The Best Antarctica Tours 2019 – 2021

Laura Pattara

Laura Pattara  |  26 February 2019

Check out our full collection of Antarctica cruises here.

Offering a feast for all the senses, the best Antarctica tours for 2019-2021 combine the most astonishing highlights of the continent, offering an eclectic array of travel experiences which can only be found this far south. Gargantuan icebergs, otherworldly icy landscapes, wildlife encounters galore and some of the most fascinating historical sites on our planet – hailing back from the days when we knew so little of our planet’s southernmost region.


What can you expect from an Antarctic tour?

On all Antarctic tours, you can expect to have a smorgasbord of activities on offer: Zodiac landings are a given, of course, but you’ll also find Antarctic cruises offering kayaking, ice-camping, hiking, cross-country skiing and so much more. The revered close animal encounters for which Antarctica is so renowned, on landing sites where colonies of penguins and seal converge, are always the icing on the cake down here, so you can include wildlife watching and whale spotting on your list.


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What should I be looking for when choosing the right Antarctic tour for me?

When it comes to Antarctica cruises, options abound. Not just in regards to which vessel you should choose but also which itinerary inclusions you should pin on your list and the kind of comfort level that may suit you best. In our endeavour to offer a varied mixed-bag of delights, we’ve highlighted our favourite Antarctica tours that satisfy the cravings of the active explorer, the wildlife lover and the consummate adventurer.


Here’s our collection of the Best in Show - The very best Antarctica cruises for 2019 – 2021

11-day Antarctica on the Ocean Endeavour – The most affordable Antarctica tour of all

The Ocean Endeavour cruise to Antarctica consistently rates among the top contenders and not only because it offers the most affordable journey of all. This fabulous ship offers plenty of creature comforts so you need not worry that the lower price means a lower standard of services and amenities. What makes this beast of the seas stand out, however, is the amazing array of activities both on and off the ship, offering an experiential trip like no other. There’s snow-shoeing and kayaking around the magical South Shetland Islands, as well as ice-camping, hiking, SUP boarding and special-interest excursions (like landscape photography) that appeal to guests of all ages. Catering to only 200 guests makes the OE very enticing indeed, gifting you more time ashore and less time waiting around to board Zodiacs. With more than a dozen cabin categories to choose from – the cheapest starting at just over NZD 7,400, the 11-day Ocean Endeavor Discover Antarctica tour is simply unbeatable. On all fronts.


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14-day Antarctic Circle on the Ocean Endeavor – For that bucket-list tick that’s hard to overlook

An Antarctica cruise is a travel highlight like few others yet there’s something about crossing the invisible Antarctic Circle line that makes longer voyages all the more riveting. On this incredible two-week voyage from Ushuaia, you’ll board the Ocean Endeavor and take her further south along the western coast of the Peninsula, combining the above-mentioned trip and adding a few days south of the Antarctic Circle, making more landfalls and squeezing more wildlife experiences along the way. Aboard the 14-day Antarctic Circle tour on the Ocean Endeavour, you’ll find a stunning wellness centre complete with sauna and jacuzzi, two restaurants, a well-stocked library and fantastic viewing platforms (both indoor and outdoor) for rewarding whale-watching galore. When we said the Ocean Endeavour had it all…we meant it!


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11-day Jewel of Antarctica on the brand-new MV Hondius – Our tailor-made private charter 

We’re super excited to be hosting this exclusive Antarctica charter of the MV Hondius, a stunning dame of the seas celebrating her maiden voyage on 2019. As one of the most advanced polar vessels gracing Antarctic waters (and one of the few granted Polar Class 6 certification) the MV Hondius offers superb luxury and comfort and, on this special charter which runs from the 25th January to the 5th February 2020, we’ll be joined by an impressive team of illustrious guests, who’ll offer inspirational and enlightening presentations as you retrace the steps of polar explorers. Hosting just 176 guests in stunning elegance and offering a wealth of optional activities as well as gourmet dining and personalised service, this 11-day Jewels of Antarctica voyage really is the stuff of Antarctic travel-dreams. A private charter boasting a bespoke itinerary, in the company of some of the leading experts in the field. On this journey, you’ll be visiting an array of Antarctic hot-spots, including Cuverville Island ( a haven for breeding Gentoo penguins), Danco Island, the startling Crystal Sound, Paradise Bay and, of course, the South Shetland Island group with chances for visiting foreign scientific research stations to boot.


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23-day Antarctic Circle via the Falklands & South Georgia – For Antarctic experience

Undoubtedly the most comprehensive Antarctic tour of the lot, this 23-day whirlwind trip starts in Buenos Aires and is ideal for those for whom an Antarctic expedition from Argentina is a once-in-a-lifetime journey. Offering a dose of fascinating history, architecture, wilderness and wildlife, all combined with a crossing of the Antarctic Circle aboard a world-class ice-strengthened ship, this impressive itinerary offers no backtracking at all. From Ushuaia, you’ll head straight east to visit the fascinating Falklands (Islas Malvinas) making daily landings to explore the rugged wilderness of this incredible place. South Georgia is the feather of this Antarctica tour’s cap, the renowned ‘wildlife creche of Antarctica’ home to one of the largest King Penguin colonies on earth and one of the most eminent highlights of Antarctic cruising. Not many expedition ships include South Georgia on their itinerary given its more remote locations so they’re among the most coveted experiences of all. See our date range for this amazing 3-in-1 Circle, Falklands and South Georgia Antarctic Tour and do note that your return flight between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia is included in the price.


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21-day Ultimate Antarctica Wildlife Experience – The name says it all!

It’s hard to imagine that such a harsh environment like Antarctica could possibly attract such a crazy array of unique wildlife yet given its pristine nature and nutrient-rich waters, it’s really no wonder hardy creatures like whales, seals, penguins and a near-infinite array of birds migrate here every year. On this 21-day voyage, we maximise wildlife encounters by visiting the most animal-enriched corners of the White Continent and navigating ocean corridors where humpbacks, minke, Southern Right, sperm and killer whales converge. On land, you’ll have the chance to walk among penguin rookeries numbering in their thousands, soak up the day’s rays with laze seals (over eight species visit during the summer) and you’ll have over 45 species of birds to check off your ornithologist’s almanack. More than 1000 million birds make the long pilgrimage to Antarctica every year, making this one of the most underrated birdwatcher’s meccas in the world. The ultimate wildlife experience in the ultimate travel destination of all: this is a 3-week jaunt for the consummate animal lover. All of this aboard the MV Spirit, one of the most respected and experienced polar vessels around, revered for its old-world spacious cabins which are unheard of in more modern ships. Plenty of space, amazing comforts and top-notch service combine to make this a fantastic value-for-money Antarctica tour.


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Itching to know more? There are actually many more options available for Antarctic torus with a difference, including a popular 6-day Antarctica Fly/Sail (perfect for those who are either short on time or wish to skip the Drake Passage) and an unforgettable Antarctica Solar Eclipse Tour scheduled for November 2021. See our full Antarctica Tour collection for more inspiring journeys and remember that such a special destination deserves some special planning.

It’s never too early to plan a trip to the end of the world. We’re always right here to answer any and all questions you may have.

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