Classic Antarctica Holiday
Sail the Drake Passage, island-hop the South Shetlands and leave your footprints on the Antarctic Peninsula.
Conquer the final frontier with an Antarctica holiday, navigating the same routes as pioneering explorers aboard an Antarctic vessel - crossing the famous Drake Passage, island-hopping around the South Shetlands and stepping foot on the Antarctic Peninsula, leaving your footprints in the snow.
Travel deeper, though epic landscapes as well as through time. Prehistoric fossil fields found on islands in the Weddell Sea provide lessons on our planet’s heritage, whilst stories of bold explorers such as Sir Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott inspire with their astounding tales of survival.
Today, the least visited and most inaccessible continent on Earth is still playing an important role in our history, with the impacts of climate change clearly visible in melting ice, shrinking glaciers and collapsing ice cliffs.
Yet, in this desolate and remote wilderness of freezing temperatures, stormy seas, seasons of total darkness and pure light, home to one of the world’s driest deserts – there is an abundance of life. Hundreds of thousands of penguins dominate the icy shores, with fluffy chicks demanding to be fed in the spring and adults huddling together to keep warm in the winter.
Elephant seals engage in deadly duels, whilst pods of hunting orca stalk the inky waters looking for prey. As you kayak past giant bergs across serene Antarctic bays, you might even be lucky enough to spot a humpback whale jumping out of the ocean.
Choose a route according to your preferences. If you’d rather skip the seasickness, then opt to fly the Drake and land on King George Island to start your Antarctic cruise from there. If you want to follow in the footsteps of Shackleton, then take a three-week tour of Antarctica, including stops at South Georgia and the Falklands.
For a truly unique Antarctic experience, wildlife enthusiasts can even participate in citizen science on a research expedition, studying marine mammals.
Your polar journey doesn’t end once you disembark your cruise ship, as seeing Antarctica in the flesh will totally transform the way you see the world. From adorable penguin encounters to the shocking frigid temperatures of a polar plunge, to a newfound appreciation for the planet - you’ve journeyed to the end of the world and back, and you’ll never be quite the same.
Antarctic cruises run from late October to late March, though not all are available during the full season, as route access depends on weather and ice conditions. October, November and March are shoulder season, although these months are popular with photographers who are looking to escape the crowds and make the most of the epic sunrises and sunsets of late spring and early autumn. December, January and February are the peak months to visit, so make sure you book well in advance to ensure availability for your dates. However, these months are popular for a reason, as wildlife watching is in its prime, with fluffy penguin chicks and migration whale pods aplenty.