Which Cruise is Best for You?

A trip to Antarctica is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for most people, so it’s important to do it right! We have already selected the finest itineraries, ships, and departure dates, but we give you options of different trip lengths and places to visit.

We offer several shorter cruises (8-15 days) that visit the Antarctic Peninsula, which is located just below the southern tip of South America.

For those who have the time (20-21 days), we highly encourage you to include the Falkland Islands and most importantly South Georgia Island, which many people consider the Crown Jewel of this otherworldly realm.

OUR CLASSIC ANTARCTICA ITINERARIES

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The Antarctic Peninsula: 11-12 Days

The Antarctic Peninsula is located just below the southern tip of South America (across the Drake’s Passage), and is the principal objective of any itinerary setting out to experience the wonders of Antarctica. This is one of the world’s most breathtaking and dramatic destinations with fabulous vistas of jagged glacier-encrusted peaks, channels filled with enormous ice bergs that seem like wild pieces of modern art, varied and plentiful wildlife all along its shores, and many fascinating and well-preserved historical sites from the days of early explorers. While you might initially be surprised that most trips to Antarctic go no farther south than the Peninsula, rest assured—this is most definitely part of the mainland. You will have truly been to Antarctica, and it is hard to imagine a more scenic wonderland. The Peninsula also offers the best and most abundant wildlife viewing opportunities of the entire continent.

South Georgia and the Falkland Islands: 20-21 Days

For those who can take the time, we highly recommend choosing a cruise with the Falkland Islands and South Georgia Island. While this makes the trip longer (20-21 days), we firmly believe that it is worth every second of the journey. Both destinations have fabulous wildlife viewing and wonderfully dramatic scenery.

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The Falklands Islands have several different species of penguin including the handsome three foot tall king penguins who are so emblematic of the Antarctic Seas, and yet are rarely seen on the Antarctic Peninsula. Other penguin colonies easily seen here include gentoo, rockhopper, macaroni and Magellanic, and that is just the beginning of the species list. There are large colonies of southern elephant seals, cormorants, black-browed albatross, and numerous species of whales are often seen close to shore. For many travelers the friendly local British citizenry and the fascinating history of their recent war with Argentina make it an intriguing visit.

South Georgia Island is a not-to-be-missed destination. With a chain of mountains running down its entire 100 mile length, rearing right out of the ocean to as high as 10,000 feet, it is an extraordinary landscape. These mountains shelter the northeastern length of the island from the prevailing weather and because of this a series of dramatic valleys host a phenomenal concentration of wildlife including some of the planet’s most populous colonies of many different seals, penguins and seabirds such as albatross. Many of these valleys will literally be carpeted with tens of thousands of penguins—over 100,000 breeding pairs of king penguins nest here each year! South Georgia has well-preserved evidence of the fascinating history of explorers and whalers and we stop to pay respects at the grave of one of the most famous—Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Another plus to this itinerary is that by traveling in a clockwise direction from Tierra del Fuego to the Falklands and across to South Georgia, you are largely cruising with the wind behind you. Then as you sweep back east to the South Orkneys, you do so largely in the protected lee of the South Shetlands and the Antarctic Peninsula. This allows you to get your sea legs before finally crossing the Drake Passage at the very end of your voyage.

VARIATIONS OF OUR ANTARCTICA PENINSULA ITINERARY:

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Antarctica Air Cruise: 8 Days

An alternative for those with quite limited time or who are concerned about the possibility of rough seas crossing the Drake Passage, is our “Antarctica Air Cruise” where you fly from Punta Arenas, Chile, to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands. While this choice is reliant on the weather cooperating with the flights, your time cruising will be largely in protected waters, and you replace a two-day crossing of the Drake Passage in each direction with a two-hour flight each direction.

Crossing the Antarctic Circle: 15 Days

For those of you who would like to travel as far south as possible and cross the Antarctic Circle at 66.56 degrees South, you can consider going in late-February/early-March when the ice pack is at its most reduced on our “Crossing the Antarctic Circle” cruise. Keep in mind that our success in crossing to Polar Circle is dependent on weather and the ice pack that year.

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Antarctica Peninsula Basecamp: 12 Days

Finally, because the waters along the Antarctica Peninsula are well protected, for the most part, it is possible to offer more active and adventurous activities. Activities like kayaking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, camping and even scuba diving are all included in our “Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp”.

Marine Mammals of the Antarctic Peninsula: 14 Days

For those looking for a unique experience, our “Marine Mammals of the Antarctic Peninsula” cruise partners with scientists doing cutting edge marine mammal studies. This special scientific voyage will give you ample opportunity to participate as scientists track whales and gather data.

Weddell Sea Emperor Penguin Voyage: 11 Days

The highlight of this expedition are the largest and most colorful penguins on the planet—emperor penguins. Enjoy Zodiac expeditions that bring you close encounters of these magnificent creatures, and, if conditions permit, you’ll visit their colonies on Snow Hill Island by helicopter: a true trip changer, and an awesome way to get to otherwise out-of-reach locations.

South Georgia and the Falkland Islands: 15 Days

Perfect for those who have already been to the Antarctic Peninsula, this journey takes you to remote, sub-Antarctic islands, without having to repeat places you’ve already seen. Come face-to-face with king penguins, as well as several other species of penguins, and witness a huge abundance of wildlife. Plus, you’ll learn the fascinating history of South Georgia, the Falklands, and Shackleton’s legendary voyage.

Contact our Antarctica Specialists

To prepare you for your trip, our Antarctica specialists are your single point of contact—no sales people or call centers! Our team has traveled to Antarctica and will be able to help you choose the best vessel and itinerary to match the level of activity and comfort that best suits you, as well as helping with any extensions you may be interested in, and even advice on what to pack. You will be in great hands, from the time of your first call to your departure on this adventure of a lifetime!