Voyages to the End of the Earth

Voyages to the End of the Earth

A few decades ago, trips to Antarctica were mainly for scientific research teams, famous explorers of the 20th century, or a few fortunate VIP travelers. Today, however, many more people are ticking off the "White Continent" from their bucket list by embarking on luxury Antarctica expedition cruises.

The Silver Endeavour recently sailed with 220 passengers to Antarctica. During a zodiac excursion to Paulet Island, they marveled at countless penguins waddling across the landscape and diving into the ocean. Paulet Island is home to 100,000 breeding pairs of Adelie penguins, making it an extraordinary and memorable experience.

The trip to Antarctica was part of the "Antarctic Bridge" itinerary, a round trip from King George Island in the South Shetland Islands. They spent the pre-cruise nights in Santiago and Punta Arenas, Chile, before flying to King George Island, just 75 miles off the Antarctic coast. After a shuttle ride and a zodiac transfer to the Silver Endeavour, the Antarctic exploration began.

This method of "avoiding the Drake," increasingly popular with travelers, offers two main advantages: it saves several days of sea travel between South America and Antarctica, and it avoids the often rough waters of the Drake Passage. After the cruise, guests fly from King George Island back to Punta Arenas.

Visit Antarctica with us aboard the Magellan Explorer

Numerous departures of the "Antarctic Bridge" will be offered through 2026. For example, on November 7, 2025, the Silver Endeavour will embark on a six-day voyage to explore Antarctica, with kayaking, polar treks, and zodiac rides. During the cruise, hikers were seen stopping to let penguins pass, as these birds have the right of way.

Zodiac rides also allow you to get close to the icebergs and observe seals, whales, and penguins. In addition to the Silver Endeavour, the Silver Cloud and the Silver Wind also sail to Antarctica, with fewer passengers in polar waters. Some travelers prefer to cross the Drake Passage, so departures are offered from Puerto Williams, Chile, or Ushuaia, Argentina.

Between October 2025 and March 2026, 37 fgeor are planned. Guests can choose from seven- to 18-night voyages on the 196-passenger World Voyager, World Navigator, or World Traveller. Most sail from Ushuaia, but seven-night "Drake Express" expeditions are also offered from King George Island.

During expeditions, guests enjoy landings and zodiac safaris to explore icy landscapes and wildlife, guided by expert naturalists and scientists. Its itineraries include nine-night "Antarctic Discovery" and 11-night "Crossing the Antarctic Circle" expeditions. Due to high demand, two 18-night "Grand Antarctica & Beyond" voyages have been introduced that visit multiple locations.

An 86-day voyage "Across Three Continents: Oceania to Antarctica," lasting 86 days, will be offered aboard the Seabourn Pursuit, departing August 24, 2025, from Broome, Australia, to Ushuaia, Argentina. This ship and her sister ship, Seabourn Venture, will also sail 16 voyages of 11 and 13 days to Antarctica between November 2025 and March 2026.

During Antarctic cruises, guests can join zodiac excursions, observe marine life, and participate in walks, hikes, and optional kayaking and underwater excursions. The ships offer luxury accommodations and dining.

During the 2024-25 winter season, nearly 50 departures will be offered on seven unique Antarctic itineraries. Among the ships are the newly renovated National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endurance, and National Geographic Resolution. The new itineraries include a 10-day "Antarctica Direct: Fly the Drake Passage" and "Antarctica Direct: Sail and Fly the Drake Passage."

Submersible Triton 660-9 | Antarctica

The 154-passenger Douglas Mawson, which will offer 32 Antarctic voyages, will be launched in 2025. Among them, the 34-day "Epic Antarctica: Crossing the Seventh Continent," departing from Dunedin, New Zealand, and bound for Ushuaia, Argentina. The ship features enhanced sustainability measures and luxury amenities, such as a heated outdoor swimming pool and several observation areas.

The new Triton 660/9 AVA submersible aboard the Scenic Eclipse II allows guests to explore underwater. This vessel, along with the Scenic Eclipse, offers full Antarctic itineraries, including a 22-day voyage to Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands.

Submersible Triton 660-9 | Antarctica
Photo: Nick Verola

The Vega and Diana ships will offer nine- to 20-night Antarctic itineraries in the 2025-2026 season. The new ship, Diana, has upgraded facilities, including a presentation and conference room.

Antarctica remains a dream destination for many travelers, offering stunning natural scenery and wildlife.