antarctica from australia

Discover The Most Popular Antarctica itineraries


With hundreds of Antarctic voyages departing every season, how do you know just which one is right for you?

There are many factors that play into the decision, so it’s a good idea to first consider a few things. What experiences are most important to you? This could vary from whales being a must see or vast untouched snow covered landscapes. How long do you have to travel? This could mean the difference between cruising down or flying down and how long you want to spend in what areas of the Antarctic. What kind of budget you have? Prices vary throughout the season, which could be a deciding factor on the trip.

Below we have covered 7 of the most popular itineraries, from the Antarctic Peninsula to South Georgia Island and the Deep South with Ross Sea and Commonwealth Bay.


Zodiac cruising in Antarctic Peninsula.

  • Duration: 9-12 days
  • Departure Dates: November – March
  • Prices from: AUD$7,000* per person Quad / Triple berth
  • Prices from: AUD$9,000* per person Twin berth
  • Departing from: Ushuaia, Argentina

antarctic cruise mapAffectionately known as the ‘Classic Antarctica’ itinerary, these voyages spend around 4-6 days exploring Antarctica and the South Shetland Islands. This classic route travels down the western coastline of the most popular destination, the Antarctic Peninsula. The peninsula stretched 1300km towards South America and is the warmest place in Antarctica. These above average temperatures make it the place of choice for many animals that breed in the Antarctic. With its wild landscapes, rugged mountains and abundant breeding grounds, it’s the Antarctic travellers must see destination. You will then travel further south and onto Deception Island, which is part of the South Shetland Islands archipelago and also an active volcano! The caldera of the volcano is open into the ocean allowing ships to sail into the mouth of the actual volcano and experience the amazing microclimates created by the heat from the volcano. Temperatures in the water can reach up to 70deg, making it possible to swim at the black sandy beaches. The South Shetland Islands are also home to the Lemaire Channel and numerous research bases.  The Lemaire Channel is one of the top tourist attractions of the Antarctic and is so photogenic, it’s been dubbed ‘Kodak Gap’. This 11km long channel is surrounded by steep cliffs and filled with icebergs. At the end of the channel you can see two tall and often snow capped peaks at Cape Renard. If you are traveling with children, these voyages are usually the most accommodating.

Search: Classic Antarctica Voyages


Porpoising penguins. Photo Amanda Till

  • Duration: 12-15 days
  • Departure dates: December – March
  • Prices from: AUD$11,000* per person Quad / Triple berth
  • Prices from: AUD$12,000* per person Twin berth
  • Departing from: Ushuaia, Argentina & Punta Arenas, Chile

antarctic circle cruise map

For those wanting to delve further south into the Antarctic Circle, or are just wanting more time to explore this remote wonder, then the Antarctic Circle voyage is the perfect choice. Covering all of the above sights, you will then continue further south along the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula through narrow ice filled channels. As you continue south, land based wildlife numbers decrease, however this where the whale and orca viewing comes to life. The cold waters are home to spectacular displays of breeching and if you are lucky, close and personal encounters.

These trips start in December but are at their peak during February and March, after warmer weather allows the ice sheets to break apart and when whales become more abundant. Typically you will spend 6-9 days exploring Antarctica and the South Shetland Islands.

Search: Antarctic Circle Voyages


Zodiac cruise, Antarctic cruise passengers

Antarctic tourists cruise close by a huge tabular iceberg in the Weddell Sea. Photo Amanda Till

  • Duration: 12-15 days
  • Departure dates: December – March
  • Prices from: AUD$11,000* per person Quad / Triple berth
  • Prices from: AUD$13,000* per person Twin berth
  • Departing from: Ushuaia, Argentina & Punta Arenas, Chile

antarctica weddell sea cruise mapOne of our favourite itineraries but often overlooked, is the Weddell Sea Itinerary. The Weddell Sea stretches along the Eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula and is home to giant glaciers and icebergs. It is here in the Weddell Sea that most of the Antarctic Peninsula’s icebergs calve from giant ice sheets and drift through the Antarctic Sounds and around the western coastline. It is here that you will experience glaciers and tabular iceberg of immense proportion, and if you are lucky, you may even spy and emperor penguin from Snow Hill Island. The Weddell Sea is also about experiencing the grandeur of Antarctic geology. Not only will you experience walls of ice, but walls or rock that date back 200 million years and tell a story about their sedimentary origins before they formed the mountains of the Peninsula. The Weddell Sea Itinerary will almost always explore both the West and eastern coastlines of the Peninsula, which provides a diverse Antarctic experience, seeing both the wildlife of the West, and the glacial and geological grandeur of the East.

Search: Weddell Sea Voyages


Antarctica passengers arrive to King George Island by Charter flight

Antarctica passengers arrive at King George Island by Charter flight.

  • Duration: 12-15 days
  • Departure dates: December – March
  • Prices from: AUD$11,000* per person Quad / Triple berth
  • Prices from: AUD$13,000* per person Twin berth
  • Departing from: Ushuaia, Argentina & Punta Arenas, Chile

antarctica fly cruise map

You may of head about the Drake Passage, the treacherous stretch of water between South America and Antarctica, notorious for high winds and big seas. For many, this can be a daunting experience and for others, it’s time consuming. If you are nervous about crossing the passage or are just short on time, then the Fly/Cruise voyages will be the ticket for you. Our Fly/Cruise voyages have 2 distinct itinerary options available:

1. Fly both ways across the Drake Passage.

2. Fly one way and sail the other.

 Flying both ways across the Drake Passage can save time and stress, however it will restrict where you can travel, as the only possibility is to begin and end you adventure at King George Island airport, located in the South Shetland Islands. This restricts travel to up and down the Antarctic Peninsula, although you do replace the 3-4 days at sea with a quick 2hour flight. Fly/Cruise Itineraries are a little more expensive due to the charter flight, however are the choice for the time poor. Due to weather restrictions on the airport, ‘fly both way’ voyages are only able to operate from November through to March.

 Voyages that fly one way and cruise the other have much more flexibility in their itineraries. They will have the option to explore the Weddell Sea, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. They also have the option to use the airport on the Falkland Islands, giving a longer window of operation from October through to March. If you want to experience a little bit of everything, including seeing the Drake Passage from air and sea, this it the itinerary for you.

Search: Fly / Cruise Antarctica Voyages


Seal among king penguins on South Georgia Island

Lone seal among King penguin rookery. Photo David Mannix

  • Duration: 18-24 days
  • Departure dates: October – March
  • Shoulder Season: (Oct)
    • Prices from: AUD$12,000* per person Quad / Triple berth
    • Prices from: AUD$13,000* per person Twin berth
  • Peak Season (Dec-Jan)
    • Prices from: AUD$17,999* per person Quad / Triple berth
    • Prices from: AUD$22,999* per person Twin berth
  • Departing from: Buenos Aires, Puerto Madryn, Ushuaia; Argentina, Montevideo; Uruguay & Punta Arenas; Chile

south georgia antarctica cruise map

If everything sounds amazing and you can’t decide, then our extended, all-encompassing itineraries could be for you. You will experience the history and tribulations that surround the Falkland Islands, wildlife on a grand scale in South Georgia and be in awe of the pristine landscapes of the Antarctic Peninsula. The truly great thing about these voyages is that throughout the entire season they will tick almost every box. Wildlife is always in abundance, as South Georgia is further north and outside the Antarctic Convergence. The warmer temperatures mean penguin chicks hatch much earlier and wildlife is non-migratory. From October right through to March, South Georgia is thriving with life.

 These voyages usually spend around 4 full days in the Antarctic Peninsula, 3-4 days around South Georgia and 1-2 days at the Falkland Islands. Traditional cruise and Fly/Cruise options are available for these itineraries.

 If this voyage is a dream of yours and you don’t think you have the budget, we would suggest looking at some of our options in October, as these voyages offer exceptional value.

Search: Falkland Is, South Georgia & Antarctica Voyages


Resting seals on South Georgia. Photo Amanda Till

  • Duration: 10-15 days
  • Departure Dates: November – March
  • Prices from: AUD$15,000* per person Quad / Triple berth
  • Prices from: AUD$16,000* per person Twin berth
  • Departing from: Punta Arenas, Chile / Stanley, Falkland Is

south georgia cruise mapSouth Georgia is famous for its unique and abundant wildlife, known as the best place in the Antarctic to view wildlife. The uniquely warm weather attracts a whole host of birds, seals and penguins that chose to make South Georgia their home. Here you can lay witness to the world’s largest seal, the elephant seal, exhibiting his brutish display to defend his haram or get up close and personal with the Macaroni Penguin, famous for their incredible feathered headwear or lay witness to an albatross taking flight above your head. The locals on South Georgia are far from shy and love to interact with you every chance they get.

 Not only is South Georgia teeming with life, but history as well. First sighted in 1675 by a London Merchant, Anthony de la Roché, it was originally called Roché Island. Later renamed, they begun commercial whaling on the Island in 1786. Relics from the days of seal and whale hunting can still be seen across the island, from huts to graves, iron try pots to inscriptions and even some shipwrecks. The Island even played a part in the Falkland War, with claims being fought between the Argentinians and the British.

 Most of our options for the South Georgia in-depth voyages depart from Punta Arenas, Chile on a charter flight to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. From Stanley, it is between 1-2 days sailing to reach South Georgia before you will be immersed in a world teeming with wildlife and history. These voyages are ideal for nature lovers, photographers, historians and geologists alike or even those who travelled to the Antarctic Peninsula previously but missed out on South Georgia. These in-depth voyages spend considerably more time exploring the island, often allowing 8 to 10 days of exploration and even circumnavigating the island. In-depth South Georgia voyages operate in November and March and are limited to two departures for the entire season so be sure to enquire early.

Search: South Georgia in-depth Voyages


Antarctic cruise tourists, mawson's hut

Antarctic tourists exploring Mawson’s Hut at Cape Denison. Photo David Mannix

  • Duration: 25 – 35 days
  • Departure Dates: January – February
  • Commonwealth Bay & Mawson’s Hut
    • Prices from: AUD$27,000* per person Triple berth 
    • Prices from: AUD$29,000* per person Twin berth 
  • The Ross Sea
    • Prices from: AUD$36,000* per person Triple berth 
    • Prices from: AUD$8,500* per person Twin berth 
  • Departing from: Bluff, New Zealand & Hobart, Australia

COMMONWEALTH BAY: Cape Denison lies at the very head of Commonwealth Bay and is the site of Sir Douglas Mawson’s hut from the historic 1911-1913 expedition, a well-preserved time capsule from a great era of exploration. This is one of the most exclusive places on earth – more people have stood at the top of Mt Everest than have stood inside this historic hut. You will also visit Port Martin, the site of 100-grounded icebergs, allowing you to get up close and view these spectacular sculptures. Here is the French, Dumont d’Urville base, renowned for its rich local wildlife and home to an Emperor Penguin and Adelie penguin colonies. This region is one of the richest areas for seabirds and support colonies of Snow Petrels, Antarctic Petrels, Wilsons Storm Petrels, Cape Petrels, Southern Giant Petrels, Antarctic Fulmars and Skuas. Voyages to Commonwealth Bay depart in mid-December and mid-January due to sea ice baring the way. We recommend travelling on the January voyage where possible, to give yourself the best chances of making it to Cape Denison and experiencing Mawson’s Hut.

THE ROSS SEA: Our Ross Sea voyages take you to the very heart of Antarctica, one of the most remote, untouched regions on our planet. Travelling a sea route that takes you into the far south, navigating sea-ice rich with wildlife including the elusive Emperor penguin, seabirds, seals and whales. History abounds – the Ross Sea is home to historic huts left by heroic polar explorers Scott and Shackleton. Shackleton led three British expeditions to the Antarctic and made multiple attempts on the South Pole, while members of his team climbed Mt Erebus 3794m, the most active volcano in the Antarctic. The view of Mount Erebrus dominates Ross Island and is set against the dramatic backdrop of the Ross Ice Shelf. This region is also home to the mysterious Dry Valleys, one of the most extreme deserts of the world. A stark contrast to the ice and snow landscapes that surround them, these valleys have baffled scientists for centuries with their snowless barren landscapes. But don’t be fooled, against all odds, these valleys are still teeming with life. Voyages to the Ross Sea depart in January and February. As these voyages travel so far south and into regions covered in sea ice, it simply is not possible for them to leave any earlier.

Search: Ross Sea & Commonwealth Bay Voyages


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*Pricing in this document is shown in Australian dollars for ease of comparison and are per person rates. The particular voyage you may consider may be priced in USD$ so please do consider this and will be converted at the time of quoting. Due to exchange rates the pricing contained here is a guide only.