Antarctica can be reached from India via Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America or from New Zealand (less frequently Australia). There are many more South American departures, the distance is closer, shorter trips are available and you can fly or sail, New Zealand departures are by ship only to the deep South.

Antarctica Travel From India

Cruises with Cool Antarctica and Antarctica Travels

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Regions: Antarctic Peninsula | South Georgia | South Shetland Islands | Falkland Islands | Arctic


Travel to Antarctica from India via South America is easier and more affordable than to the east via Australia / New Zealand, despite the fact that India is somewhat closer to Australia and New Zealand than it is to South America.

There are many more trips that visit the Peninsula with a greater variety of itineraries, ships and duration than there are to Eastern Antarctica. It is also possible to fly from South America to join a cruise ship already in Antarctic waters.

There is a wide range of ships and accommodations on those ships available, cabins may have a simple a porthole or two and then range up to luxurious staterooms with a private balcony.

Flights from India to ports in Australia or New Zealand to visit Eastern Antarctica cost somewhat less than those to Ushuaia, Argentina at the tip of South America for the Peninsula region. The journey to the East is by ship only, it is not possible for tourists to fly to that side of Antarctica meaning a longer part of the journey will be spent at sea (6-7 days in each direction) than when journeying to the Peninsula with subsequently increased costs.


Fig 1.

        1 - Delhi, India    2 - Ushuaia, Argentina
        3 - Antarctic Peninsula   4 - Hobart, Australia
        5 - Invercargill, New Zealand   6 - McMurdo
        7 - Commonwealth Bay

Distances miles / km
1, Delhi - 2, Ushuaia, Argentina 9,939 / 15,996
1, Delhi - 4, Hobart, Australia 6,639 / 10,684
1, Delhi - 5, Invercargill, NZ 7,667 / 12,339

Visas and Flights

We have had many clients from India traveling with us to Antarctica and fully understand that there is a lot of paperwork associated with booking a trip of this nature as you are required to have a visa to enter Argentina. You may be assured you are in the expert hands of our team who have dealt with this many times providing an efficient and effective service for our clients. Moreover, we have an office in Patagonia, Argentina making it very easy for us to help you with international flights from India to Argentina in addition to all the paperwork for your visa!


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Fig 2.

The large majority of trips that leave for Antarctica are ship based cruises or fly-cruise trips leaving from the Argentinean port of Ushuaia, flights leave from Punta Arenas in Chile.  These trips visit the Antarctic Peninsula and nearby islands of the (mainly underwater) Scotia Arc (fig 2). This starts at the tip of South America reaching east from Tierra del Fuego across to South Georgia, down to the South Shetland Islands and then to the west through the South Orkney Islands and finally down to the north extremity of the Antarctic Peninsula. Peninsula trips typically take 10-12 days with options from 6-16 days and typically 8 days for a fly-cruise, cruises that take in the Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands are from 15-25 days.

The smaller number of cruises that depart from Australia or New Zealand visit Eastern Antarctica, the opposite side of the continent. These trips are longer and therefore more expensive with a sailing time of 6-7 days there and the same back again in a total trip duration of 26-30 days. They usually leave from Invercargill, New Zealand or less commonly, Hobart, Australia.

Antarctica is a relatively expensive to visit niche destination, voyages focus the wilderness and aesthetic experience. A coast-line rich in wildlife backed by snow covered mountains and glaciers with an extreme climate make this a truly magical place to visit unlike any other on the planet. Its remoteness and experiences make it the ultimate destination for many adventurous travellers.

The World's Cleanest Air

The air in Antarctica is used to set a pollution base-line for the planet, there is less air pollution there than anywhere. The WHO guideline for PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter in the air) is an average of 25 micrograms per cubic metre over 24 hours, levels in Antarctica sometimes peak at 0.4. In the world's heavily polluted cities, the figure frequently exceeds 150 and sometimes reaches 400+. (refs: 1  2)

  Travelling to the Antarctic Peninsula

Fig 3. Trips to the Antarctic Peninsula. The majority of tourist trips visit the Peninsula 6 and nearby islands such as the South Shetlands 5. Longer trips may also take in the Falkland Islands 3 and / or the especially wildlife-rich South Georgia 4.

Ships almost always cruise along the western side of the Peninsula, the eastern side and Weddell Sea frequently have much heavier potentially problematic sea ice.

Distances miles / km
1, Ushuaia - 3, Falklands 480 / 770
1, Ushuaia - 4, South Georgia 1,255 / 2,020
1, Ushuaia - 5, South Shetlands 610  / 980
1, Ushuaia - Peninsula tip 724 / 1,165
2, Punta Arenas - Peninsula tip 870 / 1,395
Peninsula top to bottom 765 / 1,230
Peninsula top to Antarctic Circle 280 / 450



        1 - Ushuaia, Argentina    2 - Punta Arenas, Chile
        3 - Falkland Islands / Islas Malvinas
        4 - South Georgia
        5 - South Shetland Islands    6 - Antarctic Peninsula

  Travel to the Ross Sea / Commonwealth Bay Region - Eastern Antarctica

Fig 4. Trips to the more remote and less visited Eastern side of Antarctica usually depart from Australia or New Zealand, Hobart, Australia 1, Invercargill / Port of Bluff in New Zealand 2, Invercargill has the airport, Bluff, 30km away by road has a deep-water port. Less commonly trips may leave / return from or other ports in New Zealand such as Dunedin or Lyttleton. These trips take 26-30 days, there are no shorter voyages.

Trips may depart and return to the same port though often leave from one and return to another in either direction. It takes about seven days sailing to reach Antarctica in this part of the world, the journey there and back is broken up with visits to the wildlife rich Macquarie Island 3 and other island groups such as Snares, Auckland and Campbell that lie between Macquarie and New Zealand.

Once in Antarctica trips 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

Distances km / miles
1, Hobart - 4, Commonwealth Bay 2640 / 1640
2, Invercargill - 4, Commonwealth Bay 2760 / 1720
1, Hobart - 3, Macquarie Island 1500 / 940
2, Invercargill - 3, Macquarie Island 1110 / 690
4, Commonwealth Bay - 5, Cape Adare 1300 / 805
5, Cape Adare - 6, McMurdo 760 / 470

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



Eastern Antarctica, Ross Sea Region v Antarctic Peninsula Cruises

Ross Sea region

  • Remoteness - You will see few if any other ships and get a greater feeling of isolation and being at the end of the world, this is a little visited part of the planet. You are going where the world's biggest icebergs are and the most extreme weather conditions.

  • Greater chance of rough seas due to longer spent crossing the open ocean which can take 6-7 days in each direction, no flights available.

  • See Emperor Penguins, the birds of the deep south that rear their young in the depths of the Antarctic winter, the largest of all penguin species.

  • See Mount Erebus, the world's southernmost active volcano and the Ross Ice Shelf, a 600km long wall of ice between 15m and 50m high.

  • Visit the huts of Scott, Shackleton, Mawson and other Heroic Age explorers depending on where your 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, there are relatively few trips here and they are often fully booked up well in advance.

  • Trip length of 26-30 days, sometimes there may be the possibility of a semi-circumnavigation over a similar time period from the Ross Sea to the Peninsula.
Antarctic Peninsula

  • It takes 2 days to cross the Drake Passage to reach the Antarctic Peninsula, rough seas are possible though short-lived, you can also fly across it in 2 hours on a fly-cruise trip.

  • Varied mountainous scenery with glaciers and icebergs, some of the most beautiful scenery on earth.

  • The most wildlife rich area, with huge penguin colonies, and many other breeding birds, seals are common and whales may be seen. The sub-Antarctic islands you may visit en route are particularly wildlife rich, especially South Georgia.

  • Historic preserved British Base, now a working Post Office at Port Lockroy, you may also visit other currently active research bases and historic sites.

  • Easier to reach, The closeness of the peninsula to the tip of South America  means that travel time to reach Antarctica here is much less than in the East. It also means that a greater portion of the trip is spent in Antarctica rather than travelling there and back.

  • A larger number and variety of trips available, duration from 6-24 days, a wide range of ships and choice of travel dates and itineraries.

Antarctic Peninsula - Sample Cruises - 2024 - 2025

Trip Highlights Prices USD*
Classic Antarctic Peninsula Expedition

10 - 12 days
South Shetland Islands, Antarctic Peninsula, Penguin Rookeries, Lemaire Channel. $4,860 -
$32,695

typically
$10K-12K
Antarctica Peninsula Basecamp

13 days
Antarctic Peninsula trip with inclusive activities on offer such as hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking, mountaineering, and camping out under the South Polar skies. $9,100 -
$11,750
Crossing the Circle

11 - 23 days
typically 12 - 14

Sail down the Antarctic Peninsula and cross the Antarctic Circle, South Shetland Islands, Wildlife, Scenery. $7,700 - $66,367
Fly-Cruise to Antarctica

Air-Cruise, Fly the Drake - Sample Cruises - 2024 / 2025

Trip Highlights Prices USD*
Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands. Fly across the Drake Passage

6 - 14 days
typically 8
Fly across the Drake Passage in 2 hours to join your ship, cruise the South Shetland Islands and western Antarctic Peninsula. Spectacular scenery, glaciers, icebergs, penguins, seals and whale sightings. Limited number of sail one way, fly the other trips. $4,995 - $36,495

typically
$12K-14K
South Georgia with the Falkland Islands and / or the Antarctic Peninsula

South Georgia with the Falkland Islands and / or Antarctic Peninsula
Sample Cruises - 2024 / 2025

Trip Highlights Prices USD*
South Georgia, Antarctic Peninsula and Falkland Islands

17 - 23 days

Sub-Antarctic South Georgia has some of the most unique and abundant wildlife on earth including the world's biggest King Penguin colony, one of the world's largest concentration of Southern Elephant Seals, and many other  penguins, whales, seabirds and seals all with a background of the Alps dropped in mid-ocean.

Falklands Islands - a British colony in the South Atlantic with wild places and diverse abundant wildlife.

The Antarctic Peninsula is Antarctica proper with icebergs, glaciers and wildlife.
$11,556 - $48,191
South Georgia and Falkland Islands

17 or 21 days

$9,995 - $25,990
South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula

15 or 20 days
$13,200 - $37,116
Notes

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

Options such as kayaking may be at additional cost, may have limited availability and are usually booked when the cruise is booked - it may be too late once the cruise has started.

Contact me about my trip to Antarctica!

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Departures from late October to late March

Our partner company, Antarctica Travels, passionately help people to reach their ultimate destination.

All enquiries will be answered from our office in Patagonia, Argentina.

Dozens of trips - unique combinations of ship + itinerary

Choice of ships - 67 to 199 passenger capacity

$5,500 to $43,995

6 to 23 days

Please note - we cannot help directly to find employment in Antarctica, please do not use this form to request any other information than for Antarctic tourist trips

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Picture credit: top banner - ravas51 used under CC-BY-SA-2.0 license