antarctica cruises

10 of the Best Expedition Cruises to Antarctica

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Are you looking for the best adventure cruises with a twist? You’ve come to the right place. While most cruise ships take you to popular coastal cities and tropical islands, Antarctica cruises are a unique journey like no other.

Expedition cruises are much like their traditional counterparts, except that they focus more on land experiences. When you imagine traveling on a cruise ship, you probably picture lounging by the ship’s pool with cocktails. While you’ll still do all this on an expedition cruise, you’ll also make once-in-a-lifetime memories as you sail close to breathtaking action onshore.

Expect to see rare animals and spectacular icy landscapes as you journey through Earth’s least populated continent. Join the 4.8 million yearly cruisers today by booking one of the following expeditions to Antarctica.

1. Holland America Line

Holland America Line is a prestigious cruise company known for providing exceptional voyages and outstanding service. With a fleet of elegant ships, they offer a blend of classic sophistication and modern amenities to ensure a comfortable and refined travel experience.

At Holland America Line, culinary excellence takes center stage, with a range of dining options that cater to diverse tastes. Expert chefs create inspired dishes, showcasing global cuisines and local flavors, providing a culinary journey for guests to savor.

They offer a variety of enrichment programs designed to engage and entertain. Guests can attend enlightening lectures by renowned experts, participate in hands-on workshops and enjoy cultural performances that celebrate the destinations visited.

2. Hurtigruten Expeditions

Luxury cruises don’t come much more comfortable than Hurtigruten Expeditions’ Highlights of Antarctica tour. Across twelve remarkable days, you’ll witness giant glaciers and watch penguins and whales in their natural habitat.

Onboard, you’ll have the opportunity to attend photography classes and lectures about Antarctic ecosystems, as well as use the library, hot tubs, infinity pool and gym. Ashore, you’ll explore unique locations that have been visited by only a small number of people.

3. Quark Expeditions

Explore the beautiful and unique continent of Antarctica with Quark Expeditions. You’ll spot newborn penguins and whales exploring the ocean during the birthing season.

Offering cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula, Patagonia, Snow Hill Island, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, there’s something for everyone—whether you love snow-covered mountains, breathtaking waterfalls or time spent among exciting animals.

4. Viking Expeditions

The Antarctica & South Georgia Island tour is an experience like no other. While most Antarctica cruise ships travel between Ushuaia and the Antarctic Circle, this one also takes you to the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

On the Falkland Islands, you’ll be in awe at the vast birdlife that flies between the majestic cliffs. At South Georgia, you’ll kayak along the water and marvel at penguins and seals.

5. Silversea

Looking for an Antarctica expedition that starts and ends on King George Island? Silversea’s King George Island to King George Island tour was designed with you in mind.

King George Island is uniquely placed as the gateway to the Antarctica continent. You’ll find scientific research stations here, and even a church with a priest who lives on the island full-time. Penguins inhabit this island, as well as skuas and petrels.

6. Scenic

Scenic’s Beyond the Antarctic Circle tour is the best Antarctica cruise for those who enjoy high-quality service alongside unbelievable views. You’ll have access throughout your time to a team of experts who are on hand to answer your questions and show you the very best sights that this region has to offer.

You’ll love the sound of snow crunching underfoot as you take a small boat ashore and explore locations that so few have.

7. Lindblad Cruises

On the 21-night Antarctica and Land Tour, you’ll fly from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia—the world’s southernmost city. Clocking in as one of the longest tours on the list, you can expect to find lots of time to relax with a glass of champagne between stops.

With Lindblad Cruises, you’ll be following in the footsteps of explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. We’re confident you’ll love birdwatching in South Georgia and dolphin spotting during your sea days.

8. AE Expeditions

Cameras at the ready. On this cruise tour, you’ll explore rugged bays and coves, witness breathtaking icebergs and see baby penguins that have just hatched.

Setting sail through the Drake Passage, you’ll spot magnificent albatrosses and beautiful icescapes. Passengers on this cruise tour get to spend four whole days in the Antarctic Peninsula, where they’ll enjoy as many as 24 hours of daylight.

9. Swan Hellenic

On the Weddell Sea Discovery cruise offered by Swan Hellenic, you’ll experience 11 nights of extraordinary Antarctic experiences, delicious onboard food and knowledgeable tour guides.

Expect to be shocked by the sheer size of the icebergs and the number of penguins you’ll see on this lifetime trip. Days spent at sea are great for meeting other passengers, reading a book or indulging in tasty food and world-class wines.

10. Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line is a popular cruise line that operates a fleet of modern cruise ships, offering a range of exciting itineraries around the world. With a focus on innovation, Norwegian Cruise Line is known for its unique onboard features, such as the first-ever ice bar at sea and a ropes course that hangs 40 feet above the deck.

The cruise line also offers a variety of dining options, from casual to fine dining and entertainment options, including Broadway-style shows and live music performances. Norwegian Cruise Line's commitment to providing guests with a memorable vacation experience has earned it a loyal following of cruisers.