Be prepared to be dazzled. The abundance of wildlife here is truly extraordinary including five seal species, massive penguin rookeries of Gentoo, Adélies and Chinstraps.
Antarctica Expeditions and Cruises
Waterproof Cruises & Expeditions has been an expert in expedition cruises to Antarctica for almost 20 years. We challenge the obstacles of this remote destination and introduce explorers to a full concept of its unique environment, above and below the ocean. Antarctica remains the last vast wilderness on earth, a continent encircled by pack ice and huge tabular icebergs. The best way to encompass all this beauty? Take a cruise on board a comfortable small expedition ship or join an exclusive expedition on land.
Cruising AntarcticaWe offer many different expedition cruises to Antarctica. Most voyages visit the Antarctic Peninsula during which some even cross the Antarctic Circle. More extensive expedition cruises also include the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, a wonderful addition to your Antarctic adventure! For the ultimate polar experience you can choose expedition activities like kayaking, camping, polar diving and snorkeling. We pioneered Polar Diving since the nineties and were the first to offer Polar snorkeling together with our partner Waterproof International Sweden. For us, this is still the most incredible way to explore Antarctica. Our experts are happy to help you find the perfect Antarctica cruise for you.
An expedition cruise for adventurers looking for the ultimate polar dive experience or incredible snorkeling activity.
Camp on the sea ice where thousands of Emperor Penguins come to raise and feed their young. One of the most unique wildlife experiences on earth!
Stand at the bottom of the earth! The elusive place where every direction you look is north and the sun only rises and sets once a year.
Join our exclusive small group expedition to uncover the natural wonders of Antarctica and wildlife of South Georgia.
Explore the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula. A dream come true for wildlife enthusiasts. During this voyage you will be able to see up to six penguin species.
The combination of the Sub Antarctic Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula makes this voyage an expedition full of exciting highlights.
Experience the challenges faced by early explorers as you ski to the Geographic South Pole.
This unique Antarctica Cruise includes all adventurous activities. From the ship you will go out to explore the surroundings.
Enjoy the combination of the Falkland Islands and Antarctica and see 200 birds species, whales, seals and penguins!
Fly over the notorious Drake Passage to King George Island where you board your ship and start your expedition cruise. The most comfortable way to explore Antarctica!
A half-circumnavigation of the Antarctic, an unprecedented voyage into the heart of this icy continent full of extremes.
Go on a cruise to one of the most remarkable places in the world in the sea near Antarctica. See beautiful animal species like emperor penguins, humpbacks, gentoo penguins and Weddell seals which will amaze you.
Venture further into the unknown than other expedition cruises on this unique icebreaker cruise! Sail through the Antarctic Sound to find the magnificent Larsen Ice Shelf, stretching along the eastern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula into the Weddel Sea.
Travelling south at the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Also known as the last sea, the Ross Sea is an extremely remote destination. Hard to reach due to impenetrable pack ice, the Ross Sea can only be visited during the two short summer months.
Nature & Wildlife in Antarctica
When is the best time to visit Antarctica?
For many, the most appealing aspect of cruising Antarctica is to see its wildlife. Although there are only a few native species, those that have adapted to the harsh environment thrive in large numbers. From November untill April it's spring and summer in Antarctica, which is the season to explore this unique place on an expedition cruise. Early in the season, wildlife begins to return to the shores of Antarctica, and thousands of penguins start breeding on the ice-free patches of beach. At this time we often spot minke and humpback whales, as well as crabeater and leopard seals that lay in the sun on the ice floes. By mid-summer you can enjoy 24 hours of daylight this far south. Penguin chicks have hatched and start exploring their surroundings. Seals patrol the shores in search for pray, and also orca's can be spotted hunting for food. By late summer the adult penguins head for the sea, leaving their young ones behind to survive by themselves. Elephant seals and fur seals pass along on their way north, and many whales can be spotted as they feed themselves before heading to warmer waters.
South Georgia & the Falklands
The Sub-Antarctic islands are a great addition to your trip to the South Pole. The climate is slightly warmer than in Antarctica, making the nature and landscape completely different. Wildlife is abundant in the sub-antarctic and each of the islands has its own surprises! The island of South Georgia is home to more than a million king penguins, a species not found on the Antarctic continent. On the beaches of South Georgia you will find not only penguins, enormous elephant seals also come here to raise their young.
The Falkland Islands are a great destination for birdwatchers and photographers. Besides 5 different species of penguins, you will almost certainly spot albatrosses and many endemic bird species there.
If you have the time and budget, it's definitely worth spening it on an expedition cruise that includes the Falklands and South Georgia.
As a member of the International Association of Antarctica Touroperators, Waterproof Cruises & Expeditions supports the practice of safe and environmentally responsible travel to the Antarctic. IAATO members work together to ensure Antarctic tourism is a sustainable, safe activity that causes no more than a minor or transitory impact on the environment and creates a corps of ambassadors for the continued protection of Antarctica.
Antarctic Expedition Cruises FAQ
Expedition cruises to Antarctica take place during the summer season from end of October to early April. Depending on what your preferences are you can descide on when is the best time to travel for you personally. Early in the season, Antarctica is still covered in snow and you'll encounter pristine landing sites. Later on, large patches of snow will have dissappeared and penguins will have left their 'mark' on the beaches. In mid-summer, December-January, you can enjoy almost 24 hours of sunlight. This gives you the opportunity to enjoy every second of you voyage and the weather is usually at its best. However, this is considered 'high season' meaning the prices of the expedition crusies are higher. The end of the season probably has the biggest wildlife-watching advantages.
During the summer season, when Antarctic expedition cruises take place, the temperatures at the Antarctic Peninsula are usually just around freezing. Not as cold as you might expect! However the weather can change quickly and it's important to bring edequate clothing to keep you warm under all circumstances. You can find our ultimate polar packing list here »
If you are attempting a more extreme expedition to Antarctica's interior, you can expect much lower temperatures and will need extensive preperation before you go.
There are various ways to reach the Antarctic continent. Most visitors travel on board a ship that departs from Ushuaia in the South of Argentina and reach Antarctica in 2 days. Once there, you will explore the coast and visit different landing sites. You can also choose to fly from Punta Arenas (Chile) to Antarctica, which only takes around 2 hours, and get on board an expedition cruise ship there.
Another option is to depart from Australia or New Zealand on an expedition cruise to East Antarctica. These voyages are longer as it takes almost a week to reach the continent. The reward after this long sea crossing is that you get the explore one of the least visited and most pristine parts of the Antarctic coast.
Or you can opt for a land based expedition during which you stay at a basecamp on the continent and explore from there.
The landing sites and route of your trip depend largely on which expedition you will choose. Most expedition cruises visit various highlights along the Antarctic Peninsula. For example, places where a large penguin rookery is known to breed, locations with historic remains or even Antarctic research stations. If the weather and ice conditions are good you will make a landing or go for a zodiac cruise along the coast to explore and spot animals from the water. Under normal circumstances you will visit two locations per day.
Discover more stories about expedition cruises to Antarctica on our blog:
A day on an expedition cruise in Antarctica
The ultimate expedition cruise packing list
Why you should consider an Antarctica Air Cruise
Polar Diving: The extraordinary underwater life of Antarctica
Underwaterphotography in the Polar Regions by Göran Ehlmé
More about our Expedition Cruises to Antarctica
Expert advise on Cold Water Diving in Antarctica and the Arctic.
Learn more about Polar Snorkeling for a great experience above and below the surface!
Discounts and special offers for expdetion cruises to Antarctica.
IAATO and Antarctica
We help protect Antarctica by promoting and supporting safe and responsible travel.
Small Ship Cruising
Travel on board a small cruise ship and get to the most unique and remote places on earth.
Private Charter Yachts
A private trip for the ultimate freedom. Fancy a private sailing yacht or a sturdy expedition yacht? All inclusive for your dream holiday!
Expedition Ships sailing in Antarctica
Plancius - 108 pax
Our voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are and will still be primarily defined by an exploratory educational travel programme, spending as much time ashore as possible.
Roald Amundsen - 500 pax
The state of the art vessel, MS Roald Amundsen, features new and environmentally sustainable hybrid technology that will reduce fuel consumption and show the world that hybrid propulsion on large ships is possible.
MV Janssonius - 170 pax
MV Janssonius is one of the most environmentally friendly vessels in the polar regions that offers you great encounter in the Arctic and Antarctica.
Ocean Atlantic - 198 pax
Ocean Atlantic is one of the strongest ships operating in the polar regions. Perfect for expedition cruises into the remote corners of our blue planet.
Ocean Albatros - 169 pax
Built for the ultimate polar experience, with the luxury features of a modern cruise ship and the advantages of a small expedition vessel.
Sea Spirit - 114 pax
The Sea Spirit is highly maneuverable and capable of navigating the narrow fjords and entering the small bays.
Scenic Eclipse - 200 pax
Enjoy unrivalled 6-star luxury while exploring the most unique destinations on board Scenic Eclipse.
Hebridean Sky - 75 pax
With only 75 passengers Hebridean Sky is an ice-strengthened, small luxury expedition ship. Completely refitted in June 2016 she meets the highest standards of a luxury vessel suitable to cruise the Polar regions.
Hondius - 170 pax
Hondius is a newly built and elegantly designed expedition cruise ship that holds true to a distinctive cozy and informal atmosphere. Enjoy hotel comfort while experiencing that real expedition feeling.
Greg Mortimer - 132 pax
The first vessel to utilise state of the art naval design & technology to revolutionise the small ship expedition cruising experience.
Ocean Victory - 174 pax
This stylish expedition ship is one of the most modern small vessels in the polar regions.