Antarctica

Antarctica

Of the earth’s 7 continents, Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, and driest. It is, truly, one of the ends of the Earth. For a few brief months each year, the weather settles down, the pack ice opens, and a select few visitors can explore this vast wonderland of mountain and ice along with the wildlife that call this polar region home. 

Embarking from Ushuaia, Argentina, guests will first navigate the notorious Drake Passage and it’s turbulent seas in order to reach the Antarctic Peninsula. Or, consider a fly-in cruise from Punta Arenas, Chile to avoid the Drake.

Exploring the coves, inlets and islands of the peninsula, panoramas beyond words extend in all directions with mountains, icebergs and whales each competing for your attention. Zodiac boats bring guests to land where you can get up close with gentoo, Adelie, and rockhopper penguins who seem just as curious to check you out. At the right time, you may even get the chance to see baby penguins, newly hatched, and taking their first tentative steps on their antarctic world. Seal pups are kept close by watchful mothers while petrels, shags, and south polar skuas wheel overhead.

Active travelers will enjoy the opportunity to hike, snowshoe, and sea-kayak each day while lifelong learners will appreciate the daily onboard lectures and programs hosted by polar experts. Those yearning for even more wildlife should consider including South Georgia and the Falklands where even more penguins, birds and seals can be encountered. History aficionadoes will be enamored by the perfectly preserved expedition stations erected by early 20th century explorers like Scott and Shackleton. 

We work exclusively with responsible and long-standing antarctic operators committed to keeping this corner of the planet in pristine condition for generations to come. We have chosen partners that operate smaller boats so that guests can spend more time out exploring rather than waiting in lines. 

There are multiple ways to experience this region by boat, with a few suggestions listed below. Prices vary based on boat, month, cabin, itinerary, and activities.

Before or after Antarctica, consider extending to Chile or Argentina to trek in Patagonia, tango in Buenos Aires, walk on the Perito Moreno Glacier in El Chalten, hike in Bariloche, sip wine in Mendoza, marvel at Iguazu Falls, or explore Tierra Del Fuego. Options are limitless.

Give us a call to learn more and find out which itinerary will be the best fit for your own Antarctic adventure!

Highlights

Antarctic Peninsula
South Georgia Island
Shetlands and Falklands
Penguins, Whales and Seals
Shore Excursions

Go Farther:

Polar Circle
Weddell and Ross Sea
Emperor Penguins
Fly-in Option
Peninsula Sleep-Out

Seasonality:

Early November - Late March
Best: December - February

Antarctica Itinerary Options:

Classic Antarctic Peninsula  - 10-13 days - Departing from Ushuaia, Argentina, you'll cross the Drake Passage en route to Antarctica. On this expedition cruise, you'll encounter penguins, icebergs, seals, whales and birds like petrels and shags. Go ashore in a Zodiac to plant your feet on the White Continent and return onboard for educational lectures from renowned Antarctic experts. Prices start from $7,900 per person sharing.

South Georgia, the Falklands, and the Antarctic - 18-21 days - Wildlife lovers should consider this extended cruise to the outlying islands of the South Atlantic where huge numbers of penguins and seals choose to breed. As one of the most remote and wild places on earth, guests can spot seals on both the land and in the waters, and a variety of whales pass through the area. All voyages carry on to the Antarctic Peninsula as described above. Prices start from $13,350 per person sharing.

Active Antarctica - 11-13 days - Designed especially for our more active guests, these activity-centered departures immerse you in the polar regions with several core outdoor activities: kayaking in the Arctic Ocean, hiking or snowshoeing, mountaineering, photo workshops, even camping out under the Antarctic stars are all options on these incredible cruises. Prices start from $8,500 per person sharing.

Luxury Fly-in Cruises - 8-16 days - Spend 2 hours flying over the Drake Passage rather than sailing the turbulent waters for 2 days, and then enjoy a small-ship yacht-like experience. Flights depart from Punta Arenas in Chile. Choose from exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, visiting South Georgia, or venturing to the Polar Circle. Less time in transit means more time out exploring this remote part of the world. Prices start from $14,595 per person sharing. Only offered on the Magellan Explorer. 

Extended cruise options - 11-32 days - Cruise to the Weddell Sea on the eastern shores of the Antarctic peninsula in search of the Emperor Penguin on a helicopter-assisted expedition. Or sail in search of the midnight sun below the polar circle. For the truly intrepid, explore the vast Ross Sea en route from Ushuaia to New Zealand, one of the few expanses of saltwater that has been left (relatively) free of human impact, and encounter the Ross Ice Shelf. Passengers aboard one of our Ross Sea expeditions will travel along the southern parts of the Antarctic Peninsula, Peter I Island, the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas, and into the Ross Sea. Possible encounters along the way include the Dry Valleys, McMurdo Station, Campbell Island, and the well-preserved huts of the historic voyagers Scott and Shackleton. Ortelius will be equipped with helicopters. Be prepared for an unforgettable memory. Prices from $8,400 per person sharing (Weddell Sea) and from $28,450  per person sharing (Ross Sea). 

Our Preferred Vessels:

M/V Plancius

Plancius was originally built as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and has a 1D ice-class rating.  This comfortable and spacious boat exudes small ship character and style. It is ideal for active, adventurers and wildlife-minded modern explorers. Please check if they are offered on your voyage.

With only 108 passengers in 50 passenger cabins, guests are assured a focus on spending as much time as possible on off-the-boat adventures. The large, open-deck spaces (with full walkaround possibilities on deck 4), give excellent opportunities to enjoy the expansive Antarctic scenery and wildlife.

The ship is manned by 17 nautical crew, 19 hotel staff,1 doctor, 1 Antarctica expedition leader and 6 guides/lecturers.

Plancius has:

• 4 quadruple porthole cabins
• 9 twin porthole cabins
• 25 twin cabins with window
• 2 twin deluxe cabins
• 10 superior cabins

All cabins include private facilities (toilet, sink shower) and offer lower berths (either two single beds or one queen-size bed), except for the 4 quadruple cabins (2 bunk beds).

Guests can enjoy the restaurant/lecture room on deck 3 and a spacious observation lounge with bar on deck 5. Both spaces offer large windows with full panoramic views.

Equipped with 10 Mark V inflatable zodiacs, including 40 HP 4-stroke outboard engines and with 2 gangways on the starboard side, this guarantees swift zodiac loading/unloading operations.

The name Plancius is a tribute to the Plancius Foundation of the 1980’s the first annual cruise operator in Spitsbergen, Norway.


M/V Ortelius

The ice-strengthened Ortelius was purpose-built for polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica, and has the highest ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A). It excels at navigating in solid one-year sea ice and loose multi-year pack ice. Deck includes a helicopter landing pad.

Ortelius is an expedition vessel for a maximum of 108 passengers with lots of open-deck spaces. The vessel is manned by 20 highly experienced international nautical crew, 19 international hotel crew, 1 doctor, 1 Antarctic expedition leader and 6 guides/lecturers.

The vessel offers simple but comfortable cabins and public spaces:

• 4 quadruple cabins with bunk beds (these can also be used as triple or twin cabins)
• 26 twin porthole cabins with 2 single lower berths
• 12 twin cabins with windows and 2 single lower berths
• 2 twin deluxe cabins with windows and 2 single lower berths
• 6 superior cabins with double beds.

All cabins are outside-facing with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin and all cabins have a private shower and toilet. Ortelius offers two restaurants and a bar/lecture room. Our voyages are primarily developed to offer our passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program, trying to spend as much time ashore as possible. As the number of passengers is limited to approximately 108 on the Ortelius, flexibility assures maximum wildlife viewing opportunities.

The ship is named for Abraham Ortelius, the 16th-century Dutch cartographer who published the first modern world atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World) in 1570. At the time, the most expensive book ever printed.


M/V Hondius and M/V Janssonius

The M/V Hondius and her sister ship the M/V Janssonius are the world’s first-registered Polar Class 6 passenger vessels, making them among the most structurally fortified and technologically advanced polar cruise ships on the seas. Both vessels are leaders in safe and environmentally sound ship operations in the polar regions tilizing LED lighting, steam heat, biodegradable paints and lubricants, and flexible power management systems to keep fuel efficiency high and CO2 emissions low.

Hondius and Janssonius are equipped with stabilizers that make them highly suitable for swift, safe, and nimble exploration of Antarctic waters. Their tough small-scale design enables them to react quickly to moment-by-moment weather changes and wildlife opportunities.

The ships each offer comfortable accommodation for 170 passengers with interiors are cozy and classically conceived in mid-century modern décor. There are:

• 6 grand suites with balconies
• 8 junior suites
• 8 superior cabins
• 11 twin deluxe cabins
• 14 twin window cabins
• 27 twin porthole cabins
• 2 triple porthole cabins
• 4 quadruple porthole cabins

One deck of Hondius is reserved for lectures and presentations in a large observation lounge as well as in a separate lecture room.

Our cruises in the Antarctic are always focused on exploration, wildlife, and outdoor activities. For this reason, Hondius and Janssonius carry a powerful fleet of Zodiac boats to guarantee swift and safe transit from ship to shore. There are two separate gangways for efficient outings as well as an indoor Zodiac boarding area that can also be used for special outdoor activities such as kayaking. While cruising, both boats carry 72 crew and staff members, including expedition and hotel staff, all of whom will be at your service during your polar adventure.

Magellan Explorer (fly-in only)

The Magellan Explorer is the world’s first expedition ship custom-designed for Antarctic air-cruise operations. It provides a stylish base for our guests’ adventures, combining excellence in expedition and boutique hospitality. 

Powerful and nimble, Magellan Explorer carries a Polar Class 6 ice-class rating. For comfortable navigation and maneuverability, the ship features retractable stabilizers, bow and stern thrusters, and an ice-detecting radar. To reduce environmental footprint, the vessel uses an energy-recovery system that recycles the heat produced by the engines to warm up the ship and its water supply.

For our air-cruises, Magellan Explorer has a capacity for 73 guests lodging in seven accommodation categories: 
• 4 Single Cabins
• 6 Grand Suites (2-room)
• 3 Penthouse Suites
• 12 Deluxe Veranda Cabins
• 7 Veranda Cabins
• 4 Porthole Cabins
• 4 Triple Suites

All cabins except Porthole Cabins feature private balconies.  All accommodations feature a wardrobe, individually controlled heating system, a sitting area, and a private bathroom with a shower and heated floors. Each element of the interior was skillfully selected to enhance the guest experience onboard. 

Magellan Explorer's public spaces were designed to create a connection with its destinations. Guests can enjoy a forward-facing observation lounge and bar, where our expert polar guides also deliver educational lectures. The outdoor observation deck offers expansive views and close contact with the natural environments we sail through. 

The dining room offers ample space for guests with large windows for sightseeing while enjoying a delicious meal. There is a library filled with Antarctic-themed books, a gift shop, and a protected outdoor barbecue area. The ship also has a gym and sauna. Staffed by a crew of 60, guests will enjoy unparalleled hospitality and service.

Reach out and talk with someone who has been there.

Let us help craft the perfect custom adventure
and make your dream a reality!
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