Antarctica – Cruise Traveller


Purpose-built ships led by an expedition team of expert naturalists and guides. Explore Antarctica on the ultimate luxury expedition of a lifetime.

Sail along the continent’s incredible coasts, admire its unique wildlife — from king penguins to whales — and navigate through immaculate white scenery, where icebergs glimmer and shine.

Where is it?

Antarctica is Earth’s southernmost continent. Situated almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle and surrounded by the Southern Ocean, it contains the geographic South Pole.

Antarctica is the fifth-largest continent, being nearly twice the size of Australia, and has an area of 14,200,000 km2 (5,500,000 sq mi). Most of Antarctica is covered by ice, with average thickness of 1.9 km.

“If Antarctica were music it would be Mozart. Art, and it would be Michelangelo. Literature, and it would be Shakespeare. And yet it is something even greater; the only place on earth that is still as it should be. May we never tame it.”

Andrew Denton.

A dusky sunset at South Georgia – image – PONANT Cruises

How many penguin species are there?

There are 17 species of penguin on the planet, but the eight you’ll most likely recognize live in Antarctica, its nearby islands, and the sub-Antarctic archipelagos of South Georgia and the Falklands. These are the core species we tend to see on our expedition cruises.

Of these eight types of penguin, two live exclusively on the Antarctic Continent (emperor penguins and Adélie penguins), three live in both northern Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands (chinstraps, macaronis, and gentoos), and three species of penguin reside exclusively in the sub-Antarctic (rockhoppers, Megallanics, and kings).

(source:Oceanwide Expeditions)

Other incredible wildlife

As well as different species of penguins, search for humpback whales, Weddell seals, Antarctic seals, Cormorant, Orcas, or Wandering Albatross just to name a few.

Polar activities

Each cruise line varies in their inclusions, however you can generally experience:

  • Hiking and Snowshoeing
  • Shore landings and daily zodiac rides
  • Participative science
  • Kayaking
  • A polar plunge!
  • Watch the wildlife
  • Camping (additional cost)

What to wear?

The best clothing is a layered system with an outer layer that is waterproof. The air between the layers provides additional insulation.

  • Base Layer – Thermal underwear and a pair of thermal socks.
  • Mid Layer – Pants (wool is ideal), a light cotton shirt, and a wool sweater.
  • Outer Layer – Waterproof pants and a waterproof jacket
  • Shoes – Sturdy walking shoes or sneakers with a good grip sole for the slippery deck, and rubber boots.

Source: Polar Latitudes. Image: PONANT

Find the perfect Antarctica cruise line


264 -270 guests

October – March

PONANT offers 5 luxurious ships to Antarctica including; L’Austral, Le Boreal, Le Lyrial, Le Soleal and Le Commandant Charcot.

PONANT’s latest addition to the fleet, Le Commandant Charcot – the very first luxury hybrid electric polar exploration ship powered by liquified natural gas, is the epitome of responsible and sustainable sailing. 

With stylish small ships, delicious cuisine and knowledgeable crew, a PONANT Antarctic cruise is an adventure with style.


254-296 guests

November – March

A big place needs a small ship. Set sail with Silversea to the white continent and discover why size really does matter.

Why take an Antarctica Luxury Cruise with Silversea? Because it’s the adventure of a lifetime in the least visited place on earth. Because their fleet of intimate expedition ships takes you so far off the beaten track, there is no track. Because they have made luxury all-inclusive cruising to Antarctica into an art form.


118-139 guests

November – February


Polar expedition cruising is what they love to do. The Polar Regions are not only where they travel, they are also why they travel.

Polar Latitudes deliver a small ship experience that offers a more close-up, personal, and often life-changing engagement with the land and wildlife around us.
They embrace a spirit of improvisation and childlike wonder as they seek out unique opportunities, whenever and wherever Antarctica offers them.


140 guests

January – February

Sometimes referred to as ‘the heart of Antarctica’, the Ross Sea region is the last great unspoiled part of the world’s oceans. The East Antarctic coastline is some of the most remote in the world and is locked under ice for most of the year.

Wildlife is abundant during these brief summer months and includes Adélie and Emperor penguins, South Polar Skuas, Snow Petrels, Southern Fulmars and many more species of bird. Both whales and seals abound here at this time and can be found feeding in the rich waters around the ice edge.


67-73 guests

November – March

Antarctica21 operates Fly & Cruise Expeditions to Antarctica and Sea Voyages to Cape Horn, the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), South Georgia & Antarctica.

Their trips are boutique wilderness adventures taking you to Antarctica and beyond. Enjoy small ship experiences that allow you time to explore our remote destinations.


250-528 guests

November – March

Hurtigruten Expeditions have  sailed these polar waters for over 20 years. Their expedition ships combine hybrid technology with a premium onboard experience, designed for your safety and comfort.

Go ashore and on small boat cruises to discover charming wildlife and spectacular frozen landscapes – from snowy mountains to icebergs and glaciers.


100-174 guests

November – March

Set out on an Oceanwide Expeditions Antarctica cruise and experience the outermost edge of human exploration.

Oceanwide’s Antarctic cruises immerse you fully in the incomparable terrain of Antarctica, introducing you to a diverse host of animals while also engaging you in exhilarating expedition cruise activities like kayaking, hiking, mountaineering, scuba diving, and even camping.


189 guests

November – March

With a true passion for active exploration, Albatros Expeditions offer unique, innovative, and educational expedition voyages to the polar regions.

Their expedition voyages to the Antarctic region, are all designed to engage your heart, mind, and spirit through the duration of the journey.


126-160 guests

November – March

Embark on an expedition cruise to some of the most remote coastal regions in the world on an Antarctic cruise, and experience nature at its most pristine.

Get close to the water and gaze into the iridescent blue heart of an iceberg on a Zodiac cruise. Sit quietly on a beach as a waddle of proud king penguins parades right past. Explore the windswept remnants of bygone eras in some of the most inaccessible places on earth.


132 guests

October – February

Ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Massive, magnificent, and unforgiving, Antarctica is a continent of superlatives that will leave your mind searching for words to describe it. Each day presents a new discovery, whether you’re cruising through ice-choked waterways, trekking through chattering penguin rookeries, or catching minkes and humpbacks breaching in the pristine waters.

G Expedition will steer you closer to some of our planet’s most amazing places, their professional and highly-skilled team of on-board experts offer keen insight, unique perspectives, and hands-on attention not found in a guidebook. 


117-199 guests

November – March

Quark Expeditions has been one of the leading innovators and operators of expedition cruises, especially in polar regions, since 1991. The company has pioneered and developed a concept of fantastically adventurous journeys in first class comfort on powerful, polar icebreakers.

Quark Expeditions explore the Polar Regions differently from everyone else. When you travel with them, you’re exploring alongside the most seasoned polar experts on Earth, setting foot where few ever will, and doing what few ever dream. 


126-148 guests

November – March

For over 50 years, Lindblad Expeditions has been turning vacationers into informed and engaged explorers.

It is a privilege to visit Antarctica, one of the planet’s most pristine places, and to this privilege National Geographic EnduranceNational Geographic Resolution, and National Geographic Explorer add the luxury of comfort—a quality of shipboard life and a philosophy of wellness designed to relax and rejuvenate body, mind, and spirit.

Featured voyages from Aurora Expeditions

Wild Antarctica

11 nights

6 – 17 March 2025

From US $14,695* pp, twin share

Experience vast penguin rookeries Famed for its enormous icebergs, year-round sea ice, fascinating fossils and the pivotal role it played in Shackleton`s Endurance expedition, the Weddell Sea offers unsurpassed opportunities for exploration. Embark on a true Antarctic expedition as we not only explore the west Antarctic Peninsula, but also attempt to venture east towards the icy perimeter of the Weddell Sea, often guarded by impenetrable pack ice and home to awe-inspiring tabular icebergs that we hope to see.

In Shackleton`s Footsteps

19 nights

16 March – 4 April 2025

From US $25,195* pp, twin share

Follow in the footsteps of `the Boss` on this quintessential polar voyage, from the serene ice of the deep south to the subantarctic wildlife paradise of South Georgia. Experience the Antarctic Peninsula and set foot on the continent before making your way north to the spectacular Antarctic Sound, gateway to the Weddell Sea. Embrace the adventure as you voyage further east, navigating as far as possible into the Weddell Sea, where Shackleton`s Endurance met its fate. From here set a course to Elephant Island, the desolate outpost where Shackleton and his men finally made landfall after 497 days at sea.

Across the Antarctic circle

12 nights

23 Feb – 7 March 2025

From US $16,995* pp, twin share

Venturing below the Antarctic Circle is about more than just earning bragging rights. It is the chance to enter a different world more rarely seen, it feels more isolated and colder than further north, with great swathes of pack-ice and dreamlike icebergs. Thread through pack ice and narrow channels where scenes of ice-clad mountains, feeding whales and lively penguin colonies become lasting memories.

©Studio PONANT/Nathalie Michel

Talk Antarctica cruising with our team, contact the experts!

If you’d like to learn more about current offers and practical advice for your next Antarctica expedition, simply complete the information below and one of our expert team members will be in touch.

    PONANT Polar Latitudes Heritage Expeditions Lindblad Expeditions Aurora Expeditions Antarctica 21 Hurtigruten Expeditions Oceanwide Expeditions Albatros Expeditions Silversea Expeditions G Adventures Quark Expeditions

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    Image credits: PONANT, Oceanwide Expeditions, Heritage Expeditions, Albatros Expeditions, Polar Latitudes, G Adventures, Aurora Expeditions, Quark Expeditions, Lindblad Expeditions, Antarctica21 & Hurtigruten Expeditions.