Few have experienced first-hand the sheer magnitude and awe-inspiring beauty of the White Continent. Follow in the footsteps of Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen to this pristine world of drifting ice floes, monumental glaciers and enchanting wildlife.
A mythical land of perpetual snow and ice, Antarctica was made for the intrepid traveller. The best way to explore this isolated corner of the globe is aboard a purpose-built expedition ship. Most cruises set sail from the southern tip of Argentina, journeying straight across the notorious Drake Passage to reach the Antarctic Peninsula.
Despite the seemingly inhospitable environment, a remarkable array of wildlife awaits you. Colonies of emperor, gentoo and Adélie penguins huddle in huge numbers on the vast snow plains, whilst the beaches are populated by pods of raucous elephant, fur and leopard seals. Humpback and minke whales glide effortlessly through the still, near-frozen waters, whilst giant petrels and wandering albatross soar elegantly across the skies above. Unfamiliarity with humans means you can expect up-close encounters with many of the region’s natural residents.
As you navigate the narrow fjords and glacial channels, you’ll have the opportunity for shore excursions in Zodiac boats, kayaking among icebergs and hiking on the Antarctic Peninsula - all alongside expert naturalists and guides. You can even spend a night camped out on the ice-shelf.
Some cruises can also take you to the sub-Antarctic islands of South Georgia and the Falklands to discover yet more fascinating wildlife alongside old whaling stations and historic explorer sites.
With no cars, no pollution and almost no people, a voyage to this icy wilderness is a truly once-in-a-lifetime adventure. If you're interested in Antarctic luxury travel or luxury Antarctic expeditions, get in touch with our experts who are on hand to help you plan your bespoke trip.
When is the best time to visit Antarctica?
Antarctica’s cruise season runs through the austral summer, from late October to mid-March. Within this window, the days grow longer, the temperature rises and the continent comes alive with an abundance of wildlife. For more detailed advice, see our guide here.
How many hours of daylight does Antarctica have?
During the Antarctic summer, the sun stays above the horizon line, giving each day an average of 20 hours of daylight - ample time to explore, photograph and immerse yourself in this pristine icy wilderness.
How to travel to Antarctica?
The best way to explore Antarctica, and the sub-Antarctic islands of South Georgia and the Falklands, is on one of the many specialist expedition ships that have been constructed specifically for polar cruising. Each carries a team of experts on Antarctic natural history who lead regular excursions ashore.
When is the best time to see whales in Antarctica?
You’ll have more chance of seeing these magnificent creatures towards the end of the season, when whale numbers are at their peak. Eight different species - including humpback, sperm, southern right and the mighty blue - are found in these waters, frequently in pods but sometimes alone.
How long do I need for my visit to Antarctica?
It’s a once in a lifetime trip, so spend as many days as you can! Cruises typically run for 10 to 12 nights, but for those shorter on time, our Antarctica Express Air-Cruise is one of the quickest and most affordable ways of stepping foot on the White Continent.