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Antarctica Cruises Leaving from Australia and New Zealand

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Fly-Cruise | Antarctic Peninsula | South Georgia / South Sandwich | South Shetlands | Falklands Leave from: NZ - Aus Europe / UK USA

Antarctica cruise scenery. Coronation Island, South Orkneys group.Trips to Antarctic from Australia and New Zealand usually leave from Invercargill / Port of Bluff in New Zealand (2 - map below) Invercargill has the airport, Bluff, 30km away by road has a deep-water port, or Hobart in Australia 1. Less commonly trips may leave/return from Dunedin in New Zealand which is about 180 km / 110 miles from Invercargill.

The trip may depart and return to the same port or leave from one and return to the other in either direction. It takes about seven days sailing to reach Antarctica from Australia or New Zealand, the journey there and back is usually broken up with visits to the wildlife rich Macquarie Island 3 and others such as Snares, Auckland and Campbell Islands that lie between Macquarie and New Zealand.

Once having reached Antarctica trips usually spend their time either in the Commonwealth Bay area 4 or the Ross Sea region between Cape Adare 5 and McMurdo 6 with possibly a short trip along the front of the Ross Ice Shelf R



1 - Hobart - Australia
2 - Invercargill / Port of Bluff - New Zealand
3 - Macquarie Island
4 - Commonwealth Bay
5 - Cape Adare
6 - McMurdo / Scott bases
R - Ross Ice Shelf

Distances km / miles
Hobart - Commonwealth Bay 2640 / 1640
Invercargill - Commonwealth Bay 2760 / 1720
Hobart - Macquarie Island 1500 / 940
Invercargill - Macquarie Island 1110 / 690
Commonwealth Bay - Cape Adare 1300 / 805
Cape Adare - McMurdo 760 / 470

The distance to be travelled means that trips to the Eastern side of Antarctica take longer than trips to the Peninsula region from South America and are also subsequently more expensive.

There are also a lot less trips departing from this region than there are from South America meaning less choice of dates and of ship.

The Eastern side of Antarctica is entirely within the Antarctic Circle and a different kind of Antarctica, as remote as it's possible to get on the planet. It is colder than a Peninsula trip and with a higher chance of rough seas at some point. Getting to Antarctica and back again is more of an expedition than the traditional kind of cruise. You will probably not see any other ships during your cruise at all and other than visits to research bases, you almost certainly won't see any people apart from those on your ship.

What could you see in the Ross Sea region that you won't see on the Peninsula? You may visit the following places subject to the specific itinerary of your cruise and according to what the weather and sea will allow.

Mount Erebus - The world's southernmost active volcano.

Historic sites - There are historic huts in this region of Antarctica from the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration from 1897-1922. Scott, Shackleton and Mawson all left huts behind which are preserved as historic relics and time capsules that can be visited.

The Ross Ice Shelf - A 600 km long wall of ice between 15m and 50m high.

Isolated scientific bases - including the largest in the Antarctic, the American base at McMurdo Sound.

Emperor Penguins - The birds of the deep south that rear their young in the depths of the Antarctic winter, the largest of all penguins.

Sub-Antarctic Islands - On the way south and on the return journey back north. These islands are oases of wildlife, especially birdlife which nest here in their almost countless thousands

Comparison of cruises to the Ross Sea region of Antarctica to the Peninsula region
Advantages
  • Remoteness - You will see little if any other shipping and get a greater feeling of isolation and being at the end of the world, this is a rarely visited part of the planet.

  • You are going where the world's biggest icebergs are and the most extreme weather conditions.

  • Visit the huts of Mawson, Scott and/or Shackleton depending on where your particular cruise goes. This is the area where much of the early exploratory history of Antarctica was played out and where historical remains still stand.

  • Exclusivity - of the people who go to Antarctica, only a small proportion visit regions other than the Peninsula.
Disadvantages
(though possibly advantages depending on how you see them)
  • These should be seen as "extreme cruises", they are more of expedition than other Antarctic cruises, even if your ship is luxurious, the conditions encountered might not be!
  • You will be at sea for three weeks or more, there is a high chance that at some point you will experience rough seas, getting there and back is not a guaranteed easy ride.
  • A long way to sail which means it takes longer and costs more, these trips are more expensive than the more commonly taken Peninsula trips, even the "cheaper" cabins.
  • There are not many cruises each year to the Ross Sea region, so limited dates and availability, cruises are often booked up well in advance and have significant waiting lists - book early!
Antarctica Ross Sea Region Cruises- (sample cruise)
Trip Departure Dates Highlights Ship / Pax Prices USD* Days Departure port
The Ross Sea Region: In the Wake of Scott and Shackleton 1/11/15, 2/9/15 Auckland Islands, Macquarie and Campbell Islands, Explore the Ross Sea, Historic Huts, Ross Ice Shelf, McMurdo base. Research Vessel

50 - Spirit of Enderby

$19,500 -
$28,800
30 Invercargill / Port of Bluff,  New Zealand - disembark - same
Antarctic Peninsula, Ross Sea, Semi-Circumnavigation 01/09/15
02/11/15
Antarctic Peninsula to Ross Sea, Historic Huts, remote East Antarctica, Emperor penguins, sub-Antarctic islands, helicopter excursions Research Vessel

Ortelius  - 116

$24,950 -
$36,200
32 Ushuaia, Argentina,
to New Zealand on 01/09/15, reverse on 02/11/15

* prices are based per person, the lowest price is usually for triple occupancy in a basic cabin, the highest for double occupancy in the best available suite.

If you live in or near Australia or New Zealand it is worth also considering travelling to South America and visiting the Peninsula Region, especially if you can extend the trip. Once you have travelled to South America, there is half the world in between you and home again with a whole wealth of opportunity to visit many other counties on your outward or return journey, you're travelling anyway, so make the most of it.

Antarctic Peninsula Region Cruises - (sample cruises)
Trip Departure Dates Highlights Ship / Pax Options* Prices** Days Departure port
Discovering the 7th Continent - The Antarctic
Peninsula
11/16/14
11/26/14
12/06/14
South Shetland Islands, Antarctic Peninsula, Lemaire Channel, Paradise Bay, Port Lockroy Expedition Ship

Sea Adventurer - 122

kayaking
camping
snowshoeing
$5,995 -
$14,995
12 Ushuaia, Argentina
Classic Antarctica Air-Cruise 12/02/14
12/07/14
12/12/14
12/17/14
12/22/14
12/27/14
01/22/15
02/06/15
02/11/15
Fly over the Drake Passage both ways, Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands Expedition Ship

Ocean Nova - 68
kayaking
snowshoeing
$9,790 -
$18,595
7 Punta Arenas - Airport
Antarctic Peninsula Air-Cruise 02/27/15 Fly south, sail north, South Shetland Islands, Abundant Wildlife, Lemaire Channel Research Vessel

Polar Pioneer - 54

kayaking
scuba
$7,100 -
$12,600
11 Punta Arenas Chile, return Ushuaia, Argentina
Antarctica Cruise - The Peninsula - Luxury expedition ship 11/27/14
12/17/14
01/14/15
01/24/15
02/03/15  
Antarctica Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, Abundant Wildlife, Lemaire Channel Luxury Expedition Ship

Sea Explorer - 114

kayaking $6,295 -
$16,795
12 Ushuaia, Argentina
Antarctica Cruise - The Peninsula (Active Adventure) 12/10/14
01/27/15
03/16/15
South Shetlands, Antarctic Peninsula, Penguin Rookeries, Lemaire Channel Research Vessel

Akademik Sergey Vavilov - 92

kayaking,
camping
$6,795 -
$13,095
11 Ushuaia, Argentina
Trip Departure Dates Highlights Ship / Pax Options* Prices** Days Departure port
Antarctica Peninsula - via Cape Horn 12/05/14
02/04/2015
03/04/2015
Cape Horn national Park, Antarctic Peninsula, penguins, icebergs on a luxury ship Luxury Expedition Ship

Sea Spirit - 112

kayaking
camping
snowshoeing
$7,595 -
$19,195
12 Ushuaia, Argentina
Antarctica Cruise - Land of the Penguins 11/19/14
1/04/15
1/16/15
Antarctic Peninsula, Penguins, Seals, Whales, Historic sites Scenic Exploration Ship

Fram - 240
  $11,073 -
$18,779
13 Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Argentina
Antarctic Peninsula with Circle Crossing, Air Cruise 01/01/15
02/16/15
Fly over the Drake Passage both ways,
Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands
Expedition Ship

Ocean Nova - 68

kayaking
snowshoeing
$12,995 -
$20,795
9 Punta Arenas, Chile
Antarctica - Cruise - The Peninsula
Luxury expedition ship
11/28/14
12/08/14
12/18/14
12/28/14
01/7/15
01/17/15
01/27/15
02/06/15   
South Shetland, Paradise Bay, Lemaire Channel Luxury Expedition Ship

National Geographic Explorer - 148

kayaking $11,990 -
$22,870
14 Buenos Aires / Ushuaia, Argentina
Antarctica Cruise - The Peninsula with Circle Crossing 0 2/19/15 Sail south, fly back, South Shetlands, Antarctic Peninsula, Lemaire Channel, Spectacular Glaciers Research Vessel

Polar Pioneer - 54

kayaking $7,100 -
$12,600
11 Ushuaia, Argentina
Antarctica Cruise - The Peninsula Luxury Expedition Ship 12/2/14
12/12/14
1/09/15
1/31/14
2/06/15
2/16/15
2/26/15
12/2/15
12/12/15
Antarctic Peninsula, Penguin Rookeries, Lemaire Channel Luxury Expedition Ship

Silver Explorer - 132

  $9,950 -
$29,750
11 Ushuaia, Argentina
Cruises Visiting the Ross Sea Region
Antarctica Cruise - Weddell Sea & Peninsula 01/11/15
02/09/15
Scott and Shackleton's Huts, remote East Antarctica, Emperor penguins, sub-Antarctic islands Research Vessel

Spirit of Enderby
 - 50

 

$19,500 -
$28,800
30 New Zealand
Cruises Visiting South Georgia- (sample cruises)
Trip Departure Dates

Highlights

Ship / Pax

Options* Prices** Days Departure port
Antarctica, Falklands, & South Georgia 11/20/14
01/31/15
Vast Colonies of King Penguins, Breathtaking Scenery, Historic sites, South Shetlands, Antarctic Peninsula Research Ship

Akademik Ioffe - 96
kayaking $11,995 -
$22,695
19 Ushuaia, Argentina
South Georgia, Antarctica & the Falklands

02/19/15

Vast Colonies of King Penguins, Breathtaking Scenery, Historic sites - kayaking option Expedition Ship

Sea Adventurer - 122

kayaking

$15,995 -
$25,995

23

Ushuaia, Argentina / Buenos Aires

South Georgia, Antarctica & The Falklands  10/17/14 Vast Colonies of King Penguins, Breathtaking Scenery, Historic sites Expedition Ship

Expedition
 - 132
  $9,999 -
$15,999
22 Fly to Stanley in the Falkland Islands from Montevideo, disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina
Notes
*
options may be at additional cost and are usually booked when the cruise is booked - it may be too late once the cruise has started.
** prices are based per person, the lowest price is usually for triple occupancy in a basic cabin, the highest for double occupancy in the best available suite.

Need a Little Guidance? contact our travel partners who will help you find the best cruise for your requirements


Tell me more about a trip to the Antarctic!


  


Lonely Planet travel guide Antarctica
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 Antarctica Cruising Guide
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Frozen Planet 2011
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Shackleton 2002
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The Endurance - Shackleton's Legendary Expedition
Dramatization with original footage

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