Antarctica Cruises from Australia and New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand both act as cruise gateways to visit the incredible sights of East Antarctica. Here you will board your vessel and travel directly to one of this planets most remote and incredible locations.
 
Where: Hobart in Australia and Invercargill in New Zealand both host Antarctic cruise vessels heading south for the summer. A round trip cruise to this part of the world will take about 21 days all up, including 7 days crossing to Antarctica, stopping frequently to visit remote islands such as Macquarie, Snares, Auckland and Campbell.
 
What’s it like:  The cruise to East Antarctica alone is an extraordinary journey in itself. Visiting remote islands along the way offers the traveller an incredible opportunity to witness unique wildlife, history and geology. These islands were frequented and studied by Australia’s own Antarctic Ice man of the heroic age of exploration, Douglas Mawson, and continue to be studied by modern scientists today, many conservation projects have been undertaken here and, as such, some islands became the world leaders in their initiatives.   Reaching the continent of East Antarctica after a week of exploration is a sight to behold, huge ice shelves, vast seas and ice bergs greet travellers like a giant spectacle, a reward for taking the time to get there. Here you have the best chance of seeing the famed Emperor penguin and it is also the base for some of Antarctica’s most incredible historic moments, for it is here that explorers such as Scott, Shackleton, Amundsen and Mawson embarked on some of the most gruelling explorations in history. If weather conditions allow it is also the place to be to visit Douglas Mawson’s huts and indulge in Australia’s first true link to Antarctica.
 
Getting there: Using your local airlines in Australia should offer great connections through to both Hobart and/or Invercargill where you will meet the vessel for your Antarctic cruise adventure.
 
More information: there are fewer options to visit East Antarctica than there is on the Peninsula, but they are all incredible journeys click below to browse our favourite journeys.
 
If you’re interested in Antarctica cruises out of South America, please visit our main Antarctica Cruise page here
 
Still wondering? Contact us for a chat, we know it’s a big decision to visit the world’s last frontier, we’d rather talk you through the options, so don’t be shy, there are no obligations. 
 

" Antarctica is a special place and is unlike any other destination we have visited, we were not prepared for just how breathtaking the landscape is here. Antarctica is full of amazing wildlife including birds, whales, orcas, seals and penguins..." - Gavin & Gail

Read Reviews (Avg 4.9 ★)
 
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Featured Antarctica Cruises from Australia and New Zealand Trips & Deals

Book by 31 Jul

 Now is the time to tick Antarctica off your bucket list, for a limited period we are offering a number of fantastic specials on Antarctica cruises for the 2017/18 season. Don't miss out!

UNIQUE DEPARTURE  From 24,160

Join us on this exclusive, 26 day expedition to Commonwealth Bay, a remote location rarely visited by tourists, if conditions permit we may even visit Mawson's Huts. 

POPULAR  From 18,050

Cruise to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands on this Exclusive Chimu Adventures departure aboard the luxury Sea Spirit. 

Antarctica Cruises from Australia and New Zealand

25 NIGHTS From 24,160

Join us on this exclusive, 26 day expedition to Commonwealth Bay, a remote location rarely visited by tourists, if conditions permit we may even visit Mawson's Huts. 

34 NIGHTS From 33,570

Cruise to western Antarctica including the Ross Sea and Ross Ice Shelf. The famed location of Scott an Amundsen's race to the pole.

30 NIGHTS From 31,860

Explore like Scott and Shackleton and Scott did in the Heroic Age of Antarctica Exploration.

Articles On Antarctica Cruises from Australia and New Zealand

Explore the Ross Sea: The Last Pristine Marine Ecosystem Left Standing

Posted on Tue, 19 Jul 2016

The most coveted part of our oceans and a world teeming with invaluable marine wildlife, the Ross Sea is both the richest and most vulnerable ecosystem on earth. Explore the Ross Sea on an Antarctica cruise, and discover why this is considered to be the last pristine marine ecosystem left standing. With the menace of industrial fishing threatening its future, …

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Sir Douglas Mawson – The Legacy That Inspired a Nation

Posted on Tue, 12 Jan 2016

Edited by David Jensen Work is slow, tedious but steady over at Mawson’s Huts. After a wicked blizzard, the quad bikes are buried deep under inches of snow and so the job of unearthing the trusty steeds, and continuing the arduous tasks, begins in earnest just as soon as the sun peeks through the clouds.

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Chimu Adventures & The Mawson’s Huts Foundation: Helping Preserve Australia’s Antarctic Heritage

Posted on Fri, 25 Dec 2015

On the south-eastern tip of a land far, far away, stands an unassuming hut. With its pointy roof and well-worn wooden slats nailed in seemingly random directions, Mawson’s Huts looks like a million other Aussie sheds, seemingly put together as if by haste. If it were anywhere but Antarctica, you may not give it a second glance. But it is …

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Hobart – More than just a gateway

Posted on Wed, 07 Oct 2015

A journey down to East Antarctica may see you stopping by Hobart, Tasmania – Australia’s second oldest city (after Sydney). Travellers to Hobart will discover a small but vibrant harbour city, its history inextricably linked with Antarctica’s; a connection, the city is immensely proud of and that has seen many attractions developed for eager Antarctica enthusiasts (‘Antarctists’, perhaps?) Founded in …

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Antarctica Cruises – Leaving from Australia and New Zealand

Posted on Sun, 15 Mar 2015

Antarctica is a continent that is bursting with remarkable wildlife, awe-inspiring scenery and immense natural landscapes. Seeing it from the Australian side is an experience unlike any other.

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Antarctica Cruises from Australia and New Zealand Cruise Reviews

All Chimu Adventures' clients are given the opportunity to review their trip once they return home. These reviews are administered by a third party and as such are unfiltered by Chimu Adventures.

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pinktarctic paradise A big thank you for putting such an amazing group together. This trip was a life long ambition for me and it is a trip I will never forget. From our wonderful host, Greg to Alex our expedition leader, this trip was just incredible. Not only did I experience one of the world's last great wilderness' but our intimate encounters with wildlife is something I will treasure forever. I feel truly blessed. Chimu Adventures should be applauded for the wonderful work they do in Latin America with charities and this fundraising adventure testifies what an amazing company they are. I will have no hesitation to book with them again, and will be telling everyone I know the same!
Date published: 2015-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Images of Antarctica trip Just returned from an incredible trip to Antarctica onboard the MV Ushuaia. Wow. The trip to was impeccable from start to finish. We had some incredible landings, and saw any absolute abundance of wildlife. Our host, Craig Deuchar of Chimu was delightful, and went well put of his way to assist everyone aboard. A big well done to him. Despite one awful person on the trip - quote possibly one of the rudest, unlikeable people I have met who refused to embrace the experience and other passengers, we all had a wonderful trip. All in no small let due to Craig! Our onboard auction was wonderful too!
Date published: 2016-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best place we have ever been! Words cannot sum up how amazing this destination is. Everything ran impeccably, and the service aboard the MV Ushuaia was simply fantastic. Craig, our Chimu host was wonderful, and went out of his way to make sure everyone aboard had a great time. His service and interest in everyone was outstanding, and they way he dealt with one particularly nasty passenger aboard is to be commended. I would not hesitate to recommend Chimu Adventures to anyone. Thanks for an amazing trip. From Colombia, to Guatemala, Argentina, Chile and our Antarctica cruise - everything ran smoothly, and we commend you!
Date published: 2016-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Antarctica My trip on the MV Sea Spirit was everything I had hoped for and more. The expedition staff and hotel staff were flawless. The passengers well traveled and a great range of ages, I have made many lifelong friends on the trip! Of course, the bird life, marine life, mammals, penguins and landscapes are incredible. I am still unable to put into words how jaw droppingly beautiful and exciting it was to set foot on the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica. I would highly recommend a trip to the area to anyone with a sense of adventure and a love of animals and photography.
Date published: 2015-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Antarctic Peninsula - Each Day was a Feast Reflecting back, I was so glad Jason Dudson changed our ships. All gear for the snow and ice was included in the new one, so not having to hire gear and being able to make changes onboard ship was a relief. The friendliness of everyone on board made for a great trip. Photos & videos were shared and returned to us as a slide show before we disembarked. So many memories and I've barely touched the surface with the checking out of files.
Date published: 2016-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredibly beautiful place I had a very firm picture of what I expected Antarctica to be like, and it exceeded all my wildest dreams! What surprised me most was the variety, so many different weather conditions which helped make places just a few miles apart seem vastly different. We were also given such a variety of ways to experience Antarctica, through wildlife sighting, camping, zodiac rides, hiking, historical places, scientific seminars... never time to get bored, rarely even time to write a diary! The ship (Sea Adventurer) was comfortable and practical - the library and the bridge became 2 of my favourite places. The food on board was great quality and very plentiful and the staff were helpful and friendly across the board. I cannot recommend this highly enough!
Date published: 2015-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Adventure of a lifetime! We had an amazing experience on this trip; it was truly the adventure of a lifetime. Craig Deuchar from Chimu was super helpful and informative, both with our booking and throughout the trip, and the expedition staff were enthusiastic, professional, knowledgeable, and responsive to the Antarctic conditions and the needs of the passengers. It was so awesome making landings and getting up close to the icebergs, whales, penguins, and seals, and I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone who is considering a trip to Antarctica. It was worth every cent!
Date published: 2016-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Antactic. A once in a lifetime experience. All pickups and tours organised by Chimu were on time and well organised. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for LAN Airlines. Only 2 of our flights were on time. One flight was double booked, causing problems catching a connecting flight. On another occasion the aircraft needed to be unloaded and changed and this particular flight was the one taking us to Ushuaia to meet the boat. However the trip to the Antarctic made up for all LAN,s failings. The ships crew and expedition staff were extremely helpful, professional and very knowledgable and ensured safety of passengers at all times. Nothing was a problem. The scenery and wildlife can only be described a spectacular. It is impossible to take a bad photograph.
Date published: 2016-04-14
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Country Information

Geography: East and West Antarctica

Posted on Sat, 12 Nov 2016

Antarctica is the southernmost continent in the world, surrounded by the Southern Ocean. The continent is divided into East and West Antarctica by the Transantarctic Mountains, one of the longest mountain ranges on Earth that extends for 3,500 kilometres. Around 98% of Antarctica is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet, the largest single mass of ice on Earth, with an …

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be fit to go to East Antarctica?

A high level of fitness is not necessary for cruises to Antarctica from Australia and New Zealand, but you need to be in good health as although there is generally a doctor on board the ships, you are a long way from any other medical assistance. The majority of activities are focused around shore excursions and zodiac cruising and so you need to be agile and able-bodied enough to climb into and out of the inflatable zodiacs from both the ship and the shore. On shore landings you may need to negotiate uneven and slippery ground. Shore excursions generally involve some walking

Is it safe to travel to East Antarctica and the Ross Sea?

All of our tours are 100% tried and tested to ensure that when you travel with us, you are doing so in a controlled and safe environment with trained experts. We consistently monitor weather conditions and will always provide you with the best possible adventure without risk of injury to you or the vessel. While some landings and activities may need to be rescheduled or cancelled due to weather, every effort is made to have a contingency plan should such conditions become a reality during your expedition. Chimu have been the experts in Antarctic travel for well over 10 years and use our vast experience and knowledge when picking the vessels we sell to provide you with an adventure that is unforgettable for all the right reasons.

Do I need a visa to travel to East Antarctica?

A pre-arranged visa is not required to enter Antarctica from Australia and New Zealand.

How long will it take to reach East Antarctica?

Cruises to Antarctica from Tasmania (Hobart) and to Antarctica from New Zealand (Invercargill or Bluff) can reach East Antarctica in 6 to 7 days, but most voyages break up the days at sea with visits to The Snares, Auckland Islands, Macquarie Island and Campbell Island.

What are the chances of seeing the Mawson’s Huts?

Unfortunately we cannot guarantee that you will be able to see Mawson’s Huts. The presence of two immense icebergs had blocked access to Commonwealth Bay for many years. In January 2016, Chimu Adventures operated the first commercial expedition to the site for 5 years, after the two icebergs finally shifted. Although access to Commonwealth Bay was possible, the huts could not be reached due to the ice floe. Cape Denison in Commonwealth Bay where the timber huts are located, is known as the “home of the blizzard”, one of the windiest places on Earth, with frequent strong katabatic winds. Your chances of seeing Mawson’s Huts will always depend on the weather and ice conditions and the accessibility of Commonwealth Bay. If you are fortunate enough to gain access to the huts and see some of the relics of Mawson’s infamous 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition, it will be an amazing experience that will give you an insight into the harsh conditions that these explorers were subjected to and endured.

What are the chances of getting into Scott’s Hut?

Scott’s Hut is located on Ross Island, on the north shore of Cape Evans. Scott’s Discovery Expedition Hut is located at Hut Point on Ross Island, near to McMurdo Station, the US Antarctic Research Station and Base. Access to the huts is completely dependent on ice and weather conditions, and although every effort will be made to visit the huts, this cannot be guaranteed. In recent years the success rate of visiting Scott’s Hut has been high.