A journey to Antarctica is the ultimate wilderness experience that offers a wonderful combination of stark, natural beauty and abundant wildlife. Follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s greatest explorers - Scott, Shackleton, and Amundsen – to discover a land of unsurpassed beauty and majesty.
The most accessible highlights of the continent and included in every itinerary are the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. The peninsula has a dramatic landscape of rugged mountains, icy bays and hundreds of off-shore islands that together offer one of the richest breeding grounds for seabirds, seals and penguins. The South Shetland Islands are a mountainous, heavily-glaciated chain of four island groups that have volcanic scenery, abundant wildlife and old abandoned whaling and sealer stations.
Longer cruises visit The Falklands – a wild, rugged land that is home to 5 species of penguin, large bird colonies such as albatrosses, dolphins, whales and elephant seals as well as having a fascinating and controversial history.
Remote South Georgia is often described as the gem of the Southern Ocean with its spectacular mountains and incredibly large King penguin rookeries. In addition to this blend of awesome scenery and high density wildlife the island has close ties with the heroic adventures of Sir Ernest Shackleton.
From November to March the most isolated place on earth plays host to vast quantities of penguins, seals, seabirds, orca and whales that are drawn to the rich oceanic feeding grounds and summer sun. Regular landings and zodiac outings bring us very close to this teeming wildlife that is largely unfazed by human presence; thus allowing wonderfully close observation whilst always respecting the habitat and behaviour.
When to go
Nov offers the pristine scenes of early season, the pack ice is breaking up and birds are courting and mating. Dec/Jan sees the penguin chicks hatch and seal pups born; with the longest days (20 hrs of sun) and warmest temperatures. In Feb/Mar numerous whale species gather, the penguin chicks begin to fledge; the sunsets are spectacular and the pack ice has broken up – allowing deeper penetration south to the Polar Circle and into the Weddell Sea. The seasons in the Falklands and South Georgia arrive slightly earlier.
Polar Expedition Vessels
Specialising in small ship voyaging with a real focus on nature, wildlife and local history; we have chosen a range of ships that offer the most comprehensive itineraries to suit different budgets while always adhering to SOLAS and IAATO safety regulations and environmental concerns. All of our vessles are suitable for Polar waters and share the following characteristics:
- Small ships maximise your zodiac and shore time
- Twin or triple cabins and suites
- Solo travellers can choose to share
- All cabins outward facing
- All meals and excursions are included
- 12 people per 16-man zodiac for more space and comfort
Find out more about the M/S Expedition
Find out more about the M/V Plancius
How to book
Your booking will be handled by our small and friendly Tailormade Explore team. You may have noticed that the prices quoted on our website are lead-in prices (based on sharing a twin cabin), and are for the cruise only. Our Tailormade Explore team will help you arrange any flights you may need, as well as transfers and hotels (if needed).