For many travelers, Antarctica is the final frontier. Unfortunately, however, it’s not very easy to get there. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement. It’s remote, has challenging weather, and there is basically no infrastructure built there for travelers. If you’re truly interested in seeing the icy continent, however, the answer is simple: take a cruise. Cruises are easily the most affordable option when it comes to getting to Antarctica. Here are the details that every hopeful Antarctic should know.
Flights are expensive… or non-existent
If you go to Google Flights or any other commercial flight search service and type in “Antarctica,” you’re not going to be happy with the results. That’s not because the tickets are expensive; it’s because the tickets don’t exist. Commercial airlines just don’t fly to the continent. That means that anyone hoping to fly there is going to need to charter a private flight, and those can get very pricey very quickly. You’ll most likely need to travel to the southern tip of Chile to get the process started, and then you’ll need to find someone willing to fly you down to the ice-coated bottom of the world. Those private flights are also incredibly hard to come by, making them a bad option.
Pay $100 a day for an Antarctic cruise
Here’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to Antarctic cruises: you can expect to pay about $100 a day to cruise from South America to the waters off the continent’s coast. That means that most of the more affordable itineraries can cost between $1500 and $3000. In general cruise terms, that’s not exactly pennies. But when you put it into context, it’s pretty reasonable. You’ll still need to buy airfare to South America, so remember to factor that into the cost. Oh, and one more important bit of info: these cheaper itineraries don’t let you step foot on Antarctica. You’ll just be cruising near it.
$1000 a day is normal too
If you want to actually stand atop Antarctica, the prices go up. Far fewer cruise lines offer you the ability to actually get on the continent, and those that do are generally luxury or expedition lines. Their prices are far steeper. $1000 a day should be expected if you’re booking with a company like Quark, Lindblad, or the like. You’ll obviously travel with much more comfort and many more amenities, so the price tag isn’t just for the ability to walk around in the snow. For some travelers, it’s not truly a trip to Antarctica if you’re just near the continent. For others, the price will be a deal breaker.
Getting to Antarctica isn’t simple. But if that’s your dream, there are doable options for nearly everyone. If you’re interested in shopping around, starting on the Princess website isn’t a bad idea!