Antarctica Cruises & Tours

Travelling to Antarctica from the U.S. can be achieved a few ways, either by travelling to South America or Australia/ New Zealand.  
 
The most popular and affordable Antarctic journey is to fly to South America

Where: The southernmost city of the world, Ushuaia, in Argentina is the major thoroughfare for Antarctic cruises. From here you can visit the Antarctic Peninsula as well as the sub Antarctic islands such as South Georgia and the Falkland islands on your Antarctic cruise. A cruise will take anywhere from 10 to 21 days when leaving from Ushuaia, if crossing directly to the peninsula you can be there in as soon as one and a half to two days. 

Punta Arenas in Chile is also a gateway for cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula, here travellers may take a flight to the South Shetland islands to board their vessel, though more expensive, this is perfect for those wishing to cruise in Antarctica but avoid the drake passage. 
 
What’s is like: The Antarctic Peninsula is the most popular due to accessibility and for the plethora of wildlife found. The coast offers a dramatic mountainous backdrop being an extension of the Andes Mountain range. The entire region including the sub Antarctic Islands is home to incredible history including Shackleton’s epic journey of survival.  
 
Getting there: LATAM, American Airlines, Delta, US Airways and Korean Air operate direct flights to Santiago from one or all of the following cities: Atlanta, Dallas, New York, and Miami. Direct flights to Buenos Aires are operated by, Aerolineas Argentinas, LATAM, American Airlines, United and Delta from Houston, Atlanta, Dallas, Washington D.C and Miami. From Santiago and Buenos Aires, connections can be made through to Ushuaia or Punta Arenas.
 
Australia and New Zealand themselves also act as gateways to the lesser frequented East Antarctica
 
Where? Leaving from New Zealand (Invercargill or Bluff) or Australia (Hobart) or it will take about seven days to arrive to the white continent, which can be broken up by visits to Macquarie, Snares, Auckland and Campbell Islands, all rich in wildlife and nature. Once having arrived to Antarctica, you will spend time around Commonwealth Bay or the Ross Sea region.
  
What is it like: A cruise to Antarctica from Australia and New Zealand offers the opportunity to witness the immense natural landscapes and seascapes of this incredibly remote yet ruggedly beautiful part of Antarctica and the best chance to see emperor and King Penguins. Steeped in history, East Antarctica is where the explorers Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen gained fame with their expeditions to be the first to reach the South Pole. This part of Antarctica is also home to New Zealand’s Scott Base and if conditions and itinerary allow Scott Base can be visited as part of one of these expeditions.
 
Getting there: Direct flights are available to Sydney from, Dallas on Qantas, Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines or Jetstar, Los Angeles on Delta, Qantas or United, and San Francisco on United. From Sydney you would take a short domestic connection to Hobart. If travelling from New Zealand, first fly to Auckland or Wellington and then connect domestically to Invercargill. Air New Zealand and American Airlines operate direct flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Auckland.
 
More information: to help you decide where you want to visit, click on the trips below and start dreaming about your Antarctic cruise. For cruises from Australia and New Zealand only click here.
 
Still wondering? Contact us: and we will walk you through the whole process, answer all your questions and find the very best package, including flights, cruise and extra sightseeing to suit your needs.
 

"Best adventure ever! The staff were incredible, so helpful and knowledgeable, they went beyond expectations to make our cruise one in a million..." - Anita

Read Reviews (Avg 4.9 ★)
 
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Featured Antarctica 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!

DEPARTS 20 FEB 2019  FROM AU$8,075*

Starting from Ushuaia, the world’s most southerly city, set sail across the infamous Drake Passage to the wild and untamed Antarctica. 

FLIGHTS FROM AU$890*  CRUISE FROM US$6,490*

Cruise to Antarctica on this 11-day exclusive Chimu Adventures peninsula cruise.

FLIGHTS FROM AU$890*  CRUISE FROM US$5,300*

The best value trip to Antarctica you will find this year! An exclusive Chimu Adventures departure.

SAVE UP TO 10%  CAT3 FROM AU$9,449*

Save up to 10%* on a range of itineraries aboard the MS Expedition for the 2018/19 season. This MS Expedition Antarctica Cruises Sale, ends soon. Don't miss out, contact us today.

2018/19 SEASON  FROM US$7,736*

Sail aboard the remarkably comfortable Sea Spirit and experience the Polar Regions in grand style, sleeping in spacious suites. 

Antarctica Cruises

20 NIGHTS From 18,095

See the amazing wildlife on South Georgia and Antarctica. Cruise to the Falkland Islands.

9 NIGHTS ON SALE From 7,165

The best value trip to Antarctica you will find this year! An exclusive Chimu Adventures departure.

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. 

9 NIGHTS From 10,970

Sail through the heart of the Antarctic Peninsula into an enchanting polar desert, a final frontier surrounded by a gigantic ice sheet.

13 NIGHTS From 11,499

Go further south and cross into the Antarctic Circle. Go beyond the normal Antarctica tour areas.

20 NIGHTS From 13,999

Experience vast penguin rookeries & seal colonies on this awe-inspiring voyage to Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands on the M/S Expedition.

Articles On Antarctica

King George Island – More Than Just a Gateway to Antarctica

Posted on Fri, 31 Mar 2017

Explore the superb highlights of enigmatic King George Island and discover why it’s so much more than just a springboard for Antarctic adventures. Part of the sub-Antarctic archipelago known as the South Shetland Islands, enigmatic King George is the first port of call for many visitors to Antarctica, be it by air – via flights from Punta Arenas – or …

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The 10 Best Things to See & Do in Antarctica

Posted on Mon, 20 Mar 2017

Are you planning a cruise to Antarctica and think all you’ll do is sit back on your deck-chair, hot cuppa in hand, and admire the scenery? Think again! Antarctica is not only one of the most mesmerising travel destinations on the planet, it is also one of the most interactive. The 10 Best Things to See and Do in Antarctica …

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Antarctica: Ten Years in Ten Days by Sophie Hardcastle

Posted on Tue, 14 Mar 2017

There were a lot of things I expected Antarctica to be… Vast, silent, so cold it hurt. The white continent exceeded these expectations, and surprised me with so much more. When I heard Ken Done (Chimu’s artist-in-residence for 2015) speak at his Pinktarctica exhibition, he said Antarctica changes you. I remember wondering how it would change me, if at all. …

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How to Interact With Animals on Your Wildlife Tour

Posted on Tue, 28 Feb 2017

Heading off on a whirlwind tour to Latin America and not sure what to do if a llama chats you up at a bar? Wonder no more! We’ve got the lowdown on how best to interact with animals on your wildlife tour, historic discovery tour or sightseeing bonanza. Because when they say you should always interact and socialize with locals …

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15 Fun Seal Facts to Celebrate International Seal Day

Posted on Mon, 09 Jan 2017

March 22 marks International Seal Day, a day the whole world should celebrate in earnest! To mark this momentous occasion – which should really see us all laze about in the sun, feeding on sumptuous sardines – we share 15 Fun Seal Facts. The clowns of the marine mammal world, seals are a comical bunch of incredibly interesting creatures. For …

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How to get to Antarctica?

Posted on Fri, 30 Dec 2016

Want to know how to get to Antarctica? We detail the most popular ways to reach the great White Continent and give you the lowdown of the pros and cons of each method. Because when it comes to reaching Antarctica…getting there is half the fun! Antarctica is an enigmatic destination, a place that seems so far removed from most people’s …

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Sophie Hardcastle: The Antarctica Dream

Posted on Fri, 23 Dec 2016

I am a child of the ocean. I was swimming in the sea before I was born, rising and falling with deep-sea swells inside my mum’s belly. She swam in open ocean with me inside her right up until the week I was born. Growing up, I felt a deep affinity with the nature. Entering the ocean, I always experienced …

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Travel Insurance tips for Antarctica Cruising for Australians

Posted on Mon, 19 Dec 2016

Planning a visit to Antarctica is an exhilarating process yet although choosing the right insurance cover for your trip isn’t nearly as glamorous as choosing which cruise ship or flight option you’ll take, it is just as important. If not more so. Frequent travellers attest to insurance being one of the most important components of any trip, be it to …

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Aliens In Antarctica. What Are The Chances?

Posted on Wed, 30 Nov 2016

More pyramid-like structures discovered in Antarctica. Erosion or aliens? You be the judge! The fact that life exists somewhere beyond the interstellar horizon is a given nowadays, with scientists the world over in agreement. We’re not alone. There is no doubt some kind of life exists somewhere, the only questions remaining regard what kind of life and when, if ever, …

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Antarctica: The Ultimate Journey

Posted on Tue, 11 Oct 2016

Looking for the adventure of a lifetime? Antarctica: The Ultimate Journey is the most comprehensive, unforgettable and breathtaking trip you could ever take to the end of the world. The trip of a lifetime. The adventure of your dreams. An Antarctica expedition that is not, we might add, for the faint of heart. A month-long voyage to the heart of …

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Antarctica 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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Activities in Antarctica – walk with penguins, dive with seals

Posted on Sun, 14 Aug 2016

Antarctica, the continent where the silence is deafening and where emptiness is fills the scenery, is known as a great destination to spot a plethora of wildlife such as great penguin colonies, sleepy seals or different types of whales. But beside spotting the wildlife on Antarctica, there are many other Activities in Antarctica that can be done to make an …

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Politics in Antarctica – Territorial Claims

Posted on Fri, 12 Aug 2016

Territorial claims – who owns Antarctica? Standing at the South Pole in December 1911 Roald Amundsen claimed the polar plateau for Norway’s King Haakon – surely his right as he was the first there? But in 1909 Ernest Shackleton, just short of the Pole and having pioneered the route to find it, had already raised the flag and taken possession …

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Politics in Antarctica – The Antarctic Treaty

Posted on Tue, 09 Aug 2016

At a certain moment there were at least 10 permanent research stations on Antarctica. But whose law would apply? This question led to the establishment of the Antarctic Treaty, a set of international agreements established in 1961 which lead to the solution of the sovereignty issue in Antarctica. Whose law applies? By the early 1950s, territorial claims in Antarctica had …

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Climate in Antarctica – how it made- and unmade the continent

Posted on Mon, 08 Aug 2016

The Climate in Antarctica makes the continent the way it is. Over 15 million years it has transformed rocky lands with forests and grasslands into a continent of ice. In years to come, the Climate in Antarctica will again radically transform it. For many millions of years, when Antarctica formed part of a supercontinent called Gondwana, the land around the …

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The History of Antarctica – A Story of Great Explorers

Posted on Fri, 05 Aug 2016

Who first saw Antarctic ice, and who first discovered Antarctica? Europeans are used to putting a person’s name to such things, such as “Christopher Columbus discovered America” (he didn’t, actually), but the discoverers of Antarctica could well be nameless individuals from the Pacific. So here is the story about the History of Antarctica: The History of Antarctica We know the …

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Further Reading on Antarctica- Books and Websites

Posted on Mon, 01 Aug 2016

Want to do some Further Reading on Antarctica? These are our recommendations to read: Further Reading on Antarctica- Books Below the Convergence: Voyages Towards Antarctica – Alan Gurney   End of the Earth: Voyaging to Antarctica – Peter Matthiessen In Search of the South Pole – Kari Herbert and Huw Lewis Race for the South Pole: The Expedition Diaries of Scott …

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Antarctic Wildlife – From Plankton to Whales

Posted on Mon, 18 Jul 2016

Antarctica is the fifth largest continent, yet it has the least number of resident animal species. And the few species that do come ashore are present for less than half of the year – prevented from access by the harsh weather and the barrier of sea ice. Yet around Antarctica is the vast Southern Ocean which teems with wildlife. Almost …

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Weather in Antarctica: cold today, cold again tomorrow

Posted on Wed, 13 Jul 2016

The Weather in Antarctica  is nearly always very cold. That’s obvious when we see its place on the globe – the South and North Poles never get much heat energy from the sun – but Antarctica is much colder than the North Pole. Unlike the Arctic, Antarctica is a high land mass surrounded by a cold Southern Ocean, and higher …

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The Geography of Antarctica

Posted on Fri, 08 Jul 2016

Stand at the North Pole and, if you are lucky, you will be standing on a layer of ice. If you are still lucky it may be 2 metres thick, otherwise, you’ll be treading water 4 kilometres deep. Stand at the South Pole and you will be on solid ground – well, solid ice over 2800 metres thick. Read on …

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Antarctic Timeline

Posted on Thu, 16 Jun 2016

Antarctica is known to be one of the most awe-inspiring destinations of the world. With its extraordinary wildlife and icy wilderness, Antarctica will stir a sense of adventure deep down inside of most people who have ever visited this place. But what do we know about its history?  Read below the major events that happened in Antarctica’s history in a comprehensive Antarctic Timeline: Antarctic History …

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a laundry on board the ship?

Yes, a laundry service at a reasonable cost is included on every ship.

What is the food like on the ships that go to Antarctica?

Food on board our cruise ships is excellent. Breakfasts and lunches tend to be buffet style, with dinners generally served to your table and featuring 3 and sometimes 4 courses. The range of food is diverse with professional chefs preparing a wide selection of gourmet dishes.

What language do they speak in Antarctica?

There is no native Antarctic language as there are no indigenous inhabitants. The majority of residents are linked to research stations and so speak the language of their home countries. Scientific research is generally formalized in English, with French where necessary.

What currency is used in Antarctica ?

There is no currency in Antarctica but the unit of currency in Argentina is the Argentinian Peso. The main currency at the Port Lockroy Post Office is the US $ although the UK £ and Euro € are also accepted. On all Antarctic cruises meals are included but drinks and souvenirs need to be purchased separately. Most cruise ships accept Euros € and US $. Major credit cards, in particular Visa and MasterCard are also widely accepted on board. If your Antarctic cruise includes the Falkland Islands, the currency of the islands is the Falkland Islands Pound (FK £), although UK £’s are accepted as well.

What do I need to pack for Antarctica ?

Antarctica is an extreme environment and although Antarctic cruises depart during the spring and summer months, the weather can change dramatically, with no warning and so you need to be prepared for conditions in this harsh region. When packing, avoid weighing yourself down with too many clothes or too much gear. Select informal, practical attire for your trip that can be worn in layers, including: • Parka jacket - lightweight, wind and weather-resistant shell • Warm trousers - ski pants or sturdy trousers • Waterproof trousers - Gore-Tex or similar waterproof and "breathable" fabrics are recommended • Long thermal underwear - silk or polypropylene is highly recommended • Sweaters - wool sweaters or a polar fleece jacket • Turtlenecks • Mittens and gloves - thin polypropylene gloves underneath warm mittens • Woollen cap and a scarf or balaclava • Warm socks - sturdy, long wool socks and thin pairs of silk, polypropylene or cotton/wool socks • A sturdy, lightweight and waterproof daypack for landings or Zodiac excursions • Sunglasses with U.V. filter • Protective sunscreen for lips, hands and face • Swimsuit for hotels, aboard some ships and (maybe) for a polar plunge • Camera with spare batteries and memory cards • Extra pair of prescription glasses • Prescription medicines and other remedies such as seasickness medication • Binoculars • Zip lock plastic bags or dry sacks for carrying camera, batteries, etc. • T-shirts or other casual warm weather clothes • Clothes for gateway cities

What is there to do while on the ship?

Whilst some of our Antarctic cruise ships boast a gym, sauna and small pools, this is rare and generally the majority have a lecture theatre, library, bar and restaurant, as well as the main deck. All ships offer a series of lectures focusing on the geology, history and wildlife of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, to help you prepare for what lies ahead. You can interact with the crew and expedition team as well as your fellow passengers in the common areas and either brave the elements to stand on deck taking in the spectacular scenery and wildlife-watching, scanning the horizon for whales, seals and seabirds, or do so from the comfort of the lounges and observation decks.

Can we go on shore in Antarctica?

Shore landings are a feature of our Antarctic cruises and one or two shore or Zodiac excursions are usually planned per day, weather conditions permitting.

What is there to do on shore?

Shore landings are mainly for wildlife watching of penguins, seals and nesting birds although itineraries often try to include a visit to a scientific base. Certain cruises provide opportunities for activities such as snowshoeing, skiing, hiking, mountaineering and even overnight camping.

How many people will be on the ship?

The number of people on board varies depending on the ship but the majority of our ships carry between 50 and 150 passengers. A few of the mega-yachts and purpose-built cruise ships carry around 250 passengers.

Why should I travel to Antarctica with Chimu Adventures?

Chimu Adventures are the Antarctica specialists and an Associate Member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. We offer the largest range of vessels, an experienced, expert team of travel enthusiasts, and comprehensive, flexible itineraries, tailoring each cruise to your wishes and making your Antarctic Cruise unique and unforgettable.

Is it safe to go to Antarctica?

All of our tours are 100% tried and tested to ensure that when you travel with us, you’re 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 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 expeditions. We’ve 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’s unforgettable for all the right reasons.

Will I get sea sick?

It is true that at times the Drake Passage can produce turbulent seas, but our vessels are built for maximum stability and comfort to ensure that even in rough conditions, sea and motion sickness are kept to a minimum at all times. We also have a host of services and facilities available should symptoms befall you. It also might be possible to fly over the Drake Passage, so speak to one of our destination specialists for more information about this.

There are so many different trips and itineraries – how do I pick the right one for me?

We pride ourselves on our customisable range of Antarctica tours that allow you to tailor the perfect Antarctic experience for your own goals and wishes. We also offer a wide range of tours to suit a diverse array of budgets, from 6 day express cruises, to 35 day expeditions. Speak to one of our consultants who can help you plan your perfect Antarctica cruise, which includes all of the elements you’re looking for in your trip.

I want to see Antarctica but not give up my creature comforts – is this even possible?

The remoteness of Antarctica can sometimes deter the adventurous heart, but unlike the famous explorers of the past, you can leave the ration packs at home as Chimu can provide all the modern comfort and luxuries you need after a day of adventure, in a safe and comfortable environment. Quiet, relaxing cabins, beautiful food and wine, and spacious common areas allow you to soak in the picturesque landscapes at your own pace. When it’s time to venture off the vessel, our range of itineraries include activities to suit all abilities and fitness levels.