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If you are interested in an Antarctica cruise, you’ve come to the right place! We’re experts on cruises to Antarctica. Our knowledgeable staff works with you to help you understand your options, and then select and prepare for your cruise. We make it easy to visit Antarctica, with dozens of cruise dates, itineraries and ships to choose from.
Below are some highlights of the two most popular types of cruises to Antarctica. Select one to see a list of cruise dates and prices. You can refine your search by date range using our Trip Selector.
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The easiest and most affordable Antarctica cruises 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 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.
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 Antarctic cruises will keep you busy with days spent making shore landings to view 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 among icebergs, whales and seals is always a possibility on your peninsula trip. Many of our 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!
Video Taken On An Antarctica Cruise To The Peninsula
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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!
Following 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.
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.
South 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.
Video Taken On A Cruise To Antarctica,
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For travelers choosing their first cruise to Antarctica, 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 for their second Antarctica 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!