Choosing Your Route To Antarctica

There are many routes to consider when you are planning an expedition cruise to Antarctica. Which route is the right choice for you?
Your decision may simply depend on your budget or how much time you can commit. It may also be about the type of wildlife, the wilderness or the activities you’d like to experience.
Here Wildfoot Travel’s Dave Cheetham details the different routes on offer and runs through the pros, cons and the cost of the options.

Which Antarctica Route Should I Choose?

There are many routes to consider when planning a trip to Antarctica.

Your decisions may simply depend on your budget, and how much time you can commit. But it may also be about the kind of wildlife, wilderness or the activities you would like to experience.

Expeditions range from 9 to 32 days in length and are all vessel based. The vast majority of these expeditions embark from Ushuaia, the southernmost port in Argentina.

Before we run through your options, I should point out that the prices mentioned in this video are ‘expedition only’, they do not include flights or accommodation on land, they are based on the lowest grade quad or triple cabin-spaces and are always subject to availability and to change.

If you are travelling alone, we can usually arrange same-gender shared-cabins which help to keep the cost down. Or you can opt for ‘sole occupancy’, taking a cabin to yourself which usually comes with an additional 50% supplement.

Twin cabins, higher grade cabins or suites are available but you should expect to pay more. Our travel advisors are always happy to help you get an accurate quote for your perfect trip.

So, with the small print of the way, here are the routes you can consider, in order of popularity.

The Antarctic Peninsular

The most popular expedition route, often referred to as the classic route, can take between 9 and13 Days. The first, and last, two-and-a-half-days are spent crossing The Drake Passage to Antarctica and South Shetland Islands.

This is an excellent choice for those who only have 2–3 weeks available including travel. You should expect to pay between £4000 and £6000

The Shackleton Route

Following Shakelton’s historic route will take between 20 and 24 days. This fascinating route takes in South Georgia & The Falklands as well as Antarctica.

This expedition is a longer commitment, suitable for those with a little more time to spare and prices start at just over £8000 and rise up to a little over £11,000 in peak season

Crossing The Circle

Taking around 14 days. Exploring the more remote areas of Antarctica and reaching the actual Antarctic Circle, is a dream come true for most of our passengers and the rich wildlife and glorious scenery make this a very special trip indeed.

You should expect to pay between £6500 and £8000 for this slightly longer expedition.

Fly The Drake Cruise

Distilling the Antarctica experience down to a neat 6 to 8 days, this option is a good choice for those who would prefer not to sail across the Infamous Drake passage, or for those who are simply more time-sensitive. Fly from Punta Arenas in Chile to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands, where you will pick up the cruise vessel.

An express 6-day trip can be available for as little as £3700 and you should expect to pay up to £9,000 for a longer 9-day fly-cruise.

The Weddell Sea 

Taking 11 days, the Weddell Sea Expedition’s main draw is a chance to see the elusive emperor Penguin.

The usual price tag for this trip is about £6600 but it is definitely worth considering choosing a vessel which offers helicopter access to improve your chances of reaching the penguin colonies. This upgraded experience will take the cost up to somewhere around £9200

The Epic Ross Sea

Considered the ultimate Antarctic expedition for most passengers and taking between 30 and 32 days this one-way trip comes with two options.  You can choose to can embark from New Zealand and disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina or take the trip in reverse and disembark in New Zealand/ The price starts at £22,800 and is rarely the choice of first-time travellers Antarctica.

There you have it – all the routes to Antarctica you have to choose from. If you’d like to discuss any of the trips in more detail, feel free to give us a call.

In the next video in this series, I’ll be unveiling a few top tips to help you get the best value from your Polar Expedition.  Make sure you don’t miss it.

Wild Conversations #2

An Exclusive Interview with Legendary Cameraman Doug Allan

The second in a series of online interviews with the biggest names in wildlife, travel & conservation.
In this episode, Wildfoot Travel’s Dave Cheetham speaks to award-winning wildlife cameraman, photographer, author and public speaker Doug Allan.

Born in Fife, Doug Allan spent seven years in Antarctica as a Scientist, research diver and photographer for the British Antarctic Survey, before changing direction to full time freelance filming in 1983.

Since then he has become one of the world’s best known and respected cameramen, specialising in natural history, expeditions and science documentaries. In his 35 year filming career, he’s worked for the BBC, Discovery, National Geographic and many others, filming for series including The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Human Planet, Frozen Planet, Ocean Giants, Operation Iceberg, Wild Cameramen at Work, and Forces of Nature with Brian Cox.