Best Small Cruises to Antarctica

One of the driest and coldest continents, Antarctica is also renowned as one of the last unspoiled wilderness frontiers on earth. Cruise travelers will find spectacular towering mountains and extensive glaciers that provide a unique habitat for an array of fascinating aquatic birds, marine mammals and other creatures, which thrive in the frigid environment. An Antarctica cruise provides the opportunity to view this amazing polar ice sheet and its animal habitats up-close in style and comfort. 

antarctica cruise

Experience an incredible phenomenon known as glacier calving, which causes huge blocks of ice to break away creating country-sized icebergs. Witness pods of whales on their annual migration, seals sunbathing on the rocks and penguins frolicking on the ice. Enjoy panoramic vistas of the volcanic crater that forms Deception Island and distinctive natural rock and ice formations that resemble futuristic sculptures. These excursions can include side trips to the Falklands and South Georgia Island as well as historic whaling sites and research stations. Several cruise lines offer intimate excursions for both experienced and first-time travelers.

Silversea features elegant and luxurious cruises with inimitable personalized customer service. This expedition of discovery for discerning travelers features a relaxing, informal lifestyle in a cosmopolitan atmosphere aboard the Silver Explorer, a purpose-rebuilt expedition ship. Passengers can savor sophisticated elegance that includes special amenities like a sauna, fitness center and full-service spa as well as an Internet café, a beauty salon and live entertainment. Exciting trips enable guests to view whales, penguins and seals during onshore nature hikes and offshore jaunts across the serene water on a Zodiac. Lectures provide interesting perspectives into the local geology, flora and fauna that guests generally see during the next day’s adventures. Silversea offers an amazing Antarctica cruise that will be an awesome life-changing experience.

Quark Expeditions has the largest number of ships operating in the area, which provides you with even more opportunities to select the Antarctica cruise experience of your choice. Employing some of the most knowledgeable guides, Quark offers more varied, longer and innovative itineraries that usually travel further south than other expeditions. The company was the first line to circumnavigate the continent twice in a season during 2005. National Geographic nominated Quark’s Far-Side Semi-Circumnavigation tour as one of the top 50 adventure expeditions a lifetime. Their awe-inspiring adventures include helicopter flights that explore the Weddell Sea and some of the world’s largest ice shelves that take guests beyond the Antarctic Circle. Quark Expeditions offers some of the most in-depth excursions to the White Continent. Options range from excursions that land among massive colonies of breeding penguins to “do-it-all” adventures, which include the environmental tapestry of the Falklands and South Georgia. 

Antarctica XXI offers ease and luxury with a remarkable fly and cruise combination package. The adventure begins in quaint Punta Arena, Chile, one of the world’s most southern cities. From here, intrepid travelers fly to the South Shetland Islands off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula where they will meet the cruise ship. Bypassing the treacherous Drake Passage by air enables you to spend two extra days exploring the spectacular wildlife and scenery of Antarctica by land and sea. The modern cruise ships are comfortable expedition vessels with ice-strengthened hull, which make them ideal for expeditions to some of the world’s most inaccessible places. Passengers also enjoy customized personal service. Nature guides help guests discover the hidden treasures of Antarctica through fascinating lectures, naturalist-led hikes onshore and Zodiac excursions afloat. Antarctica XXI provides a delightful combination of relaxation and adventure in the frozen wilderness.

Antarctica, once the exclusive haunt of daring explorers, is now accessible to other outdoor enthusiasts. Modern icebreakers and aircraft make traveling to and around the continent safer and easier. Antarctica travel is unlike any other destination, let Epic Road guide you through the planning process of selecting the best small cruises to Antarctica.

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