Antarctica Cruises

Antarctica Expedition Cruise Specialist Working With Many Cruise Suppliers to the Antarctic with 28 Years Experience Local Chile and Patagonia Offices English Owner

Up to USD400 per person Credit for Hotels and Other Services when we book Antarctica Expedition Crusies for you. 

What We Do

Our speciality is to design Antarctic Expedition Cruises and Antarctica visits from Ushuaia in Argentina or from Punta Arenas in Chile. We work with a number of ships operating this route each offering different levels of comfort and style. We can also design a travel itinerary to include other destinations in Chile and / or Argentina such as Torres del Paine and El Calafate as well as Buenos Aires and / or Santiago.

In this web site are shown very few options, however we work with many Antarctic cruise ship partners, so please send in your email if you want to go to Antarctica, supply your date window and desired budget per person in USD and we will send you some great options.

Please enter the site for lots of information about torres del paine or supply us with details on what you want and send your enquiry direct to: request@experiencechile.org

Our sole objective is to create an exceptional travel experience for you, or your group.

Antarctica Cruise Information

Antarctica is the southernmost continent on Earth. It is a solid land mass, over which about 98% of its surface is covered by a permanent layer of ice, measuring in places to a depth of around 1.6 km, locking in about 90% of the world’s fresh water, and near its centre is the geographic South Pole. It is located in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely within the Antarctic Circle, surrounded on all sides by the Southern Ocean. It covers an area of almost 14.0 million km2 making it the fifth-largest continent in land mass after Asia, Africa, North America and South America and is almost twice the area size of Australia. In the winter months the surrounding sea also freezes over almost doubling the surface area of the ice sheet.

antarctica-cruisesantarctic-cruisesantarctic-cruisesantarctica-cruisesantarctica-cruises

Because of the fact that Antarctica is at the South Pole and covered in freezing-cold ice, it is the coldest, but also driest (not much moisture in the air – annual rain fall is at 200 mm on the coast and far less in its interior) and the most windy of all the continents, which makes it a formidable, hostile, isolated and inhospitable environment for most living creatures in which to survive. In many places the ice cap is constantly moving into glacial rivers that then flow from the land onto the sea where vast areas of ice float until they break into enormous icebergs that then float around its coastal perimeter causing a difficult obstruction for shipping to navigate around, and an almost impenetrable barrier to the early explorers.

There is no permanent human city or conurbation on the land mass, except for a number of small scientific research settlements from the various countries that claim disputed territorial rights to the continent. These research stations are scattered across the continent, with most located near the coast, where cumulatively, between 1,000 to 4,000 scientific researchers from varying countries live during the year.

The name Antarctica is attributed to the Scottish cartographer John Bartholomew, and comes from the Greek word “aviapktikn” (“antarktike”), feminine of “aviapktikoc” which means “opposite to the north”.

In 1959 the Antarctic Treaty was signed by twelve countries to prohibit military activities, mining and general “development” on the continent. Today the number of signatory countries has risen to forty six and, unfortunately, some are now discussing the possibilities of mining for minerals.

Early Human Antarctic History
Since the 1st century AD, the Greeks calculated that the world must be I the shape of a globe and that there must therefore be a southern land mass (“Terra Australis”) in order to “balance out” the vast northern lands of Europe, Asia and North Africa; the general idea being that there had to be a “symmetry” between the then known land masses in the world.

This large, “hypothetical”, southern land mass had been depicted on maps since the early 16th century. However on 17 January 1773, Captain James Cook became the first-known person to navigate across the Antarctic Circle on board HMS Resolution, accompanied by its sister ship HMS Adventure. Cook tried to get past the perilous natural floating ice barrier of giant icebergs on more than one voyage, but he was prevented from doing so. Nevertheless, Cook unwittingly “promoted”, via his ships logs, that this newly-discovered area contained an abundance of marine fauna, specifically seals and whales, which in turn led to the arrival of seal and whale hunters to the region shortly after. The fur pelts from seals and blubber from whales converted into easy money back in Europe and North America, although the journey to these waters and actual hunting in treacherous conditions was anything but easy. It was common for these pioneer hunters to find sought-after seal breeding grounds on Antarctic land, but such information they would keep secret for fear of a competitor coming in to take some of the bounty. As a consequence there were no official records logged of when the Antarctic land may have actually been first sighted.

It was therefore not until 1820 when the first officially-recorded sighting of the Antarctic Peninsula land mass was logged. Officially the sightings were made by Russian Naval Captain Thaddeus von Bellingshausen (27 January 1820), followed three days later by British Royal Navy Captain Edward Bransfield (30 January 1820) and a little later by a North American seal hunter called Nathaniel Palmer from Connecticut (November 1820). With regards to an actual landing on the continent, the first logged landing on Antarctica mainland was on 7 February 1821 by sealer-hunter John Davis, but this is disputed by a number of historians.

In 1909 an expedition led by Ernest Shackleton aimed to reach the South Pole, but ended just short, leaving this accomplishment to Norwegian Roald Amundsen who, on 14 December 1911 became the first explorer to reach the geographic South Pole, followed by the Scott expedition a month later.

Antarctic Geography
Antarctica is the highest continent on earth with an average height of 2,500m (by comparison the average elevation of Australia is only 340m) and it contains one of the longest mountain ranges in the world called the Transantarctic Mountains that stretch for a distance of approximately 4,800km (longer than the length of Chile), mostly buried under the Antarctic ice cap, but exposed in some places, with the highest peak above the ice cap called Vinson Massif at a height of around 4,897m. The height at the South Pole measures 2,835m and the highest point on the icecap is in the claimed Australian Antarctic Territory, at 4,100m.

The Transantarctic mountains run from the north-west tip of the Antarctic Peninsula near the Weddell Sea down to Cape Adare in the south west, forming a natural dividing line between west and east Antarctica, but whilst the larger area of land under the ice cap on the east is at an elevation higher than sea level, the western-side land under the ice cap is mostly at an elevation below sea level. It has also been recently discovered that under the ice sheet are 70 lakes.
In this web site are shown very few options, however we work with many Antarctic cruise ship partners, so please send in your email if you want to go to Antarctica, supply your date window and desired budget per person in USD and we will send you some great options.

Please enter the site for lots of information about torres del paine or supply us with details on what you want and send your enquiry direct to: request@experiencechile.org

Our sole objective is to create an exceptional travel experience for you, or your group.

What Can we do for You?

What Can we do for You?
We offer a professional travel-planning service covering Chile and Argentina, including cruise ships to the Antarctic, and we can offer you a professional Antarctic cruise ship reservation service.

Secondly, for reservations on any of the Antarctic cruise ships that we offer, we will give you a free room for two people in any five-star (or nearest to), level hotel in any city in Chile or Argentina to the value of USD250. Even if the cruise company is offering a similar incentive, we will also offer a free room night, so you will end up with two free hotel nights.

We can take away the “headache” or organising your own trip and we can coordinate the Antarctic cruise into other parts of your itinerary.

We are English owned as well as managed, and therefore understand the culture of the vast majority of our clients. We are also able to communicate with you in proper, clear English, and we have a base in Santiago de Chile in order to “keep tabs” on local suppliers and be in a position to know what’s going on locally. If you are coming to this part of the world and want “someone else” other than you to do all the work in making all the ground travel arrangements then we will be pleased to act as your personal travel supplier.

Bespoke (Custom) Travel Design Chile & Argentina
Our speciality is to create a bespoke travel itinerary that is tailored to your specific desires and budget. For this service we will offer you hotels as per your preferred style choice and excursions as per the experience you want at each destination. Naturally, you can ask us for our suggestions based upon your objectives. You will have the benefit of our acquired local knowledge and have a professional travel planner working for you at all times during the itinerary-building process.

Antarctica – Why Come?

Antarctica is not going to be for everyone (thank goodness), but it is the optimum for those who venture here. It can be said that it is the last frontier on Earth that has not yet seen the wonton chaotic destruction that man has unleashed on every other continent.

Steeped in exploration history, it is a massive continent without cities, towns or villages – no indigenous inhabitants and no population centers. It is covered in an almost unbelievably deep blanket of ice, which has been measured up to 1.6km (1 mile) thick in places. Antarctica is the coldest, driest, cleanest continent on Earth. It is remote, almost inaccessible and inhospitable; yet it is also incredibly beautiful. This is the place for pioneers, adventures and nature lovers.

Antarctica is nature in its full glory, where everything wild is still functioning in its natural, unspoiled habitat. The landscape of incredible, towering, wind-carved ice sculptures, enormous ice bergs, immense glaciers and pristine water; and marine fauna including seals, whales and penguins. It is tranquil, it is like no other place on Earth and it offers a totally new experience if you haven’t yet been.

Antarctica Marine Fauna
The seas around Antarctica are nutrient-rich in marine micro organisms such as phytoplankton offering a delicious feeding ground for marine fauna such as seals, whales and penguins and large flocks of seabirds, including the wandering albatross – all of which visitors will see during their voyage.

Penguins
There are 17 species of penguin that feed in the Antarctic region, but only four species breed on Antarctica itself and these are:
Adeline, Emperor, Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins.

Seals
Weddell, Leopard, Crabeater and Ross.

Whales
Humpback
Southern Right
Minke
Orca (Killer Whale)
Blue Whale

Antarctica Information
Antarctica is the southernmost continent on Earth. It is a solid land mass, over which about 98% of its surface is covered by a permanent layer of ice, measuring in places to a depth of around 1.6 km, locking in about 90% of the world’s fresh water, and near its centre is the geographic South Pole. It is located in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely within the Antarctic Circle, surrounded on all sides by the Southern Ocean. It covers an area of almost 14.0 million km2 making it the fifth-largest continent in land mass after Asia, Africa, North America and South America and is almost twice the area size of Australia. In the winter months the surrounding sea also freezes over almost doubling the surface area of the ice sheet.

Because of the fact that Antarctica is at the South Pole and covered in freezing-cold ice, it is the coldest, but also driest (not much moisture in the air – annual rain fall is at 200 mm on the coast and far less in its interior) and the most windy of all the continents, which makes it a formidable, hostile, isolated and inhospitable environment for most living creatures in which to survive. In many places the ice cap is constantly moving into glacial rivers that then flow from the land onto the sea where vast areas of ice float until they break into enormous icebergs that then float around its coastal perimeter causing a difficult obstruction for shipping to navigate around, and an almost impenetrable barrier to the early explorers.

There is no permanent human city or conurbation on the land mass, except for a number of small scientific research settlements from the various countries that claim disputed territorial rights to the continent. These research stations are scattered across the continent, with most located near the coast, where cumulatively, between 1,000 to 4,000 scientific researchers from varying countries live during the year.

The name Antarctica is attributed to the Scottish cartographer John Bartholomew, and comes from the Greek word “aviapktikn” (“antarktike”), feminine of “aviapktikoc” which means “opposite to the north”.

In 1959 the Antarctic Treaty was signed by twelve countries to prohibit military activities, mining and general “development” on the continent. Today the number of signatory countries has risen to forty six and, unfortunately, some are now discussing the possibilities of mining for minerals.

Early Human Antarctic History
Since the 1st century AD, the Greeks calculated that the world must be I the shape of a globe and that there must therefore be a southern land mass (“Terra Australis”) in order to “balance out” the vast northern lands of Europe, Asia and North Africa; the general idea being that there had to be a “symmetry” between the then known land masses in the world.

This large, “hypothetical”, southern land mass had been depicted on maps since the early 16th century. However on 17 January 1773, Captain James Cook became the first-known person to navigate across the Antarctic Circle on board HMS Resolution, accompanied by its sister ship HMS Adventure. Cook tried to get past the perilous natural floating ice barrier of giant icebergs on more than one voyage, but he was prevented from doing so. Nevertheless, Cook unwittingly “promoted”, via his ships logs, that this newly-discovered area contained an abundance of marine fauna, specifically seals and whales, which in turn led to the arrival of seal and whale hunters to the region shortly after. The fur pelts from seals and blubber from whales converted into easy money back in Europe and North America, although the journey to these waters and actual hunting in treacherous conditions was anything but easy. It was common for these pioneer hunters to find sought-after seal breeding grounds on Antarctic land, but such information they would keep secret for fear of a competitor coming in to take some of the bounty. As a consequence there were no official records logged of when the Antarctic land may have actually been first sighted.

It was therefore not until 1820 when the first officially-recorded sighting of the Antarctic Peninsula land mass was logged. Officially the sightings were made by Russian Naval Captain Thaddeus von Bellingshausen (27 January 1820), followed three days later by British Royal Navy Captain Edward Bransfield (30 January 1820) and a little later by a North American seal hunter called Nathaniel Palmer from Connecticut (November 1820). With regards to an actual landing on the continent, the first logged landing on Antarctica mainland was on 7 February 1821 by sealer-hunter John Davis, but this is disputed by a number of historians.

In 1909 an expedition led by Ernest Shackleton aimed to reach the South Pole, but ended just short, leaving this accomplishment to Norwegian Roald Amundsen who, on 14 December 1911 became the first explorer to reach the geographic South Pole, followed by the Scott expedition a month later.

Antarctic Geography
Antarctica is the highest continent on earth with an average height of 2,500m (by comparison the average elevation of Australia is only 340m) and it contains one of the longest mountain ranges in the world called the Transantarctic Mountains that stretch for a distance of approximately 4,800km (longer than the length of Chile), mostly buried under the Antarctic ice cap, but exposed in some places, with the highest peak above the ice cap called Vinson Massif at a height of around 4,897m. The height at the South Pole measures 2,835m and the highest point on the icecap is in the claimed Australian Antarctic Territory, at 4,100m.

The Transantarctic mountains run from the north-west tip of the Antarctic Peninsula near the Weddell Sea down to Cape Adare in the south west, forming a natural dividing line between west and east Antarctica, but whilst the larger area of land under the ice cap on the east is at an elevation higher than sea level, the western-side land under the ice cap is mostly at an elevation below sea level. It has also been recently discovered that under the ice sheet are 70 lakes.

Getting to Antarctica

The usual route to Antarctica is by cruise ship departing from Ushuaia, in southern Argentina, for which there are regular flights from Buenos Aires. On certain days during the summer there are also flights between Punta Arenas in Chile and Ushuaia. Other flights in Argentina are from El Calafate.

Once on board the ship it is a case of enjoying the cruise across the Southern Atlantic into the Southern Ocean and Drake Passage and on to the area around the Antarctic Peninsula.

For one cruise, the Antarctic XXI there is a fly-cruise combination as well as an option to start in Ushuaia (Argentina) and end in Punta Arenas (Chile) or vice-versa.

Antarctica Climate and Weather

The open air temperature on Antarctica has been registered as the coldest on Earth. On 21 July 1983 at the Russian Vostok Research Station a temperature of – 89.2 °C
(−128.6 °F) was recorded.

Temperature Variants:
Winter: from between – 80 °C (−112 °F) and −90 °C (−130 °F) in the interior.
Summer: from between 5 °C (41 °F) and 15 °C (59 °F) near the coast.
The warmest temperature recorded, to date, was at Vanda Station at +15°C (+59°F) on January 5, 1974.

The eastern region of the continent is generally colder than the western region because it has a higher altitude.

What Makes and Keeps Antarctica Cold?
· Although the continent is surrounded by an ocean, it is so vast in size that the moderating influence of the water does not penetrate into the interior.
· The white-colored snow and ice covering 98% of its surface reflects sunlight back into space light rather than absorbing it.
· There is too little moisture in the incredibly dry air to absorb any heat that may be radiated back into the atmosphere.
· During the winter months the sea around the continent freezes, which prevents any heat transfer from the slightly warmer sea water to the land.
· During six months of the year the sun does not rise above the horizon, ensuring a permanent state of coldness.
· The vast geographical area is, on average, at a higher altitude than any other land mass on Earth resulting in colder temperatures.
On the coast, where there is precipitation, it is not uncommon for there to be significant snow falls. Also on the coast there can be strong winds (that have been measured up to 320 km per hour), called the Katabatic winds, that blow down from the polar plateau towards the warmer sea making Antarctica the windiest continent on Earth.

Essential Clothes to Take
Because of temperature variables, it is best to bring layers of light, warm clothing to take off and put on as required.

Outdoor, waterproof, warm hiking boots
Thermal socks
Thermal underwear, including sweatshirts and turtle-neck shirts
Fleece jacket and trousers (outdoor pants)
Waterproof and windproof, hooded parka
Insulated, waterproof trousers (pants)
Thermal gloves or mittens
Polar cap, hat or balaclava hood
Swimsuit (for possible dips in thermal hot-spring pools)
Comfortable, sport clothes for on board ship
Comfortable rubber-soled shoes for on board ship

Other Items to Take
Sunglasses, ideally with side flaps (good quality with UV solar filter)
Sun block
Lip balm
Binoculars (7 x or 8 x 30 magnification)
Digital Camera with zoom lens (to get close-up wildlife shots)
Backpack (to carry things during shore excursions)
Any personal medications

Cruise Ships

We offer various different styles of cruise ships and combinations of ship and flight to the Antarctic Peninsula so please email us with your enquiry so we can send you up-to-date information and rates, but please supply your date window.

Departures

There are many dates for different Antarctica cruises departing from Punta Arenas in Chile and Ushuaia in Argentina. Please email us with YOUR date window and then we will supply to you the options we have.

Custom Itinerary?

We can build an itinerary for you within the budget you supply, selecting accommodation and transfers to the level of comfort you desire.

Incredible Antarctica Offer:

Due to Chinese Client Cancellation – 50% Off Normal Rates

On Board the Magellan Explorer (Antarctica 21 Vessel)

Cabins Types / Normal / Offer

Per Person in USD

  • Porthole USD5,995 / USD2,998
  • Veranda USD6,695 / USD3,348
  • Deluxe Veranda USD6,995 / USD3,498
  • PH Suites USD7,995 / USD3,998
  • Grand Suite USD13,990 / USD6,995
  • Single Veranda USD12,386 / USD6,193
  • Triple Grande Suite USD9,327 / USD4,664
  • Start 17 March from Ushuaia, Argentina
  • Return 26 March to Ushuaia, Argentina

Email US NOW for info: request@experiencechile.org

Routes

Classic Antarctica

ROUTE:
Ushuaia/Antarctica/
South Shetlands/Ushuaia

9 NIGHTS
FROM: US$ 5,460 pp
Aboard The Ushuaia Ship

Classic Antarctica

Air-Cruise

ROUTE:
Punta Arenas/Antarctica/Punta Arenas

On board the Magellan Explorer, Ocean Nova or Hebridean Sky Ships

7 NIGHTS
FROM: US$ 11,395 pp
Flight and Cruise

Polar Circle

Air-Cruise

ROUTE:
Punta Arenas/Antarctica/Punta Arenas

On board the Magellan Explorer or Ocean Nova Ships

9 NIGHTS
FROM: US$ 15,495 pp
Flight and Cruise

Antarctica Express

Air-Cruise

ROUTE:
Punta Arenas/Antarctica/Punta Arenas

On board the Magellan Explorer, Ocean Nova or Hebridean Sky Ships

5 NIGHTS
FROM: US$ 4,695 pp
Flight and Cruise

Journey to

Antarctica

ROUTE:
Ushuaia/Falklands/South Georgia/Antarctica/Ushuaia

14 DAYS
FROM: US$ 14,680 pp
Aboard National Geographics Explorer

Antarctica, South

Georgia & Falklands

ROUTE:
Ushuaia/Falkland Islands/South Georgia/Antarctica/Ushuaia

23 NIGHTS
FROM: US$ 25,220 pp
Aboard National Geographics Explorer/Orion

Antarctica

Peninsula

ROUTE:
Ushuaia/Antarctica/Ushuaia

10 NIGHTS
FROM: US$ 7,950 pp
Aboard M/V PLANCIUS OR M/V ORTELIUS

Send Us Your Enquiry

Please supply us with as much information as you can about where you want to go, what you want to do, what you want to experience and how much money you want to spend (or do not want to spend!).  How many people, what type of beds (matrimonial, twin, single etc.)

VIP – if you are a VIP in any of the fields such as celebrity and/or political and/or business, and you need “special attention” such as privacy and/or security for your trip please use an alias in the enquiry, but mention that you are VIP and one of the directors will handle your request and keep your real name and details confidential.

Remember, our speciality is to create a travel itinerary custom-built to your needs.

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