Antarctica expedition cruise

“This classic cruise introduces you to the white continent with up to two shore landings per day, plenty of penguin time and the opportunity to bathe in hot springs - in Antarctica.”

Highlights

South Shetland Islands | Antarctic Peninsula | Beagle Channel | Onboard lectures | Swim in hot springs | Adélie & chinstrap penguin colonies | Bird species including Antarctic terns, southern giant petrels, blue-eyed cormorants & kelp gulls | Aim for two landings per day | Zodiac tours | Whale sightings Lemaire & Neumayer Channels, conditions permitting

Description of Antarctica expedition cruise

This 11 day expedition takes you from Ushuaia, on the southernmost tip of South America, to the Frozen Continent. The expertly planned itinerary leads you to discover immense, chattering penguin colonies, abundant seals, migratory whales and many species of seabirds as you cross the Drake Passage to reach the South Shetland Islands and the icy landscapes of the Antarctic Peninsula.

On board one of the world's leading Polar expedition cruise ships, the M/S Expedition – as well as in Zodiacs – you’ll be navigating dramatic channels packed with sea ice, creaking glaciers and beautiful blue icebergs, all against an imposing backdrop of the Antarctic mountains, an extension of the mighty Andes. The 11-itinerary below is an example.

Note: We also offer Antarctic cruises lasting 10, 12 or 20 days, as well as detours to the Falklands and South Georgia, Weddell Sea expeditions and more – get in touch to find out details.

Please feel free to contact the Help Desk team if you need any advice on your vacation plans. We're always happy to help!

Toll free 1-111-111-6111

Check dates

2018: 23 Nov, 8 Dec, 9 Dec, 12 Dec, 18 Dec, 27 Dec
2019: 2 Jan, 3 Jan, 8 Jan, 9 Jan, 12 Jan, 17 Jan, 21 Jan, 23 Jan, 28 Jan, 30 Jan, 1 Feb, 6 Feb, 7 Feb, 9 Feb, 10 Feb, 4 Mar, 13 Mar, 10 Nov, 14 Nov, 20 Nov, 22 Nov, 23 Nov, 29 Nov, 2 Dec, 8 Dec, 11 Dec, 12 Dec, 13 Dec, 18 Dec, 20 Dec, 27 Dec, 28 Dec, 29 Dec
2020: 2 Jan, 3 Jan, 7 Jan, 9 Jan, 26 Jan, 4 Feb, 5 Feb, 6 Feb, 7 Feb, 15 Feb, 13 Mar, 17 Mar, 20 Mar ...
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Antarctica expedition cruise

Environment

Antarctica is the largest wilderness area on earth, unaffected by large scale human activities. Accordingly, this unique and pristine environment has been afforded special protection. Furthermore, it is physically remote, inhospitable, unpredictable and potentially dangerous. All activities in the Antarctic Treaty Area, therefore, should be planned and conducted with both environmental protection and safety in mind. IAATO Charter – International Association of Antarctic tour operators.

A trip to the Antarctic is a completely different experience and quite unlike any other trip you have probably been on. We use a highly regulated, licensed vessel which is well equipped to operate in this pristine ecosystem. We are fully compliant with all rules set down by the IAATO. We carefully vet all ships we work with and choose them for their small size as this creates far less impact on shore landings with wildlife. We see the voyage Antarctic as an expedition, not a sightseeing trip. Smaller boats such as ours can navigate narrow waterways, and are far less polluting than the larger ships in Antarctic waters. By carrying less passengers, we have far less waste, and all waste is carried back to the home port, unlike some of the larger ships which do not allow for this.

We are regulated by very strict conditions, and we take our responsibility seriously. We are currently working towards supporting a nominated wildlife charity which operates in Antarctica and we have a long term commitment to maintaining its pristine condition while still offering some of the best value trips to this unique destination.

Our pre departure pack provides you with all the information required for your tour, from what to take with you to practical advice on how to minimise your impact on the Antarctic environment. This is in the form of waste reduction and how to interact with wildlife on the continent.

We really work hard to keep all our operations green! All our worldwide offices currently run on 90% green energy (we are working towards 100%) from hydro electric, wind to solar power. Being web based, we are close to becoming a paperless environment, brochure prints are at a minimum (and printed on a requirement basis) and all pre departure information is emailed. We use energy saving bulbs in our work centres, and recycle all our waste. We currently work with 3 different charities, giving us a broad spectrum and diversifying where our monies go. We work with Project Peru in the UK who run an orphanage in Zapallal in the shanty town outskirts of Lima, ANIA in Peru which is a high profile Peruvian NGO which works with children and helps to teach them about their local environment and how to manage it affectively, and a foundation in Australia which work on several development projects in Latin America and around the world. We help these charities by fundraising treks, through donations as a company and through our clients and also through many of our customers who volunteer their time and expertise. These charities are close to our core of supporting the environment and children in need.

Community

We currently work with 3 different charities, giving us a broad spectrum and diversifying where our monies go. We work with Project Peru in the UK who run an orphanage in Zapallal in the shanty town outskirts of Lima, ANIA in Peru which is a high profile Peruvian NGO which works with children and helps to teach them about their local environment and how to manage it effectively, and a foundation in Australia which work on several development projects in Latin America and around the world. We help these charities by fundraising treks, through donations as a company and through our clients and also through many of our customers who volunteer their time and expertise. These charities are close to our core of supporting the environment and children in need.

Specifically on this departure, clients are welcome to book pre-and post- accommodation with us, where local businesses will be supported. Moreover, our clients receive restaurant recommendations which support locally owned restaurants. We are members of IATTO and the trip will be run under the strict regulations they have in place which ensure the environment in Antarctica remains in a pristine state.

9 Reviews of Antarctica expedition cruise

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 17 Apr 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The whole trip was amazing, but I loved the whales and penguins the most!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Go for it! Antarctica is truly special place! Be prepared for the high possibility of rough sea while passing through the Drake! That was really rough on our way back but it was worthy!!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Hard to say as there are no locals in Antarctica, but surely there is a lot of research going on and staff in research centres as well as the crew/staff on the ship were all very supportive in saving the planet, passionate about the work they do...

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Top!! Thank you :-)

Reviewed on 11 Feb 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


There are so many highlights that it is impossible to sensibly list them all. I would say the sheer majesty of the Antarctic landscape stands out along with the
opportunity to be really close to wildlife such as penguins, seabirds and seals. Although it wouldn't appeal to some people, the crossing of the Drake Passage
on the way back was both memorable and exciting as we met with seas swelling over 10 metres from trough to peak.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Go on a ship with less than 100 passengers - this will maximize your time ashore.
Don't go if rough seas make you very sick. The Drake Passage is the roughest in the world and can be ferocious.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely the vacation was closely tied to minimization of environmental impact. The expedition leaders were very insistent that we all should leave as little trace as possible, which is as it should be. The Antarctic treaty is based on conservation of the continent as it is, minimizing human impact. I suppose the tourist industry of Ushuaia benefited from the vacation but no more than any other tourist town. Antarctica itself has no local people, of course.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Worth every cent. I really feel I got excellent value for what I paid. I would do the same again without hesitation.

Reviewed on 07 Apr 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The vegan meals

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Bring extra strong sea sickness medication and games to entertain yourself.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes - we all learned more about environmental impact of climate change.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was okay - the staff didn't engage much with us beyond the lectures and briefings they gave.

Reviewed on 26 Nov 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Getting to see my seventh continent was truly amazing, as well as lots of close up encounters with penguins!! The MS Expedition is also a fabulous boat with
amazing crew and expedition staff.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Make sure you get any laundry done before you board the boat as its quite expensive on board.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Although the cruise goes to an isolated area, every effort was made to ensure there was very minimal impact on the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was amazing!

Reviewed on 18 Mar 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


All of the activities were amazing but sleeping out under the stars was a real highlight.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take lots of layers! (Though it wasn't as cold as I expected.) And remember seasickness tablets, even in calm waters they're a good idea!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The cruise operator is signed up to IAATO.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Outstanding 10/10

Reviewed on 05 Feb 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Landing on the Antarctic peninsula - our seventh continent!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared for rough seas but it is all so worth it!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


As there are no local people in Antarctica this was difficult but we did take great care to protect this amazing environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Definitely ten out of ten! Wonderfully organised! An amazing experience! We learnt so much!

Reviewed on 06 Dec 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The whole trip to Antarctica on the Plancius Basecamp Expedition was incredible! While difficult to pick one favorite moment, two do stand out: First, we
were unable to make it to Lackroy Post Office due to high amounts of sea ice (which was pretty cool to experience) so we changed plans and on our journey
a pack of Killer Whales came swimming around the boat hunting seals! It was amazing, and an experience we would not have had if we would have made it
to the post office. The second was sea kayaking around Danco Island. The water was still, there were iceberg all over the place which we paddled through,
and penguins were jumping out of the water all around us. The landscape was stunning, and I will never forget this activity.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Participate in every activity, including the Polar Plunge! You do not need to pack as much clothes as you think you do. With proper gear you will be
comfortable at all times... this goes for all trips : ) Bring proper technical boots that you can attach crampons to if you want to go ice climbing. Don't buy the
internet on the ship; rather, enjoy time making friends, eating great food, and enjoying being in Antarctica!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, without question. One of the expedition leaders was from Ushuaia, the city benefits much from the increased tourism, and during the entire trip we were
educated on the importance on leaving a limited impact on Antarctica during our trip there. The expedition team was very passionate about respecting the
environmental rules and regulations during the trip, and our impact was low.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


This was the best trip of my life. I would go back in a heartbeat.

Reviewed on 16 Feb 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Landing on Elephant Island and standing on the exact spot from where Shackleton launched the James Caird.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


1. Before you leave do your homework and learn as much about the history and wildlife of this area as you can.
2. Make sure you take a spare camera. My husband dropped and broke his on Day 1 of this 19 day cruise.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. The South Georgia Heritage Trust (South Georgia Habitat Restoration)benefited directly from passenger donations and fund raising efforts. Oceanwide Expeditions is full member of IAATO and AECO organisations dedicated to managing respectable environmentally friendly travel to the Antarctic.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Simply perfect. Organised by the vacation provider, our travel arrangements - flights, transfers and hotels - worked like clockwork. The expedition leaders were very experienced and knowledgeable and the hotel staff on board Plancius were fantastic.

Reviewed on 30 Nov 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Kayaking around icebergs in Antarctica

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Allow time for stopovers when traveling from UK

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Absolutely

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent

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