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Destination

Antarctica

The last vast wilderness on earth

Antarctica is a destination close to our heart. We have been organising breathtaking expeditions to this polar realm for over 20 years, offering a full concept of exploration, above and below the ocean. 

Expedition Cruises Antarctica

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? During an expedition cruise on to the Antarctic Peninsula, or an exclusive land-based expedition to the interior of the Antarctic continent. 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 – International Association of Antarctic Touroperators

Waterproof Expeditions is a Member of the International Association of Antarctic Touroperators. IAATO members work together to promote and practice safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to Antarctica. Numerous guidelines have been adopted over the last 25 years that have proven to be successful in avoiding such impacts. Waterproof Expeditions takes great pride of educating passengers on wilderness etiquette and visitor guidelines.

Read more about IAATO

Wildlife Antarctica

When visiting Antarctica on an expedition cruise, you’re likely to encounter several species of penguin, seals, whales and lots of sea birds. Especially during the height of summer, many polar animals will be breeding and raising their young. Antarctica’s nutrient-rich Southern Ocean is a critical feeding ground for many species. From late November to early March, the sunlight promotes the growth of phytoplankton, which forms the base of the marine food chain. This abundance of phytoplankton attracts krill, small shrimp-like crustaceans, an important food source for various whale species, penguins and seals.

Overall, the summer months provide optimal conditions for wildlife in Antarctica, offering abundant food, suitable temperatures, and extended daylight hours for feeding, breeding, and other essential activities in their life cycles. This seasonal migration is a key aspect of the ecological dynamics in the Southern Ocean and contributes to the biodiversity and balance of the Antarctic marine ecosystem.

Impression

Our trips to Antarctica

Kayaking Antarctica

Antarctica Activity Expedition

Including all activities

Travel duration: 13 days
Date: 01 Nov - 13 Nov 2024
Ship: Hondius
Passengers: 170 passengers

From € 8150 per person

Classic Antarctica Expedition Cruise

Only 88 passengers on board!

Travel duration: 11 days
Date: 12 Nov - 22 Nov 2024
Ship: Ushuaia
Passengers: 88 passengers

From $ 6370 per person
Special Offer

Classic Antarctica Expedition Cruise

Optional diving & snorkeling activities

Travel duration: 12 days
Date: 22 Nov - 03 Dec 2024
Ship: Sylvia Earle
Passengers: 132 passengers

From $ 14395 per person

Emperor Penguins Expedition

Camp on the sea ice with Emperor Penguins

Travel duration: 9 days
Date: 26 Nov - 04 Dec 2024
Ship: n/a
Passengers: 70 passengers

From $ 60900 per person

Classic Antarctica Expedition Cruise

Including free navigational workshop

Travel duration: 11 days
Date: 30 Nov - 10 Dec 2024
Ship: Ortelius
Passengers: 108 passengers

From € 7300 per person
Kayaking Antarctica

Antarctica Activity Expedition

Including all activities

Travel duration: 13 days
Date: 05 Dec - 17 Dec 2024
Ship: Hondius
Passengers: 170 passengers

From € 8400 per person

Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica Expedition Cruise

A chance to see up to 6 penguin species!

Travel duration: 20 days
Date: 06 Dec - 25 Dec 2024
Ship: Plancius
Passengers: 108 passengers

From € 12550 per person

Antarctica Fly & Cruise

Fly across the notorious Drake Passage

Travel duration: 8 days
Date: 06 Dec - 13 Dec 2024
Ship: Magellan Explorer
Passengers: 76 passengers

From $ 15995 per person

Classic Antarctica Expedition Cruise

Only 88 passengers on board!

Travel duration: 11 days
Date: 10 Dec - 20 Dec 2024
Ship: Ushuaia
Passengers: 88 passengers

From $ 6370 per person

Antarctica Fly & Cruise

Fly across the notorious Drake Passage

Travel duration: 8 days
Date: 16 Dec - 23 Dec 2024
Ship: Magellan Explorer
Passengers: 76 passengers

From $ 15995 per person
Special Offer

Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctica Expedition Cruise

A chance to see up to 6 penguin species!

Travel duration: 21 days
Date: 18 Dec - 07 Jan 2025
Ship: Greg Mortimer
Passengers: 132 passengers

From $ 29595 per person

Classic Antarctica Expedition Cruise

Only 88 passengers on board!

Travel duration: 10 days
Date: 20 Dec - 29 Dec 2024
Ship: Ushuaia
Passengers: 88 passengers

From $ 7210 per person

FAQ

The most common way to reach Antarctica is on board an expedition cruise departing from South American ports, such as Ushuaia in Argentina or Punta Arenas in Chile. Some cruises also depart from New Zealand or Australia.

The sea crossing to Antarctica can take around two days or longer, depending on the departure point, ship, route, and weather conditions. Voyages usually visit the Antarctic Peninsula and nearby islands.

Another option is to book a ‘Fly & Cruise’ expedition. This travel option  combines a flight to Antarctica with a cruise to explore the region. This approach is designed to reduce the time spent crossing the often challenging Drake Passage by sea, allowing visitors to fly directly to the Antarctic Peninsula and then join a cruise to explore the surrounding areas. This option provides a more time-efficient way to experience Antarctica, making it particularly appealing for those who may be concerned about the potential challenges and sea conditions of the Drake Passage.

The time it takes to reach Antarctica depends on several factors. Here are some general guidelines:

From South America (e.g., Punta Arenas, Chile):

  • By Sea: The most common way to reach Antarctica from South America is by ship. Expedition cruises from South America to Antarctica typically take about 2 days, depending on the specific route and conditions.
  • By Air: Another way to reach Antarctica from South America is by taking a flight from Punta Arenas, Chile, to King George Island on the peninsula. The flight itself takes about 3 to 4 hours.

From Australia or New Zealand:

  • By Sea: Some expeditions depart from Australia or New Zealand and involve longer sea voyages to reach different parts of Antarctica. These can take several days or even longer.
  • By Air: Flights from Australia or New Zealand to Antarctica are less common but can be arranged for specific research or logistical purposes. These flights may take around 5 to 6 hours.

Keep in mind that travel to Antarctica is subject to weather and ice conditions, and schedules may be adjusted accordingly.

Antarctica experiences its summer season from November to March. The Antarctic Peninsula, the part often visited during expedition cruises, is the mildest region of the continent. Summer temperatures typically range from about -2°C (28°F) to 8°C (46°F). These temperatures are relatively mild” compared to the interior of Antarctica.

It’s important to keep in mind that these temperature ranges are averages, and daily fluctuations can occur. Additionally, Antarctica is known for its strong and unpredictable winds, which can significantly affect the perceived temperature, leading to wind chill.

While summer temperatures are the most moderate along the Antarctic Peninsula, visitors should still be well-prepared for harsh conditions. Insulating base layers and windproof outerwear are essential for staying warm in the cold and windy environment, especially during zodiac cruises.

If you’re visiting Antarctica on an expedition cruise, you’re likely to encounter several of these penguin species, especially during the height of summer when they come ashore to breed and raise their chicks.

Adélie Penguin – One of the most widespread and abundant penguin species in Antarctica.

Gentoo Penguin – They breed on several sub-Antarctic islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Chinstrap Penguin – They nest in colonies on various Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands.

Macaroni Penguin – Their primary breeding range is sub-Antarctic islands, some colonies can be found on the Antarctic Peninsula.

King Penguin – Can be found in large numbers on sub-Antarctic islands such as South Georgia and the Falklands

Emperor Penguin – The largest penguin species, they can only be found on the sea ice and are not often spotted.

Several species of whales are known to visit the waters around Antarctica. During the austral summer,  they migrate to the region to feed. Whale-watching is a popular activity during expeditions to Antarctica, and it provides an opportunity to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Keep in mind that encounters can vary depending on the location and dates of your travel.

  • Humpback Whale
  • Minke Whale
  • Southern Right Whale
  • Blue Whale
  • Fin Whale
  • Killer Whale
  • Sei Whale
  • Sperm Whale

The best time to visit Antarctica largely depends on your interests and what you want to experience while there. Read our blog to find out what might be the best time for you to visit Antarctica.