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TRAVELLING TO Antarctica

Why Visit? Travelling to Antarctica from Australia can be achieved a few ways, either fly to South America or depart directly on your Antarctica cruise from Australia or 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 is it 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: 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.

Australia and New Zealand themselves also act as gateways to the lesser frequented East Antarctica

Where? Leaving from Australia (Hobart) or New Zealand (Invercargill or Bluff) 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. When you reach the Antarctic mainland, 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 the historic Mawson’s Huts at Commonwealth Bay.

Getting there: If you already reside in Australia then most local airlines will connect you through to Hobart or Invercargill to begin your journey of a lifetime.

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.

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Why Visit? Travelling to Antarctica from Australia can be achieved a few ways, either fly to South America or depart directly on your Antarctica cruise from Australia or 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 is it 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: 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.

Australia and New Zealand themselves also act as gateways to the lesser frequented East Antarctica

Where? Leaving from Australia (Hobart) or New Zealand (Invercargill or Bluff) 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. When you reach the Antarctic mainland, 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 the historic Mawson’s Huts at Commonwealth Bay.

Getting there: If you already reside in Australia then most local airlines will connect you through to Hobart or Invercargill to begin your journey of a lifetime.

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.

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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.

  • We can arrange all of your Latin America travel pre and post cruise. Whether it is just a stop over or a month long itinerary, we offer full service for all Latin American travel. 

  • 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.

FEATURED Antarctica TRIPS & DEALS

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ANTARCTICA
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Antarctica Untouched

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The Ocean Endeavour

Join Chimu Adventures on an exclusive charter to Antarctica aboard the Ocean Endeavour. ...

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Songs in the South with Paul Kelly

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The Ocean Endeavour

In March 2021, iconic Australian singer-songwriter, Paul Kelly, will be joining Chimu Adventures for...

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Antarctica CRUISES

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!

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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. For more information on what to pack, read our blog

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.

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.

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.