A sailing to Antarctica has been possible since the late 1960s. By air, overflights of Antarctica date back to the 1970’s as well sightseeing flights from Australia and New Zealand. A bunch of cruise lines go to Antarctica on a short season that runs from November to March. Silversea Cruises and Holland America Line top the list of mainstream cruise lines while expedition-style cruises include National Geographic Explorer, Quark Expeditions, Hurtigruten and Tauck. Two of our favorite luxury travel companies, Abercrombie & Kent as well as Seabourn Cruises, have Antarctica cruise options as well. When choosing a destination most travelers will visit once in a lifetime, a luxury Antarctica cruise is a solid choice to consider.
Sail to the Wildest Place on Earth With the Leader in Luxury Expedition Cruising
More than a quarter of a century since their first polar voyage, Abercrombie & Kent will host another exciting season of Luxury Expedition Cruises to Antarctica during the 2017-18 season. The A&K version of Antarctica adventures feature an exclusively chartered, all-balcony expedition ship. Along for the ride, an award-winning Expedition Team with an unparalleled level of luxury and expertise.
Travelers can choose from two extraordinary voyages, each limited to just 199 guests and featuring unique themed departures and family holidays, the guidance of real experts in the field and itineraries that showcase the very best of the magical White Continent.
Classic Antarctica Cruise (2017-18)
Days: 12 | From: $11,995 (was $14,495)
Join A&K’s renowned Expedition Team on luxurious ‘Le Lyrial‘ for an unforgettable voyage to the White Continent, which you explore for five days during the best of the Antarctic spring and summer seasons. Check this itinerary:
Day 1: Arrive Buenos Aires, Argentina
Day 2: Ushuaia | Gateway to Antarctica
Days 3-4: Cruising the Drake Passage | Epic Passage
Days 5-9: Antarctica | The White Continent
Days 10-11: Cruising the Drake Passage | Memorable Return
Day 12: Depart Ushuaia
Extending a stellar Abercrombie & Kent trip is a popular option. Those experiences are so wonderful, many travelers do not want them to end. We did just that not long ago after an Egypt and The Nile cruise + land tour, going on to Jordan for several days on an A&K Signature extension. Adding time on the front end of an Antarctica cruise is equally popular.
Pre-Tour Extension: Iguazu Falls
Available to add to select departure dates, this 40day pre cruise tour extension begins in Buenos Aires
- Day 1: Fly to Buenos Aires, where you are met and transferred to your historic hotel in the heart of the city.
Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires
- Day 2: Fly to Iguazu Falls and explore the Brazilian side, with its cascading waterfalls along a gulf. Join your guide on a tour through the national park to a catwalk within arm’s reach of the falls. Belmond Hotel das Cataratas | Meals: B
- Day 3: Today, experience the Argentine side of the park, walking the trails above and along the falls. Choose to venture out on a catwalk that extends 3,600 feet over the tropical basin of the Devil’s Throat. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Belmond Hotel das Cataratas | Meals: B
- Day 4: Fly to Buenos Aires to begin your cruise.
Prices start at $1,695 with internal Air: Buenos Aires/Iguazu/Buenos Aires from $390.
Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands (2017-18)
Luxury Expedition Cruises: Expert-led expeditions to exotic locales, with shore excursions
Limited to 199 guests
Days: 17 | From: $17,995 (was $20,995)
Save $6,000 per couple on a Category 1-3 cabin when you book by March 31, 2017.
Itinerary at a Glance- Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands
- Day 1: Arrive Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Day 2: Ushuaia | At the Edge of the World
- Day 3: At Sea | Riches of the Southern Ocean
- Day 4: Port Stanley, Falkland Islands | Remote Archipelago
- Days 5-6: Cruising the South Atlantic | Abundant Wildlife
- Days 7-9: South Georgia | Footsteps of Ernest Shackleton
- Days 10-11: Cruising the Scotia Sea | Antarctic Anticipation
- Days 12-14: Antarctica | The White Continent
- Days 15-16: Cruising the Drake Passage | Epic Passage
- Day 17: Depart Ushuaia
Ultra Luxury Seabourn Antarctica Cruises
Though you are at the ends of the Earth, you’ll never feel more at home. The signature touches that make Seabourn one of the world’s highest-rated small-ship cruise lines will all be within reach: gracious service, innovative cuisine that warms the body and soul, inviting amenities, and refined, all-suite accommodations with space to unwind or entertain. Book early and receive complimentary veranda upgrades on select voyages.
First, a quick look at the itineraries, ranging from 21 to 66 days in length.
Starts at $9,999
Let’s take a deeper look at the 21-day itinerary, Seabourn’s most popular Antarctica cruise:
Starts at $14,999
Starts at $23,999
66-DAY ANTARCTIC, AMAZON & ATLANTIC ISLES
Starts At $34,999
66-days not enough? This year, Seabourn launched new pre-cruise experiences taking guests to the South Pole on select Antarctica & Patagonia itineraries during the 2016-2017 season. Guests bound for the Great White Continent aboard Seabourn Quest can extend their adventure with two new travel packages that also travel to UNESCO World Heritage Sites
“Seabourn has made its reputation for offering guests astonishing experiences in places that are beyond the ordinary, and there are few travel opportunities less-expected or out-of-the-ordinary than a visit to the South Pole,” -Robin West, Senior Manager, Expedition Planning and Operations for Seabourn.
Both of the pre-cruise packages include stays at Union Glacier Camp in the southern Ellsworth Mountains, one of a few private seasonally occupied camps in Antarctica. Operated by renowned land-based tour operator Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE), the full-service camp offers spacious, double-occupancy sleeping tents; freshly prepared gourmet cuisine; and a spectacular setting for activities from scenic excursions to technical climbs and ski tours.
There are many memories waiting to be made and much for guests to enjoy on the new pre-cruise experiences on Seabourn Quest in Antarctica & Patagonia this season, including:
- Polar Quest & Patagonia (14 nights/15 days) – In addition to a transantarctic flight and landing at the South Pole, this overland journey takes guests on an exploration of breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site Torres del Paine National Park that encompasses 450,000 acres of forests, rivers, lakes and virgin pampas in southernmost Chile. Choose from a variety of included excursions providing daily opportunities to explore the various environments, including vivid blue ice pools, raw glacial moraines and abundant wildlife from guanacos to Andean condors. Package rates start at $50,999 per person based on double occupancy; pre-cruise departure December 4, 2016 followed by Seabourn Quest sailing December 19, 2016.
- Polar Quest, Tierra del Fuego & Iguazu Falls (16 nights/17 days) – In addition to a transantarctic flight and landing at the South Pole, guests will join a select company of intrepid explorers en-route to one of the world’s most remote and unspoiled destinations: the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site of Iguazu Falls National Park on the border of Brazil and Argentina. From Santiago, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina, guests will witness an immense complex of waterfalls. Explore the falls and its surroundings from extensive walkways or take options such as inflatable boats or helicopter tours. Package rates start at $53,999 per person based on double occupancy; pre-cruise departure December 26, 2016 followed bySeabourn Quest sailing January 12, 2017.
No matter how travelers do an Antarctica cruise, they all take time as we have seen here so far. Also premium priced, I have never talked with someone who has done one of these who did not say it was worth every penny. So far we have talked about rugged expedition experiences as well as luxury options available. Offering another, perhaps more familiar option for traveling in this part of the world, Holland America Line.
The centerpiece of Holland America Line’s Grand Voyages portfolio is a 113-day World Cruise that can be done in its entirety or in segments as few as 17 days. To include Antarctica, cruise travelers can sail roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale aboard ms Prinsendam. the smallest and most intimate ship in the Holland America fleet, experiencing the southernmost continents in style.
They call it visiting all Three Big “A”s — the Peruvian Andes, Brazil’s exotic Amazon, the ethereal ice world of Antarctica.
37-DAY GRAND SOUTH AMERICA & ANTARCTICA VOYAGE
Starts at $8,889 per person
21-DAY SOUTH AMERICA & ANTARCTICA HOLIDAY
Starts at $2,999
Sails December 2016
21-DAY SOUTH AMERICA & ANTARCTICA EXPLORER
Starts at $3,699 per person
A trip to the White Continent is one of those travel bucket list items that might not get a whole lot of serious consideration, kind of like space travel. But unlike a ride on a rocket ship to Mars, Antarctica is becoming more within reach all the time.
Still, at nearly the other end of the planet, Alaska offers a unique experience as well as we see in this quick intro video from Holland America Line