Antarctica, the White Continent, is the most remote and inhospitable place on Earth, but for the most intrepid explorers, that’s its appeal. The likes of Earnest Shackleton, Roald Amundsen, and Robert Falcon Scott were the first explorers to brave the Antarctic, and you could be among the few privileged humans on Earth to follow in their footsteps on an Antarctic cruise. Albeit with the assurance of an experienced Antarctica captain and the luxury of gourmet meals, onboard entertainment, and spacious suites with private balconies.
Since a luxury Antarctic cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience where extreme adventure and exploration is matched with extreme luxury and exclusivity it begs the question: what does an Antarctica trip cost? Of course, the general answer is it depends on how much you want to spend, but there’s more to it than that. In this article we explore more about Antarctica trip costs including the price range, what is included, and how you can get the best prices. Will an Antarctica trip cost be what you expected?
How much can I expect to pay for an Antarctica cruise?
Prices for an Antarctic cruise start at around $7,000. For this price, you can expect a no-frills cruise with simple but good food, comfortable cabins with a portal, and several guided tours including hiking, wildlife spotting, and kayaking. Cruises in this price range are ideal for those who are more interested in seeing the White Continent than the luxury cruise experience that comes with more premium cruises.
For an Antarctic cruise that combines adventurous Antarctic explorations with luxury onboard experiences, you can expect to pay between $30,000 – $50,000. There’s no denying that a good Antarctic cruise is expensive and for many, it’s the most they may ever spend on a single trip, but a destination as special as Antarctica will be worth every cent.
What do I get for my money on an Antarctic Cruise?
An Antarctic cruise doesn’t come cheap, but it’s not just because of the destination’s exclusivity. When you break down the Antarctica trip cost, you can see why it is set at this kind of price point, and why it’s it’s worth every cent. To sum it up, Antarctica is a specialized destination in every sense of the word. However, when you’re investing your hard-earned money in such a trip, it’s understandable that you want to know exactly where your money is going, so we have broken it down for you below.
There is a lot that goes into the preparation for Antarctica landings, and a large part of that involves the designation of equipment. Antarctic visitors are given special all-weather clothing and boots firstly to make sure they are prepared for the environment but also to protect the environment from the invasion of foreign organisms and microbes in order to maintain the continent’s biosecurity. While the boots are often borrowed, most cruises gift each guest with their very own jacket to take home.
Landing equipment also extends to the zodiacs, kayaks, crampons, trekking poles, and other items that make your Antarctic exploration possible. This specialist equipment’s running costs, including stocking, handling, and maintenance, are quite high.
In order to provide an informative, educational, and insightful Antarctic experience, your cruise will be run by highly experienced Antarctica specialists including oceanographers, geographers, and professional explorers. Whilst onboard, they will host lectures and talks about their specialist topics to give deeper context to your experiences of the White Continent. These specialists will also be alongside you during your Antarctica landings to offer on-the-ground information and answer your questions.
What’s more, you’ll be sailing with one of the world’s most highly trained and experienced captains. To be able to captain an Antarctic expedition ship, they have to have a certain number of years’ of sailing experience under their belt and go through extra-rigorous training in ice-breaking, safety, and navigation.
Between the specialized landing equipment and the onboard Antarctic specialists, you’ll be set up to have once-in-a-lifetime experiences on the White Continent. Each day, your cruise itinerary will include one or several Antarctic activities including hikes, zodiac rides, whale-watching trips, kayaking, and even military base visits. Imagine looking across the Antarctic Peninsula from one of its highest peaks, weaving around icebergs larger than your house, and coming face-to-face with killer whales. For priceless memories like these, the Antarctica trip cost is just a drop in the South Atlantic Ocean.
High Guest- to Crew Ratio
Antarctic cruises operate with a high guest-to-crew ratio which makes the experience more luxurious and personal. While most regular cruises welcome over 1000 guests onboard at one time, Antarctica cruises are usually capped at 300 guests with an equal crew count. This is due in part to environmental protection and upkeeping a sense of exclusivity; Antarctica wouldn’t be a special destination if people could visit en masse. As a result, each cruise guest gets a highly personalized and attentive experience. You can expect the crew members to address you by name, to make your favorite drinks on request, and generally ensure you want for nothing during your time onboard.
On top of the extraordinary experiences you’ll get to have in Antarctica, your cruise staff ensures your onboard experience is extraordinary too. You can expect a spacious suite with a bar stocked with your personal choice of drinks and a private balcony where you can watch icebergs float by; a choice of cafes, bars, and restaurants where you’ll be served freshly prepared gourmet meals by white-gloved waiters; a regular schedule of top-class entertainment from live musicians and actors, and much more. Every moment of your cruise has been meticulously planned and prepared for you to have a thoughtfully personalized and thoroughly enjoyable vacation.
As per the Antarctic Treaty which was put in place in 1959 to promote international scientific cooperation in Antarctica, cruise companies that want to access the continent have to pay a fee to the treaty committee. The fee contributes to the maintenance and upkeep of Antarctica’s environmental, political, and scientific protection. The fee is partially covered in the cruise prices, which allows those visiting on a cruise to contribute to these important costs required to help leave Antarctica as pristine as when it was found.
How can I manage my Antarctica trip costs?
Book through a travel agent
Travel agents like Totally Latin America have excellent partnerships with Antarctic cruise companies which allows them to provide better deals than the cruise companies themselves can offer. It’s a win-win for all parties because the companies get to fill their spots with minimal effort on their part and customers get lower prices. Therefore, it’s better to book your preferred cruise through Totally Latin America rather than directly with the hotels and tour companies themselves.
Book as far in advance as possible
Antarctica cruises are limited and in high demand which drives prices, and so the further ahead of time you book your tours, the better. This is because the further away your preferred trip dates are, the less competition there will be for them. We recommend booking at least a year in advance to benefit from cheaper Antarctica trip prices.
Book your flights as part of a package
All Antarctica cruises begin in Ushuaia at the southern tip of Argentina, which requires a connecting flight via Buenos Aires. Ushuaia flight prices become more expensive the closer to the date you book because airlines know travelers don’t have another transport option. Therefore, it’s beneficial to book your flight as far in advance as possible to receive the most reasonable prices.
For even better prices, book your Ushuaia flights as part of your trip package with a travel agent. Totally Latin America is able to find the best flight prices and offers better deals when you book flights, accommodation, and tours together. It also allows us to arrange airport/hotel transportation and coordinate your trip so that every travel day is completely seamless.
Enquire about our Antarctica Cruise Trip Costs and Deals
To book your own once-in-a-lifetime Antarctica cruise, or find out more about what you can expect when you’re there and what you get for your money, speak to us by calling toll free on +1 855 217 9045 (USA/Canada) or by filling in our online contact form.