An Antarctica cruise is the ultimate journey. Filled with awe-inspiring wildlife encounters and sensory experiences of indescribable beauty. To see Antarctica is to experience your place in the world from a whole new perspective.
Breathtaking, otherworldly, and life-changing are common phrases travellers use to describe an Antarctic expedition. But when it comes to Antarctica, language fails us. We simply do not possess the capacity to articulate the profound experience of setting foot on the Great Southern Continent. To truly understand, you must see it for yourself.
Once you’ve decided to go to Antarctica, the next step is to determine which trip is best suited to you. The key considerations are:
WHICH ITINERARY SHOULD I CHOOSE?
As genuine Antarctica specialists, we have the largest range of Antarctica expeditions on offer, and Chimu staff have first-hand knowledge of the many ways to experience this incredible destination. Depending on your interests, availability, and budget, we can help you decide which itinerary is right for you.
To help get you started, we have listed the 4 main itineraries that operate in Antarctica:
From South America
(10 - 12 days)
Due to its proximity to South America, the Antarctic Peninsula is the best value and most popular Antarctic destination. The peninsula is renowned for its stunning scenery and abundant wildlife.View Cruises
(14 - 22 days)
Cross the fabled Antarctic Circle to the land of the midnight sun. Home to desolate, beautiful landscapes, continually shifting ice, and hardy Weddell seals.View Cruises
(18 - 23 days)
One of the world’s truly great wildlife areas. South Georgia is home to over 30 million breeding birds, thousands of seals, 4 penguin species including large colonies of King penguins and macaroni penguins rarely encountered elsewhere, plus many more amazing creatures. South Georgia is a must-see for many wildlife enthusiasts.View Cruises
(18 - 23 days)
Often visited alongside South Georgia, the Falklands Islands offers up plenty of natural beauty, wildlife, and intriguing history.View Cruises
For the time poor, or those not keen on a crossing of the famous Drake Passage, yet still keen to visit the last frontier of Antarctica. Flying to King George Island to begin your journey to the Antarctic Peninsula is a fantastic option.View Cruises
Perhaps the ultimate Antarctica experience. Voyages to East Antarctica & Ross Sea embrace an icy world of extreme weather, wildlife, scenery and fascinating history as you visit some of the most remote places on earth.View Cruises
HOW DO I GET TO ANTARCTICA?
Have you heard the phrase ‘getting to Antarctica is half the fun?’ If so, you can bet they were referring to crossing the infamous Drake passage between South America and the South Shetland Islands. These expedition cruises departing from Ushuaia, at the southern tip of South America are the most popular way to get to Antarctica.
For those hesitant to cross the Drake, there is an option to fly from Patagonia to the South Shetland Islands. From here you can join an expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula.
Antarctica cruises departing from Australia & New Zealand offer the most exclusive and unique journey to Antarctica of all. Departing from Hobart (Australia) and Bluff (New Zealand) these expeditions are usually longer and provide exceptional opportunities to see more remote regions of the peninsula.
Travelling From South America
Travelling From Australia & New Zealand
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO TO ANTARCTICA?
The best time to travel to Antarctica will depend on the type of experience you are after. Wildlife highlights, length of daylight hours, and the overall feel of your expedition will change dramatically throughout the cruising season (October to March). Read More
(OCTOBER - NOVEMBER)
Getting ahead of the pack is a great way to experience the splendour of Antarctica. As an early-season visitor, be rewarded with pristine landing sites, dramatic ice formations, animal courtship routines, and excellent photographic opportunities courtesy of the lightly setting sun. You may see packs of elephant and fur seals marking their breeding territories in the sub-Antarctic islands, and if you’re lucky, you could witness the first major iceberg calvings of the year, a truly breathtaking event.
Beautiful frozen scenery
Less Penguin mess
Ice can sometimes restrict
(DECEMBER - JANUARY)
Mid-summer is the most popular time to visit Antarctica. Temperatures are at their warmest, and longer days means there are more opportunities for landings. Expect to see sunbathing seals, adorable penguin hatchlings, and increasing numbers of whales arriving for the summer. Coupled with calmer seas and less sea ice to prevent you from reaching the shore, you can see why many people choose to travel at this time of year. As the mid-season is the busiest time, booking early is highly recommended.
Wildlife at its prime
20 hours of sunlight
Peak season pricing
(FEBRUARY - MARCH)
The weather may be getting colder, but there are plenty of wildlife highlights during the late season. February is peak whale spotting season, seal numbers are up on the peninsula, and penguin rookeries are bursting at the seams on South Georgia. The shorter days provide sensational sunsets, awesome night-time sky gazing and some of the best value-for-money expeditions of all. February is also the busiest month for cruises departing from Australia and New Zealand headed for East Antarctica.
Peak season for Whales
Baby penguin & seal pups
Snow melting - can be slushy on landing sites
WHAT SHIP IS BEST FOR ME?
Your choice of expedition vessel will play an essential role in your overall Antarctic experience. For many people setting off on an Antarctic expedition, this is one of the most critical questions. As genuine Antarctica specialists, we have the knowledge and experience to help you get this decision just right.
Arguably, the most crucial consideration for any Antarctic expedition. In our opinion, ships carrying 200 guests and under are ideal! There are many restrictions placed on Antarctic expeditions, and the number of passengers on your ship will impact when, where, and how often you can make landfall. For example, vessels carrying more than 500 guests are prevented from landing at all. Being able to get off the ship and experience Antarctica up close and personal offers the most immersive and memorable experience.Read More
SMALL SHIPS (200PAX and under)
MORE ACCESS TO REMOTE LOCATIONS
LESS TIME QUEUEING MORE TIME EXPLORING
BETTER SELECTION OF UNIQUE SHORE TOURS
LESS ENTERTAINMENT ONBOARD
LARGE SHIPS (200+PAX)
MORE STABILITY IN ROUGH SEAS
RESTRICTED ON-SHORE TIME
CAN BE CROWDED
Want a deeper look - > WATCH THIS VIDEO
With her ice-strengthened hull and advanced navigation equipment, the Ocean Endeavour is ideally suited for expedition cruising to the Polar Regions
This comfortable ship carries a maximum of 132 passengers, accommodated in 66 cabins all with private en-suite facilities. The ship also features a large..
Safe, sturdy and fast, the MS Expedition is amongst the most comfortable and spacious expedition ships in its class, with great stability and performance in..
Sail aboard the remarkably comfortable Sea Spirit and experience the Polar Regions in grand style, sleeping in spacious suites. She has been refurbished for the..
Sailing under the French flag, Le Boréal is a superb mega-yacht that was built in Italy with a sophisticated French design. With its tasteful décor and discreet elegance..
VIEW All SHIPS
BLOGS ON Antarctica
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!
What happens every day when you are down in Antarctica? This example is for a two landing day, but please be aware that every day is different..
This is how you make that first step towards your Antarctica travel dream. From the myriad of ways to travel to Antarctica to the costs involved..
Antarctica may be just one continent but it offers avid explorers a nearly endless array of experiences. To narrow down the choices we have..
Explore Antarctica with Paul Kelly on our ‘Songs in the South’ 2021 Expedition. We’re not embarrassed to admit we cranked ‘Before Too Long‘ on the stereo..
From the right gear to pack to how best to care for it and the most trusted techniques to capture the overwhelming beauty of Antarctica