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Antarctica Cruises from Australia and New Zealand

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TRAVELLING TO Antarctica Cruises from Australia and New Zealand

While departing your Antarctica cruise from South America is the more affordable option, Australia and New Zealand both act as lesser known cruise gateways to visit the incredible sights of East Antarctica. Here you will board your vessel and travel directly to one of this planet’s 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 is 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. Reaching the continent of East Antarctica after a week of exploration is a sight to behold with huge ice shelves, vast seas and ice bergs greeting 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. 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.

Want to travel to Antarctica  first flying from Australia/New Zealand then cruising from South America?

Where: Argentina’s Ushuaia, the southernmost city of the world, is the major gateway for Antarctica cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula as well as the sub Antarctic islands such as South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. It is also possible to depart your Antarctica cruise from Chile’s Punta Arenas – this is where our Fly/Cruise options depart from, for those passengers who want to skip the crossing of the Drake Passage.

What is it like: The Antarctic Peninsula is the most popular and most frequently visited region of Antarctica and perfect for first-time visitors. It offers the perfect introduction to Antarctica, its incredible wildlife, glacier landscapes and history. Getting there: QANTAS, LATAM and Air New Zealand fly from the east coast of Australia to Santiago and Buenos Aires where connections can be made through to Ushuaia or Punta Arenas. Leaving from Perth you may want to consider an Emirates flight to Buenos Aires which can both save time and money. If you’re interested in Antarctica cruises out of South America, please visit our main Antarctica Cruise page here.

For the best rates for Australians travelling to Antarctica: click 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. 

[ Continue Reading ]

While departing your Antarctica cruise from South America is the more affordable option, Australia and New Zealand both act as lesser known cruise gateways to visit the incredible sights of East Antarctica. Here you will board your vessel and travel directly to one of this planet’s 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 is 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. Reaching the continent of East Antarctica after a week of exploration is a sight to behold with huge ice shelves, vast seas and ice bergs greeting 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. 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.

Want to travel to Antarctica  first flying from Australia/New Zealand then cruising from South America?

Where: Argentina’s Ushuaia, the southernmost city of the world, is the major gateway for Antarctica cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula as well as the sub Antarctic islands such as South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. It is also possible to depart your Antarctica cruise from Chile’s Punta Arenas – this is where our Fly/Cruise options depart from, for those passengers who want to skip the crossing of the Drake Passage.

What is it like: The Antarctic Peninsula is the most popular and most frequently visited region of Antarctica and perfect for first-time visitors. It offers the perfect introduction to Antarctica, its incredible wildlife, glacier landscapes and history. Getting there: QANTAS, LATAM and Air New Zealand fly from the east coast of Australia to Santiago and Buenos Aires where connections can be made through to Ushuaia or Punta Arenas. Leaving from Perth you may want to consider an Emirates flight to Buenos Aires which can both save time and money. If you’re interested in Antarctica cruises out of South America, please visit our main Antarctica Cruise page here.

For the best rates for Australians travelling to Antarctica: click 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. 

[ Read Less ]

WHY TRAVEL WITH CHIMU ADVENTURES

  • We are true Polar specialists. Almost every Chimu team member has travelled to either Antarctica or the Arctic and collectively we have experienced over 50 expeditions.

  • You can choose from over 130 cruises to Antarctica and the Arctic,including itineraries aboard our own charter vessels.

  • We have inspected and continue to thoroughly research each individual vessel we work with, selecting only those with environmental, safety and value credentials.

  • We know all things Polar by heart and will work with you to determine which ship and itinerary is best suited to your needs.

  • Travellers visit the Polar regions for different reasons so whether your interests are wildlife or photography, or Antarctic activities such as snowshoeing and kayaking, we can work around you for the perfect trip.

  • From your initial enquiry until your trip ends, you will be assigned a personal Destination Specialist who will offer a full service for your travel needs: we can book flights, insurance and any ancillary travel required to complete your journey.

ANTARCTICA: FLY FROM AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND TO JOIN YOUR CRUISE

ANTARCTICA: CRUISE DIRECT FROM AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

BLOGS ON Antarctica Cruises from Australia and New Zealand

Whether you are looking for advice on when to travel to Antarctica or the Arctic, which ship to travel on or which itinerary will suit you best, Chimu blogs are likely to have it covered. The range of topics is vast, with new and fascinating blogs being added regularly. There is ship information, guides about the activities you can do in the Polar regions, what to pack and what not to pack, and even blogs on various Polar explorers!

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Antarctica Cruises from Australia and New Zealand 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 Great Tour!!! The whole trip was well organized an led us to stunning places! We were able to come really close with the wildlife and learnd a lot about our destinations history, fauna and environment. The days were packed with landings, different activities and lectures, so we were always busy!
Date published: 2015-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Pinktartica Journey Trip of a lifetime is only scratching the surface of what I felt after taking this trip. I was on a 12day trip on the Sea Adventurer that was specially chartered by Chimu for a charity foundation, McGrath Foundation. So not only was it going on a dream trip it was also supporting a great cause. Everything about the trip was amazing, we were lucky enough to have brilliant weather and get to see about everything we possibly could in our 12 day trip. Even when there was a minor issue of communication that originally had me off the list of one of the activities I'd signed up for it was fixed right away and I did not miss out on anything. The expedition crew were all very friendly and knowledgeable and could help answer any questions you had on Antarctica. The crew of the ship were also very friendly and very professional and made the trip easy as could be. The only complaint I can have was it was such a great trip that now it seems hard to be excited about going anywhere else, all I want to do is go on this trip again.
Date published: 2015-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Trip of a lifetime Where do we start reviewing this trip? 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. A typical day in the antarctic peninsula could involve cruising giant icebergs, looking for leopard seals, trekking to explore penguin colonies, visiting research stations or whale spotting on a zodiac cruise. The ship (Akademik Ioffe) was run with precision and the staff were always incredibly helpful and knowledgeable in different specialties. Meal-times were excellent with a variety of dishes on offer and importantly the alcohol was very reasonable, especially happy hour! This was our last and 7th continent and we saved the best for last. Chimu's organisation of everything from flights, transfers to hotels was faultless, this allowed us to just enjoy the trip without any hassle. I would highly recommend and no doubt will travel with them in the future. Thanks Gavin & Gail
Date published: 2016-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Overwhelmed, emotional and speechless I had 8 flights, along with picks ups, hotels, drop offs, a ship to get to - on time and tours. Every single step of the way went flawlessly, thanks to Chimu and in particular Simon who has infinite patience. I am normally an independent traveller, so found it hard to relinquish control and let Chimu sort everything out. Thanks for indulging my many queries. Perfection!
Date published: 2016-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding I had always wanted to go to Tierra Del Fuego from being 10 years old when I saw the name on a map so being able to go there as part of an Antarctic cruise / expedition was a huge plus. I spent the day before embarkation on a tour of Tierra DF and rode the Train at the End of the World, which was fun. The city of Ushuaia (the southernmost city in the world) is also a fun place with friendly people and plenty of very good restaurants. The 11 days of the expedition itself were spent on the MV Ushuaia, a small ship that takes 90 passengers. It's important to go on a small ship to maximize time ashore due to the restrictions of the Antarctic Treaty. The entire trip was wonderful with plenty of shore landings at various places, mostly on islands but also on the continent itself. There are also coastal tours in the Zodiac boats used for landings. It's an active vacation and the expedition staff treat everyone like adults. You can climb steep hillsides made of sharp rocks and ice, as well as get very close to wildlife (which you should stay 5 meters from in the case of penguins and more in the case of seals, etc). Scenery is stunning. Even though it's an expedition, the ship is comfortable. The crew are all friendly, you can visit the bridge, there are several decks offering excellent viewing in all directions, there are three excellent meals daily, there is a good bar and a comfortable lounge as well as lectures and talks on what to expect and to look out for. Overall, the weather favored us quite well. We did miss a couple of landings because of weather but we also had an additional landing early because we made such good speed on the outbound trip. Where possible, the expedition staff substituted Zodiac tours for landings when landings were impossible. One warning - the crossing of the Drake Passage to and from Antarctica can be extremely rough. It is where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet and the weather can be appalling. The Ushuaia rolls a lot! Staying upright is both difficult and strenuous in rough seas. Our trip back was rated a 9 out of 10 by one of the ship's officers and was quite an adventure in and of itself. Watching the dining room staff do their table waiting jobs in such conditions was like watching acrobats performing on a tightrope. Amazing skills. It's not cheap to go on this trip but to me it was worth every cent. What you will see will last a lifetime and I would recommend it to anyone. Chimu organization was impeccable.
Date published: 2018-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It was an amazing trip, enjoyed everything. The itinery went smoothly we were picked up dropped off at all the correct times. All chimu staff we met were very good polite and very helpful.
Date published: 2016-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Trip of a lifetime An amazing trip from start to finish. It is hard to describe what an unbelievable place Antarctica was. I feel lucky and privileged to have visited this beautiful continent.The ship was great and the crew and the expedition team went above and beyond to ensure to was a trip to remember. A dream come true, all seven continents visited and more importantly loads of memories to last a life time PS Meg is a legend
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great trip - Amazing destinations - Food like a 5 star restaurant - great service - friendly and helpful staff
Date published: 2016-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Antarctica expidition The prior planning through Chimu was made very easy with more than enough information supplied and regularily updated to make the process as stress free as possible. Vaule for money with the trip down to Antarctica was brilliant.
Date published: 2014-09-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enthralling The actual expedition was faultless full of wondrous and exciting experiences. The Hotel Emperador in Buenos Aires at the beginning of the trip was disappointing whilst the room was spacious everything had to be paid for extra even the water in the room at £5 with no coffee or tea making except a filter machine but the coffee in the mini bar cost £4. Breakfast was not exciting and the early departure breakfast served up stale croissants from the day before. The outward and return flights with Iberia were a disaster. Four changes involving 3 London airports the last was a cancellation an hour before leaving for the airport. The return flight was no better - the plane had a fault and our 22:45 flight never took off after we had boarded. At the airport Iberia was a shambles - no staff and no information. Eventually taken to a dingy hotel in a seedy part of the city. No water in room not even to pay for. The desk manager was rude and harangued me across the lobby.
Date published: 2016-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Trip of a lifetime There are no words that can do the Antarctic Peninsula any justice. It simply has to be experienced to be believed. It is as close as you can get to visiting another world, a world where you really feel like you don’t belong, that this realm belongs to the amazing wildlife that inhabit it. Through Chimu Adventurers, the Antarctic Explorer trip with Quark Expeditions onboard the MV Ocean Adventurer was flawless. Highly professional, efficient, and top tier service on board a perfectly sized ship with a highly talented and fun expedition team. One I’ll never forget.
Date published: 2017-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a Trip! Every part of the trip on the MS Expedition with G Adventures was run in a most professional manner. The ship was excellent including the size of the cabin; the food was superb and the expedition team were all knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. The on shore visits were well organised and I couldn't have asked for more.
Date published: 2016-02-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Amazing trip - but they got something wrong For anyone thinking about going to Antarctica I strongly recommend you do. Penguins are everywhere and the experience itself was amazing. But, Chimu got something very wrong which impacted my experience. They then argued for around six weeks after my trip - so by all means go, but I don’t recommend Chimu unfortunately.
Date published: 2018-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Enjoyable We had a great trip. Very impressed with all the staff and crew on the Ushuaia. They worked hard to make us feel safe and welcome and I enjoyed the lectures. There is only one disappointment and that is that I am unable to access files on the DVD. Can only see the photos and not the itinerary,, maps etc.
Date published: 2016-04-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Antarctica room comfortable, food very good they supposedly did sea trials and one of the engines became unusable which made us a day late returning and they were not totally honest about what was happening with the boat . they didn't realise there were passengers on board who know about diesel engines
Date published: 2015-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent service We enjoyed excellent care (safety and accommodation) for the entire itinerary. The staff were very professional and knowledgeable - we acquired a great deal of information about the countries visited (:Falklands, South Georgia, South Orkneys and Antarctica) and became more aware of conservation needed for land and all living species (land and sea). This was a truly remarkable and marvellous experience for us - a fantastic expedition, almost, rather than the usual holiday. Plus, all the logistics were successful thus easing any possible anxieties for a traveller.
Date published: 2018-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Antarctica - Seeing is Believing ! Smaller ship cruising - MV Ushuaia was the way to go, crew was excellent. Organisation and Itinerary was very well done , Other Expeditioners were good to mix with and enjoy the Fantastic Scenery with ! Only thing left to say -- If you havent been there - Go there . Out of this world !
Date published: 2016-06-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Amazing Trip marred by sloppy communication The Antarctic is a must go to destination sometime in one's life. The Scenery and the Wildlife just incredible. The ship; the hospitality crew and the expedition professionals could not be faulted. Unfortunately the weather played havoc with our planned destinations and key elements were scrapped (but others added). Unfortunately the published marketing material from Chimu was nothing like what the expedition team (Poseidon) was trying to execute against.
Date published: 2018-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from More than expectation!!! Experience on the Akademik Ioffee was superb. The excursions by zodiac were impressive. Seals, whales and a lot of penguins were surrounding me. Don't miss camping on ice! Meals on-board were sumptuous. Best of all, staffs are super friendly and service-minded.
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life changing (no, really!) Had an incredible, truly amazing, trip to the land of the midnight sun. The daily expeditions around the various islands and landing on the peninsula itself were indescribable. It was my 7th continent, obviously saved the best till last! i highly recommend the trip to anyone with an adventurous spirit and a passion for travel. On the organisational side- Simon at Chimu was super helpful and responsive. The trip went without a hitch. The Ship was excellent as was the accommodation organised in Ushuaia. Thanks to you all for this incredible trip. Fatin
Date published: 2017-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing and unique experience Antarctica itself is an amazing and unique place which is definitely worth a visit. The crew and expedition leaders were awesome. Always friendly, helpful and never tired of making a good joke. The whole trip is very well organized and executed.
Date published: 2016-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Antartica There were many hiccups that were out of Chimu's hands (ship broke down, airline strike etc). Chimu personnel were fully contactable and altered flights, itinerary and vessels within hours. We were able to experience Antartica, Brazil and Patagonia and were upgraded twice for our inconvenience. Chimu staff even came to our hotel and took us shopping whilst we waited for flights to open after cancellation because of strikes in Buenos Aires.
Date published: 2015-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life-changing experience Planning, staff and crew, food, were great. With minimum 2 landings per day, no two were the same and all were special. Attention to detail was also much appreciated e.g. room buddies, themed dinner nights, lectures and documentaries. The magic of the Antarctic, it's wildlife and icebergs, gets into your system
Date published: 2015-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Antarctica - dream came true The Antarctic expedition booked through Matt at Chimu, with Quark Expeditions, went exactly per itinerary and was truly wonderful. The five days on the Sea Adventurer was magical, choreographed by the Expedition leader, Shane Evoy and his team. Nothing was too much trouble. Whales, seals, Penguins, Birds, sea life and of course the scenery - it was all there to savour. The ship, the Captain and all of his crew were excellent. I could not fault it from initial takeoff to final return landing. I have already encouraged friends to go on this trip
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a great experience Polar Latitudes does a great job with cruise and land-side activities. Sea Explorer is a comfortable ship, excellent food, and friendly/efficient staff.
Date published: 2015-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Out of this world experience and lifetime best! I have wanted to visit Antarctica all my life - so a trip there did not disappoint this Dec/Jan (2015). We went with One Ocean on the Vavilov booked with Chimu and took the longest route that encompasses the Falklands and South Georgia also. Definately recommend this route as you see so much more varied flora/fauna, the ship was great - very stable so limited people got motion sickness and the lounge/bar is on the highest level of the ship so you get great views. We saw some amazing scenery and wildlife that will stay in our memories for a long time. The ship is not high class and is an expedition ship vs a luxury cruise ship - so if more luxury is important, best book with one of the other providers. The benefit of this ship is that it only took 95 passengers so we all got to go out on every shore excursion - and that was important to us (no more than 100 can visit shore at any one time). Our only complaint is that the food was very average - everyone was fed up with the standard of the food by the end of the trip as it becomes pretty important over a 3 week period. If the company can sort the food, then it would have been an even more excellent trip.
Date published: 2015-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bucket list ticked! This was an adventure: marketed as such and fulfilled as such. I loved every minute - small irrits beyond the control of Chimu!
Date published: 2018-04-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great trip to Antarctica Trip organization was essentially good but some of the ground transfers in South America could be better timed - the transfer to the airport in Buenos Aires for example was at 8am when my flight was at 11.55am so not sure why I had to be picked up that early since the airport was only 20 minutes away by car. Overall the trip was well worth it to see Antarctica on a decent expedition ship M/V Ushuaia. Make sure you take good sea sickness treatments for the trip.
Date published: 2014-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved the Kayaking We kayaked almost everyday and the weather was perfect.
Date published: 2015-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fantastic trip A beautiful place and the whole trip ran like clockwork. Well organised and staff couldn't have been more helpful.
Date published: 2015-12-10
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.