Luxury Antarctica Cruises: What You Need To Know
Luxury Antarctica cruises are a once-in-a-lifetime experience. When you’re preparing to book the holiday you’ve always dreamed about, there are a range of options to choose from and a number of things you should take into consideration, particularly when you’re travelling to a part of the world that is as unique as this.
Can You Tour Antarctica?
When it comes to luxury cruise ships, a holiday to Antarctica is relatively new territory, which makes it even more unique. The first cruise companies started travelling here around 25 years ago and since then, adventure holidays to this destination are more common. This is the world’s most remote continent, and it is teaming with unspoiled scenery and incredible wildlife. It truly is an unforgettable experience.
Often called the Antarctic desert, Antarctica is the coldest and driest continent on the planet, offering excitement and a fantastic insight into a world we forget exists. It is home to the largest desert in the world, and while you don’t generally think of deserts as being covered in ice – here it is. Where is the Antarctic desert located? The Antarctic desert is located around the South Pole and the continent itself is a whopping 14.2 million square kilometres. In fact, it’s the 5th largest continent in the world – and its’ all ice.
If you’re planning on Antarctica tours, the travel season is limited to between November and March. This is because it’s simply too cold and dark to travel at any other time. During the summer months (southern hemisphere), December through to mid-February is the most popular travel time (and generally the most expensive). During December and January, you’ll also have around 20 hours of sunlight, which provides plenty of time for sightseeing!
Getting there is easy. You can travel to Antarctica from South America or New Zealand. Travel from South America is more affordable as the journey is closer so you’ll spend less time at sea. However, travel from New Zealand allows you also to experience the Ross Sea, filled with King and Emperor Penguins.
Things To See And Do on Luxury Antarctica Cruises
The Antarctic, thankfully, remains mostly untouched and has a steep history of exploration. The nature here is breathtaking, though you won’t find any signs of greenery! Some tours will take you onto the land where you can walk in the footsteps of explorers like Robert Falcon Scott, Roald Amundsen, Ernest Shackleton and Sir Edmund Hillary. You can visit their historic huts and step back in time to investigate how life was back in the early 1900s at the Scott’s Hut at Cape Evans.
Luxury Antarctica cruises will bring you face to face with the majestic humpback whales, Orca, Leopard seals, sea lions, Adelie penguin, albatross and if you’re lucky, you might even see (or smell) the world’s largest seal, the Southern Elephant Seal. They are breathtaking but stinky.
When it comes to adding adventure expedition to your holiday, aside from the excitement of your cruise powering through the icebergs (many of which will be much bigger than your house), you can also get out on the mainland and explore. There are opportunities available for cross-country skiing, mountaineering, kayaking through the icy waters and even scuba diving if you dare! Whatever you do here, don’t forget to take your camera!
Where Do Antarctic Cruises Go?
There is an abundance of luxury Antarctica cruises you can choose from when planning your holiday, so just make sure it reaches your personal goals and preferred levels of activity. Cruise ships offer everything from luxury suites to butler service; you are essentially staying in a 5 Star resort on the water.
Tours from South America to the Antarctic peninsula range anywhere from 10 days to 20 days, accounting for the time it takes to travel to and from the South Pole as well as time spent on the icy continent itself. If you travel from Argentina, you’ll have the chance to explore places like the Drake Passage or Mar de Hoces – Sea of Hoces, Deception Island, La Mar Channel and Paradise Bay. You’ll cross the Antarctic Circle, and some tours offer the opportunity to explore the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. Travelling from New Zealand or Australia, generally cruises last anywhere from 19-30 days. You’ll cruise through the Ross Sea region before reaching the shores of Antarctica where you’ll explore huts and other historic sites.
Regardless of where you travel from, you’re set to experience something amazing when you travel to Antarctica. This is an experience everyone should add to their bucket list. We offer a range of tours to the polar regions, so make sure you check out all our options before you book.
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Blog Posts on Antarctica
By Tig Martin
Last month my friend Nikki and I joined the final voyage of the 22/23 Antarctic season aboard the Ultramarine expedition ship. Over sixteen incredible days, we sailed from Ushuaia to South Georgia, and on to the Antarctic Peninsula, before returning to Ushuaia across the Drake Passage. We wandered through king penguin colonies,...
By Leanne Dunhill
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By Matt McMillan
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