Exploring the 'white continent': 7 incredible Antarctica trips with a difference

Make your trip of a lifetime to the Great White Continent even more memorable with these decidedly different Antarctic expeditions, from photographic tours to diving with seals...

6 mins

1: Cruise through Antarctica’s wild side

King penguins on the beach, Falkland Islands (Dreamstime)

King penguins on the beach, Falkland Islands (Dreamstime)

Sail through awe inspiring landscapes where nature still rules on this luxury Antarctic cruise with Journey Latin America.

Sailing east from Ushuaia to the Falkland Islands, you’ll spend a couple of days exploring the rugged coastline and draughty plains, spotting magellanic and gentoo penguins and maybe a nesting albatross or two. Next, the savage landscapes of South Georgia await, where you’ll walk amongst elephant seals and king and macaroni penguins. Finally, you’ll reach the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, making your way amongst primeval mountain peaks and huge icebergs to vast breeding grounds of seabirds, penguins and seals.

Trip: Antarctica Wildlife: Falklands, South Georgia And The Antarctic Peninsula

Who: Journey Latin America

When: Flexible departure dates

How long: 24 days

How much: From £12,959 (exc. flights)

2: The world’s most extreme photographic tour

Photographer on Antarctica (Dreamstime)

Photographer on Antarctica (Dreamstime)

Take the best possible photographs of the remote landscapes and unique wildlife of the Antarctic Peninsula on a 10-day photographic expedition to the Great White Continent with Peregrine.

With a professional photographer on-hand to provide guidance, you’ll have to unique opportunity to capture vast penguin rookeries, humpbacks and minke whales swimming breaking the surface of world’s most southern waters and leopard seals hunting their prey amongst the ice floats. You will explore local bays, channels and landing sites on Zodiacs, and learn about the unique history, geology and wildlife of the region from polar experts. Most importantly, you’ll return with a portfolio of fantastic photographs that are likely to be the envy of professionals and friends alike.

Trip: Photography Series: Antarctic Explorer

Who: Peregrine

When: 13 Nov 2018

How long: 10 days

How much: From £5,440 (exc. flights)

3: Experience Antarctica from a different perspective

A diver on ice in Antarctica (Dreamstime)

A diver on ice in Antarctica (Dreamstime)

Jump right into icy southern waters to dive and snorkel with fur seals, leopard seals and penguins on this extraordinary diving holiday beyond the Antarctic Circle with Dive Worldwide.

Pushing south of the Antarctic Circle, you’ll navigate through scenic waterways to dive sites amongst massive ice shelves and giant icebergs. As well as swimming with the continent’s most famous wildlife, you’ll also visit them on land, visiting the immense penguin rookeries on Deception Island and encountering the magical scenery and the unique flora and fauna of the Antarctic Peninsula first-hand.

Trip: Polar Circle & Antarctic Peninsula

Who: Dive Worldwide

When: Mar 2018

How long: 12 days

How much: £6,145 (exc. flights)

4: Meet the Emperors

Emperor Penguin with chicks on Snow Hill Island (Dreamstime)

Emperor Penguin with chicks on Snow Hill Island (Dreamstime)

Stand in the midst of the majestic emperor penguins of Snow Hill Island on this extraordinary voyage to the Weddell Sea with Wildlife Worldwide.

The Weddell Sea is one of Antarctica’s hidden gems, an immense bay of huge ice shelves and flat-topped icebergs, where the upwelling of cold water from the ocean depths that provides food for the Emperor penguins that gather here in vast numbers. You’ll be transfer by helicopter to Snow Hill Island, where, after a walk of around 45 minutes, you’ll rendezvous with these magnificent creatures.

On the way back to Ushuaia, you will pay a visit to the South Shetland Islands and visit Emperors' smaller cousins, the chinstraps, on Half Moon Island.

Trip: Emperor Penguins Of The Weddell Sea

Who: Wildlife Worldwide

When: Nov - Mar

How long: 11 days

How much: From £9,000 (exc. flights)

5: Get active in Antarctica

Kayaking in Antarctica (Dreamstime)

Kayaking in Antarctica (Dreamstime)

Not content with ‘normal’ landings in Antarctica and keen to experience the continent in new and exciting ways? Then this camp, trek and dive adventure with Audley could be just the experience you’re after.

Based on the Polar Pioneer, a small ship of around 50 passengers, this tailor-made trip is designed with the more adventurous travelling in mind. While others are taken to ice shelves in Zodiacs, you scuba dive and snorkel in the icy waters, embark on polar treks, camp on ice shelves and kayak amongst the ice floes, experiencing the majestic landscapes and unique wildlife up close.

Trip: Active Antarctica: Cruise, camp, trek & dive

Who: Audley

When: Flexible departures with restrictions

How long: 14 days

How much: From £11,395 (exc. flights)

6: Encounter epic Antarctica, east and west

Giant iceberg in Antarctica (Dreamstime)

Giant iceberg in Antarctica (Dreamstime)

This epic 20-day expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula with Exodus is truly a trip of a lifetime, giving you the time and opportunity to explore the Great White Continent in depth.

Embarking from Ushuaia, Argentina, you’ll traverse the legendary Drake Passage to arrive at Elephant Island, which gave Ernest Shackleton’s crew refuge in 1916. From this significant start, you’ll move on to see enormous penguin colonies up close, Zodiac cruise among icebergs that look like art, walk around and explore historic and operating scientific bases, sail the Antarctic Circle and take a Zodiac ride to see humpback and killer whales.

Trip: Antarctica East And West: Peninsula In Depth

Who: Exodus

When: 24 Jan 2018

How long: 18 days

How much: From £14,200 (exc. flights)

7: Follow in Shackleton’s footsteps

The Whaler's Church on South Georgia Island  (Dreamstime)

The Whaler's Church on South Georgia Island (Dreamstime)

Marvel at the courageous explorations of Ernest Shackelton as you follow in his footsteps on this 22-day voyage with KE Adventure Travel.

As well as visiting historical sites of the explorers, including Shackleton's final resting place, you’ll also experience vast penguin rookeries and seal colonies on Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. After walking amongst the king penguins, you'll travel south to the sublime landscapes of the Antarctic Peninsula. It is a landscape beyond comprehension and still a true adventure in the world's most remote wilderness.

Trip: Spirit of Shackleton

Who: KE Adventure Travel

When: 22 Nov 2017, 10 Jan 2018 & 22 Nov 2018

How long: 22 days

How much: From £7,999 (exc. flights)

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