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Antarctica Cruises, Ships & Tours

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Adventure Life's Antarctica cruises and tours are the ultimate way to visit the white continent in comfort, safety, and style. Thousands of travelers have trusted Adventure Life's Antarctica cruise 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 kayaking, and camping in Antarctica. Guides lecture on the region's natural history, weather, and Antarctic animals like penguins, seals, and 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, and budget, and we'll help you plan the perfect Antarctic cruise.
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10 Top Antarctica Cruises & Tours for 2024-2025

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Antarctica Cruise Deals

8 Antarctica Cruise Deals for 2024-2025

Trip NameSaveFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Antarctica - Polar Circle - Whale watchingCustom Label$770012Mar 21, 2024Embark on this 12-day classic Antarctic cruise to wondrous landscapes found in one of the harshest environments on Earth, and yet teeming with an …
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Spirit of AntarcticaSavings$1369512Nov 12, 2024Explore all the wonders that Antarctica has to offer on this 12-day adventure cruise roundtrip Ushuaia aboard Sylvia Earle. Have a tour of Ushuaia …
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Christmas in AntarcticaCustom Label$1009512Dec 16, 2024This exciting Antarctic cruise navigates the famed Drake Passage, explores the wildlife-rich shores of the South Shetland Islands, and makes numerous …
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Spirit of Antarctica featuring the Chilean FjordsSavings$1469513Mar 13, 2025Embark on a 13-day cruise from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia onboard the Sylvia Earle to witness the magnificent wonders of Antarctica. You'll get the …
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The Antarctic Adrenaline AdventureSavings$1019512Nov 8, 2024Join Ocean Albatros on this 12-day Antarctic Adrenaline Adventure cruise. Departing Ushuaia, cross the Drake Passage to explore Antarctica's stunning …
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Antarctic Express: Fly the DrakeCustom Label$159958Dec 5, 2024Fly over the Drake Passage and experience the fastest and most direct way to Antarctica on this 8-day polar expedition. Zodiac cruise in search of …
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Adventures in AntarcticaCustom Label$844512Nov 29, 2024View the abundant wildlife which call this frozen continent home including albatrosses, prions, petrels, penguins, seals, whales, and dolphins aboard …
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The Epic Antarctica and South Georgia AdventureSavings$1159018Mar 18, 2024Take this 18-day expedition cruise through the Southern Ocean aboard Ocean Albatros. Embark on a journey through awe-inspiring Antarctica, then …
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Find the Perfect Antarctica Trip

Our Most Remote Antarctic Expeditions

Tips For Planning Your Antarctic Cruise

  • 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, preferably 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.
  • Choose your cruise based on activities, destinations, and cruise line experience. Use this guide, or contact one of our Antarctica cruise experts and we'll help you find the itinerary and ship that is best suited to your you. 
  • 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.
All Small Antarctica Cruise Ships

Top-Rated Small Antarctic Cruise Ships

Antarctica Highlights

Top Experiences on Your Antarctica Small Ship Cruise Expedition in 2025
  • Zodiac Expeditions: Delve into the heart of Antarctica's icy realm on Zodiac expeditions. Get unbelievably close to massive icebergs and glaciers that defy imagination. Encounter unique wildlife such as seals, penguins, and majestic whales, making every moment a captivating memory.
  • Antarctica Camping Trips: For an unparalleled connection with the environment, camp under the starry skies of Antarctica. Some cruises offer camping experiences complete with all the necessary equipment, ensuring your safety while you immerse yourself in the raw beauty of the continent.
  • Kayak Among Marine Life: Glide through the pristine waters of Antarctica in a kayak, coming face to face with the remarkable marine life that calls this continent home. Paddle through stunning ice formations and observe seals and penguins in their natural habitat.
  • Snowshoeing and Skiing: Embrace the adventure spirit by snowshoeing or skiing on the pristine slopes of Antarctica. Some cruises include these exhilarating activities in their itineraries and provide top-notch equipment for guests seeking an adrenaline rush.
  • Glacier Hikes: Embark on glacier hikes through awe-inspiring white landscapes, all while spotting the incredible wildlife that inhabits this unique region. It's an opportunity to stay active and witness wildlife thriving in their natural habitat.
  • Scientific Explorations: Visit science research stations and onboard science labs to delve into the cutting-edge research conducted in Antarctica. Learn about the history of exploration in Antarctica and gain insights into the current challenges facing the continent.
  • Breathtaking Sceneries: Be prepared to be mesmerized by the inspiring and breathtaking sceneries of Antarctica. Marvel at the incredible species that call this pristine wilderness home every step of the way.
  • Relaxation and Luxury: Amidst the adventure, take time to unwind and pamper yourself. Enjoy moments of relaxation as you tour or sail through the blue waters of Antarctica. Many cruises offer onboard services like spas, massages, fine dining, hot tubs, and more, ensuring you have the best of both worlds during your expedition.
Your Antarctica itinerary will be filled with awe-inspiring moments, from close encounters with Emperor Penguins to the serene beauty of the Polar Circle. With various cruise types and options available, including small ship Antarctica cruises and expedition cruises, your journey to Antarctica promises to be an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.
Antarctica Regions and Top destinations to visit in Antarctica
  • Antarctic Peninsula: This is one of the most visited regions in Antarctica and is known for its stunning landscapes, research stations, and abundant wildlife, including penguins, seals, and whales. Cross the Lemaire Channel back or from notable visitor sites along the Antarctic Peninsula include Paradise Bay, Deception Island, Neko Harbor, Cuverville Island, Half Moon Island, and Petermann Island.
  • East Antarctica: The vast and largely unexplored eastern portion of Antarctica contains the coldest and driest areas of the continent.
  • West Antarctica: This region is characterized by its massive ice sheets and glaciers, including the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. It is an important area for scientific research on climate change.
  • Ross Sea: Located in the southernmost part of the Pacific Ocean, the Ross Sea region is home to the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf in Antarctica. It is a critical area for studying the continent's marine ecosystem, Visit Brown Bluff (Tabarin Peninsula) or sail to the remote Peter I Island and Macquarie Island as you approach New Zealand.
  • Weddell Sea: Situated off the eastern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, the Weddell Sea is known for its diverse wildlife and historic significance, including the famous Shackleton expedition.
  • South Orkney Islands: These islands are a sub-Antarctic archipelago located in the Southern Ocean, not far from the Antarctic Peninsula. They are home to various bird species and marine life.
  • South Shetland Islands: This archipelago is a popular stop for Antarctic cruises, serving as a gateway to the continent. It is known for its research stations and wildlife, including penguins and seals. Notable visitor sites within the South Shetland Islands include Livingston Island, Hannah Point (Livingston Island), Elephant Island, and Aitcho Islands.
  • South Sandwich Islands: This group of uninhabited islands located in the South Atlantic Ocean is home to a variety of seabirds and marine mammals, including chinstrap penguins, fur seals, albatrosses, and orcas.
  • Sub-Antarctic Islands: These islands are scattered throughout the Southern Ocean and are known for their unique ecosystems, including various bird species and marine life. Sail to the Falkland Islands and South Georgia Island. Explore visitor sites such as Port Stanley (capital), Saunders Island, Carcass Island, West Point Island, and Sea Lion Island.
  • Scotia Arc: This chain of islands and undersea ridges connects South America with the Antarctic Peninsula. It is an important migratory route for marine animals.
  • Balleny Islands: These remote sub-Antarctic islands lie in the Southern Ocean and are known for their isolation and unique geology.

Antarctica Travel Guide

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.

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 from around the world.

There are no direct international flights to Ushuaia or Punta Arenas, and travelers must fly via Buenos Aires or Santiago respectively.

From the United States - There are direct flights from Miami and Houston to both Santiago and Buenos Aires.

From India - There are some 1 stop flights to Chile but they are rare, the flights available usually range from 2-4 stops.

From Canada - There are no direct flights from Canada to Argentina or Chile but there are many 1 stop options.

From The United Kingdom - There are no direct flights from the UK. Most flights include two stops.

From Australia - There are no directs flights from Australia to Ushuaia or Punta Arenas, and travelers fly via Santiago, Chile or Buenos Aires.
What is the Best Time to Visit Antarctica - Month by Month Guide

The best time to visit Antarctica is during its austral summer, which typically runs from November to March. This period offers the most favorable conditions for tourists, with longer daylight hours, relatively milder temperatures, and access to the continent's prime attractions. Here's a breakdown of the austral summer months and what you can expect:
  • November: This is when tourism to Antarctica begins to kick off. Days start to lengthen, and sea ice retreats, marking the Antarctic "spring" in full force. While temperatures are still chilly, it's a great time for those seeking pristine landscapes and wildlife, including penguin mating rituals and seals having pups. Skiers and snowshoers will find ideal conditions in November and early December
  • December: Among the most popular months for visiting, December offers optimal weather, long days, and access to stunning scenery and wildlife. It includes the austral summer solstice, providing extended daylight and relatively warmer temperatures. Penguin hatchlings and chicks are a highlight, and it's a great time for various activities, including kayaking and camping.
  • January: Another prime month for tourism, January features ideal weather conditions, long daylight hours, and extensive access to the mainland and coastline. Temperatures are at their warmest, and there's an abundance of wildlife to observe, including penguins and increasing numbers of whales.
  • February: Although tourist numbers start to decline from the December/January peak, February continues to offer fine weather. Daylight remains ample, and sea ice is at its yearly minimum, allowing for deeper exploration into the Antarctic wilderness. Whale-watching is particularly rewarding during this time. Scuba divers may prefer mid-December through mid-February
  • March: The tail-end of the austral summer provides less-crowded sightseeing opportunities, minimal sea ice, and the chance to experience the "Antarctic fall." While temperatures cool off, March offers lower cruise prices, clearer waters for diving, and unique wildlife experiences, such as leopard seals hunting penguin chicks.
Travel Advisories and Restrictions for Antarctica in 2024-2025

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. This search service is helpful for identifying travel requirements and restrictions from your country to Argentina, Chile, and Antarctica.

United States - Check the US Embassy to Argentina and Chile for travel advisories. 

India - Check the Indian embassy advice for travel to Chile and Argentina. 

Canada - Check the Canadian government site for Argentina travel advisories and Chile

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

Australia - Check the Australian government's current regulations.

Don't hesitate to contact one of our Antarctica Experts for the latest info regarding traveling to Antarctica.

 
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.
All Antarctica Videos

What's it like on an Antarctic Cruise?

A Typical Day on an Antarctica Cruise

Antarctica is full of surprises, offering new and exciting experiences every day. From watching a humpback whale breach next to your kayak to seeing a massive blue glacier up close as you near the Antarctic Peninsula, there's always something to discover. However, due to the unpredictable weather conditions in this harsh environment, daily plans may change, and cruise itineraries are designed to be flexible to make the most of the time on the White Continent and its surrounding islands. Here's a glimpse into a typical day in Antarctica.

AM: Days typically start early, around 6am, to catch the most dynamic wildlife activity. Guests receive an announcement over the intercom about their current location and attend a briefing about the morning's activities, such as kayaking. Breakfast is served in the form of a hearty buffet. Enjoy a customized omelet, pancakes, or oatmeal. After breakfast, guests layer up and prepare for off-board programs like zodiac explorations, hiking, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. Drysuits are provided for water activities. Guests then disembark with their group for the morning activity, which may include a landing on a visitor site, a zodiac cruise, or visiting the remote towns and research stations of Antarctica. After a morning of exploration, guests return to the ship for lunch, which is usually a buffet with various options to satisfy all tastes. Bigger ships may offer more than one dining option.

PM: After lunch, guests may take a break or enjoy onboard facilities before suiting up again for the afternoon excursion, which typically involves a landing or zodiac cruise to observe the local fauna and learn about the natural history of this continent. After the excursion, guests return to the ship for a daily recap, during which guides and guests share their favorite moments of the day. A briefing on the activities for the next day may happen at this time or later in the evening. It's also an ideal time to relax in your cabin or the ship's spa (if available on your ship), enjoy a hot beverage or a snack, and meet other travelers in social areas such as your ship's Science Lab, libraries, bars, observation decks, or gyms. Dinner is served in one of the restaurants on board or the main dining room, offering a variety of options from four-course plated dinners to barbecues on deck. Luxury cruises offer haute cuisine and specialty restaurants. Some cruises offer evening activities such as live music or game night, but it's typically a low-key affair to allow guests to retire early for the night and prepare for the next day's adventures.
 

Expeditions to the South Pole

Traveling to the South Pole

Situated at the southernmost point of Earth, the South Pole marks the intersection of Earth's axis. The South Pole is in the center of the Antarctic Circle. This location boasts a latitude of 90 degrees south, where all lines of longitude converge, much like at the North Pole. Accessible only by a few intrepid adventurers and through specific itineraries, the South Pole is a unique and remote destination that offers unparalleled opportunities for exploration.

Adventurers can engage in a range of activities, such as skiing, hiking, and camping, in some of the most demanding conditions on the planet. Visitors can witness the stunning spectacle of the Aurora Australis and marvel at the breathtaking views of the vast Antarctic landscape. Additionally, the South Pole is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including penguins and seals, and serves as a hub for cutting-edge scientific research. Given its extreme environment, the South Pole is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that only the bravest and most adventurous travelers should attempt.
Which Pole Should I Visit? Antarctica or the Arctic? South Pole or North Pole
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.

Antarctica Cruise Lines

Top Antarctica Cruise Lines for 2024-2025

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.

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.

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.

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 are first visiting Antarctica:

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 debuted in November 2021.

National Geographic Endurance and sister ship National Geographic Resolution- are new, state-or-the-art ULSTEIN X-BOW® expedition ships designed for exploring the planet's most remote polar regions in comfort and let you safely experience extended expeditions of 22 days to South Georgia and the Falklands or a 34-day journey to the Ross Sea.

Sylvia Earle and Greg Mortimer  are new sister ships that are highly ecological and sail with the patented ULSTEIN X-BOW®, whose inverted bow design, in combination with Rolls Royce dynamic stabilizers offers unrivaled stability and comfort on ocean crossings. They offer flight/cruise combination tours, which are excellent for those weary of crossing the choppy Drake Passage twice.

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.

Penguins of Antarctica

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.

Antarctica Travel FAQ's

What is the cheapest way to get to Antarctica?
The cheapest way to actually visit Antarctica and spend some time there is by flying between Punta Arenas (PUQ airport), Chile and St.George Island (TNM airport) on the Antarctic Peninsula 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 CruiseHere is a list of the most economical cruises to Antarctica.
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. There were 104,897 visitors in the 2022-23 season 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.
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.
What is there to do and see in an Antarctica Cruise?
All of our small ship Antarctica cruises feature zodiac excursions and hikes for up-close encounters with Antarctic wildlife. Some 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$8,500 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. 

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! 
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