Waterproof Cruises

Antarctica

A beautiful mysterious place, enticing explorers, adventurers and dreamers over decades. Remote, inhospitable, encircled by pack ice, huge tabular icebergs and covered with an ice sheet miles deep.

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Antarctica Expeditions and Cruises

Waterproof Cruises & Expeditions has been an expert in expedition cruises to Antarctica for over 10 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? On board a comfortable small expedition ship or during an exclusive expedition on land.

Cruising Antarctica

We 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.

IAATO - Antarctic Ambassadors

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.

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.

Subantarctic Islands

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. 

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.