Choosing Your Route To Antarctica
There are many routes to consider when you are planning an expedition cruise to this destination. 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 on your Antarctica trip. 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 Trip Should I Choose?
There are many routes to consider when planning a trip to this region.
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, 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 Antarctica trip.
So, with the small print out of the way, here are the routes you can consider, in order of popularity.
The Antarctic Peninsula
The most popular expedition route, often referred to as the classic route, can take between 9 and 13 Days. The first, and last, two-and-a-half-days are spent crossing The Drake Passage to Antarctica and the 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 £4,000 and £6,000.
The Shackleton Route
Following Shakelton’s historic route will take between 20 and 24 days. This fascinating route also takes in South Georgia & The Falklands.
It must be considered that this expedition demands a longer commitment and is suitable for those with a little more time to spare. Prices start at just over £8000 and rise up to a little over £11,000 in peak season.
Crossing The Circle
This wonderful Antarctica trip takes around 14 days. Exploring the more remote areas and reaching the actual Antarctic Circle is a dream come true for most of our passengers. 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 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 Antarctica trip can be available for as little as £3,700 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 £6,600 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 £9,200.
The Epic Ross Sea
Considered the ultimate Antarctica trip for most passengers and taking between 30 and 32 days this one-way trip comes with two options. You can choose to 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 to cold weather destinations.
There you have it – all the routes 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. One of our expert team members will be at the other end of the phone to answer any questions you have. We are a company with a passion for travel in this stunning part of our world and our dedicated specialists are on hand to help you choose the Antarctica trip that is perfect for you. We thrive on adventure and are dedicated to providing extraordinary travel experiences to those who have a desire to travel the less trodden paths of our world.
Our commitment to wildlife conservation as well as environment protection sets us apart from our competitors so if you are keen to leave behind nothing but footprints when you are on your next adventure, book with Wildfoot Travel and you can rest assured that we have it covered. We are proud of our tight ties with several conservation organisations and work closely with charities such as the World Wildlife Fund, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and Save the Albatross and South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project, among many others.
In the next video in this series, I’ll be unveiling a few top tips to help you get the best value from your Antarctica trip. Make sure you don’t miss it.