The Best Expedition Cruises in Antarctica

Antarctica | 4 mins read | Diana Neculai

The Best Expedition Cruises in Antarctica
Choosing the right expedition cruise to Antarctica is not a regular travel task. There are many companies offering different experiences and itineraries, at different bugdets. It took us over 2 months to research and choose the right cruise for us.

Visiting Antarctica is an experience unlike any other. The awe-inspiring landscapes, vast icebergs, and abundant wildlife create a surreal atmosphere that leaves travelers in awe. However, embarking on an Antarctic journey is no small feat, both in terms of logistics and cost. It is undeniably an expensive destination and the cost of cruise, gear, and flights adding up quickly.

To make the most of this unique adventure, thorough research is crucial. It’s important to carefully check all the expedition offers and choose the one that suits you better. The time you get there is also super important and might affect a lot what you can. If you go in Antarctica at the start of the season, there might be too much ice and it might be hard for the boats to reach shore. Though, going early is an extraordinary chance to see the great penguin migration.

Before going in Antarctica, we researched over 2 months before setting to a specific cruise. Below is the list with the top companies that we researched:

  • Antarctica Adventure Cruises
  • Luxury Antarctica Expedition Cruises
  • Bugdet-friendly Antarctica Cruising Companies

Antarctica Adventure Cruises 

  1. Quark Expeditions: Quark specializes in polar adventures and offers a wide range of activities such as kayaking, camping, mountaineering, and even polar diving, in addition to traditional shore excursions.
  2. G Adventures: G Adventures offers small-ship expeditions with an emphasis on adventure activities like sea kayaking and camping on the Antarctic continent.
  3. Oceanwide Expeditions: Oceanwide focuses on polar regions and offers activities like kayaking and camping alongside expert-led shore excursions.
  4. Polar Latitudes: This company offers intimate and active expeditions in Antarctica, with options for sea kayaking and mountaineering.
  5. Aurora Expeditions: Aurora is known for its adventurous itineraries and offers activities like mountaineering, skiing, snowshoeing, and diving (for certified divers) in addition to Zodiac cruises.
  6. Hurtigruten: While not exclusively focused on Antarctica, Hurtigruten provides expedition cruises with active excursions in the region.
  7. Lindblad Expeditions: In partnership with National Geographic, Lindblad offers educational and adventurous voyages with opportunities for kayaking and Zodiac cruising in Antarctica.
  8. Adventure Canada: Adventure Canada operates small-ship expeditions to Antarctica, providing a focus on wildlife encounters and active exploration.

Luxury Antarctica Expedition Cruises

  1. Silversea Expeditions: Silversea is renowned for its luxurious small-ship expeditions to Antarctica, offering all-suite accommodations and personalized service.
  2. Ponant: Ponant specializes in luxury polar expeditions and operates modern, eco-friendly ships with comfortable amenities and a focus on sustainability.
  3. Seabourn: While not solely focused on Antarctica, Seabourn offers ultra-luxury cruises that occasionally include Antarctica in their itineraries.
  4. Crystal Cruises: Crystal Cruises provides all-inclusive luxury experiences, and they offer occasional Antarctic cruises as part of their expedition itineraries.
  5. Abercrombie & Kent: A&K is known for its high-end expeditions, and their Antarctic cruises offer luxurious accommodations and top-notch expedition teams.
  6. Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours: Scenic offers 6-star, all-inclusive luxury cruises that sometimes include Antarctica in their itineraries.
  7. National Geographic Expeditions: In partnership with Lindblad Expeditions, National Geographic offers educational and high-quality Antarctic expeditions.
  8. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises: Hapag-Lloyd’s luxury ships provide top-tier amenities and expedition experiences in Antarctica.

Bugdet-friendly Antarctica Cruising Companies

  1. Oceanwide Expeditions: Oceanwide offers a range of cruises to Antarctica, and some of their shorter itineraries or those on less luxurious ships may be relatively more affordable.
  2. G Adventures: G Adventures is known for its small-ship cruises with a focus on adventure travel, and they offer some budget-friendly options for Antarctica.
  3. Hurtigruten: Hurtigruten operates expedition cruises to Antarctica, and while they also offer luxury cruises, some of their less luxurious ships may provide more affordable options.
  4. Quark Expeditions: Quark offers a variety of expeditions to Antarctica, and their shorter trips or those on older ships might be more budget-friendly.
  5. Freestyle Adventure Travel: This company offers more flexible and customizable options for exploring Antarctica, which can help manage costs.
  6. Polar Quest: Polar Quest is known for its polar expeditions, and they may have some more affordable options for exploring Antarctica.

After carrefully researching, we decided to go with Silversea Expeditions. They have a great reputation and they were the only company that offered a 2-week cruise to Antarctica in 2021 when it was still super difficult to reach the white continent becuase of the restrictions. We wanted to spend as much time as possible in Antarctica, while being on a small ship and also have part of some great adventure so we decided to go with them.

Some helpful articles about cruising to Antarctica:

What to Pack for an Expedition in Antarctica
Very few people on this planet have stepped on Antarctica and you are about to be one of them. Do you know what to pack?
What to Pack for an Expedition in Antarctica
What You Need To Know About Kayaking in Antarctica
Kayaking in Antarctica is a unique experience that you will always look back to with bewilderment. Even after being there and doing that, it still feels surreal to kayak in Antarctica.
What You Need To Know About Kayaking in Antarctica
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