The Antarctica Travel Specialists are a specialist tour operator to South America and Antarctica. We have been specialising in luxury Antarctica holidays for clients for over a decade now and so there is very little that we haven't encountered or been asked for. The beauty of using a specialist operator to South America and Antarctica is that you can benefit from our knowledge and on the ground expertise while also benefitting from our preferential rates and complimentary upgrades. In this site we have put together our thoughts and experiences from us and our clients in travelling to this Antarctic tundra.
On your behalf, we’ve travelled extensively within the Antarctic regions ourselves, enabling us to offer first hand experience and local knowledge. Your Antarctica holiday with us will therefore be much more than ‘packaged’, it will be everything you want to experience of this awe-inspiring region.
The chance to visit Antarctica, for many, is a once in a lifetime experience and something to tick-off the bucket-list. Whether you are attracted by the ice-covered landscapes, the huge quantity of nature and wildlife or the adventure activities, Antarctica must be one of the world's most special destinations for a holiday or an Antartica honeymoon.
For the adventure seekers, an Antarctica holiday means the opportunity to camp on the Antarctic Peninsula or ski down the slopes of the South Shetland Islands. For photographers, Antarctica holidays may mean a chance to shoot red sunsets and towering icebergs. For the nature lovers, Antarctica cruising offers the wildlife-covered beaches of South Georgia or the enormous colonies of seabirds of the Falkland Islands. While for history enthusiasts, a holiday to Antarctica may mean the chance to retrace the steps of Ernest Shackleton and other famous explorers.
One of the main attractions of travelling to Antarctica nowadays is that it no longer requires weeks at sea and can easily be combined with a longer itinerary through Chile and Argentina. In particular, the shorter fly and cruise itineraries are designed to maximise the amount of time you have on the Peninsula by flying over the Drake Passage.
There are now a range of options to suit a variety of interests and budgets so for more of a glimpse of what this fantastic continent has to offer please see our guide to Antarctica ». Please also see a few thoughts initially to get you started:
This is certainly a key question in planning any trip to the Antarctic and the fundamental realization should be that the longer you are travelling for the more expensive the itinerary cost. On the whole, the itineraries fall into 3 categories, the “Classic Antarctica” which involves between 4 and 5 days cruising the peninsula itself with either a cruise across the Drake Passage or a flight over the Drake Passage to get there.
The second itinerary is usually an extended version of the above and gives you a few extra days in which to be able to cross into the south pole.
The final itinerary is the longest of the three and involves visiting a few of the island groups that are further afield such as the Falklands, South Georgia, the South Orkneys and the South Shetlands.
In essence, the difference between the first two is minimal with the main “Antarctic sites” being covered by both trips. The third option adds around 10 days onto the itinerary and so is significantly more expensive but does also offer much better wildlife viewing of birds and some of the major penguin colonies that are not visited on the other two.
The variation to the first two options involves flying across the Drake Passage rather than taking the 2 day passage in each direction. The big benefit of this option is, of course, the time saving and the avoidance of the Drake Passage which, on some days, can be flat calm and on others can test even the hardiest of constitutions!
For more information on the itineraries please follow this link: http://www.theantarcticaspecialists.com/itineraries
Where most of the main boats offer slight variations on the above itineraries, there is, again, quite a range of different boats to choose from. Some of them offer more “expeditionary” credentials with sea kayaking, skiing, snow shoeing and even diving amongst the activities on offer.
Some of the boats, such as the Hebridean Sky and the Silver Explorer, come with all of the modern comforts that you could ask for while others offer a simpler experience.
Please follow the link for more information about each boat:
The season for the Antarctica cruises runs during the Southern Hemisphere summer with the first of the boats heading down south around the middle of October and returning northwards (most of the boats also cover the northern hemisphere summer months where they cruise the waters of the Arctic) at the start of April.
Each of the months in the period has different plusses and minuses with the front end of the season generally offering a more pristine experience and higher quantity of sea ice. Over the Christmas and New Year period the days become longer and the sea ice tends to break down further which allows for longer and further explorations.
At the end of the season the likelihood of whale sightings increases greatly while the numbers of penguin decrease.
For more information please follow this link: http://www.theantarcticaspecialists.com/when-to-go
Definitely the most asked question! With the logistics and remoteness of the region the prices certainly reflect the fact that you are one of only a handful of people that will make the journey in a season but this is not to say that the prices are out of sight for everyone.
Many of the operators offer significant discounts for booking early (normally before the end of March for the year ahead) or if you book at the very last minute so this is definitely a way to get a better price but you either have to be well planned or not planned at all!
We update the “Specials Board” regularly with the offers that each of the boats currently has so please take a look to see if any of them are tempting for you…
One point that we feel is very important to note is that we only offer cruises through companies and operators that are members of the IAATO which is an association of Antarctica Tour Operators. This association is an accreditation for the practices and ethos of these companies that they are trying to maintain the integrity of the Antarctic region.
For the range of boats that are part of the association please follow the below link.
Please note that, as a specialist operator we guarantee that our prices are better than going directly to any of the boat owners. On top of this, we can offer you pre and post cruise itineraries in Argentina or Chile should you wish.
We guarantee that we will beat any like for like quote!
Due to our long standing relationship with many of the cruise boats in Antarctica and hotels and lodges throughout South America, we are in the privileged position of being able to match or beat any like for like itinerary.
On top of this, we have no reason to send you somewhere over another, other than your happiness! Having personally traveled and tested everywhere that we sell in South America (and quite a few that we don't!), we stand by our recommendations. One thing that you can count on us for is an objective opinion!
Based on our longstanding relationship with travel suppliers in South America and Antarctica over the years we can, in many cases, offer you the best rooms, and hidden extras that are not offered through other South America travel companies.
We are fully bonded with ATOL so your money is safe!
This means that we have been through a vetting process with the Civil Aviation Authority who have deemed us reliable and reputable.
All monies paid by you for the air holiday package shown [or flights if appropriate] are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 10286. For more information see our booking terms and conditions OR go to their web site and, if you would like to check on us then put in our registered number, 10286, into their finder service... (you just need the number)
All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected.
Please see our terms and conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate or ask any of our consultants who are fully versed on the ins and outs of the bonding scheme.