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TRAVELLING TO Antarctica

An Antarctica cruise is the ultimate journey. Filled with awe-inspiring wildlife encounters and sensory experiences of indescribable beauty. To see Antarctica is to experience your place in the world from a whole new perspective.

Breathtaking, otherworldly, and life-changing are common phrases travellers use to describe an Antarctic expedition. But when it comes to Antarctica, language fails us. We simply do not possess the capacity to articulate the profound experience of setting foot on the Great Southern Continent. To truly understand, you must see it for yourself.

WHICH TRIP IS BEST FOR ME?

Once you’ve decided to go to Antarctica, the next step is to determine which trip is best suited to you. The key considerations are:

WHICH ITINERARY SHOULD I CHOOSE?

As genuine Antarctica specialists, we have the largest range of Antarctica expeditions on offer, and Chimu staff have first-hand knowledge of the many ways to experience this incredible destination. Depending on your interests, availability, and budget, we can help you decide which itinerary is right for you.

To help get you started, we have listed the 4 main itineraries that operate in Antarctica:

From South AmericaMap 1
From Australia/NZMap 2

LOCATIONS

Antartica peninsula cruise

ANTARCTIC PENINSULA

(10 - 12 days)

Due to its proximity to South America, the Antarctic Peninsula is the best value and most popular Antarctic destination. The peninsula is renowned for its stunning scenery and abundant wildlife.View Cruises

Antartica Cruise

ANTARCTIC CIRCLE

(14 - 22 days)

Cross the fabled Antarctic Circle to the land of the midnight sun. Home to desolate, beautiful landscapes, continually shifting ice, and hardy Weddell seals.View Cruises

 
South Georgia Expedition

SOUTH GEORGIA

(18 - 23 days)

One of the world’s truly great wildlife areas. South Georgia is home to over 30 million breeding birds, thousands of seals, 4 penguin species including large colonies of King penguins and macaroni penguins rarely encountered elsewhere, plus many more amazing creatures. South Georgia is a must-see for many wildlife enthusiasts.View Cruises

Falkland Islands Tour

FALKLAND ISLANDS

(18 - 23 days)

Often visited alongside South Georgia, the Falklands Islands offers up plenty of natural beauty, wildlife, and intriguing history.View Cruises

 
Antarctica Fly + Cruise

ANTARCTICA FLY CRUISES

(5-9 days)

For the time poor, or those not keen on a crossing of the famous Drake Passage, yet still keen to visit the last frontier of Antarctica. Flying to King George Island to begin your journey to the Antarctic Peninsula is a fantastic option.View Cruises

East Antarctica Cruise from Australia crossing the Ross Sea

EAST ANTARCTICA & ROSS SEA

(30+ days)

Perhaps the ultimate Antarctica experience. Voyages to East Antarctica & Ross Sea embrace an icy world of extreme weather, wildlife, scenery and fascinating history as you visit some of the most remote places on earth.View Cruises

 

HOW DO I GET TO ANTARCTICA?

CRUISE FROM SOUTH AMERICA

Have you heard the phrase ‘getting to Antarctica is half the fun?’ If so, you can bet they were referring to crossing the infamous Drake passage between South America and the South Shetland Islands. These expedition cruises departing from Ushuaia, at the southern tip of South America are the most popular way to get to Antarctica.

FLIGHT & CRUISE OPTIONS FROM SOUTH AMERICA

For those hesitant to cross the Drake, there is an option to fly from Patagonia to the South Shetland Islands. From here you can join an expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula.

EXPEDITION CRUISES FROM AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Antarctica cruises departing from Australia & New Zealand offer the most exclusive and unique journey to Antarctica of all. Departing from Hobart (Australia) and Bluff (New Zealand) these expeditions are usually longer and provide exceptional opportunities to see more remote regions of the peninsula.

Travelling From South AmericaTravel Guide_South America Flight Points
Travelling From Australia & New ZealandTravel Guide_ANZ Flight Points

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO TO ANTARCTICA?

The best time to travel to Antarctica will depend on the type of experience you are after. Wildlife highlights, length of daylight hours, and the overall feel of your expedition will change dramatically throughout the cruising season (October to March). Read More

When-to-go_945x668
 

EARLY SEASON

(OCTOBER - NOVEMBER)

Getting ahead of the pack is a great way to experience the splendour of Antarctica. As an early-season visitor, be rewarded with pristine landing sites, dramatic ice formations, animal courtship routines, and excellent photographic opportunities courtesy of the lightly setting sun. You may see packs of elephant and fur seals marking their breeding territories in the sub-Antarctic islands, and if you’re lucky, you could witness the first major iceberg calvings of the year, a truly breathtaking event.

Beautiful frozen scenery

Less Penguin mess

Affordable pricing

Ice can sometimes restrict

MID SEASON

(DECEMBER - JANUARY)

Mid-summer is the most popular time to visit Antarctica. Temperatures are at their warmest, and longer days means there are more opportunities for landings. Expect to see sunbathing seals, adorable penguin hatchlings, and increasing numbers of whales arriving for the summer. Coupled with calmer seas and less sea ice to prevent you from reaching the shore, you can see why many people choose to travel at this time of year. As the mid-season is the busiest time, booking early is highly recommended.

Wildlife at its prime

20 hours of sunlight

Peak season pricing

More ships/tourists

LATE SEASON

(FEBRUARY - MARCH)

The weather may be getting colder, but there are plenty of wildlife highlights during the late season. February is peak whale spotting season, seal numbers are up on the peninsula, and penguin rookeries are bursting at the seams on South Georgia. The shorter days provide sensational sunsets, awesome night-time sky gazing and some of the best value-for-money expeditions of all. February is also the busiest month for cruises departing from Australia and New Zealand headed for East Antarctica.

Peak season for Whales

Baby penguin & seal pups

Snow melting - can be slushy on landing sites

Penguin mess

WHAT SHIP IS BEST FOR ME?

Your choice of expedition vessel will play an essential role in your overall Antarctic experience. For many people setting off on an Antarctic expedition, this is one of the most critical questions. As genuine Antarctica specialists, we have the knowledge and experience to help you get this decision just right.

SIZE

Arguably, the most crucial consideration for any Antarctic expedition. In our opinion, ships carrying 200 guests and under are ideal! There are many restrictions placed on Antarctic expeditions, and the number of passengers on your ship will impact when, where, and how often you can make landfall. For example, vessels carrying more than 500 guests are prevented from landing at all. Being able to get off the ship and experience Antarctica up close and personal offers the most immersive and memorable experience.Read More

 

Small_ship
 

SMALL SHIPS (200PAX and under)

  • MORE ACCESS TO REMOTE LOCATIONS
  • LESS TIME QUEUEING MORE TIME EXPLORING
  • MORE INTIMATE
  • BETTER SELECTION OF UNIQUE SHORE TOURS
  • LESS ENTERTAINMENT ONBOARD
Large_ship
 

LARGE SHIPS (200+PAX)

  • MORE STABILITY IN ROUGH SEAS
  • MORE FEATURES
  • RESTRICTED ON-SHORE TIME
  • RESTRICTED ACCESS
  • CAN BE CROWDED


Want a deeper look - > WATCH THIS VIDEO

FEATURED Antarctica TRIPS & DEALS

UP TO 30% OFF

ANTARCTICA
SPECIAL DEALS

Cruising Antarctica has never been more affordable with our incredible early bird?offers, click…

11 Days

The Ocean Endeavour - Discover Antarctica

Antarctic Peninsula

Ship:  The Ocean Endeavour

21 Days

Songs in the South with Paul Kelly

Antarctic Peninsula, Falkland Islands, South Georgia

Ship:  The Ocean Endeavour

Antarctica CRUISES

11 Days

Antarctica Classic

Antarctic Peninsula

SHIP: Expedition

16 Days

Antarctica & South Georgia Air Cruise

Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia

SHIP: Magellan Explorer

11 Days

Ponant: Emblematic Antarctica

Antarctic Peninsula

SHIP: LE BOREAL

11 Days

The Ocean Endeavour - Discover Antarctica

Antarctic Peninsula

SHIP:  The Ocean Endeavour

12 Days

Fridtjof Nansen - Highlights of the Frozen Continent

Antarctic Peninsula

SHIP: FRIDTJOF NANSEN

12 Days

Classic Antarctica aboard The Sea Spirit

Antarctic Peninsula

SHIP: SEA SPIRIT

Antarctica REVIEWS

All Chimu Adventures' clients are given the opportunity to review their trip once they return home. These reviews are administered by a third party and as such are unfiltered by Chimu Adventures.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Yes, a laundry service at a reasonable cost is included on every ship.

Food on board our cruise ships is excellent. Breakfasts and lunches tend to be buffet style, with dinners generally served to your table and featuring 3 and sometimes 4 courses. The range of food is diverse with professional chefs preparing a wide selection of gourmet dishes.

There is no native Antarctic language as there are no indigenous inhabitants. The majority of residents are linked to research stations and so speak the language of their home countries. Scientific research is generally formalized in English, with French where necessary.

There is no currency in Antarctica but the unit of currency in Argentina is the Argentinian Peso. The main currency at the Port Lockroy Post Office is the US $ although the UK £ and Euro € are also accepted. On all Antarctic cruises meals are included but drinks and souvenirs need to be purchased separately. Most cruise ships accept Euros € and US $. Major credit cards, in particular Visa and MasterCard are also widely accepted on board. If your Antarctic cruise includes the Falkland Islands, the currency of the islands is the Falkland Islands Pound (FK £), although UK £’s are accepted as well.

Antarctica is an extreme environment and although Antarctic cruises depart during the spring and summer months, the weather can change dramatically, with no warning and so you need to be prepared for conditions in this harsh region. When packing, avoid weighing yourself down with too many clothes or too much gear. Select informal, practical attire for your trip that can be worn in layers, including: ? Parka jacket - lightweight, wind and weather-resistant shell ? Warm trousers - ski pants or sturdy trousers ? Waterproof trousers - Gore-Tex or similar waterproof and "breathable" fabrics are recommended ? Long thermal underwear - silk or polypropylene is highly recommended ? Sweaters - wool sweaters or a polar fleece jacket ? Turtlenecks ? Mittens and gloves - thin polypropylene gloves underneath warm mittens ? Woollen cap and a scarf or balaclava ? Warm socks - sturdy, long wool socks and thin pairs of silk, polypropylene or cotton/wool socks ? A sturdy, lightweight and waterproof daypack for landings or Zodiac excursions ? Sunglasses with U.V. filter ? Protective sunscreen for lips, hands and face ? Swimsuit for hotels, aboard some ships and (maybe) for a polar plunge ? Camera with spare batteries and memory cards ? Extra pair of prescription glasses ? Prescription medicines and other remedies such as seasickness medication ? Binoculars ? Zip lock plastic bags or dry sacks for carrying camera, batteries, etc. ? T-shirts or other casual warm weather clothes ? Clothes for gateway cities. For more information on what to pack, read our blog

Whilst some of our Antarctic cruise ships boast a gym, sauna and small pools, this is rare and generally the majority have a lecture theatre, library, bar and restaurant, as well as the main deck. All ships offer a series of lectures focusing on the geology, history and wildlife of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, to help you prepare for what lies ahead. You can interact with the crew and expedition team as well as your fellow passengers in the common areas and either brave the elements to stand on deck taking in the spectacular scenery and wildlife-watching, scanning the horizon for whales, seals and seabirds, or do so from the comfort of the lounges and observation decks.

Shore landings are a feature of our Antarctic cruises and one or two shore or Zodiac excursions are usually planned per day, weather conditions permitting.

Shore landings are mainly for wildlife watching of penguins, seals and nesting birds although itineraries often try to include a visit to a scientific base. Certain cruises provide opportunities for activities such as snowshoeing, skiing, hiking, mountaineering and even overnight camping.

The number of people on board varies depending on the ship but the majority of our ships carry between 50 and 150 passengers. A few of the mega-yachts and purpose-built cruise ships carry around 250 passengers.

Chimu Adventures are the Antarctica specialists and an Associate Member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. We offer the largest range of vessels, an experienced, expert team of travel enthusiasts, and comprehensive, flexible itineraries, tailoring each cruise to your wishes and making your Antarctic Cruise unique and unforgettable.

All of our tours are 100% tried and tested to ensure that when you travel with us, you’re doing so in a controlled and safe environment with trained experts. We consistently monitor weather conditions and will always provide you with the best possible adventure without risk of injury to you or the vessel. While some activities may need to be rescheduled or cancelled due to weather, every effort is made to have a contingency plan should such conditions become a reality during your expeditions. We’ve been the experts in Antarctic travel for well over 10 years and use our vast experience and knowledge when picking the vessels we sell to provide you with an adventure that’s unforgettable for all the right reasons.

It is true that at times the Drake Passage can produce turbulent seas, but our vessels are built for maximum stability and comfort to ensure that even in rough conditions, sea and motion sickness are kept to a minimum at all times. We also have a host of services and facilities available should symptoms befall you. It also might be possible to fly over the Drake Passage, so speak to one of our destination specialists for more information about this.

We pride ourselves on our customisable range of Antarctica tours that allow you to tailor the perfect Antarctic experience for your own goals and wishes. We also offer a wide range of tours to suit a diverse array of budgets, from 6 day express cruises, to 35 day expeditions. Speak to one of our consultants who can help you plan your perfect Antarctica cruise, which includes all of the elements you’re looking for in your trip.

The remoteness of Antarctica can sometimes deter the adventurous heart, but unlike the famous explorers of the past, you can leave the ration packs at home as Chimu can provide all the modern comfort and luxuries you need after a day of adventure, in a safe and comfortable environment. Quiet, relaxing cabins, beautiful food and wine, and spacious common areas allow you to soak in the picturesque landscapes at your own pace. When it’s time to venture off the vessel, our range of itineraries include activities to suit all abilities and fitness levels.

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