Exploring the ice waters of Antarctica on a cruise
Large Emperor Penguin colony gathered on snow in Antarctica

Antarctica - Best Tours & Trips

The White Continent, a vast icy wilderness at the bottom of the world, may be cold and remote, but it may also top more bucket lists than any other destination. That’s partly because only about 30,000 tourists a year get to visit Antarctica. For those travelers who do get to go, it’s typically a once-in-a-lifetime trip, so you want to be sure to navigate confidently through all the options – and Stride is here to help steer you safely across the ice.

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Top Antarctica Experiences and Attractions


Top Antarctica Experiences

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Top Antarctica Attractions

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Antarctica Trip Reviews


89
Antarctica Tour Reviews - Summary
100% Recommend

4.8 out of 5
Excellent 74 Great 14 Average 1 Disappointing 0 Terrible 0
Value
4.8 Guide
4.8 Activities
4.8 Lodging
4.8 Transportation
4.8 Meals
4.8

A

Recommends

Antarctica via Buenos Aires October 2018

5.0

Antarctic Explorer via Buenos Aires

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
An amazing and unique experience would highly recommend it's worth every
penny
So many highlights but getting to see penguins, seals and whales at close
quarters was unforgettable


The expedition leader and all the staff in the team were really helpful,
knowledgeable and friendly


Spend time in Argentina before or after your trip. I wish I had tagged a few
extra days on to do hhis


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Operator Exodus Travels

A

Recommends

Above all expectations! October 2018

5.0

Antarctic Explorer via Buenos Aires

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
from start till end this trip was amazing!
Everything went smoothly, from the pre-tour info, to information at the hotel
and the logistics of the domestic flights and checking in on the boat. It
felt very safe, especially for a woman travelling alone.

The crew on board was excellent! I loved the way every guide had his own
‘field of expertise’ which covered everything you wanted to know (and
things you didn’t know you wanted to know ;-)).

The Staff was extremely helpful, happy, smiling and overall serviceminded. It
was a pleasure!
Overall the program on board made sure that you almost didn’t have an idle
moment, which for me was amazing! And the logistics of getting nearly 200
passengers into zodiacs 10 at the time, went so incredible easy, they crew
are really professional and know how to make your experience the best
possible.

I can highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants to explore the magic of
Antarctica.
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Operator Exodus Travels

A

Recommends

Absolutely awesome trip October 2018

5.0

Antarctic Explorer via Buenos Aires

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This was one of the most amazing trips we have ever done. The scenery was
breathtaking. The crew and expedition team were cheerful, helpful and
knowledgeable. The kayaking with penguins and whales popping up feet away was
fabulous.
When a humpback whale popped up 10 feet away from our kayaks and just
meandered around us for a while.


Solan was wonderful. He has the most calm, funny and inclusive way about him.
His voice for the early morning wake up calls is like velvet.


Go! Sign up for the kayaking or some other adventure options. Be flexible.
Take loads of camera memory cards and batteries.


This is probably the most expensive trip we have ever undertaken and we have
travelled a lot. It was worth every penny. We are now looking at doing one of
the Arctic adventure trips.


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Operator Exodus Travels

P

Recommends

Excellent August 2018

5.0

Antarctic Peninsula

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
The best in the business!

Operator AdventureSmith

A

Recommends

Absolutely incredible February 2018

5.0

Antarctica, Falklands & South Georgia via Buenos Aires

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Such an amazing expedition. Paul Goldstein moves heaven and earth to ensure
that the most is gained from the trip and no time is wasted. We cannot
recommend this experience highly enough, and would do it all again in a
flash.
The sheer majesty of the place and the overwhelming abundance of the
wildlife. Being able to get so close to penguins and seals who have no fear
of humans is a real privilege.


Inspirational and a human Duracell Bunny!


Book well in advance and as soon as possible. You won't be disappointed!


No


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Operator Exodus Travels

Antarctica Tours and Travel Guide


Antarctica Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Antarctica video

Ever since Lars-Eric Lindblad built the first expedition-style cruise ship to take passengers to visit Antarctica in 1969, adventurous travelers have aspired to follow in their wake. Today about 40 vessels – mostly expedition-style vessels but some yachts as well -- make the run to the White Continent, leaving primarily from Argentina or the Falkland Islands, carrying as few as six and as many as 500 passengers.

Most of the Antarctic-bound ships, though, carry fewer than 100 passengers. Visitors go in search of the last real wilderness on earth, whose sole permanent residents are penguins, whales, seals, albatrosses and other abundant marine and bird life.

Besides the stunning array of wildlife, you’ll see glaciers, snow-covered mountains, icebergs, and, on some tours, historic sites (such as early Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton’s huts) and perhaps one of the 20 scientific research stations that have welcomed visitors since 1969.

Antarctic Peninsula

The most common destinations on sea tours leaving from South America are the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands, South Georgia Island, and the Falkland Islands -- all havens for wildlife. (The latter two are not part of Antarctica.) The primary destination in Antarctica itself is the Antarctic Peninsula, which juts up from the rest of the mainland and is closest to South America.

A few icebreakers challenge the often frozen Weddell Sea in search of emperor penguins to the peninsula’s east. And some ships make the journey from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to the Ross Sea on the other side of the continent; emperor penguin colonies are accessible from there by helicopter.

While some 100 tourist sites have seen landings in Antarctica over the years, fewer than 10 receive the bulk of the visitors. Port Lockroy, site of the British Antarctic Survey, is the most visited site, drawing more than 10,000 visitors per year. Passengers board Zodiacs (rubberized rafts) to go ashore, with most ships making one to three landings per day on the mainland.

Protecting the Ecosystem

Strict standards Antarctic tour operators must follow strict environmental protection guidelines mandated by the international Antarctic Treaty as well as the voluntary guidelines of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO); all itineraries must be approved in advance so they don’t harm the wildlife or the fragile ecosystem.

The Antarctic tourist season runs from late October or early November to March or early April, the summer months when the waters off Antarctica are comparatively ice free. The earlier months bring penguin and elephant seal courtship rituals, while the later months see the birth of penguin chicks and seal pups. By March the adult penguins are mostly headed out to sea, but whale and seal sightings increase. December and January bring the most daylight hours, prime time for photographers.

With so many variables in itineraries, vessels, levels of luxury, price, and trip lengths to wrestle with, it makes sense to let Stride help you sort through all the possibilities. And sooner than you may think, you can experience the same wonders that have captivated polar explorers for more than a century.

Travel to Antarctica: Before you go

Warning: obvious statement ahead. It gets cold! So pack very warmly. Consider thermal undergarments, and breathable layers. Some excursions will involve being out on the water among icebergs, so also consider waterproof outer-layers. Cold can be alarmingly disorienting, so if you get cold easily, talk to your doctor about any precautionary measures or tips they recommend.

You may also want to consider any anti seasickness measures. Waters can be unpredictable, and you’ll be spending a lot of time aboard ship. Some tips to keep in mind: eat lot’s of crystallized ginger! Dramamine is also extremely effective for some. Talk with a doctor to figure out what will work best for you.

Visas

Antarctica does not have a governing body, and no permanent residents. All visitors, whether business or pleasure, are temporary. For this reason, you only need to ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months prior to your trip. No visa is required if you plan to stay less than 90 days.

Safety Considerations When Traveling to Antarctica

Keep in mind is that there are no public hospitals, pharmacies, or doctors offices in Antarctica. If you get sick or hurt, you will be relying on your cruise’s available resources, which while sufficient for normal ailments, will be minimal for anything extreme.

As mentioned above, be prepared for the cold and bring any anti seasick measures.

As highlighted by the CDC, you will be traveling with people from all over the world, in close quarters, and for an extended period of time. The risk of influenza, measles, and mumps is increased because of this, so especially for older travelers and children it will be important to ensure you are up to date on all these vaccines.

Related Trips & Tours


Top Antarctica Travel Companies


All Antarctica tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.8 for all Antarctica trips.

129 trips from 37 tour companies with 89 reviews

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