A snow-blanketed desert lost at the end of the world amidst vast oceans and protected by pack ice and looming icebergs, Antarctica is so isolated and extreme that few people make the trek to see and experience it. Yet intrepid, adventurous travellers can explore this wilderness, and what’s more they can do it in some style aboard a luxury cruise ship, allowing them to retrace historic voyages, enjoy close-up wildlife encounters and bag supreme bragging rights after some once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Antarctica guarantees incredible experiences. Take to the air in a helicopter for an extraordinary perspective. Cruise through the coastal passages in serious style looking out for colonies of penguins and congregations of seabirds, in the company of an expert naturalist, geologist or marine biologist. Imagine life in the harsh conditions. Or, why not practice your wildlife photography on seals with a top cameraman, or huddle with penguins for exceptional close-up pictures? You might spend a day watching pods of orcas hunting, while the next, an inflatable RIB vessel will bring you to hidden corners and secret shores of even the most off-the-beaten path locations. Land on the ice and explore deeper on foot or skis, discover the work and scientific activity being undertaken at a remote research station, and slip beneath the ice to dive with the creatures that live here. Or simply sit in the all-embracing silence and stargaze in some of the darkest, least light-polluted skies.
Cruise Antarctica's frigid seas on a luxury expedition ship such as Silver Explorer, which is both surprisingly spacious and kitted out with all manner of creature comforts. Or, for a truly exclusive experience, set sail between the icebergs on a private yacht. There's even the option to stay right on the ice at a wilderness camp – an experience you'll never forget.
Combine the world’s wild remotes with unbridled luxury aboard the Silver Cloud, enjoying all-inclusive fine dining, open bars and the indulgence of a butler-served suite.
This is one of the world’s most luxurious exploration ships, able to pair the world’s remotest regions with all-inclusive fine dining and open-bar indulgences.
Cruise ships to Antarctica only make the voyage during the southern hemisphere’s summer months, from late-October to late-March, when temperatures oscillate between +/-5°C. Expect long days and changeable weather. When the sun shines off the ice, high-favtore sunblock is essential.
Antarctica Bridge with Silversea
11 days from £13,420 pp incl. flights Silver Explorer
A fast-track to the White Continent, this luxury Silversea cruise skips the infamously choppy waters of the Drake Passage to deliver you in unmatched style, via a business class charter flight, to the wilds of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Discover Antarctica on Scenic Eclipse
16 days from £10,980 pp incl. flights
Explore the frozen desert landscapes of Antarctica on Scenic Eclipse, a luxuriously intimate vessel complete with an onboard helicopter and submarine, as well as Zodiacs and kayaks for immersive excursions in the wild.
Torres del Paine & Antarctic Fly Cruise
16 days from £16,075 pp incl. flights
Witness towering rock spires in Torres del Paine National Park, relax on the shores of Lake Sarmiento and savour exquisite wines between exploring the wild, frozen expanse of the West Antarctica Peninsula.