Antarctica Tours from NZ and Australia

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Cruising to Antarctica from New Zealand / Australia

Sail south from New Zealand to the remote and icy wonderland of Antarctica. Discover a place unlike any other, where nature reigns supreme and every moment is filled with wonder and amazement.

There are cruises to Antarctica that depart from New Zealand, although most Antarctic tours depart from Ushuaia, in Argentina. South America is closer to Antarctica than New Zealand is, so Antarctic cruises that depart from South America are less expensive, and therefore more popular.

However, New Zealand or Australia are great gateways to discover this amazing land of ice, with possible stops at sub-Antarctic islands such as Macquarie, Snares, Auckland and Campbell Islands. By visiting the eastern part of Antarctica, you’re guaranteed to experience a very remote location. Named “home of the blizzard” by Sir Douglas Mawson during the 1911-1913 Australasian Antarctic Expedition, very little of this part of Antarctica is not covered with ice.

Bustling with wildlife, East Antarctica is home to incredible animals. Get up close with penguins, or witness many different species of birds, seals and whales. Generally higher in altitude than west Antarctica, you’ll be amazed to discover the immensity of the glaciers and snow-covered mountains.

Just starting to plan your Antarctic adventure? Read our Ultimate Antarctica Guide  to learn more about travelling to this incredible bucket-list destination.


What wildlife can be seen in the Antarctic Circle?

The most famous animal in Antarctica is the penguin, 17 species in total. Different species of birds, whales, killer whales, dolphins and seals can also be seen. A paradise for animal lovers. 

What is the weather like in Antarctica?

The lowest temperature ever recorded was in July 1983 at -89.2 degrees Celsius.
The average annual temperature is about -10 on the Antarctic Coast. However, our tours run in summer, from late October until March, known to be the warmest months at about 0 degrees.

Do I need to be fit to cross the Antarctic Circle?

Being fit is not a must, however, being in a good health is necessary. You need to be able to get in and out of zodiacs during land expeditions, knowing that it can be slippery. A doctor is on board during the tour, but you are still a long way from any other medical assistance.

Do I need a visa to travel to East Antarctica?

A pre-arranged visa is not required to enter Antarctica from Australia and New Zealand. 

How long will it take to reach East Antarctica?

Cruises to Antarctica from Tasmania or New Zealand take longer than going from Ushuaia. It is possible to reach Antarctica in 6 or 7 days. Most voyages include a break by visiting The Snares, Auckland Islands, Macquarie Island and Campbell Island.

Is it safe to travel to Antarctica?

All our tours are 100% tried and tested to ensure that when you travel with us, you are doing so in a controlled and safe environment with trained experts. Also, one of our biggest concerns is the weather conditions to ensure you have the best adventure without risk of injuries to you or the vessel. For your safety, activities may occasionally need to be rescheduled or cancelled.

Destination Map

Learn more about travelling to Antarctica

Read our Ultimate Antarctica Guide

Some of the main attractions

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Antarctica is a destination that not many people get to experience. Be adventurous and experience a trip of a lifetime.

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Macquarie Islands

Spot Royal Penguins. The raw beauty of the landscapes and abundance of wildlife makes it a must visit destination during a tour to Antarctica.

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Campbell Island

Described as a nature reserve, unspoilt land where you can witness birds as it is the most important place of breeding for the Southern Royal Albatross.

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Ross Sea

This region of Antarctica is one of the most untouched environments in the world, visit Ross Island, where you may be able to see Mount Erebus, it is also home to the biggest scientific station of Antarctica, American McMurdo

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Snares Islands

The Snares Islands are part of the New Zealand Subantarctic World Heritage Site. No landings are permitted on The Snares but Zodiac cruising gives great views of the three of endemics; the Snares Crested Penguin, the Snares Tomtit and the Fernbird.

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Auckland Islands

Home to many species of plants and animals not found anywhere else in the world, despite hostile weather. Because they are rarely visited, the islands are in near-virgin condition and have the richest flora of all the Subantarctic Islands.

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Our Vessels

Heritage Adventurer

140 Passengers

Le Soléal

264 (200 in Antarctica) Passengers