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 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.
 
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

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Antarctica Cruises from Australia and New Zealand

UNIQUE DEPARTURE  From 25,330

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. 

ONCE IN A LIFETIME  From 29,345

Visit Scott and Shackleton's Antarctica in the Ross Sea. See the stage for the heroic age of Antarctica Exploration.

UNIQUE  From 13,944

On this cruise aboard Le Lapérouse, PONANT invites you to discover the primitive beauty of the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand.

Antarctica Cruises from South America

10 NIGHTS From 8,140

The most popular tour itinerary to Antarctica. Cruise to all of the must-see Antarctic destinations.

9 NIGHTS From 12,595

This 10-day cruise takes you from Ushuaia, across the legendary Drake Passage to discover the wonders of the Antarctic Peninsula, the northernmost region of Antarctica.

13 NIGHTS From 11,999

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

Articles On Antarctica Cruises from Australia and New Zealand

Cruise Antarctica – Top 5 Items You Shouldn’t Forget to Pack

Posted on Fri, 18 May 2018

Buck the trend and pack like a professional: discover the 5 items people always forget to take to an Antarctica expedition. Packing for an Antarctica expedition is both exciting and exasperating yet with the sheer amount of packing guides out there (including our own comprehensive Antarctica packing guide) you should get a fairly good idea of what will be useful …

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Press release: Visit the most remote destination on the planet on a Chimu cruise to East Antarctica

Posted on Tue, 15 May 2018

Sydney, Tuesday 15 May 2018 Following the adventure of their 2017 voyage which saw travellers sail 4025,1 nautical miles; identify eight species of penguins; spot thirteen mammal breeds; experience air temperatures of -6 Celsius and cross the Antarctic Circle no less than six times, polar specialists Chimu Adventures invite those who want the ultimate Antarctica experience to get involved in …

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What Not to Pack When Travelling to South America 

Posted on Tue, 15 May 2018

Whether you’re planning a wildlife-watching trip to the Pantanal, a rumble in the jungle of the Amazon, an expedition to the frigid ends of Antarctica, multi-day hike to Machu Picchu or, perhaps, a luxury cruise to the Galapagos, chances are one of the first things you’ll be researching is a comprehensive packing list. Now, before we even know where in South America you’re planning to go, we guarantee that you’ll pack …

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Best Things To Do in South and Central America – JUNE Guide

Posted on Tue, 15 May 2018

June marks the start of winter in most of Latin America and this month offers the most varied array of attractions and highlights. A month where you can really do it all: ski in the south, hike in the centre and snorkel in the north! And although this is also the start of the high tourist season in the continent, …

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The Arctic’s Inuit Culture

Posted on Mon, 14 May 2018

Shaped and influenced by the forbidding landscapes they’ve inhabited for thousands of years, the Inuit culture of the Arctic region is one of the most fascinating on the planet. Hardy, resilient, mysterious and immensely ingenious, the Inuits of the northernmost regions of the Americas, Europe and Russia have not only survived on some of our planet’s harshest environments but indeed …

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Quito International Airport Guide

Posted on Tue, 08 May 2018

Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport (code UIO), Ecuador’s premier aviation hub, connects passengers to all corners of the continent as well as a select number of destinations outside of South America, namely Amsterdam, New York City, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Madrid, Miami and Dallas. Only 15kms from the centre of Quito as the crow flies, this relatively new facility was built …

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A typical day in Antarctica

Posted on Fri, 04 May 2018

There is really no such thing as a typical day in Antarctica. Individual landing locations are different every time due to weather, ice, currents or light conditions. The time in the season will affect many of these items as will it affect what is happening with the wildlife. In addition, every ship has different configurations, rules and structures. For example …

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Enjoying Brazil without internal flights

Posted on Thu, 03 May 2018

Ahh Rio, the “Cidade Maravilhosa” (that’s “Marvellous City” for those that don’t speak Portuguese). Famous for its beautiful sandy beaches, relaxed lifestyle and awe-inspiring natural beauty, it’s no wonder it receives more tourists than any other part of Brazil. If you’re thinking of going to Rio, we say stop thinking and DO IT. But whilst you’re planning your trip, we …

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Fascinating Facts to Help You Celebrate Earth Day 2018

Posted on Sat, 21 Apr 2018

April 22 marks the anniversary of the birth of modern environmentalism on this wonderful planet of ours. The brainchild of a US Senator who had witnessed the horrendous consequences of an oil spill in Santa Barbara in 1969, the Earth Day movement has grown from strength to strength over the last five decades. What started as a relatively small-scale attempt …

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Press release: Chimu’s Casa Republica wins prestigious Prix Versailles award

Posted on Thu, 19 Apr 2018

Sydney, Thursday 19 April 2018 Chimu Adventures’ boutique hotel in Lima, Peru, Casa Republica, has been named one of the Continental Winners of Prix Versailles 2018, claiming the ‘Special Prize Interior’ at the 2018 Prix Versailles Continental Ceremony for the Americas at Castillo Hidalgo in Santiago de Chile on Saturday 14 April 2018. This is a huge architectural accolade for …

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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 A trip out of this world 10 days trip to Antarctic Peninsular. A bit shaky across the Drake Passage, as was expected, otherwise a beautiful sailing between the islands and icebergs. Lots of landings to see the native inhabitants with hundreds of Penguins, also Wales, Seals, Birds and Orcas. The staff on board were terrific and so helpful. The food was enough with a good breakfast and two 3 coarse meals (lunch and dinner) with fruit and afternoon snacks available. The cooking was a bit plain at times but still eatable. All in all, a terrific trip, quiet unforgettable.
Date published: 2015-02-11
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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.