The 10 Most Thrilling Antarctic Tour Experiences Ever

The 10 Most Thrilling Antarctic Tour Experiences Ever

The prospect of a voyage to the deep south of the world is an adventure like no other, but you can make your Antarctic tour even more memorable by including an exhilarating experience designed to get your heart racing, adrenaline pumping or simply delight your inner explorer.


Here are 10 of the most sensational polar activities you can upgrade to or choose as part of your once in a lifetime Antarctic tour.


1. Kayaking in Antarctica through Polar waters

Imagine yourself paddling between glaciers, navigating the crystal clear waters of the Southern Ocean and maybe heading past a whale or two by kayaking in Antarctica.  

Antarctica Sea Kayaking is one of the most popular add-ons with most polar cruise tours offering this as an option for a surcharge on your cruise price. Most kayaking Antarctic tour programs are geared towards intermediate to advanced levels, as the activity is conducted daily instead of landings on an expedition ship. But Antarctica kayaking places are usually limited and must be pre-booked in advance to guarantee your spot.

Antarctica kayaking is available on most expedition cruises like the G Expedition, Ocean Nova, Hebridean Sky,  Hondius, Greg Mortimer, & Magellan Explorer Cruise for an additional surcharge.

2. The Ultimate Camping in Antarctica

Camping in Antarctica is one of the ultimate ways to experience raw natural wilderness of the bottom of the world and waking up there after you’ve slept there overnight is a unique experience you’re unlikely to forget.

Camping in Antarctica is a supervised program, regulated so that you have everything you need to make it through the night, including your equipment and often medical supervision.

Most Antarctica cruises will offer a camping option or upgrade you can purchase on top of your cruise price on select Antarctica trips and dates when the weather is most likely to allow for camping in the deep southern continent. Camping is available on the Plancius, Ortelius, G Expedition & Fly Cruises such as the Ocean Nova, Hebridean Sky & Magellan Explorer

3. Crossing the Antarctic Circle as part of your Antarctic tour

Not many travellers make it to Antarctica. Even less make it beyond the peninsula to reach the Antarctic Circle.

The Polar (Antarctic) Circle is the line of latitude that defines the southernmost point from which to view the sun and offers the possibility of witnessing a day of 24 hours worth of sunlight.

Only select voyages will attempt to cross the Antarctic circle, and those that do, are blessed with an extra day or two of sailing through the abundance of glacier spotting and wildlife opportunities.

Not all Antarctic Circle voyage necessarily reach 66 degrees south of the equator, it all depends on weather and navigation conditions of course, but if you have the chance, why wouldn’t you?

Check out Antarctic tour voyages to the Antarctic Circle here

Read About 6 Antarctic Circle Facts to Inspire Your Travels 

4. Taking a helicopter trip in Antarctica


A helicopter ride is usually thrilling in its own right, but taking a helicopter flight over Antarctica is simply out of this world.

One of the most unique of all Antarctica tours is the ‘Weddell Sea – In Search Of The Emperor Penguin’ journey. Not only is this one of the few ships to even venture and try to find the reclusive colony of emperor penguins near Snow Hill Island, weather permitting, it uses helicopters to search for individual emperor penguins, make scenic flights or land in places otherwise inaccessible by ship alone.

The In Search of The Emperor Penguin incl. Helicopters voyage is operated exclusively on the Ortelius.


5. Losing yourself in the abundance of wildlife in South Georgia

If wildlife spotting is what draws you to Antarctica, then a trip to the Sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia must be considered.

South Georgia is a wildlife mecca, home to colonies of king penguins, albatrosses and fur seals in their hundreds and even thousands.

In South Georgia you will get lost in the plethora of surrounding natural activity, observe the courting, nesting and mating rituals and is guaranteed to be better than any documentary.

Check out the range of South Georgia Antarctica tours here


6. Stepping onto the white continent itself – Landing in Antarctica

There are many ways to visit Antarctica, but one of the best ways is to make sure you land on the white continent itself. You want to feel the antarctic snow beneath your feet, walk amongst the penguin packs and feel the immensity of untouched nature around you.

Whilst some of the larger cruises (500+) are focused on sightseeing and you never disembark, expedition cruises are focused around you landing in Antarctica and experiencing it firsthand as much as possible.  

You will take daily excursions off your ship and into the attractions, often using zodiacs – small motorised dinghies to transport you to and from your vessel.

There are strict regulations around landing in Antarctica with only specific ships having permission to do so and in certain numbers and you must follow guidelines in order to protect this fragile environment. For a full range of expedition ships, click here

7. Viewing Antarctica from under the water – Scuba Diving & Polar Snorkelling

With the water such a significant aspect of the Antarctic environment, experiencing what goes on beneath can add another dimension to your Antarctica tour.

Diving in Antarctica is led in small groups and by an experienced guide so you can experience dive sites like nowhere else on earth and witness the beautiful sea stars, corals and sea spiders down below. Diving experience is required.  

You can choose Polar Diving as an optional activities (with additional surcharges) onboard selected voyages of the M/V Ortelius and Greg Mortimer Antarctica cruises.


8. Add an Antarctica Photography Expedition

There’s no better place to dust the cobwebs off your trusty SLR than Antarctica, With dazzling glaciers, gorgeous birds and landscapes, and so many animals to capture, Antarctic is a haven for photographers, amateurs and professionals alike.

But if you want to get serious about the shots you take and perfect your hobby, you can add a photography workshop held by an acclaimed shutterbug or even go on a specific ‘photography themed’ departure.

The M/V Hondius offers photography classes as part of their special lecture series for free as part of their Special Hondius Activities on board most voyages.

Photography workshops are included in Basecamp voyages on the Plancius & Ortelius ships.

9. Skiing as part of your Antarctica Tour


If the slopes are your wintertime playground, skiing in Antarctica is a must do.

There are some equipment and technical differences to technique you will need to adapt to and learn, but once you do, your ultimate ski-touring dreams can become reality.  

You can spend 2 -5 hours on your skiing outings in Antarctica and previous experience and an adequate physical fitness level is required.

Ski touring in Antarctica is led by experienced specialist guides who will conduct safety trainings and briefings.

You can add Ski-Touring to select departures on the Greg Mortimer Antarctic Cruise. 

10. Expedition Hiking or Mountaineering in Antarctica 

Most Antarctic cruise tours included shorter hike and snowshoeing options as part of their landing programs in Antarctica.

For adventure junkies not content with staying on ground, the mountains in Antarctica can be some of the most challenging and rewarding to attempt to conquer.

Some Antarctic tours offer mountaineering to experienced climbers to ascend majestic peaks or to scale icebergs.

Basecamp voyages on the Plancius & Ortelius include mountaineering activities in your cruise price and you can add this to select departures on the Greg Mortimer for a surcharge.

Want to know what it takes to finally reach Antarctica? Get your copy of the My Antarctica Brochure & Cruise Vessel Guide with all the dates and rates for Season 2020/2021 here now


Download Your Brochure Here >>>

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2 Responses to The 10 Most Thrilling Antarctic Tour Experiences Ever

  1. marie douglas May 10, 2018 at 10:19 pm #

    Those waters are so clear and such a beautiful blue so much clearer than I could ever imagine! Thank you so much for sharing and helping me fall in love with the Antartic experience!

    • Katherine Garces June 5, 2018 at 5:26 am #

      The depth of the blues in Antarctica are unmatched. Glad you’re enjoying our content Marie!

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