Have questions? We're here.
Cruise Antarctica aboard the Sea Spirit

Antarctica Luxury Cruises

Travel made your way
Talk with an expert
Customize any aspect of your Antarctica trip. 1.406.541.2677
Help Me Plan My Trip
Talk with an expert Ask a Question
Experience the White Continent on a luxury Antarctica cruise with Adventure Life. Below is a selection of the most luxurious small ship Antarctic cruises hand-picked by our Antarctica experts. These cruises have been chosen for their unrivaled level of service, style, and small size which permits superior wildlife viewing on zodiacs and sea kayaks compared to large cruise ships. Luxury-class small ships boast the most spacious accommodations, top-level cuisine, superior service, and best naturalist guides available. Choose from the National Geographic ExplorerNational Geographic Orion, Silver Explorer, or the newly remodeled Hebridean Sky, for the ultimate luxury Antarctica cruise experience. Contact one of our Antarctica luxury cruise experts for help designing the perfect trip to Antarctica.

10 Best Antarctica Luxury Cruises for 2021

Top Antarctica Cruises (216 Results)
Top Antarctica Cruises

Antarctica Luxury Cruise Guide

Choosing a Luxury Antarctic Cruise
Our Antarctica cruise experts have already selected only the finest vessels with the highest level of service for the discerning traveler. Here are some of the criteria used to help travelers decide which luxury class cruise to choose. 
 
Small vs. Large Cruise Ships
One of the biggest factors when choosing an Antarctic cruise is the size of the cruise ship. The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) guidelines dictate that ships with over 500 passengers cannot take passengers on shore, so larger ships spend several days cruising through scenic scapes, but without setting foot on Antarctica. Whereas with a small ship, we simply board a zodiac and land where the guide determines optimal. Other reasons we only offer cruises on small ship are because they have the ability to go further south through deeper ice, have more knowledgable, specialized guides, superior lectures, and cruisemates highly interested in the geography, natural history and wildlife of Antarctica. Here are our top choices for small luxury ships:Cruise Length and Itinerary
Our luxury Antarctic cruises vary in length from 6 to 23 days departing from Ushuaia, Argentina or Punta Arenas, Chile. Most cruises are around 12 days long, and depart from Ushuaia, pass Drake's Passage, Cape Horn and onward to the Antarctic Peninsula where travelers spend 4-7 days exploring the white continent. Longer trips of 18-23 days additionally sail to the Falkland Islands and the wildlife rich South Georgia before setting sail for the Antarctic Peninsula.    

Antarctic Fly/Cruise vs. Traditional Cruise
If you have limited time, then a flight/cruise combination where you fly from Punta Arenas, Chile to King George's Island to save a few days of sailing the high seas in transport. On King George's Island we board the Hebridean Sky where days 3-6 of the itinerary are spent sailing between South Shetland Islands and the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula before returning to King George's Island for the flight back to Chile.

Best Antarctica Luxury Cruise Ships

Antarctica Cruise Videos

All Antarctica Videos

Antarctica Travel Reviews & Stories

All Antarctica Travel Stories

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 the 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.

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.

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. Boats with fewer travelers (50 or less) 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 boats tend to have more luxury amenities and also be more expensive for similar itineraries.

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 Falklands, let our trip coordinator know.

Cost - The cost of Antarctica voyages varies tremendously. 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?

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 - books, arts and crafts projects, etc. 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.

Antarctica Travel Guide

Favorite Antarctica Tours & Cruises

Top Antarctica Travel Destinations

Antarctica Trips by Departure Date

Antarctica Trips by Duration

Why Travel With Adventure Life

More Reasons

Recognized By

All News