Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500
Antarctic Cruises

Antarctic Expedition Cruises

Many people dream of visiting the mysterious ‘white continent’ of Antarctica with its dramatic scenery and unique wildlife. Now you can make that dream come alive.

Join us on a voyage to Antarctica and experience this spectacular and pristine landscape on a choice of superb, specially designed expedition ships.

Cruise Collection 2019 / 2020 / 2021 / 2022

About Antarctic Cruises

We offer a superb range of Antarctic cruises, including the best modern expedition ships like Hurtigruten's Midnatsol and Fram, with innovative Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen the first to use electric hybrid technology. Luxury megayachts designed for polar conditions include Ponant's L'Austral, Le Boreal, Le Lyrial and Le Soleal. Silversea's small ships Silver Explorer and Silver Cloud combine expedition and luxury, allowing guests to explore Antarctica in comfort and elegance. Scenic Eclipse offers world-class facilities including a helicopter and submarine for exclusive access to parts of Antarctica that are usually unreachable. Hapag-Lloyd's expedition cruises to Antarctica on board Hanseatic Inspiration are accompanied by expert biologists, geologists or glaciologists to help guests discover the most fascinating aspects of this polar region. All Antarctica expedition ships carry Zodiacs to allow exciting shore landings and up-close encounters with amazing wildlife.

After rounding Cape Horn and crossing the Drake Passage you’ll explore the vast white landscape of Antarctica with its unique landscape and wildlife. Here you can admire the spectacular scenery of glaciers, icebergs and mountains and get up close to the abundance of unique wildlife including penguin colonies, whales and seals.

An Antarctica cruise can be combined with a voyage through the enchanting beauty of the Chilean Fjords, a remote area barely touched by humans where snow-capped peaks contrast with the stunning coastline. Some cruises to Antarctica also call at the far-flung Falkland Islands, home to spectacular populations of penguins, seals and albatrosses.

You can even spend Christmas and New Year visiting the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, as well as Antarctica, giving one of the best wildlife trips in the world.

Most of our expedition cruises start from Ushuaia in the very south of Argentina and include flights from Buenos Aires. We can arrange flights to Buenos Aires for you, as well as hotel stays to make the most of this fascinating city.

Weddell Sea IcebergWeddell Sea Iceberg

Antarctic Adventure Highlights

Antarctica (Antarctica)

The spectacular region of Antarctica, known as the White Continent, is dedicated to research and has no permanent human inhabitants. Depending on weather and ice conditions, landings may be made at Livingston for sightings of Weddell and Elephant seals, and the King George Islands, where the waters offshore are a feeding ground for humpback whales. On crescent-shaped Half Moon Island is a colony of Chinstrap penguins, whilst further south in the region of Paradise Harbour and Hope Bay, the mainland scenery is dramatic and awesome, with ice cliffs and numerous floating icebergs shining blue and indigo in the sunshine. Calved from glaciers, as they melt they create fantastical shapes and arches, or remain flat-topped and sheer-sided. Visits may be made to one of the many research stations.

Antarctica

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina. Shuttle buses take visitors from its busy port to the city centre half a mile away. Near historic Plaza de Mayo, Calle Florida is the main shopping street, a good place to buy cheap leather goods, jewellery and designer clothes. Buenos Aires has many good cafes and tango bars, where you can see the dance being performed. Eva Peron's grave can be found in the picturesque Recoleta Cemetery.

Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Deception Island (Antarctica)

Enter the volcanic caldera through a narrow entrance to find hot geothermal springs bubbling up close to shore – a place for both hot and cold baths

Drake Passage (Antarctica)

Named after Sir Francis Drake, the Drake Passage is one of the world's greatest seaways connecting the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Infamous and legendary, it is steeped in the history and lore of exploration and discovery. At the Antarctic Convergence the temperature drops as the cold waters of the Antarctic Ocean meet the warmer waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and albatross and petrels are frequently seen.

Falkland Islands (Antarctica)

The Falklands are a remote British territory, with wildlife and landscapes reflecting their sub-Antarctic climate. On the high cliffs of West Point, rockhopper penguins and the black-browed albatross can be seen, and visits might be made to Carcass Island for its Gentoo and Magellanic penguins and to Saunders island to see colonies of the highly-coloured King penguin and the black-browed albatross on the sandy isthmus of The Neck.

Falkland Islands

Lemaire Channel (Antarctica)

This narrow and spectacular channel is hemmed in on either side by 1000-metre high mountains, stretching for 11 kilometres of calm, sheltered waters. The Lemaire Channel is sometimes blocked by icebergs, necessitating a diversion around Booth Island to sail south.

Paradise Bay (Antarctica)

Cliffs surround a natural harbour, with possible shore landings for fine views

Paradise Bay

Paulet Island (Antarctica)

This narrow and spectacular channel is hemmed in on either side by 1000-metre high mountains, stretching for 11 kilometres of calm, sheltered waters. The Lemaire Channel is sometimes blocked by icebergs, necessitating a diversion around Booth Island to sail south.

Port Stanley

The Falkland Islands are a photographer's paradise, with fantastic landscapes and tiny settlements nestling in large open spaces amongst varied wildlife and the delicate beauty of Falklands flowers. The Falkland Islands have a rich military and maritime history, and there are some remnants of the most recent conflict still in evidence. Port Stanley is the capital and has Victorian houses, a pub, and an Anglican Cathedral with an arch made of whalebones.

South Georgia (Antarctica)

South-east of the Falkland Islands is the mountainous landscape of South Georgia island, which has over a hundred glaciers and is an important breeding habitat of the King penguin, perhaps seen on landings at Salisbury Plain and Gold Harbour. Elephant seals lie in the tussock grass, and petrels and skuas can be seen soaring in the sky. The explorer Ernest Shackleton’s grave is situated on South Georgia and the whaling stations at Grytviken, Stronsnes or Fortuna Bay might also be included on visits.

South Georgia

South Shetland Islands (Antarctica)

The South Shetland Islands are a volcanic island chain almost entirely covered in ice. Elephant Island is well known, as it was from here that Sir Ernest Shackleton set out in a small boat for South Georgia in 1916 on a rescue mission for his men. The largest island is King George, where Admiralty Bay is a favourite feeding ground for humpback whales. The remarkable caldera of Deception Island which has hot springs and steaming black sand beaches, Half Moon and Livingstone Islands are all part of the South Shetlands. Livingstone’s Byers Peninsula is a Site of Special Scientific Interest under the Antarctic Treaty, as it contains most of the regions historic sites.

Tristan de Cunha (Antarctica)

The isolated island chain of Tristan de Cunha may be visited on voyages sailing south from Europe to Antarctica. North-east of the Falklands in the middle of the South Atlantic, the landscape is dramatic, with mountainous, volcanic terrain basking in a tropical climate. The archipelago includes the uninhabited islands of Inaccessible and Nightingale, untouched wildlife havens where the indigenous Moseleyi rockhopper penguin and the Tristan albatross might be spotted.

Ushuaia

Situated on the shores of the vast Beagle Channel, Ushuaia is the world's most southerly city, situated in the Argentinian provice of Tierra del Fuego. It is overlooked by Mount Martial to the west and by Mounts Olivia and Cinco Hermanos to the east, and is the departure point for cruises to the Antarctic and the Falkland Islands. There are a number of museums in the town tracing the maritime and military history of the area.

Ushuaia (Argentina)

Customer Reviews

We had a holiday of a life time through Blue Water Holidays with Ponant Cruise line. This was an expedition cruise that took 21 days right across the Southern Atlantic. Our goal was too see as many penguins as possible and we also managed to see the very rare Northern Rockhopper !

We started in Ushuaia, Argentina a stunning location, then departed on the luxury ship Le Lyrial. She was very comfortable with excellent service and expedition guides.

Hi. I would just like to say the cruise I went on before Christmas was sensational. Going to the Antarctic is like visiting another World. Deserted and desolate apart from the penquins that waddle about or the elephant seals that sit over each other. The boat was great and you got to know people easily as there was only about 350 people on the boat. You grew familiar with each other at meal times andwhen you went ashore in groups.The food was great and there were a mixture of buffet meals and set meals. Again you got to know people easily through this. It was very easy for me to book through Blue Water Holidays and whenever I rang they catered for my needs. I had a great time and made some good friends and saw some of the best scenery in the World, what more could you want. As well as all that the weather is the deciding factor and even though we had some pretty bad weather we got to go on all our landings due to the great staff that planned everything to perfection.

Having visited Spitsbergen last year, we have definitely caught the Polar bug and when the opportunity came to join the Hurtigrutens MS Fram for the Christmas and New Year Shackletons Antarctic Cruise to The Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica, we jumped at it. It was everything we had hoped for!!

We set off on December 19th and flew via Madrid to Buenos Aires, where it was summer! We spent a great daytouring this vibrant city, with everything very well arranged by Hurtigruten from the moment we arrived at B.A. airport. The next day weflew down to Ushuaia, where we spent another great day, before boarding the Fram and setting off for the Falklands.

On arrival, we spent a day on Carcass Island and New Island, where we saw our first colony of rockhopper penguins, cormorants and albatrosses - an amazing sight, especially as many of the penguins had recently hatched their chicks.

The following day we arrived in Port Stanley and spent a poignant Christmas Eve there.SeeingRoss Road, the Governors House, the war memorial andthe museum brought back memories of 1982 and several of our fellow travellers ventured out into the countryside around Stanley where evidence of the conflict still abounds.

The following day we set sail for South Georgia, which has to be one of my favourite places on Earth! The wildlife is amazing, with endless birdlife and seals and penguins. We visited Fortuna Bay and Stromness, where the famous walk across the islandby Shackleton, Worsley and Crean ended in 1916 and started the rescue of the crew of the Endurance. It is this story which drew me to Antarctica and to see the placeswhere it happenedis an experience I feel lucky to have had. The following day, we awoke to glorious sunshinein Grytviken, where Shackleton is buried and we spent a memorable morning visiting his grave and seeing round this former whaling station with its little museum and church.

We then sailed via the South Orkneys to Elephant Island, where 22 of Shackletons men survived on a tiny beach for over 4 months until he rescuedthem. We were amazed at how small the beach is...

From there it was down into the Weddell Sea, Deception Island and the South Shetland Islands - in all of which we made several landings and saw several more species of seals, penguins and birds, many of which were lazing on passing icebergs.

On our travels between the various islands we were kept entertained by a splendid series of lectures on the wildlife, geology and people of Antarctica. The whole expedition team were very entertaining on their specialist subjects, so there was never a dull moment on board!

Our final days were spent crossing the famous Drake Passage and then Rounding the Horn before we returned to Ushuaia and flew back to Buenos Aires for a final day of summer before returning to the English winter. Without doubt this was the trip of a lifetime and one that we would love to repeat one day.

Total Reviews: 4 Read More Reviews...

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