Seals on ice floe, Antarctica

Antarctica Holidays

Follow in the footsteps of great explorers. Discover a remote world filled with gigantic penguin rookeries, towering icebergs and stories of pioneering feats.

For the biggest variety of wildlife, visit the Antarctic Peninsula; for huge icebergs and emperor penguins, sail the Weddell Sea; or for sheer scale and remoteness, take to the Ross Sea. 

For travellers to Antarctica, the continent’s giant proportions and pristine white wilderness leave a profound impression. Our Antarctic cruises will take you through towering glacial scenery and introduce you to a plethora of species, frozen landscapes and glassy waters. Nothing quite prepares you for this experience; as you cruise past sheer ice faces, and the cold air drawing into your lungs invigorates your mind, you will feel that same sense of adventure that Shackleton did.

Our Antarctica Guides

We know that travellers bound for Antarctica tend to have a lot of questions – from what you’ll see to what socks you should wear – and our Polar Experts are always on hand to answer your specific questions. But in the meantime, we have compiled a series of guides to the Great White Continent to get you started. So have a pen and paper handy, and jot down any other unknowns you might have, ready for your next e-mail or phone conversation with your personal specialist.

The Ultimate Antarctica Packing List

How to Pick your Antarctic Voyage: Which Trip is Right for You?

When to Go to Antarctica:
A Seasonal Guide

Weddell Seal, Antarctica
Antarctica, Antarctica

Antarctica with Steppes

Steppes Travel was one of the first UK-based tour operators to offer holidays and cruises to Antarctica. Since then we’ve built an impressive reputation for detailed first-hand knowledge and long-standing partnerships with all the leading small ship boat operators. This vast expertise means we can pick the boat, cabin and experiences which perfectly match your unique brief.

Why Steppes?

Polar Flight on Ice Runway, Antarctica
Polar Flight on Ice Runway, Antarctica

Fly to Antarctica

Traditional cruises begin in Ushuaia, Argentina (otherwise known as “The End of the World”), with the first two days spent crossing the infamous Drake Passage. This stretch of water can be rough, so those prone to seasickness might want to avoid it. Enter: the fly-cruise. With travel to and from Antarctica completed in just two hours each way, the trip is cut down by up to four days. Simply a must for anyone short on time and looking to maximise the opportunities to get snow on their boots.

Fitz Roy mountain near El Chalten, in the Southern Patagonia, on the border between Argentina and Chile
Patagonia, Argentina
Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Extend your Voyage

For those travellers wishing to make more of their time in South America before or after an Antarctic expedition, we offer a plethora of tailor-made extensions. Perhaps spend time in Argentina, taking a scenic flight over Iguazu Falls or joining a wine-tasting workshop in Mendoza. Travel to Chile to hike in Torres del Paine or board a flight to Easter Island with its remote mythical Moai. For the ultimate wildlife holiday, join a cruise in the Galapagos Islands or consider travelling to Antarctica from New Zealand and add an extension to the Pacific Islands of Tonga, Fiji or Tahiti.

Talk to an Expert

Antarctica, Uncovered
Browse the Great White Continent

We have created and curated these voyage ideas to get you inspired. Browse through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure to Antarctica.

Experiences

Things to do, places to explore and moments to experience.

Scroll to discover some of our most remarkable travel experiences in Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, from diving to photographing busy penguin rookeries.

Diver, Antarctica

Diving in Antarctic Waters

Don a dry suit and take a dip in the icy cold waters of Antarctica to dive or snorkel with curious penguins and marvel at the ice beneath the surface.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Camping in Antarctica

Camp near the South Pole

For a truly extraordinary and utterly unique experience, fly in to a specially constructed camp near the South Pole.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Polar Plunge, North Pole

The Polar Plunge

Plunge in the icy Antarctic waters of Paradise Bay, a completely exhilarating (and somewhat bonkers) way to experience the cold continent.

Suggested read: blog

Adelie penguins, Antarctica

Penguins of the Weddell Sea

Discover the clearest sea waters on earth, home to millions of penguins that include Adélies and emperors.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Trekking, Antarctica

Snow Adventures in Antarctica

Try snowshoeing across the icy white plains of Antarctica, a challenging but exhilarating sport.

Leopard seal, Antarctica

Aperture on Cuverville Island

Head out on a photography tour on Cuverville Island, known for its deafeningly noisy penguin rookeries.

World War 2 Gun Relic, Ordnance Point, Falkland Islands

Falkland Battlefields

Explore the battlefields of the 1982 conflict.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Gypsy Cove, Falkland Islands

Walk on Gypsy Cove

Explore the stunning coastal paths and inland hills for magical sea views.

Suggested Holiday Idea

King Penguins, Volunteer Point, Falkland Islands

Photography in the Falklands

Make the most of the light clarity in the Falkland Islands, as it provides wonderful opportunities for photographers and artists.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Emperor Penguins, Antarctica

Navigate the Ross Sea

Sail through the remote ocean region that is home to emperor penguins, orca whales, and leopard seals, and see the largest floating body of ice in the world.

Ernest Shackleton's Grave, South Georgia

Explorers of Antarctica

Learn the fascinating history of the early explorers, perhaps visiting both the iconic huts and graves (and snow tombs) of Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Kayaking, Icebergs, Antarctica

Icy Water Kayaking

Navigate alongside icebergs in Wilhelmina Bay, looking out for curious penguins and whales, or embark on an overnight camping expedition.

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Sylvia Earle £££££

Named after legendary marine biologist, oceanographer, explorer and author, the Sylvia Earle pays tribute to its namesake’s long standing commitment to conservation and the protection of ocean wildlife. At the cutting edge of nautical technology, the Sylvia Earle is a robust and powerful vessel with an Ulstein X-BOW that adds extra stability and makes for a quicker transit through the waves. A glass atrium lounge inside the bow boasts views to the front of the ship and a state-of-the-art lecture theatre allows you to hear experts talk about culture, biology and wildlife.

View Boat

Magellan Explorer £££££

  • Antarctica

The 100-passenger Magellan Explorer launched in December 2019 specialising in fly-cruise itineraries to Antarctica. During Antarctic fly cruise itineraries the ship will operate with a maximum of 76 passengers. Specific measures have been taken to minimize Magellan Explorer’s carbon footprint, including state-of-the-art low emission engines. There are 50 spacious passenger suites and cabins in five categories, including dedicated single cabins. All double cabins have twin beds that can be configured as one queen-size bed. 42 cabins feature a large window and a private balcony, while eight lowest grade cabins have a porthole. All cabins have a private bathroom and a sitting area.

View Boat

Greg Mortimer £££££

  • Antarctica

Launched in October 2019, the Greg Mortimer is a purpose-built expedition vessel that features a revolutionary X-Bow design. One of the most dynamic and state of the art ships on the seas, it is designed to slice through the water rather than riding over the waves making for comfortable and fast travels through the polar seas. Four sea-level zodiac launching platforms allow for a quick transition from the ship to the zodiacs, minimising waiting times and maximising excursion time. Its 79 twin and double cabins are spread over four decks and each features private facilities, ample storage, power outlets and daily cabin service.

View Boat

MS Seaventure £££££

  • Antarctica

The Seaventure has capacity for a maximum of 139 passengers in five different cabin categories. She carries a fleet of 14 zodiacs and has 16 highly experienced expedition staff. All of the outside cabins are well designed with ample storage, a seating area and in cabin TV on which you can stream or record lectures. For when the weather is inclement there is a large forward observation lounge, two dining rooms and an outside café. There is also a gym, sauna, outdoor saltwater pool and a certified physician and clinic onboard.

View Boat

Heritage Adventurer £££££

  • Antarctic Continent

Frequently referred to as the “Grande Dame of Polar Exploration”, Heritage Adventurer was built in 1991 specifically for venturing into the icy waters of the polars. 140 passengers are accommodated in spacious cabins across four decks, and guests can visit the captain and crew with the open bridge policy. Experience close up wildlife encounters from one of the 14 zodiacs and for days at sea take in the breathtaking scenery from the observation lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows.

View Boat

Explore Antarctica

  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Falkland Islands
  • South Georgia
  • Weddell Sea
  • Ross Sea
  • Elephant Island

Start planning your trip


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Frequently asked questions about Antarctica

Can solo travellers join an Antarctic cruise?

Do I have to have a certain level of fitness?

How adventurous are Antarctic expeditions?

How rough is the Drake Passage?

What aircraft flies to Antarctica?

What should I expect from an Antarctic expedition?

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Sue Grimwood

The vast continent of Antarctica is Sue’s happy place. Immune to the pungent smell of penguin poo and the halitosis of elephant seals, she fell in love with its seemingly endless snowscapes, icebergs the size of stadiums and fascinating history of the explorers.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge, curiosity and expertise set us apart, driving us to create remarkable holidays and Beautiful Adventures tailored perfectly to you, carefully curated to help protect and conserve our planet.

Are you ready to Discover Extraordinary?


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