Antarctica expedition cruise

“This classic cruise introduces you to the while continent with up to two shore landings per day, plenty of penguin time and the opportunity to bathe in hot springs - in Antarctica.”

Highlights

South Shetland Islands | Antarctic Peninsula | Beagle Channel | Onboard lectures | Swim in hot springs | Adélie & chinstrap penguin colonies | Bird species including Antarctic terns, southern giant petrels, blue-eyed cormorants & kelp gulls | Aim for two landings per day | Zodiac tours | Whale sightings Lemaire & Neumayer Channels, conditions permitting

Description of Antarctica expedition cruise

This 11 day expedition takes you from Ushuaia, on the southernmost tip of South America, to the Frozen Continent. The expertly planned itinerary leads you to discover immense, chattering penguin colonies, abundant seals, migratory whales and many species of seabirds as you cross the Drake Passage to reach the South Shetland Islands and the icy landscapes of the Antarctic Peninsula.

On board the expedition ship – as well as in Zodiacs – you’ll be navigating dramatic channels packed with sea ice, creaking glaciers and beautiful blue icebergs, all against an imposing backdrop of the Antarctic mountains, an extension of the mighty Andes. The 11-itinerary below is an example.

Note: We also offer Antarctic cruises lasting 10, 12 or 20 days, as well as detours to the Falklands and South Georgia, Weddell Sea expeditions and more – get in touch to find out details.

Please feel free to email the Help Desk team if you need any advice on your vacation plans. We're always happy to help!

Check dates

2017: 12 Dec, 22 Dec, 31 Dec
2018: 2 Jan, 30 Jan, 1 Mar, 4 Mar, 11 Mar, 13 Mar, 21 Mar
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Antarctica expedition cruise

Environment

Antarctica is the largest wilderness area on earth, unaffected by large scale human activities. Accordingly, this unique and pristine environment has been afforded special protection. Furthermore, it is physically remote, inhospitable, unpredictable and potentially dangerous. All activities in the Antarctic Treaty Area, therefore, should be planned and conducted with both environmental protection and safety in mind. IAATO Charter – International Association of Antarctic tour operators.

A trip to the Antarctic is a completely different experience and quite unlike any other trip you have probably been on. We use a highly regulated, licensed vessel which is well equipped to operate in this pristine ecosystem. We are fully compliant with all rules set down by the IAATO. We carefully vet all ships we work with and choose them for their small size as this creates far less impact on shore landings with wildlife. We see the voyage Antarctic as an expedition, not a sightseeing trip. Smaller boats such as ours can navigate narrow waterways, and are far less polluting than the larger ships in Antarctic waters. By carrying less passengers, we have far less waste, and all waste is carried back to the home port, unlike some of the larger ships which do not allow for this.

We are regulated by very strict conditions, and we take our responsibility seriously. We are currently working towards supporting a nominated wildlife charity which operates in Antarctica and we have a long term commitment to maintaining its pristine condition while still offering some of the best value trips to this unique destination.

Our pre departure pack provides you with all the information required for your tour, from what to take with you to practical advice on how to minimise your impact on the Antarctic environment. This is in the form of waste reduction and how to interact with wildlife on the continent.

We really work hard to keep all our operations green! All our worldwide offices currently run on 90% green energy (we are working towards 100%) from hydro electric, wind to solar power. Being web based, we are close to becoming a paperless environment, brochure prints are at a minimum (and printed on a requirement basis) and all pre departure information is emailed. We use energy saving bulbs in our work centres, and recycle all our waste. We currently work with 3 different charities, giving us a broad spectrum and diversifying where our monies go. We work with Project Peru in the UK who run an orphanage in Zapallal in the shanty town outskirts of Lima, ANIA in Peru which is a high profile Peruvian NGO which works with children and helps to teach them about their local environment and how to manage it affectively, and a foundation in Australia which work on several development projects in Latin America and around the world. We help these charities by fundraising treks, through donations as a company and through our clients and also through many of our customers who volunteer their time and expertise. These charities are close to our core of supporting the environment and children in need.

Community

We currently work with 3 different charities, giving us a broad spectrum and diversifying where our monies go. We work with Project Peru in the UK who run an orphanage in Zapallal in the shanty town outskirts of Lima, ANIA in Peru which is a high profile Peruvian NGO which works with children and helps to teach them about their local environment and how to manage it effectively, and a foundation in Australia which work on several development projects in Latin America and around the world. We help these charities by fundraising treks, through donations as a company and through our clients and also through many of our customers who volunteer their time and expertise. These charities are close to our core of supporting the environment and children in need.

Specifically on this departure, clients are welcome to book pre-and post- accommodation with us, where local businesses will be supported. Moreover, our clients receive restaurant recommendations which support locally owned restaurants. We are members of IATTO and the trip will be run under the strict regulations they have in place which ensure the environment in Antarctica remains in a pristine state.

Reviews of Antarctica expedition cruise

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 18 Mar 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


All of the activities were amazing but sleeping out under the stars was a real highlight.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take lots of layers! (Though it wasn't as cold as I expected.) And remember seasickness tablets, even in calm waters they're a good idea!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The cruise operator is signed up to IAATO.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Outstanding 10/10

Reviewed on 05 Feb 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Landing on the Antarctic peninsula - our seventh continent!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared for rough seas but it is all so worth it!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


As there are no local people in Antarctica this was difficult but we did take great care to protect this amazing environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Definitely ten out of ten! Wonderfully organised! An amazing experience! We learnt so much!

Reviewed on 06 Dec 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The whole trip to Antarctica on the Plancius Basecamp Expedition was incredible! While difficult to pick one favorite moment, two do stand out: First, we
were unable to make it to Lackroy Post Office due to high amounts of sea ice (which was pretty cool to experience) so we changed plans and on our journey
a pack of Killer Whales came swimming around the boat hunting seals! It was amazing, and an experience we would not have had if we would have made it
to the post office. The second was sea kayaking around Danco Island. The water was still, there were iceberg all over the place which we paddled through,
and penguins were jumping out of the water all around us. The landscape was stunning, and I will never forget this activity.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Participate in every activity, including the Polar Plunge! You do not need to pack as much clothes as you think you do. With proper gear you will be
comfortable at all times... this goes for all trips : ) Bring proper technical boots that you can attach crampons to if you want to go ice climbing. Don't buy the
internet on the ship; rather, enjoy time making friends, eating great food, and enjoying being in Antarctica!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, without question. One of the expedition leaders was from Ushuaia, the city benefits much from the increased tourism, and during the entire trip we were
educated on the importance on leaving a limited impact on Antarctica during our trip there. The expedition team was very passionate about respecting the
environmental rules and regulations during the trip, and our impact was low.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


This was the best trip of my life. I would go back in a heartbeat.

Reviewed on 16 Feb 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Landing on Elephant Island and standing on the exact spot from where Shackleton launched the James Caird.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


1. Before you leave do your homework and learn as much about the history and wildlife of this area as you can.
2. Make sure you take a spare camera. My husband dropped and broke his on Day 1 of this 19 day cruise.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. The South Georgia Heritage Trust (South Georgia Habitat Restoration)benefited directly from passenger donations and fund raising efforts. Oceanwide Expeditions is full member of IAATO and AECO organisations dedicated to managing respectable environmentally friendly travel to the Antarctic.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Simply perfect. Organised by the vacation provider, our travel arrangements - flights, transfers and hotels - worked like clockwork. The expedition leaders were very experienced and knowledgeable and the hotel staff on board Plancius were fantastic.

Reviewed on 30 Nov 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Kayaking around icebergs in Antarctica

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Allow time for stopovers when traveling from UK

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Absolutely

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent

Popular similar vacations

Antarctica, Falklands & South Georgia small ship cruises

Antarctica, Falklands & South Georgia small ship cruises

Water, wilderness & wildlife in breath-taking perfection

From £7350 - £122290 20 days excluding flights

Antarctic Peninsula & Weddell Sea cruise

Antarctic Peninsula & Weddell Sea cruise

An inspiring, beautiful & diverse polar wilderness journey

From 5399 - €12250 11 days excluding flights

Antarctic Peninsula cruises, activity-based

Antarctic Peninsula cruises, activity-based

Activity-based small ship expedition of Antarctica

From £7885 15 days excluding flights

Antarctica vacation, spirit of Shackleton

Antarctica vacation, spirit of Shackleton

Visit the historical sites of past Antarctic explorers

From US $12999 - US $15999 21 days excluding flights

Convert currencies