Antarctica may not the cheapest place in the world to visit, there’s no denying it, yet if you – like us – believe in getting value for money when travelling, then you will also not find another more worthwhile destination on which to spend your hard-earned travel funds.
Because Antarctica isn’t cheap. Antarctica is priceless.
An Antarctica trip-cost will depend on your answers to the following questions:
Where are you travelling from?
What do you want to include in your journey to Antarctica?
How long do you want to go for?
What kind of comfort level do you need?
What kind/how many activities do you wish to partake in?
In order to help you plan your finances for a trip to Antarctica, we’ll briefly outline the options of how to get to Antarctica, corresponding costs and give you tips how to get the best deals around.
Expedition ship cruises
Cruises departing from New Zealand & Australia
Cruises from our shores, bound for the enigmatic eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula, are the longest and most adventurous ones of all. They are also the most expensive. Yet although the price tag of these is overall greater than any other option, the cruises do offer a very unique experience. Whether or not that’s worth the extra expense for you is impossible for us to tell.
Cruises to Antarctica from New Zealand and Australia range in price from
USD 16000 (for a 3-week trip) and up to about USD 26,000 for a month-long journey.
These expeditions visit one of the most isolated regions of the most isolated continent on earth, offering astounding sights not seen anywhere else. With this option, you’d have to add on a domestic flight from home to either port of call: Invercargill for New Zealand and Hobart for Australia.
Cruises from South America
The most popular cruise option, the one from South America, is the cheapest of all thanks to Ushuaia (at the very southern tip of Patagonia) being so close to the Antarctic Peninsula. Here, you’ll find the greatest range of choice, of ships, itinerary duration and budget.
Depending on your choice of cruise – and taking into consideration length, included destinations and comfort level – you can expect to pay between USD 4, 770 and USD 12,000. Itineraries range from 10 days to 18 days and can include special stops in the Falklands and South Georgia.
Of course, extra expenses you’ll have to cover here are international flights to Ushuaia (via Buenos Aires, Argentina) which we detail below
Scenic flights from Australia
Taking place only a few times every summer, scenic day-long flights over Antarctica depart from several Australian locations and the least expensive seat will set you back about USD 930 for a 12-hour round-trip flight – plus whatever connecting transport you’ll need to reach the designated airport. As we’d mentioned in our previous guide, these scenic flights are amazing for those who simply can’t take the time for a cruise or have restricted mobility or limited funds. Just take a look at this promo video to see what kind of incredible adventure you can look forward to.
International flights to Antarctica
If you’re planning to head to South America to take advantage of the greatest range of Antarctica cruise options, then you’re probably wondering how much an international flight will cost you.
From New Zealand, you will be in the best position, as non-stop flights operate between Auckland and Buenos Aires (Argentina) – at an average price of about USD 930.
From Australia, and considering you’ll have to bunny-hop over New Zealand, you’ll need to add between USD 300 and USD 600 on the above-mentioned price, depending on whence you originate (the former if coming from the east coast, the latter if coming from the west).
Once in Argentina, a domestic flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia costs around USD 400.
Get the best Antarctica deals
All the above-mentioned prices are based on current costs of flights and cruises for the upcoming Antarctica travel season. None of them, however, take into consideration the fact that many people plan their jaunt to Antarctica forup to a year, and even two, in advance. The plus of doing this? You can score some truly spectacular early-bird deals, on everything from flights to cruises to accommodation. Sometimes, cruises are on offer for up to 50% off when booked well in advance and, coupled with flash airline deals and the fact that international flights are always cheapest when bought well in advance anyway, you could possibly shave thousands of dollars off the above-mentioned prices.
And hasn’t Antarctica travel just become a lot more doable?
Moreover, sharing a cabin if travelling solo will help you dodge that all-dreaded single-supplement almost all cruise ships charge.
Last-minute deals on the other hand, whilst popular in many other parts of the world, are a bit of a double-edged sword as far as Antarctica is concerned. Yes, you could potentially find a last-minute sale on an Antarctic cruise, but then you’d need to hurry and find last-minute flights to the port and accommodation – all at whatever price is going. So what you save on one thing you may well spend on another. Not to mention that last-minute Antarctica deals are not very common at all. Most cruise ship cabins sell out months in advance, for obvious reasons. Such a mammoth expedition needs time to properly plan and prepare.
The cost of a trip to Antarctica depends on a number of factors and will include incidentals like specialized insurance as well as pre and post-cruise accommodation. For more personalized tips and info, do contact us now. It’s never too early to plan a phenomenal adventure to the most spellbinding destination you’ll ever visit
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