Insider Tips For Your Antarctica Luxury Cruise

antarctica luxury cruise

For centuries, Antarctica has kept adventurers and explorers on their toes. A land of pristine glaciers, captivating wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes, is no wonder why one would want to place it at the top of their bucket list. I recently had the privilege of boarding an Antarctica luxury cruise and I cannot wait to tell you all about it!

Witnessing the White Continent firsthand, encountering incredible wildlife, and exploring alongside a team of expert naturalists – it’s an experience you won’t soon forget. But before you start packing your parka (don’t worry, I will get there soon), I wanted to share some exclusive insider tips to make your Antarctica cruise adventure an even greater one. 

From must-do shore excursions to secret packing hacks, I’m spilling the beans to ensure you have the most unforgettable journey possible. So, grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and get ready to unlock the secrets of an unforgettable Antarctic expedition.

What Cruise Lines Go To Antarctica?

First, brace yourself for an unforgettable encounter, as Antarctica is unlike anywhere else on Earth. With several luxury cruise lines offering this destination, I must say there is no better way to experience the White Continent than this. 

Antarctica luxury cruises offer the pleasure of expedition, reaching faraway lands without sacrificing your comfort. So here is a suggestion of the most luxurious cruise lines currently reaching this area.

antarctica luxury cruises

Seabourn Cruises

Seabourn’s all-suite ships are perfect for traveling to Antarctica, as they provide perfect views from wherever you are through their classy verandas. I personally had the pleasure of traveling in the Seabourn Venture and was amazed by the delicious dining offered onboard, the variety of excursions provided, and the incredible service offered.

Silversea Cruises 

Renowned for their intimate ships and all-inclusive experiences, Silversea’s Antarctica luxury cruises allow you to explore the White Continent in unparalleled comfort and style.  Choose from fly-and-cruise options or traditional sailings, and delve deep into the heart of Antarctica with expert-led expeditions.

Scenic Cruises

Scenic’s Discovery Yachts are purpose-built for polar exploration, featuring innovative design elements like glass-walled observation areas and enrichment programs.  Their Antarctica itineraries cater to active adventurers, offering kayaking, Zodiac cruising, and even helicopter sightseeing for the ultimate thrill.

Atlas Ocean Voyages:  

Atlas promises a connection with Antarctica unlike any other.  Their small, luxe ships carry a maximum of 196 guests, ensuring a personalized experience.  Expect in-depth explorations led by passionate naturalists and innovative onboard features, such as the lowest observation bow in the luxury cruise industry, allowing guests to get as close as possible to ocean life.

Hurtigruten Expeditions:  

Hurtigruten leverages its vast experience in exploring the world’s most remote regions to craft unforgettable Antarctica luxury cruise adventures.  Their small expedition ships prioritize sustainability, offering itineraries going beyond Antarctica and also covering South Georgia, the Falkland Islands, Patagonia, and many other spectacular destinations.

Viking Ocean Cruises:

Expanding to the expedition realm, Viking has recently debuted their Viking Polaris and Viking Octantis. Departing on 13-to-19 days itineraries from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, Argentina, a Viking Antarctica cruise provides the bonus of giving you time to experience one of South America’s most spectacular cities, as pre and post-cruise extensions are available. Viking Cruises program also includes air and transfers, making it truly an all-inclusive experience. 

Quark Expeditions:  

Quark Expeditions is a leader in polar exploration, with a strong commitment to conservation and education.  Their diverse fleet caters to all budgets and interests, offering everything from classic expedition cruises to voyages aboard their innovative new ship, the ultra-luxurious Ultramarine.

Each of these luxury lines offers something unique, so consider your travel style and preferences when making your choice.  But remember, no matter which line you choose, Antarctica awaits with a lifetime of memories waiting to be made.  Now, let’s get down to those insider tips to make your Antarctica luxury cruise truly extraordinary!

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Antarctica expedition onboard the Silver Cloud

Conquering the Drake Passage

The Drake Passage, notorious for its rough seas, is a hurdle on any Antarctica cruise.  Luckily for us passengers, Antarctica luxury cruise ships now feature advanced stabilizers to minimize motion sickness. I’d personally recommend booking a mid-ship stateroom, especially if you are prone to sea sickness, since this is the area of the boat that will offer the smoothest ride.

 Additionally, don’t forget to pack nausea medication and some ginger pills. While on the Seabourn Venture to Antarctica I must admit the Drake Passage wasn’t as terrible as I expected it to be, but I still made sure to order plenty of ginger beer and ginger ale to be available on our in-suite mini bar.

Take those two days traveling through the Drake Passage as an opportunity to attend onboard lectures, trivia nights, and other activities provided by your chosen cruise line. But if you really want to avoid it, then make sure to book your cruise with Silversea, as they have the option of flying you in a first-class charter from King George Island and back.

antarctica luxury cruise
Antarctica luxury cruise onboard the Scenic Eclipse

Embrace the Adventure: Activities and Excursions

Once you reach Antarctica, prepare to be mesmerized. Most Antarctica luxury cruises will have shore excursions included, offering a few extras such as helicopter rides, submarine explorations, and kayak excursions.

I personally loved going on a kayak excursion for an even closer encounter with the wildlife and icebergs. Trust me, this is a perfect photo opportunity as you get to see whales and seals up close, with your expert guides showing the way.

The cherry on top of your Antarctica luxury cruise will surely be the polar plunge. Embrace the local spirit by jumping straight into the icy waters – something that will surely get your adrenaline rushing! Don’t worry, staff will provide pre- and post-plunge drinks to keep you warm, along with a cozy bathrobe for a quick and comfortable post-dip change.

What to pack for an Antarctica cruise?

Now, let’s get to what is probably the main reason why you are reading this article: What to pack for an Antarctica cruise?

First, let me tell you Antarctica is a casual environment, so you can leave your formal wear at home.  Comfortable layers are key to staying warm, and most luxury cruise lines will offer you waterproof pants, boots, parkas, and other necessities, so you can pack light.  My personal packing list included:

  • Sweatpants
  • Fleece jackets
  • Wool socks
  • Thermal underwear
  • Waterproof gloves (ideally two pairs)
  • Quick-drying base layers
  • Snowboard goggles (for better protection compared to glasses)
  • Vacuum seal bags (to maximize space)

And here is a packing tip you weren’t expecting: Flip flops. Yes, I know, flip-flops to Antarctica? Before you call me ridiculous, check this out: 

Before and after excursions, once you are all dressed up for the cold outside, you will need to put on your muck boots as the last step before leaving the ship. 

Trust me, there is nothing quite as awkward as trying to untie your shoes and take them off to put on your boots while you are already wearing a whole bunch of layers. I wish I had known that before packing so I would have avoided tennis shoes and just wore some flip-flops with wool socks on. Easy changing, in and out, in no time!

So, there you have it, my top tips for your Antarctica luxury cruise. Is this is an adventure you are interested in booking, I invite you to reach out to me, or anyone on the Luxury Cruise Connections team. We not only have the best insider tips for your next cruise but can also help you secure some exclusive deals you will not find anywhere else.

Ready to explore?

jc quintana
JC Quintana
Sr. Luxury Cruise & Travel Specialist at Luxury Cruise Connections | + posts

I am a Virtuoso Travel Advisor successfully planning trips for my clients since 2014. Contact me directly at jcquintana@luxurycruiseconnections.com / +1 305-914-1735