Antarctica Cruises

Imagine a place so pristine and remote you can hear snowflakes hitting the water

“I would advise anyone with the smallest inkling or desire to visit Antarctica to just do it!” says Ruth T. “My trip was born from an off-the-cuff comment to my husband. After four years of planning and saving, we made it happen and celebrated our wedding anniversary in Antarctica.”

“I thought I’d never get the chance to visit Antarctica,” says Rachel B. “I did and it was worth every cent. The landscape, the flora and the fauna. Words cannot explain the experience I had. If you’ve ever thought about it just do it!”

Take a look around at our 2024-25 Antarctica itineraries below then request a booking and let us help you start planning your dream trip. Your Antarctic expedition begins here!

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Explore Antarctica

We offer a range of itineraries of varying dates, durations, optional activities and destinations. Explore our map to discover which Antarctic destination is right for you.

Antarctica is the southernmost continent on Earth. The South Geographic Pole is in Antarctica, and most of the continent lies within the Antarctic Circle, at 66.5 degrees south of the Equator.

Antarctica is so far south that most of the continent receives 24 hours of daylight during summer, and 24 hours of darkness during winter.

Antarctica lies to the south of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South America, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean (also known as the Antarctic Ocean). Most visitors access Antarctica via ship or aircraft from an Antarctic ‘gateway city’. The five official Antarctic gateway cities are Ushuaia (Argentina), Hobart (Australia), Punta Arenas (Chile), Christchurch (New Zealand), and Cape Town (South Africa).

The name ‘Antarctica’ comes from ‘Antarktos’, meaning ‘opposite the Arctic’. Antarctica and the Arctic are indeed opposites in many ways, and they lie at the polar extremes of the globe: the Arctic to the north and Antarctica to the south.

Antarctica is home to a hardy community of wonderful wildlife, which has adapted to the cold, windy and icy Antarctic environment.

There are four species of penguins in Antarctica. They are the emperor, Adélie, gentoo and chinstrap. The emperor and Adélie penguins are found only in Antarctica.

There are six species of Antarctic seals: Ross seals, Weddell seals, crabeater seals, leopard seals, southern fur seals and southern elephant seals. They all live in the ocean surrounding Antarctica, hauling out on ice or land to rest and pup.

Many whales visit Antarctic waters during the summer feeding season between late October and early April. The whales that commonly visit Antarctic waters include humpback whales, killer whales, minke whales, fin whales, sei whales and even the enormous blue whale!

In addition to these charismatic creatures we see on the ocean’s surface, the Antarctic ocean is filled with a rich variety of sea life, from single-celled algae, which form the foundation of the Antarctic food web, to krill, a tiny crustacean which is a keystone species in the Antarctic ecosystem, providing sustenance for seals, whales, penguins and many other seabirds.

Most animals that thrive in Antarctica are marine animals. This means that they rely on the ocean and marine ecosystems to survive and thrive. However, there are a few Antarctic animals that live entirely on land. These include the microscopic springtails, nematodes and tardigrades, which live amongst moss and lichen in areas which are not permanently snow-covered.

Our Antarctica cruises range from 9 to 34 days, with most falling within the 12 to 21-day range. The duration of an Antarctica cruise can vary based on factors like the departure point and the specific itinerary chosen.

The price of an Antarctica cruise can vary significantly, depending on factors such as the Antarctica cruise’s duration, stateroom type, and specific itinerary.

The price of a voyage to Antarctica with Aurora Expeditions starts from USD13,195 per person when sharing a twin Aurora Stateroom. However, there are also early bird discounts available. Read about what is included in your Antarctica cruise.

Without a doubt, an Antarctica cruise offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the pristine beauty of the frozen continent, unique wildlife, and awe-inspiring landscapes. Many travelers find the experience of an Antarctica cruise to be a dream come true.

Antarctica is the coldest continent on Earth. The average temperature throughout the year is about -57°C, with the minimum temperature being -130°F (-90°C) during the winter season.

During the summer months, when we visit, the temperature can range from 28°F (-2°C) to 46°F (8°C). In summer, big storms are rare, but if one comes through the temperature could drop to 17°F (-8°C ). Read more about why austral summer is the best time to visit Antarctica.

Shipboard clothing is informal and casual. Jeans, jumpers, and long-sleeved shirts are ideal for indoors in the polar regions; however, be sure to keep your jacket close for unexpected wildlife sightings!

Some people like to take a nicer outfit for the captain’s welcome and farewell drinks, but formal clothing is not necessary.

Each passenger aboard our Antarctic expeditions will receive an expedition jacket when they board the ship. However, you’ll need to ensure you pack the correct cold and wet weather gear for your landings.

View our suggested packing list, which covers the types of layers and materials we recommend.

Although you cannot swim in Antarctica, most of our voyages stop for a ‘Polar Plunge’, where all willing passengers can take the ultimate dip into the icy Antarctic waters. You do have the option to take up our Polar Snorkelling activity, or experienced scuba divers have the option to dive, on selected voyages. Additional charges may apply.

No matter where you call home, the easiest way to get to Antarctica is from the southern tip of South America or from 2025, start your trip from Hobart and Dunedin. There are two common departure points for Antarctica: Ushuaia, Argentina and Punta Arenas, Chile, both located in the Patagonian region and among the most southern towns on the planet.

Expeditions beginning in Ushuaia will usually involve sailing across the Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula or sailing to the Subantarctic Islands of the Falklands or South Georgia, before continuing to Antarctica.

From Punta Arenas, passengers can have the unique experience of flying to Antarctica – or more specifically to King George Island – on a charter flight arranged specifically for their expedition.

Find out more information about how to get to Antarctica.

The ideal time to embark on an Antarctica cruise is during the austral summer, between early October and late March. The Antarctic winter is cold and dark, and the continent is surrounded by an enormous fringe of sea ice, which almost doubles its size. Many animals migrate north, and the Antarctic Peninsula is inaccessible.

As summer arrives the sun returns to Antarctica, and with it comes rafts of penguins, pods of whales and herds of seals. Sea ice drifts or melts away from the Antarctic Peninsula coastline, allowing expedition vessels access into many sheltered bays and harbours to marvel at the splendor of the frozen continent.

Travelers should consult with their healthcare providers to ensure they are physically prepared for the Antarctica cruise.

It is compulsory for each passenger to return a signed medical from their general practitioner. Your Medical Form is required to be signed by your general practitioner and returned to Aurora Expeditions no later than three months and no earlier than six months before your voyage departure date.

If you become aware of any change in your health and fitness that may be likely to affect your participation on the trip (e.g. pregnancy, mental illness, heart or bronchial disorder, broken limbs, etc.), you should notify us in writing immediately.

If you feel that you are particularly susceptible to seasickness, then it is a good idea to talk to your doctor. We advise you to come armed with motion sickness tablets, and there will be a doctor on board to assist with any bouts of seasickness.

Travelers should also be aware of environmental protection guidelines and follow responsible tourism practices to preserve Antarctica’s fragile ecosystem during their cruise.

Children are more than welcome on our Antarctica cruises. However, we recommend that they are at least 8 years old and must travel with their legal guardian. Children pay the same rate as an adult traveler.

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