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Antarctica is a continent of extremes. It’s at once beautifully tranquil and savagely fierce. It’s a land of pristine whiteness, where gigantic icebergs carved by the elements pierce the sky from the ocean. Incredible shades of blue pass by on floating ice chunks, while the roar of glaciers echoes between mountain walls. The coastal shores and sub-Antarctic islands are home to hundreds of bustling penguin rookeries, seal colonies and nesting seabirds.
Perhaps the world’s last true frontier, Antarctica is simply awe-inspiring. Much like in the days of early exploration, it’s weather and ice, not clocks and calendars, that will set the schedule here.
Antarctica is so wildly remote that travelling by ship is the only way to visit. Cruises and expedition vessels depart from Argentina and New Zealand, generally between November and March. In these months, the sunlight is long, the sea ice melts enough for ships to pass and temperatures nudge over freezing.
Our best Antarctica packages right now, created by our travel experts to offer you incredible holidays at serious value. Find even more deals on our Antarctica On Sale section.
Smaller expedition-style ships are often more expensive and include fewer amenities than larger cruise ships, but they offer passengers the opportunity to disembark and enjoy excursions like tramping and snowshoeing. Because of restrictions limiting tourist numbers in Antarctica, large ships may only offer scenic cruising and not land experiences. Make sure to talk to your consultant about this distinction.
The Drake Passage — the waters between South America and Antarctica — and the Southern Ocean are notoriously rough but Antarctica is worth it! Ask your doctor about seasickness drugs, bands and patches and arrive prepared. Ships these days have excellent stabilisers, so you’ll be as comfortable as possible.
Cruises from New Zealand are much more expensive and longer than cruises from South America — simply because they must cover more ocean to arrive. Depending on your departure point, you’ll visit different spots in Antarctica.
Antarctica cruise itineraries are hopeful suggestions. Ship captains make amends en route based on weather and ice conditions so passengers have the best chances of landing onshore.
Packing for an Antarctic cruise can be easy. Ask your consultant what your cruise line lends and gives passengers: You’ll find most give guests excellent quality jackets to keep and lend out cosy boots for landings. Even if you own the gear, it can be nice to pack lighter.
Are you planning your next trip to Antarctica? Want to learn more about this destination? Or looking for ideas and inspiration for your next holiday? Here is where you can find our featured articles on Antarctica.
This is just a taste of the information and advice we have available through our House of Travel consultants.
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