Camping in Antarctica

Anyone can camp in Antarctica - regardless of age or fitness levels - and no prior experience is required. All you need an adventurous attitude and a couple of extra layers of clothing.

Overnight camping on Antarctica is commonly available on the majority of Antarctic Peninsula departures and for the experience is a well-priced optional add-on. As the group size is typically limited (up to approx. 30 people), it’s important to secure your camping places at the point of booking your cabin.

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What Our Customers Think of Camping in Antarctica

The silence and the beauty of the clouds changing overnight allowed me to really stop and think how grateful I am to be able to experience this sense of peace and calm. A feeling I will cherish forever. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2024

Morris Guy - Canada

I totally enjoyed this experience. Once again, the expedition team made sure we had all of the necessary gear, good direction on what to expect and how to establish our "campsite". They ensured we were brought to the site in ample time to get set up, and established a fair 'quiet time' to allow time for rest. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2024

Annette Stanley - USA

Digging a hole in the snow and being in only a sleeping bag was truly an adventure! We were very toasty, tho! I would highly recommend it. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2024

Joanne March - USA

I was a little nervous about camping, but hey, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity so you have to do it, right? It was amazing. The gear they provide for sleeping out is great. I stayed warm. I kept peeking out of my sleeping bag throughout the night to see if it ever got dark and it didn't. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2023

Janalee Burbank - USA

So amazing! Would 100% recommend to other travellers. How many people get the chance to camp on Antarctica? So cool. I was totally ok with potentially getting no sleep but surprisingly managed to sleep a few hours as the sleeping bags were quite toasty. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2023

Anna Victoria Sasaki - Malaysia

It was fun and I would recommend it to other travelers. The expedition team did a good job in preparing us for the experience and made sure we were as comfortable as we could be considering the weather. It snowed the night we went. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2023

Michelle Leen - USA

So much fun! Would definitely recommend. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2023

Jeni Ness - USA

Camping is everything I expected it to be: thrilling, freezing, sleepless. Listening to the stillness all night, hearing ice cracking and avalanches in the distance. Definitely would recommend just for the experience of it all. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2023

Paul Tobery - USA

Will never forget it. Expected to be chilly as it was, expected it to be unforgettable as it still is watching the night skies turn into morning and hearing the ice cracking and the animal sounds was quite the experience. Yes, yes, yes, it's a must-do. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2023

Judith Tobery - USA

Camping and sleeping essentially on the snow made me feel so distant from life, but more connected than ever! Read the full review

Travelled: November 2023

Greg W Muldrew - USA

Camping on the ice with Saskia was 10/10. The absolute "polar silence" was incredible and unmatched, only broken by humpback whale blows and glacier cracks - incredible. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2023

Tyler White - USA

Camping outside was great! I had my daughter dig our hole to sleep in. Since it was a small group sleeping outside, it was really nice. The sun was out all night long. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2022

Natalie Dewberry-Moore - USA

Everyone should do it to get close to Shackleton and everyone else who attempts south pole destination. We still knew where our next meal is going to come from and those guys on the ice crossing the continent did not. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2022

Manish Daulat - USA

Great experience to sleep out there. I would highly recommend this to anyone! The guides are prepared with everything you need, and they take care that we don't leave much mark of our presence there. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2022

Christian Cancino Martinez - USA

Camping was great! It was nice to be able to spend a bit more time off the boat, but don't think you'll be hanging out around a non-existent campfire or anything. You're back on the boat before breakfast. The equipment provided was certainly warm enough, though hand warmers didn't hurt either! Read the full review

Travelled: November 2022

Waverly Garnand - USA

Most memorable moment: Waking up after camping on the ice to see the sunrise on the mountains surrounding. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2022

Matt Martin - USA

My favorite cruise was for when we went camping one night, just a pristine evening cruise with calm waters for a remarkable adventure. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2021

Christopher Norton - USA

Our camping expedition was a one of a kind, with the penguins coming to check out the people who landed on their property and placed sleeping bags on the snow. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2021

Karen Getzel - USA

Efficient and a wonderful experience to be camping besides the sleeping gentoos. Read the full review

Travelled: February 2020

Kwan Kew Lai Fitzgibbon - United States Of America

Ice climbing; camping, especially the feeling when our zodiac pulled away and I found myself somehow connected with Shackleton and the seabirds flying overhead; seeing a dozen or more Elephant Seals woven together in the pebbles surrounded by penguins; and the sheer exhilaration of participating in the polar plunge with like-minded thrill seekers! Read the full review

Travelled: December 2019

Rex - Len Hunt - United States Of America

Slightly surprised that we camped on an island versus the mainland, but came to realize that finding a spot on the mainland is probably fairly difficult based upon the coastline. The weather was warm, (actually with light rain for 4 hours) but still greatly enjoyed the experience. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2019

Steve Hatten - United States Of America

We found the extra activities such as kayaking and camping to be the most memorable. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2019

Fifi Rawlins - United States Of America

Camping was amazing! Cold, but so worth it. Definitely a highlight, and recommend it to anyone. Read the full review

Travelled: February 2017

Kira Day - United States Of America

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Being on the continent on a still summer solstice night was something so special. The majesty of the landscape and some curious penguins and seals as neighbours - completely magical.

Travelled: December 2016

Declan - UK

We had 4 penguins waddle right past our sleeping bags; an absolutely amazing experience!

Travelled: February 2016

Debbie - UK

Review:

How does it work?

Camping on Antarctica

Spend a night under canvas in Antarctica © Max Jones

It’s pretty straightforward. On trips which offer camping in Antarctica, one night of the voyage will be selected by the Expeditionary Leader to sleep ashore. That afternoon, the ‘camp’ will be prepared and tents pitched, which are typically 2-3 man tents. In favourable weather, campers may be offered the chance to sleep out in a bivouac (bivvy) bag under the open sky, which is an experience not to be missed.

After dinner on the ship the camping party, accompanied by at least one member of the expedition team, will be taken ashore by zodiac to spend the night. The ship will remain close by, but out of sight. Cooking stoves and food are not allowed onshore in accordance with Antarctic regulations - only emergency rations, survival gear and drinking water are allowed.

The following morning you’ll be picked up early in time to return to the ship for breakfast, so you'll spend a maximum of 10 hours out on the ice.

The Antarctic Peninsula has a small number of places favourable to camping, but certainly nothing that could be construed as a ‘campsite’, and just to be clear - there are no facilities. To help protect Antarctica's wildlife from disturbance, camping is not allowed near any penguin colonies. 

What does it cost?

Typically camping in Antarctica is charged as an optional extra. The cost varies from one ship to another, but you should budget for between $150 and $300 per person. However, it's worth being aware that it’s included in the voyage price on a small number of ships and select departures.

The good news is that the vast majority of voyages offer camping on Antarctica as an optional add-on. However, as the number of spaces is typically limited, the best thing to do is to ask us to check availability and secure your places at the point of booking your trip.

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Swoop says

For the sheer experience and brag factor, the return on your fairly modest investment to go camping in Antarctica is hundredfold and well worth it. Plus, the good news is that it's rarely as cold as anyone thinks.

Antarctic Voyages with Camping

Special Offers:Swoop has access to the widest range of offers and can help you find the right trip, cabin, & price.

Antarctic Basecamp Adventure

The ultimate Antarctic adventure, this trip is specifically for the active traveller. Spend 7 days kayaking, hiking, camping, mountaineering and snowshoeing, all included in the price. A medium-sized expedition ship acts as your floating ‘basecamp’. Great value for money backed…

  • 13 Days
  • $10,200
Classic Peninsula Voyage

Travelling aboard this modern 134-passenger ship with its 200-degree observation lounge and spacious cabins, spend 4 full days exploring Antarctica’s extraordinary icebergs and wildlife. Optional camping and kayaking, while Ushuaia hotel accommodation and a parka jacket are included in the…

  • 11 Days
  • $7,099
Antarctic Peninsula Classic

Travelling on board this extremely comfortable ship, explore the highlights of the peninsula with a top class expedition team. Spacious cabins, delicious cuisine and optional adventure activities all help create this ideal marriage of comfort and…

  • 12-13 Days
  • $10,145
Antarctic Explorer

The great strength of this trip is choice – a wide selection of departure dates and optional adventure activities available on a sleek purpose-built 138 passenger expedition ship. Spend four full days exploring Antarctica. Enjoy daily shore landings and zodiac…

  • 11 Days
  • $13,995
Onto the Antarctic Ice

With three medium-sized expedition ships to pick from and regular departure dates throughout the season, this well-priced voyage is a popular option. Across striking landscapes and icy seas, your company includes penguins, seals, whales and skuas. For the adventurous, optional…

  • 10-13 Days
  • $10,050
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Alex says

My favourite camping story comes from the Swoop Customers who camped on New Year’s Eve and saw in the new year while being serenaded by a humpback whale’s exhalations in the bay below them.

Alex Mudd Head of Swoop Antarctica

Camping in Antarctica: FAQs

  • ​ How cold will it be in the tent?

    In the summer months (December-February), temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula are generally warmer than expected, typically averaging close to freezing or even slightly warmer, which means camping isn’t the ordeal that many expect. In fact, for those who live in the northern hemisphere it can actually be colder at home at that time!

  • Do I need to bring any extra kit?

    You will be provided with all of the camping equipment you’ll need, so all you need to bring are a couple of extra layers of clothing.

  • Are there any toilet facilities available?

    For those ‘caught short’ while out on the ice, emergency facilities are provided in the form of a portable ‘camping toilet’ which is discreetly positioned away from the tents and is screened behind a makeshift snow wall.

  • What happens if there’s an emergency?

    The accompanying expedition team member will be in direct radio contact with the ship and a zodiac can quickly be dispatched from the ship.

Why Swoop

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Antarctic Adventure Activities

Simply getting to Antarctica is a big enough adventure for many, but for those who really want to maximise their Antarctic experience there are some outstanding adventure activities to consider. Many of the Antarctic voyages we offer provide these as optional adventure add-ons.

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