Antarctica holiday, classic cruise

“This classic itinerary reveals that the white continent is anything but; with deep blue waters, turquoise icebergs and the warm golden light of the midnight sun.”


Ushuaia | Beagle Channel | Drake Passage | Antarctic Peninsula | South Shetland Islands | Penguin rookeries | Seal and whale sightings | Zodiac excursions | Onboard lectures | Optional: sea kayaking, camping, "polar plunge" into ocean!

Description of Antarctica holiday, classic cruise

Discover what makes the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetlands such an exciting prospect as you clamber aboard one of the world's leading Polar expedition cruise ships, the MS Expedition, for an eleven day holiday thatís got all the makings of an absolute classic cruise.

This really is an expedition that covers all bases with a highly efficient crew creating an extremely hospitable onboard atmosphere as well as providing well-versed shore landings to enable minimal impact on the flora and fauna, and maximum opportunities to watch wildlife in their Antarctic environment.

From colonies of seals and penguins to chance encounters with whales and passing icebergs, this is a classic Antarctica cruise itinerary that will no doubt change your perception of what it means to be alive and living on this remarkable southern section of planet earth.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Check dates

2021: 22 Nov, 12 Dec
2022: 2 Jan, 30 Jan, 4 Mar, 13 Mar, 22 Nov, 12 Dec
2023: 2 Jan, 30 Jan, 4 Mar, 13 Mar
Our top tip:
Wildlife appears at different times - whales tend to visit later in the season, for example. So if you have a particular interest, research the best month to travel.
Trip type:
Small ship expedition. Age 10+
Activity level:
En suite cabins with portholes. Sauna, library, pub, gym and medical clinic on board.
Solo travellers welcome. Single cabins available with surcharge.
Accom., transfers, onboard meals, 1 hotel breakfast, parka, rubber boots, listed activities.
Buffet breakfsts and lunches, 4-course dinners.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

As a leader in Sustainable Tourism, we are committed to ensuring that all of our marine expeditions operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. All expeditions aboard the ship meet and exceed all environmental regulations and protocols in the regions that we visit.

Our end goal is to minimize the potential negative impact of tourism in the areas we operate while maximizing the positive impact of instilling a widened understanding and appreciation of these regions. During our voyages, we ask all our passengers that they see their visit to these areas as a privilege and that they share their newfound knowledge and experiences with others when they return home. We also hope that by bringing people to these regions that they continue to act as ambassadors and stewards of these areas.

Staff & Crew - Our crew and expedition team act as stewards of the environment and are well versed in the strict environmental protocols on board and on land. All of our travellers are thoroughly briefed in these protocols before being allowed to participate in excursions and are always supervised by our team when on shore.

Expedition Auctions - At the end of every M/S Expedition departure, we raffle our Captainís Sea Chart together with expedition books signed by the staff, the flag from the bow of the ship and many other items as souvenirs of the voyage. All proceeds are then donated through Planeterra to support the BearHealth project and the Save the Albatross campaign.

Save the Albatross - Location: South Georgia, Antarctica
The Save the Albatross campaign was launched to prevent the slaughter of these magnificent birds. The program looks to oversee international fishing agreements, conservation of the species and research on trends in threatened populations of the Southern Ocean. Last year, our travellers donated over £15,000 to support the programme.

BearHealth - Location: Svalbard, Arctic
Developed to address the health and wellbeing of polar bears due to the threats of global warming and pollution, the project aims to identify the effects of exposure to pollutants and climate change on the health of polar bears, and to compile the results in order to perform a total health assessment of polar bear populations in the Svalbard region.

Marine Gas Fuel - The ship operates on marine gas oil which is cleaner than truck diesel fuel as it offers lower sulfur dioxide emissions.

4-Stroke Outboard Engines - In an effort to drastically reduce environmental pollutants 4-stroke outboard engines have been installed on all of our zodiacs. Our 4-stroke outboard motors produce less noise pollution and have engines similar to those of an automobile. Since there is no mixing of oil and gas the exhaust is intrinsically much cleaner and friendlier to the environment.

Rechargeable Batteries - We provide battery chargers and rechargeable batteries on the ship for use by our travellers as a way to decrease the consumption of batteries and their harmful effects on the environment.

Recycled non-chlorine bleached paper - In an attempt to reduce the amount of dioxins released into the environment through paper production, the ship has been stocked with recycled, non-chlorine bleached paper and toilet paper.

Planeterra Foundation & the ship gift shop - Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports local community projects and international charities around the world. Certain items sold in the shipís gift shop have been made by local communities in South America. By purchasing these items you will be directly supporting these artisans and proceeds also go to the Planeterra Foundationís community project fund.

3 Reviews of Antarctica holiday, classic cruise

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 04 Apr 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Too many to say. It was all fantastic. The first visit to a penguin colony was amazing, but the best was probably our visit to Adie Cove. No cruise had been there before and it was named after the lady who ran our cruise.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Just to book with the tour operator. The expedition staff, captain etc were extremely well organised, and all very enthusiastic about Antarctica. I would say that there enthusiasm made the holiday special.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Hopefully it will, the holiday opened our eyes to problems in Antarctica and the tour operator do support community projects around the world.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

11 out of 10. It surpassed all our expectations. We were a bit worried as the cruise was the last one of the season, but it was amazing!

Reviewed on 22 Feb 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole trip from the time we boarded the ship to disembarkation. The most memorable thing was not getting sea sick the ship is that stable.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Book soon and don't leave it till it is too late to really enjoy it.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

The ship is completely self contained and NO litter or waste was discharged into the sea.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The best ever.

Reviewed on 17 Feb 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Encountering thousands of penguins in their natural environment was surreal.
They are the most animated, intriguing little creatures and one could never take enough photos of their endearing antics.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Summer in Antarctica (along the shore - not inland) is not nearly as cold as one might expect. We never needed our hand-warmers, and often were too hot with gloves and hats on. We're from Colorado - in the states - and conditions were like a cold, windy day in the mountains. Due to the low humidity, one should always take a water bottle to stay hydrated.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Our trip benefited the people of Ushuaia, Argentina of course - but there were few 'locals' in Antarctica (and they were just staff at research stations). Our crew was quite diligent in making sure our impact on the environment - flora/fauna - was minimal.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This was the most incredible holiday - the staff on our ship were so efficient and hospitable, the landings were well managed and offered a diverse range of activities (hiking, sliding down the slopes on our stomachs, seals/penguins/birds - and the occasional whale), fascinating lectures, and a wonderful small ship environment.

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