Antarctica Cruise Ships
Expedition cruise vessels are a world apart from your average ocean cruise liner; small, agile and exclusively designed for intrepid exploration, built to withstand the most extreme environs and climatic conditions around the Southern Ocean.
Select from the finest selection of polar class Antarctica cruise ships available below, operated by only the most trusted of partners, preeminent pioneers in polar exploration who offer exceptional itineraries, unrivaled knowledge, and utmost levels of service.
For more information to help you choose between ships, and to better understand the differences between vessel categories and their polar classifications, see our Antarctica cruise ship guide.
Antarctica Cruise Routes
Part of the adventure of an Antarctic expedition is in the difficulty and anticipation of getting there, a rite of passage for the privilege of visiting one of the most spectacular, awe-inspiring places on the planet, its geographical prominence and vast scale affording a variety of ways to reach and witness its cornucopia of natural wonders.
Explore the most popular routes to cruise Antarctica, its prized peninsula, and its equally alluring sub-Antarctic island neighbors below.
Unsure which route you prefer? Learn more about their differences in our helpful Antarctica cruise routes guide.
Best-Selling Antarctica Cruises
Whilst most Antarctic voyages and expeditions entail exploration of the more temperate and accessible Antarctic Peninsula, the Seventh Continent and surrounds are privy to a plenitude of polar delights: the habitat for hardy penguin, pinniped and pelagic species; historic setting for the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration; and pristine playground for adventure pursuits of all kinds—from snowshoeing and kayaking, to camping on the ice itself.
Indulge in them all with the most popular Antarctica cruises available below.
Antarctica Cruise Themes
To help you filter the Antarctic forays above, we’ve curated a series of Antarctica cruise themes, subdividing the expedition cruise sector into styles of exploration to suit your preferred type of experience.
Are you a spellbound solo traveler or shutterbug, captivated kith and kin, or enthralled nature or history buff? Perhaps you’re someone seeking more active adventure, a guaranteed White Christmas, or the high latitude high life? Or maybe you’re a large group of explorers? Whatever your preference, discover the draws of this pristine, primordial polar paradise your way.
The Antarctica Expedition Experience
There are no words to adequately describe Antarctica, no superlatives sufficient for capturing and conveying its ineffable immensity and importance, its sheer scale and significance too great to distill into logical sentences.
For centuries this glistening, glacial-encrusted continent has been a siren for sealers, scientists, and adventure seekers alike, a brilliant white beacon for brave explorers and pinnacle of polar odysseys exalting from pack ice.
Amid the haunting laments of calving icebergs and raucous calls of resident penguins, seals and seabirds, arresting, awakening and visceral experiences abound here, ones that you’ll eternally evoke as the trip of your lifetime.
Explore With Experts
As purveyors of pioneering, small-ship expeditions that optimize a passenger’s polar experience, we promise to minimize your time on ship and maximize your time on shore for a more immersive and authentic Antarctic adventure.
Guided by specialist advisors pre-trip to select the ideal expedition for you, and escorted by distinguished naturalists on excursion, you’ll actively explore this wild and wonderful frozen continent, gliding around enormous tabular icebergs and breaching whales by Zodiac or kayak, and walking along beaches peppered with penguins and seals. Let our experts take you deep into the heart of this majestic environment so it can get into yours.
Cross The Drake Passage
Antarctica doesn’t give up its prized natural treasures easily. Everyone who comes to this isolated continent must ‘earn it’, none more so than those embarking on an expedition cruise from South America’s “Land of Fire”, Tierra del Fuego, bound for Antarctica’s antithetical “Land of Ice”.
In your path, lies one of the world’s most violent bodies of water, the Drake Passage, where three seas converge in a frenzied cocktail of inconceivably strong currents and cyclones, whipping up ferocious waves and winds of frightening magnitudes. Crossing this legendary waterway is a rite of passage, following in the wake of many of history’s greatest explorers.
Meet The Penguins
Synonymous with this most southerly of continents, these ever-anthropomorphised birds fearlessly greet newcomers to the White Continent, a myriad of bustling miniature butlers in waiting, perhaps more accurately portrayed as the jostling and jovial jesters of this ice-crowned court with their playful, clumsy and comical antics.
From the perfect “tuxedo” plumage of the Adélie penguin and bushy-browed Macaroni to the fabulously debonair Emperor penguin, the world’s largest, the polar region of Antarctica offers an intimate look inside a world of unique avifauna and sea life that have adapted to survive the most extreme climate on earth.
Live The Fairytale
Discover a frozen fairytale land whose very existence defies logic, a desert covered in prehistoric ice, dislodged from time itself, a dreamscape drenched in the eerie, eternal light of the austral summer sun where katabatic winds can remake the view before your very eyes.
Here, bizarrely no official time zone exists, and all the lines of longitude segmenting the planet converge at the South Pole, a singular, frigid focal point where confoundingly every hour on earth is happening instantaneously. It is a place preserved for peace and science that does not belong to any one person or nation, a paragon of cooperation, and shimmering symbol of hope for all humanity.
Follow In Their Footsteps
Antarctica’s shores echo with the travails of the great polar explorers from Shackleton and Mawson, to Amundsen and Scott. Follow in their frosted footsteps, feel their pioneering spirit of adventure on the sea air, and imagine their plight forging their way through pack ice on a creaking wooden boat or hauling sledges lionheartedly across the Polar Plateau.
Visit some of the historic huts that still remain, preserved in rime ice, literally frozen in time, to tell the story of Antarctic adventures long since past, and enjoy an honored front-row seat to their gallant scientific endeavors and the incredible history of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.
Go With The Floe
Antarctica is a destination that demands absolute adaptability, not just from the hardy species that have evolved to survive its seemingly uninhabitable climate but also from those visiting tourists who will find themselves at the whim of the White Continent’s capricious and formidable elements. Here it is ice and weather, not clocks and calendars, that dictate polar proceedings, and patience and flexibility are paramount.
Absolve yourself of preconceived notions of particular landings, scheduled pursuits and wildlife sightings—every expedition is unique—and instead embrace the unknown and blissfully freeing lack of a plan. Bow to the will of providence, surrender any semblance of control, and enjoy the spoils.
Pen Your Polar Experience
Commit your personal polar experience to paper and eternity, as Douglas Mawson, famous Antarctic explorer so eloquently did:
“The tranquility of the water heightened the superb effects of this glacial world. Majestic tabular bergs whose crevices exhaled a vaporous azure; lofty spires, radiant turrets and splendid castles; honeycombed masses illumined by pale green light within whose fairy labyrinths the water washed and gurgled.
Seals and penguins on magic gondolas were the silent denizens of this dreamy Venice. In the soft glamor of the midsummer midnight sun, we were possessed by a rapturous wonder: the rare thrill of unreality.”
Become An Antarctic Ambassador
Many visitors to Antarctica leave having been deeply affected by its humbling grandeur, experiencing soul-stirring epiphanies, and gaining profound new perspectives about the planet and their place within it.
To witness Antarctica’s beauty and fragility first-hand, to connect with it and its inhabitants, and learn of its centrality to life as we know, will undoubtedly inspire you to become an Antarctic Ambassador, championing the importance of protecting its spectacular biodiversity in the face of climate change and unsustainable resource consumption, educating and uniting others in its cause, and advocating the collective responsibility for its crucial conservation.
Antarctica Expedition Cruise Guide
Laying undiscovered to mankind until the eighteenth century, no continent is as remote or uncharted as Antarctica, an otherworldly, timeless realm steeped in heroic tales of human endeavor.
With its heady allure of unbridled adventure, inquisitive inhabitants, and dazzling icescapes, it’s perhaps easy to forget this is one of the world’s wildest frontiers, and an Antarctic expedition should not be undertaken lightly.
Prepare yourself properly for the voyage of a lifetime with our comprehensive Antarctica cruise guide.