Antarctica Cruises & Holidays

Stat alert. Antarctica's massive ice-cap covers an area 1.7 times the size of Australia and contains some 29 million cubic kilometres of ice, or roughly 70% of the world's fresh water. Despite all this water, Antarctica is the driest continent on Earth - a huge, frozen desert that remains, to date, a genuinely unspoilt wilderness.

Will, Hero and Ysobel are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

As the coldest place on earth, Antarctica hosts most of it's wildlife in the water - expect to see penguins and seals aplenty

Antarctica Holidays: The Detail

Appropriately enough, the idea of a holiday to Antarctica polarises opinion; it is undeniably expensive and involves a large amount of travel, yet for those keen to go, it is simply one of those 'must do' once in a lifetime experiences.

Cruises operate during the summer season from November to March, when the sun barely sets, and ice-strengthened ships provide much more comfortable accommodation than many expect.

If cruising all the way, as opposed to taking the fly-in option, the journey begins in Ushuaia, at the southern tip of Argentina. From here, set sail across the Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands, and then on to the mainland to spend several days exploring the coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Navigating between fjords and channels, the ship passes landscapes of breathtaking beauty - cliffs, rugged mountains and glaciers calving huge icebergs into the sea - with the ice formations reflecting a kaleidoscope of colours as the light changes.

Passengers can expect to encounter wildlife including sea elephants; sea lions; Weddell, crab-eater and leopard seals, gentoo; chinstrap and Adelie penguins, and a variety of seabirds including the ocean-going albatross, storm petrels, skuas and Antarctic terns. Orcas, humpback and minke whales are also spotted at close range occasionally.

The specialised ships have a team of lecturers and guides on board to explain the wildlife, geology and the epic history of Antarctica's exploration by the likes of Amundsen, Shackleton and Scott. The ships are also equipped with inflatable boats for excursions to shore.

At King George Island, the largest of the South Shetlands, there is an opportunity to visit the Argentine scientific base, and at Deception Island the ship sails into a huge flooded crater where it is even possible to take a dip in Antarctic waters heated by an active volcano.

Did you know

  • The name Antarctica comes from a Greek word meaning ' opposite to the north'
  • Antarctica is the highest, windiest, driest, emptiest and coldest place on earth
  • Most of Antarctica is covered in over 1.6 kilometer thick ice
  • About 90% of the earth's ice is found in Antarctica
  • If all the ice in Antarctica melted, the world's sea level would rise by 200 feet
  • It is the only continent that doesn't have a time zone


Original Highlight

The coldest and driest continent on Earth, Antarctica is also technically a desert, with rainfall away from the coastal areas virtually non-existent.

Saskia, Original Traveller

A note on price

There are no two ways about it - travelling to Antarctica is a costly affair, but undoubtedly a once in a lifetime experience. Cruises start from approximately £4,795 per person depending on which itinerary and vessel you opt for, but please bear in mind that you will need to factor in airfares to either Argentina and Chile (where the cruise programs begin) as well as travel arrangements within these countries before and after your cruise. An Original Travel consultant would be delighted to discuss the different options with you based on your requirements. Learn more about our pricing

It was a great holiday and went like clockwork from an operational standpoint, it always does with OT


Start creating your tailored trip today

Tell us what you want

Our thoughtful experts are ready with ideas, inspiration and advice for your next journey.

Build a tailored itinerary

Working with you we’ll craft an unforgettable trip and tailored itinerary.

We've got you covered

We're here to help with everything while you're away from the smallest to the biggest request.

Our enthusiastic experts are seasoned travellers with the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Call us on +44 (0) 20 7978 7333

Or enquire online

Newsletter Sign-Up

Get the latest travel advice, information and inspiration in our weekly newsletter.

Brochure Sign-Up

Our beautiful, free brochure is packed with insider information and incredible travel ideas from every corner of the planet.
Get the brochure

About Us

We are a creative luxury travel company who take a thoughtful approach to creating tailor-made holidays that perfectly fulfil your needs. Read our story

Why Us

Our meticulous planning, in-depth knowledge, honest advice, award-winning service and financial protection all ensure that you will enjoy the most memorable holiday experience. Why us

Contact Us

Talk to our team of thoughtful experts about your travel needs:
Call: +44 (0) 20 7978 7333 Email: Contact us online


For all press enquiries, please contact our marketing team:
Call: +44 (0)20 7978 0205 Email: Contact us online