Antarctica Cruise Ships

Antarctica cruise ships

The expedition-style ships that ply the waters of Antarctica are not your ordinary cruise ships. The ships we offer for our trips vary in passenger capacity and onboard amenities, but they all have certain characteristics in common. Below we've outlined some of the criteria used to determine which ships we'll offer.

Your Safety

Cruising through Antarctica's Lemaire ChannelOur number one concern is your safety. Because of this, we only use ships that are ice-hardened and specifically designed to be sailed in the polar regions. All ships must pass rigorous SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) standards. Expedition cruising in remote areas, while safe by most measures, is not to be taken lightly.

Ship Size

There are so many reasons we choose small ships—ships typically carrying between 100-175 passengers—we’re not even sure where to begin! First, they engender a feeling of camaraderie among travelers as passengers are able to meet and get to know one another. We are able to assemble as a single group for meals and presentations by our naturalist staff. Smaller ships, with shallower drafts (the amount of the ship below the water level) are able to maneuver into remote waterways and along coasts where larger ships are unable to venture—these are often the most beautiful and/or wildlife-rich locations. Finally, the logistics of shore landings are significantly easier and faster with a smaller group.

Experienced Ice Captains and Crews

The captains on all of our ships are certified as ice rated, meaning they are both highly trained and experienced in traveling in polar waters. They know how to safely navigate ice-choked channels, big ocean crossings, and shore landings—and they put the safety of passengers and ship above all else, at all times.


Zodiac cruising toward expedition shipOur ships carry a fleet of Zodiacs (sturdy, inflatable boats similar to the ones used by Jacques Cousteau) which we use for shore landings, wildlife observation, and cruising among icebergs.

Viewing Decks

All of the ships we use have outside decks and indoor public spaces where we can view and photograph wildlife and scenery from the ship. When we’re in open water, we watch for seabirds that follow in the ship’s wake as well as marine mammals, such as dolphins and whales.

Learn more about our Expedition Cruise Ships

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