Of the world’s seven continents, Antarctica is the coldest, the driest, the windiest, the highest (average elevation), and not surprisingly, the least populated.
Its massive scale and surreal land, sea, and ice scapes will leave you at a loss for words.
Until recently, the main access to Antarctica was by way of a two-day voyage by ship across the Drake Passage, the 600 mile-wide expanse of ocean between South America and the northern-most tip of Antarctica. But now, visitors have the choice of flying to and from Antarctica and bypassing the Drake altogether.
In various destinations around the world, we have highlighted examples of exceptional accommodations that set new standards for aesthetics and responsible tourism. These properties reflect our own company values by emphasizing community involvement and the preservation of cultural heritage, protection of natural resources, and sustainability, both in practice and design. They also combine outstanding comfort and service, natural beauty, and functionality. Where you stay along the way can greatly enhance any journey. Options abound, but these are some of our favorites.
Taking the lead in polar exploration has allowed for balancing the spirit of great explorers, while preserving one of the last unspoiled places on earth. With a wide-range of ships, you can have an intimate experience with 77 of your closest friends, or board a former Soviet Icebreaker and explore Antarctica like never before. With active adventures as a hallmark, you can camp, kayak, snowshoe, and even ski through this untamed wilderness. From observation decks and lounges to movie theatres, spas, and ample land-based activities, Antarctica is at your fingertips. The passion for ensuring each guest has the experience of a lifetime is no less than top priority.
Antarctica21 pioneered the ability to fly over the Drake Passage and board a ship on King George Island. This incredible feat has allowed guests to explore the white continent swiftly and with ease. With 3 vessels, Antarctica21 has perfected the boutique, small-ship experience with glass-roofed decks, delicious food, and knowledgeable seasoned experts that bring you face-to-face with this untouched world. With no more than 71 guests, you’ll spend more time exploring and less time waiting. This small, efficient fleet has brought an art and exclusivity to Antarctica travel, you won’t find anywhere else.
You’re ready to explore King George Island and the Antarctic Peninsula—and no Drake Passage crossings are required! With a spectacular aerial view, included charter flights between Punta Arenas and Antarctica have you experiencing the majesty of the 7th continent before transferring you to your ship in no time. Keep your camera ready as you cruise in a Zodiac in search of whales, seabirds and astounding icebergs. Beaches dotted with leopard seals and penguins give way to icy plateaus, with snow- capped mountain peaks looming behind. You’ll find yourself thankful for the near-constant sunlight by which you can continue to take it all in.
This is a truly epic adventure through the remote Falkland Islands, the wildlife paradise of South Georgia and the extraordinary landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula. You’ll enjoy unforgettable encounters with untamed wildlife in a vast, dramatic and spectacular setting; you’ll take a step back in time at historically significant sites; and you’ll be mesmerized by the rich diversity and contrasts that make these regions so captivating and unique. Watch a wild, isolated and extreme world come to life as scores of penguins dive for food, herds of elephant seals bathe in the sun, and pods of orcas pass you by. You’ll be transported to your own wildlife documentary, staged in a magnificent setting of mountains, sea and ice.
A short, comfortable flight from Punta Arenas, Chile, to King George Island in Antarctica has you with boots on the ground in no time, overtaken by the sheer magnitude of the 7th Continent. Fully immersed in the Antarctic environment, you’ll experience a roller coaster of emotions, from excitement to exquisite solitude to incredible gratitude for the wonder of it all. You may go in search of whales and find yourself bearing witness to a glacier calving. Or you may plan to climb one more peak for a better vantage point and find yourself in a rookery of curious penguins. Antarctica will leave you in awe, but it won’t leave you unchanged.