Antarctica iceberg with cruise ship

The Ultimate Antarctica Travel Guide

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Written by
Lily Bunker

Published on: October 3rd, 2017

Last modified: April 17th, 2024

In the spirit of adventure, follow in the footsteps of history's great explorers. Journeying to the spectacular White Continent - a land like nowhere else - is sure to be an epic voyage.

We'll tell you how to make a trip to Antarctica possible and how to make the most of exploring this area. Here's our ultimate Antarctica travel guide, with advice on what you can see and do in this landscape of unimaginable proportions.

Get there
by boat
Try out
ice climbing
penguin colonies
Reflections of Booth Island, Antarctica

How to get to Antarctica

Antarctica cruises

The classic way to reach this remote continent is to board a ship from the Patagonian port of Ushuaia in Argentina, before embarking on a two-day voyage to Antarctica‘s mainland. In the comfort of one of the luxury cruisers, cross the tempestuous Drake Passage where whales glide by and seabirds fly overhead. On reaching the mainland, the ships continue on to navigate the placid waters and carve through the sea ice of the Antarctic Peninsular.

Ushuaia aerial view, Argentina

From the ship you can go out on smaller Zodiac boats to explore the captivating icescape, glide between icebergs and seek out blue whales, orcas and seals, while on land you can hike across the white expanse and stand amongst penguin colonies. Intrepid travellers can even dive into the icy water on polar diving excursions.

Antarctica Cruise, Paradise Bay

Bypass the Drake Passage and save two days each way by flying from Punta Arenas, in the south of Chile, straight to Antarctica to join an awaiting expedition ship. Vessels include the Ocean Nova, which due to its smaller size is able to reach more remote areas than most cruise ships, and the Ocean Adventurer, which gives passengers the chance to camp overnight, among many more adventurous activities such as kayaking, hiking and snowshoeing.

Whichaway Camp White Desert Antarctica

What to do in Antarctica

Polar diving

Seek out extraordinary marine life and capture unsurpassable underwater photos.


Paddle between the icebergs to get up close to whale, seals, penguins and orcas as they swim by.

Kite skiing

Let the wind take you exhilaratingly across the vast expanse of ice and snow.

Ice trekking, Antarctica

Ice climbing

Fly to the mountains to traverse ice and rock-faces that have never been climbed before.

The South Pole

Stand at the lowest point on Earth, where there is no north, south, east and west.

George in Antarctica

Zodiac cruises

Leave the expedition ship to explore the icy waters and set foot on land.

Penguin colonies

Stand amongst thousands of Emperor penguins in the most remote of settings.

White Desert Antarctica Camp
Penguins aerial view, Antarctica

Wildlife in Antarctica

Aside from the majestic landscape, people make the journey to Antarctica to encounter the wildlife that is so unique to these extreme polar conditions. Those who make it here have the privilege of getting exceptionally close to marine life and standing amongst inconceivably large colonies of penguins. The time you visit will determine the wildlife experience you have though.

Penguins on the snow

From mid to late December the penguin chicks start to hatch, after which January becomes the feeding frenzy. The best time to spot Peninsular Fin whales, Humpback whales and fur seals is during February and early March. Seabirds such as the Albatross can be spotted while crossing the Drake Passage.

When to go to Antarctica

Travel to Antarctica is possible during the austral summer, from early November to late March. Find out more.


Peak season

December and January are the most welcoming of months in Antarctica. The days are long (with over 20 hours of sunshine) and the weather averages -26F.


Penguin spotting

November is usually the best month to catch a glimpse of the penguins (around 17 species of penguins go there to breed), as this is when they come to shore to court one another.

Talk to one of our expert travel designers and start creating your once-in-a-lifetime Antarctica adventure.