Antarctica is so isolated and extreme – a snow-blanketed desert lost at the end of the world amidst vast oceans and protected by pack ice and looming icebergs – 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.
Sleep on a luxury expedition cruise vessel, such as Silver Explorer, which is both surprisingly spacious and kitted out with all manner of creature comforts. Or, for a truly exclusive exclusive, set sail between the icebergs on a private yacht. Ask us as well about staying on the ice at a luxury wilderness camp.
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 winter months, from late-October to late-March, when temperatures oscillate between +/-5°C.
Chile & the Antarctic with Silversea
16 days from £12,755 pp incl. flights Silver Cloud
Live a life of sophistication in Chile with a stylish stay in Santiago, followed by an indulging trip to the vineyards of Colchagua Valley. Then, embark on an adventure of a lifetime to the glittering glaciers and wondrous wildlife of Antarctica's seldom-ventured landscapes.
Torres del Paine & Antarctic Cruise
16 days from £17,145 pp incl. flights
Witness towering rock spires in Torres del Paine National Park, relax on the shores of Lake Sarmiento and savour exquisite wines on this itinerary, designed to celebrate the best of Chile's natural treasures – including its proximity to the wild, frozen expanse of the West Antarctica Peninsula.