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!
South Georgia Island
Shetlands and Falklands
Penguins, Whales and Seals
Weddell and Ross Sea
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:
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.
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
• 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)
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