The best way to see Antarctica is by sea with seasonal cruises now making this a reality for many people. Almost 75000 people visited Antarctica in 2019, the last full season
Larger cruise ships will only "sail by" the Antarctic Peninsula and you will not get the opportunity to land on the ice. These are a great affordable option for a Taste of Antarctica and usually operate round trip from South America during the Southern Summer Late Nov until mid March. The larger ships will often also include the Chilean Fjords & the Falkland Islands
Expedition ships are smaller and offer a full immersion experience. You will get to travel in zodiacs from your ship, walk on the continent and in some cases may even get the opportunity to overnight on land. Expedition guides usually include botanists, geologists, marine biologists and Antarctic Experts to enhance your experience.
Expedition cruises usually operate round trip from South America crossing the Drake Passage. A number of Expedition cruise lines also offer an air bridge option, flying you direct to the Antarctic Peninsula which skips the Drake, ideal for those with less time available.
There are also seasonal departures round trip from New Zealand to the Ross Sea and Sub Antarctic Islands. For the ultimate Antarctica trip look out for Itineraries that operate from South America via the Antarctic Peninsula and the Ross Sea through to New Zealand. Ponant and Aurora Expeditions offer these seasonally.
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