if you have a life-threatening condition or one that requires extensive medical attention. That said the trip does not need to be physically demanding. You may opt-out of the shore excursions and choose instead to view the wildlife and landscape from the deck. Onshore, most vessels offer at least one easy walk that allows participants to experience the destination without going far from the landing site.

What are the typical demographics of other passengers on board?

Travelers come from around the world, though most speak English fluently. They may range in age from children to seniors, with most travelers aged the 30s-60s. Some vessels do not permit children under age 12, and families should not expect many children on any of the departures.

Are these trips suitable for kids?

It depends. Some vessels have minimum age requirements ranging from 6 to 12. Other vessels leave it up to the parents to decide whether or not the cruise would be appropriate. The dramatic landscapes and unique wildlife can be fascinating for children. However, the long voyages at sea can become tiresome for even the most hearty child traveler. It is unlikely that there will be other children onboard for your kids to play with so be sure to bring plenty of entertainment options along. You may also want to consider upgrading to a larger room or suite to give kids more room to spread out. Since there is no access to medical facilities, children with chronic conditions such as severe asthma, diabetes, etc are not advised to visit.

Are these trips a good choice for solo travelers?

Absolutely! Most vessels have special single rates or can arrange a shared room at no additional cost. The majority of Antarctica visitors still travel as couples or families so these trips can be a bit lonely for some solo travelers. However, the relatively small groups and long voyages onboard allow travelers to easily meet others with shared interests. Solo travelers should also take a look at our exclusive Solo Traveler Departures.

Do tour rates include international flights?

Tour rates do not include international flights unless indicated. We find that it is usually less expensive for travelers to book these separately and this also allows you the flexibility to choose the schedule and routing that is most convenient for you. You are welcome to book these on your own, or we can certainly help you arrange these flights with an airfare consolidator who specializes in South America flights.

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