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Antarctica Cruises & Tours


You do not have to be a Scott, Shackleton or Amundsen to visit Antarctica but then it is extremely unlikely that you would be travelling as far as the actual South Pole. However, the Antarctic is accessible by taking a cruise or flying into one of the research centres on the perimeter of the land mass. The experience on Antarctic trips will be much more comfortable than it was for the explorers and it will be a special one. It is said that the Antarctic has a haunting beauty and will almost always exceed expectations.

About Antarctica

Just to put the Antarctic into perspective, it is the southernmost continent and the mainland is twice the size of Australia and almost 1.5 times larger than the United States. 98% of it is covered in ice and it contains (believe it or not) 70% of the World’s fresh water. No one country actually owns Antarctica although a few lay claim to owning territories on which they have scientific research centres.

What is Antarctica really? It is a mixture of ice shelves and mountain ranges or, put another way, snow, ice, water and rock. The highest point is at 16,000 feet/4900 metres. 

When to visit Antarctica 

Antarctica can only really be visited between November and March when the weather allows access. At this time of the year, it has 24 hours of daylight. The climate of Antarctica is the coldest on the planet and in 1983, the lowest ever naturally occurring temperature of -89.2˚C was recorded on the continent.  Although the majority of Antarctica (98%) is covered in ice, the continent is a desert and so the climate is very dry. This dryness is a result of the ice reflecting the sun’s light rather than absorbing it. There is very little moisture and it is considered the windiest place on earth. The mean annual temperature of Antarctica’s interior is -57˚C (-70˚F) while the coasts and the Peninsula are much warmer.  There is not one month of the year where temperatures average above 0˚C (32˚F). With no permanent residents, tourists only visit during the summer months. Winter in Antarctica is characterised by darkness and immense cold with temperatures sometimes dropping to -50˚C. November is considered early summer and it is the time of year when many penguins mate.December to January brings warmer temperatures and up to twenty hours of sunshine while February to March are the late summer months.  Mean summer temperatures range from -15 to -35˚C (-5 to -31˚F).

What to see in Antarctica 

Mount Erebus 

It has several volcanic mountains of which Mount Erebus is probably the best known on Antarctic trips. It is the second-highest volcano in Antarctica (after Mount Sidley) and the southernmost active volcano on Earth. It is the sixth-highest ultra mountain on the continent with a summit elevation of 3,794 metres/12,448 feet, it is located in the Ross Dependency on Ross Island, which is also home to three inactive volcanoes: Mount Terror, Mount Bird, and Mount Terra Nova. The volcano has been active since about 1.3 million years ago and is the site of the Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory run by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Mt. Erebus is notable for its numerous ice fumaroles – ice towers that form around gases that escape from vents in the surface. 

Wildlife

It therefore often comes as a surprise that despite being almost completely covered in ice, the continent of Antarctica is in fact a desert.  Antarctica holds the record for being the coldest place on earth. The amount of ice coupled with a lack of sunlight makes the continent very inhospitable not only for humans, but also for wildlife.  As a result of the extreme weather, it is the waters that surround Antarctica and not the land that is teeming with wildlife. The species most commonly associated with Antarctica are penguins. Four different species of penguins inhabit the waters around the continent, they are the Emperor, the Gentoo, the Adéle and the Chinstrap.  These penguins spend a great deal of time in the water, however they use Antarctica as a breeding ground. Whale species like the fin whale, the humpback whale, minke whale, killer whale and blue whale are all common. Most of the whales in the Southern Ocean are migratory species who feed on krill and small fish in cold waters then head to warmer waters where their calves are born.  Other species found in Antarctica’s waters include Leopard and Weddell seals. Leopard seals, named for the small spots on their backs, are one of the largest predators in the Antarctic region. The Weddell seal, with its thick coat, is able to remain underwater for an hour. Without natural predators like polar bears that plague seals in the north, Antarctic seals are not as scared of humans.  

Antarctica cruise

Most of the Antarctic cruise ships depart from Ushuaia in the very south of Argentina. Smaller vessels can get closer to the land but all ships provide phenomenal views.

"Globetrotting with Goway" blog articles

For some additional reading, the following articles are from our blog “Globetrotting with Goway”….. a great source of information for those people who are, or who want to be, world travellers!

Four Reasons to Consider an Antarctica Vacation

Treks of South America – Part 3: Colombia, Ecuador, and Antarctica

Antarctica’s Blood Waterfall – and how to get to the 7th Continent

Latin America & Antarctica

Read More

Antarctica

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  • Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent Depart Buenos Aires

    Enjoy Antarctica by flying and then cruising south of the Antarctic Circle. Discover the natural beauty and wildlife of the area as well as the dramatic landscapes of the white continent.
    Duration:
    11 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 12,045
    Trip Type:
    Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Antarctica Express - Crossing the Circle from Punta Arenas

    Embark on an epic expedition to the Antarctic Circle. Flying over the Drake Passage to King George Island, you’ll board the Ocean Adventurer and spend a full week voyaging the Antarctic seas, passing by icebergs and whales and venturing to penguin rookeries and frozen landscapes.
    Duration:
    11 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 19,895
    Trip Type:
    Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Antarctica, South Georgia and Falklands Explorer

    Join us aboard Ocean Endeavour on this epic 21-day voyage that will appeal to wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike. Antarctica, the fabled White Continent is the land of penguins, seals, whales and icebergs. Sail to South Georgia we follow in the footsteps of the heroic polar explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. Finally, the Falkland Islands are ruggedly beautiful, with their spectacular array of bird life, flora and fauna.
    Duration:
    21 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 16,990
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent Depart Ushuaia

    A wonderful way to enjoy an “expedition” to Antarctica. Sail from Ushuaia in Argentina and head south on your comfortable cruise ship. Spend time going ashore to this fascinating basically uninhabited landmass apart from the animal and bird life.
    Duration:
    12 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 12,995
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Air, Land & Sea to Antarctica

    Added on to a South America vacation or taken on its own, an Antarctica cruise is an unforgettable adventure. This unique itinerary flies to the ice continent from Punta Arenas, so you can make the most of your time exploring this incredible continent.
    Duration:
    6-8 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 6,729
    Trip Type:
    Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Antarctic Peninsula Adventure Cruise

    Embark on the ultimate adventure to the South Pole. Onboard a research vessel, this Antarctic cruise transports you across the Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula, where you’ll spend four full days hiking to penguin colonies, kayaking alongside whales, and exploring the final continent.
    Duration:
    11 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 11,295
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Antarctic Whale Journey

    Set sail in search of the giants of the Southern Ocean on this voyage of antarctic discovery. Cross the legendary Drake Passage and Antarctic convergence, scanning the waters as you sail for the silhouettes of these magnificent marine mammals as they glide alongside the vessel or surface in a spectacular breach.
    Duration:
    10 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 7,990
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Antarctica Express Cruise: Punta Arenas

    Enjoy Antarctica by flying and then cruising south of the Antarctic Circle. Discover the sheer beauty and wildlife of the area as well as the dramatic landscapes of the white continent.
    Duration:
    8 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 11,995
    Trip Type:
    Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Antarctica, South Georgia & Falklands Odyssey

    Wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike will be impressed by the incredible scenery and wildlife encounters on this epic 21-day voyage. Set sail aboard the magnificent Ocean Endeavour as we discover Antarctica, the world’s last frontier and the land of penguins and icebergs. Then follow in the footsteps of the heroic polar explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, to South Georgia, ruled by penguins and home to the greatest concentration of wildlife on Earth.
    Duration:
    21 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 15,990
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Base Camp Antarctica

    Enjoy an in-depth cruise from the tip of South America to Antarctica where you experience the dramatic scenery of icebergs, glaciers and ice fields, visit a research station and see all kinds of local wildlife including whales and penguins.
    Duration:
    12 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 9,850
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Christmas in Antarctica

    Embark on an epic journey to the South Pole to celebrate Christmas in the most magical landscape on the planet. Board a small expedition ship and cross the Drake Passage to explore the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands, a frozen landscape filled with penguins, whales, and the most striking landscape on earth.
    Duration:
    11 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 9,990
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Cruising Antarctica in Style: Silver Explorer Ushuaia to Ushuaia

    Embark on one of the world’s great adventures by heading to the white continent at the ends of the Earth. As you cross the Drake Passage and explore the frozen landscapes of the Antarctic Peninsula, you’ll encounter all manner of penguins, seals, and whales, and follow in the footsteps of the world’s most illustrious explorers.
    Duration:
    11 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 14,310
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Cruises & Sailing, Luxury and Beyond
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Cruising Antarctica in Style: Silver Explorer Ushuaia to Ushuaia via the Falklands

    Join the world’s most illustrious explorers as you set foot on the white continent and embark on 18 exceptional days of excitement. Revel in the photograph opportunities as you become acquainted with the beauty of the Falkland Islands. Encounter penguins, watch for seals, dolphins, and whales, and spot seabirds flying overhead on this spectacular adventure.
    Duration:
    18 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 20,970
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Cruises & Sailing, Luxury and Beyond
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Discover Antarctica

    Cruise through the infamous Drake Passage, bound for the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Enter a world of ice and perfectly adapted wildlife, surrounded by spellbindingly beautiful landscapes created by the harsh Antarctic climate. This is a once in a lifetime voyage to the world’s final frontier.
    Duration:
    10-11 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 7,990
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica: Explorers & Kings

    This in-depth Antarctica cruise explores not just the world’s most mysterious continent, but the islands and communities that surround it. Visit the Falklands, South Georgia, and the South Shetlands as you embark on this epic journey.
    Duration:
    20 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 18,071
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Fly to Antarctica

    Added on to a South America vacation or taken on its own, a visit to Antarctica is an unforgettable adventure. Few Antarctic trips however let you stay on land, making this short excursion a truly unique experience.
    Duration:
    3-4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 6,646
    Trip Type:
    Cruises & Sailing
    Chile See Trip Details
  • Journey to the Circle

    Set sail aboard the comfortable and spacious Ocean Endeavour to venture south to a milestone few have reached, the Antarctic Circle. As your ship weaves its way through the icy waterways, absorb the beauty of your surroundings - majestic snow-capped peaks, immense tabular icebergs, dramatic ice carvings and shimmering glaciers.
    Duration:
    14 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 14,990
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • New Year in Antarctica

    Follow in the footsteps of history’s most illustrious explorers and celebrate the New Year in a place like no other: Antarctica. Board a small expedition ship and cross the Drake Passage to explore the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands, a frozen landscape filled with penguins, whales, and the most striking landscape on earth.
    Duration:
    11 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 9,990
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Ross Sea includes Helicopter Explorations: Argentina to New Zealand

    Explore the southernmost reaches of the planet on this epic Antarctica vacation. Passing from Argentina to New Zealand, you’ll traverse the frozen oceans aboard a purpose-built ice cruiser, make landfall at far-flung locations on the Antarctic Peninsula, and visit remote islands and regions that few explorers ever reach.
    Duration:
    32 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 34,700
    Trip Type:
    Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • South Georgia & Antarctic Peninsula: Penguin Safari

    Explore rarely visited South Georgia Island while also stepping foot on the 7th Continent. Photograph massive albatross and pintado petrel as they swoop and soar around the ship. Antarctica awaits, with its geographic contradictions and overwhelming enormity. Antarctica will surprise and delight, and never disappoint.
    Duration:
    16 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 20,995
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
  • Wedell Sea Antarctica incl. Helicopter Explorations: Ushuaia to Ushuaia

    Explore Antarctica by land, air, and sea on this expedition to the South Pole. Aboard the M/V Plancius, you’ll follow the path of early explorers as you cross the Drake Passage and explore the Weddell Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula. This stark landscape of icebergs, penguins, and frozen ocean is made for adventure.
    Duration:
    11 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 12,950
    Trip Type:
    Cruises & Sailing
    Antarctica See Trip Details
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