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I’m wondering about ways to visit, I believe it's cruise only, and the potential costs and best times of year. I have seen some amazing pictures of South Georgia island which can be included in the longer cruise itineraries. I priced out National Geographic, which has been recommended to me by someone who is a photographer but the starting price was $27,000 for 1 person w/o airfare.

I looked at cruisecritic and had to laugh at the itinerary maps. The maps must be automatically drawn because they are adding ports (I assume with similar names) in Scotland, Australia, and West Africa between leaving Argentina and arriving in Antarctica. I was also surprised at the number of cruises advertised as being "Antarctica cruises" on cruisecritic that just round the tip of Argentina and go nowhere near Antarctica, making it look like a dishonest website.

Posted by
2625 posts

You can fly also, but I haven't looked into that option. I have a reservation for an Antarctica cruise in March 2023 with Imprint Tours, owned by Reid Coen, a former Rick Steves guide. This tour has been postponed from 2021 and 2022, so I am hoping third time is the charm. It is 11 days and does not go to South Georgia Island. Antarctica cruises are quite expensive, but you can definitely find one for much less than $27,000. If you have any interest in the Imprint tour, I would suggest reserving soon. Most of the people signed up for the 2022 tour elected to go in 2023, so there may not be many slots left.

Posted by
7175 posts

Those cruises are expensive and from what I have read on cruise critic about half the time the weather is so bad that you can't see Antarctica.

Posted by
8197 posts

Tom, if you're a runner, I know they have done marathons down there. A couple of friends have done that.

Posted by
4060 posts

Although , given the cost , and my wife's pronounced aversion to the thought of a trip there , I have long had an interest in Polar Exploration . For anyone who may be interested , this film from the eighties ( nine hours long ) based on the book of the same name by Roland Huntford , tells the story of the first men to reach the South Pole in 1910 -1911 " The Last Place on Earth " -

Posted by
1987 posts

I saw only the headline of an article in Condé Nast ‘What it’s like to sail to Antarctica on Viking’s Luxe new Expedition Ship’.

Posted by
3036 posts

I have also researched Antartica cruises, and my husband works with a marine biologist who has been a staff person on the Hurtigruten ship. He told us, South Georgia island is a must do and not to waste our time and money on the shorter cruises. So 20 days and $30,000 is looking like the way to go. I am not a fan of the cold, but I am a fan of wild, remote places. So, we are considering Antartica as a possibility for the future. The other thing our marine biologist told us, is that because of the sensitive environment, choosing a ship that exceeds the environmental regulations is important.

Posted by
4358 posts

Thanks Tammy, if you find something cheaper please PM me. It is possible to split the trip, say South Georgia and the Falklands on a cruise only, then fly to Antarctica separately, but I haven't priced that out.

Posted by
2247 posts

Quark Expeditions are cheaper as I recall but they nickel and dime you for different activities. The cruise season is November to March with January being the best month and most expensive for obvious reasons. We are booked on Scenic USA for November of this year after canceling our January 2022 departure. We will be doing the full 3 weeks as this is our only opportunity. Our trip is supposed to include the Falklands but those islands were closed off to us for a while. Time will tell if the Falklands will allow us in in November. I have a friend who went in November 2019 and his photos are spectacular. The types of ships used by the different cruise lines vary. Some are quite luxe and others are really dated. You get what you pay for. Please also note that you will be required to get a note from your doctor stating that you are fit/well enough for this voyage. The reason for that is that if you get seriously ill at some point on the voyage you will be outside of a hope of evacuation/rescue. If you haven’t read an account of Shackleton’s voyage to Antarctica, I would highly suggest doing so. There is also Chasing Shackleton in the PBS archives which is a recreation of Shackleton’s trip from Elephant Island to S. Georgia Island to effectuate a rescue of his crew. They wore the period clothing, ate the same food and used a replica of Shackleton’s 20’ boat.