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Antarctica Cruises and Tours

Find Your Antarctica Cruise Here!

We offer you several great ways to visit Antarctica. Our knowledgeable staff can help you select from among the dozens of trips we offer each year and help you find the trip that best fits your interests, travel dates and budget. We can answer all your questions about what it's like to travel to Antarctica, what you'll see when you get there, the differences between the various ships we offer, and how to prepare for your trip. We want your Antarctica cruise to truly be the trip of a lifetime!

Selecting Your Antarctica Cruise

To help you select from among the many cruises we offer, we divide our trips into the major groups of Antarctica cruises shown below. Browse the information on this page, view lists of trips using the blue SEARCH buttons below, and then call us with questions or when you're ready to book your cruise. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you find a cruise!

 

Antarctic Peninsula Cruises

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The easiest and most affordable Antarctica cruises are those that visit the Antarctic Peninsula. Reachable in two days by expedition ship, it is the most accessible part of Antarctica, and the destination of the most popular Antarctica cruises. The peninsula comprises an 800-mile-long range of mountains and offers unparalleled scenery and plentiful opportunities to see a wide range of Antarctic wildlife.

Cruises to the peninsula embark from Ushuaia, Argentina, known as the "Southernmost City in the World." The 2-day sea crossing is a time for learning about Antarctica's natural and human history in onboard presentations, watching for whales from the ship's bridge, and enjoying the squadrons of albatrosses, petrels and gulls that follow the wake of the ship.

Map of Antarctic Peninsula

Typical Route Map For Cruises To
The Antarctic Peninsula

As huge tabular icebergs loom on the horizon, you'll know you are nearing the White Continent. When land is first sighted and the ship enters the protected waters along the peninsula, you can sense the excitement throughout the vessel as the prospect of setting foot on Antarctica is close at hand.

These Antarctica tours will keep you busy with days spent making shore landings to view Antarctic wildlife and, when possible, visiting research facilities, historic sites, and abandoned whaling and sealing stations. Wildlife viewing in Antarctica varies considerably by month, with the early part of the cruise season featuring abundant birdlife with penguins courting, mating, and the commencement of egg laying and incubation. By midseason the hustle and bustle of chick-rearing is well underway, as is the drama of predatory skuas marauding the colonies for eggs and chicks. By February, most chicks are near fledging size. Adult gentoo penguins and chinstrap penguins come to shore with food for their young and comical "Keystone Cops" chases normally ensue. Adélie penguins may have completely returned to sea by mid-month. February is normally the best time to see the most marine mammals, with hundreds of crabeater seals hauled out on the ice floes. Whales are also at peak numbers with humpback whales normally the stars of the show.

Zodiac cruising in AntarcticaZodiac cruising among icebergs, whales and seals is always a possibility on your peninsula trip. Some Antarctica cruises offer activities such as hiking, overnight camping onshore, kayaking and skiing. The peninsula's endless shorelines, its jagged, snow-covered mountains and its dramatic, ice-strewn waterways are reason enough to make the journey south. Terms like awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping and eye-popping are not mere hyperbole when describing the beauty of this rugged, remote destination. The spectacular landscapes are surreal and unlike anything you will see anywhere else on Earth!

On most Antarctica cruises you will see Adelie penguins
Adélie penguins
Tabular iceberg
Tabular iceberg
Whale sighting on an trip to Antarctica
Whale sighting
Leopard seals are commonly seen on Antarctica cruises
Leopard seal
Chinstrap penguins
Chinstrap penguins
Lemaire Channel Antarcica
Lemaire Channel
Ice formations in Antarctica
Ice formations
Pintado petrel
Pintado petrel
Landing at Brown Bluff
Landing at Brown Bluff
Couverville Island
Couverville Island
Gentoo penguin
Gentoo penguin
Macaroni penguins entering the water
Macaroni penguins
 

Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands

Search Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands

Many journeys are categorized as "the trip of a lifetime," yet few actually live up to the expectations inspired by those words. Cruises that include the Antarctic Peninsula, the Sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia and the temperate Falkland Islands rank at the top of the list of the trips that do! For nature travelers, the wildlife and scenery of South Georgia, alone, is considered by many to be the apex of their travels—one that even surpasses the Galápagos Islands and East Africa's Serengeti Plain!

King penguins and elephant seals line the beach at Salisbury Plain, one of many landing sites in South GeorgiaFollowing a circuitous route often called the "Scotia Arc," these ultimate Antarctica cruises depart from Ushuaia, Argentina, through the famous Beagle Channel and head eastward with the prevailing winds toward the Falkland Islands. After a day in the salt air of the open sea, you'll perceive the peaty aroma of land wafting out from shore. The ship visits several diverse islands, each containing habitats that are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna extremely different than those that dwell in Antarctica and South Georgia. Colonies of rockhopper and Magellanic penguins and black-browed albatrosses are highlights of any visit here, and you may also have the opportunity to pop in for coffee, cake and a chat at one of the welcoming homes on these remote islands.

Thousands of shallow lakes and ponds dot the Falklands. They provide habitat for numerous species of unwary geese and ducks and other interesting and delightful waterbirds. Easy hikes across these gently rolling islands provide a relaxed exploration of the rural "camp"—the thoroughly undeveloped areas away from Stanley, the Falkland's capital and population center.

Map of Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia & Falkland Islands
Route Map for Antarctica Cruises
to the Antarctic Peninsula,
South Georgia & Falkland Islands

Within three days sail from the Falklands, the glaciers and serrate mountains of South Georgia emerge in the distance. No one can prepare you for the spectacle of setting foot on one of its pristine glacial beaches and witnessing the throng of wildlife that will be there to meet you. In every direction, and seemingly for miles, king penguins cover the landscape in colonies so large they rise high on the slopes of the surrounding foothills like a living glacier. In colonies of over a quarter million birds, highways of commuting adults make their way from the ocean to their chicks and back again.

Neighboring islets provide the nesting grounds for incredible wandering albatrosses—one of the world's largest flying birds! Hiking through a perimeter of tussock grass, past numerous lolling fur seals, you'll get a closer view of these magnificent birds whose 12-foot wingspans permit effortless soaring.

Icebergs in Antarctica come in many shapes and sizes, some a big as a city blockSouth Georgia's scenery is nothing short of breathtaking. Spectacular glaciated mountains form a jagged white spine down the center of the 102-mile-long island. Formed by the same geological processes that created the Andes Mountains, South Georgia continues to be scoured by more than 150 glaciers, with a rugged coastline slashed by numerous picturesque fjords. This is a land of history—Shackleton, whaling and the starting place for the 1982 Falkland Islands War between Britain and Argentina.

Now traveling westward, the promise of the upcoming Antarctic adventure refocuses your attention with excitement for the days to come. Soon, icebergs are everywhere as your expedition visits the small islands along the Antarctic Peninsula as well as the continent itself. Here, while cruising in the narrow ice-choked waterways—including the renowned Lemaire and Neumayer Channels—you'll experience Antarctica's quintessential ice-bound realm and the abundant wildlife for which it is famous. Zodiac cruising, whale watching, photography, and exploration of spectacular landscapes and secluded wildlife habitats are all part of this "Rolls Royce" tour of the Southern Ocean.

 

More Antarctic Cruises

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For travelers choosing their first Antarctica cruise, we strongly encourage them to consider one to the Antarctic Peninsula or a longer trip that visits the peninsula as well as South Georgia and the Falkland Islands (see categories above). However, some travelers—many returning to Antarctica for a second cruise—are looking for a truly out-of-the-ordinary expedition cruise to see emperor penguins, make a semi-circumnavigation of the continent or visit some other very remote regions. We offer several cruises that fit the bill!

Highlights of Cruises by Area Visited

Antarctic Peninsula

  • Antarctic wildlife including Adélie, gentoo and chinstrap penguins; Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals; humpback, Minke and orca whales; cape, Antarctic, giant and snow petrels
  • Surreal scenery of expansive glaciers, soaring coastal mountains and enormous icebergs of all shapes and sizes
  • Most voyages cruise the Lemaire Channel and Neumayer Channel—scenic waterways of breathtaking beauty
  • Select cruises visit emperor penguins at Snow Hill Island
  • Historical sites of the whaling industry and great Antarctic explorers, including Shackleton and Nordenskjold overwintering sites

South Georgia

  • Considered by many to be the world's most spectacular wildlife destination
  • Salisbury Plain and St. Andrews Bay in South Georgia—where you’ll see tens of thousands of king penguins as well as Antarctic fur seals, southern elephant seals and a variety of seabirds
  • Grytviken—a former whaling station and the site of Sir Ernest Shackleton's grave
  • Prion Island where you'll experience nesting wandering albatrosses—the world’s largest flying birds
  • Macaroni penguin rookeries

The Falkland Islands

  • The world's largest black-browed albatross colonies
  • Rockhopper and Magellanic penguin colonies
  • Throngs of other birds including striated caracaras, oystercatchers, upland and kelp geese, steamer ducks and imperial cormorants (shags)
  • Idyllic landscapes and homesteads reminiscent of 17th-century Britain
  • Friendly, welcoming island people and the unique chance to visit their homes
 
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