Why book your luxury cruise with Swoop?

  • With over 150 Antarctica voyages and more than 100 years of collective Antarctic knowledge under our belts, we’ve got unrivalled polar experience to put at your service
  • Swoop works with every luxury Antarctica cruise brand and can help guide you through the complexity of choice and nuances of the different operators on the market
  • We invest in our team travelling to Antarctica every single year to continuously refresh and broaden our knowledge base, as well as undertaking regular ship inspections, as there's no substitute to in-depth firsthand knowledge
  • When it comes to knowing each ship we’re all about the details, giving us the edge when helping you choose the right ship and cabin for your Antarctic cruise
  • And with long-standing partnerships with all of the Antarctic ships, we've got access to the best pricing available

Luxury Antarctica: your essential guide

On all our luxury Antarctic ships you can expect two off-ship excursions per day in line with traditional expedition cruise operations, whether that's zodiac cruising or landing at a penguin rookery or historic site. These are richly immersive experiences, travelling in the company of an expedition team who are all polar experts, well versed in bringing Antarctica to life with their erudition and storytelling skills.

Choice

Silver Endeavour, Antarctic Vessel

Your vessel in Antarctic waters

In today's world the power to choose can be a real luxury. This is a field where today's luxury polar cruise ships really excel.

This choice begins with the luxury of diverse cabin types, enabling you to find the perfect fit for your preferences, from larger cabins with private dining areas for intimate meals to interconnecting cabins for traveling with family. An abundance of shared spaces are available to match your mood and the time of day, from cosy sitting rooms and tranquil libraries to bustling business centres and elegant lounges for evening cocktails.

While sailing you'll have the luxury of selecting your dining experience, deciding which restaurant and what kind of cuisine to savour. Mix up your meal locations rather than being confined to a single dining room – even enjoying breakfast on your private balcony. Enjoy a long list of amenities, picking and choosing from a wide range of on-board options such as a spas and gyms, pools and boutique shops.

Comfort

Grand Cabin, Silver Endeavour, Antarctic Vessel

The days when Antarctic expedition cruises were the domain of decommissioned Russian icebreakers are long behind us. The ongoing upgrade of the polar fleet with state-of-the-art expedition ships has significantly pushed up the comfort and sophistication of these vessels.

On board you can expect a wide choice of spacious and well-appointed suite categories measuring from 270 to over 1080 square feet (25-100 sq m) plus equally generous private balconies. Dedicated solo cabins, interconnecting cabins for family groups, duplexes, and larger suites with private dining rooms are all on offer. Outside your cabin, the comfortable public areas are more akin to a boutique hotel than a regular cruise ship.

Because comfort is also about the way you travel as well as your surroundings, luxury Antarctic cruise ships are all equipped with modern stabilisation technology, including retractable underwater wings that reduce ship roll by as much as 80% – all in service of making your voyage as smooth as possible.

Expert Guides

Antarctic expedition guide piloting a zodiac near an iceberg

The calibre of the expedition staff on your ship and very best staff to guest ratio are crucial to getting the most out of a trip to Antarctica.

With luxury cruising there's no doubt that you get what you pay for. The top ships naturally attract the top talent from the guiding world. All of our luxury ships understand the importance of having the very best guides for their voyages and go to great lengths to secure them – including some who operate their own guiding school.

Our luxury ships have the highest staff to guest ratios in the industry, ensuring you of a more personalised service, and that someone is always on hand to answer a question or help identify wildlife. You can expect one on one conversations with some of the most experienced guides on the ice, from former research scientists ready to share their knowledge to leading photographers to help you capture your experiences on camera.

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Alex says

The old adage that 'any fool can be uncomfortable' is just as relevant in Antarctica. The recent arrival of a fleet of well-appointed ships offering creature comforts from Nespresso machines to balcony suites, and even 24/7 butler service, has significantly raised the bar at the end of the Earth.

Alex Mudd Head of Swoop Antarctica

Amenities

Spa and Sauna onboard SIlver Endeavour, Antarctic Vessel

Spa and sauna

In the past, amenities on Antarctic cruise ships tended towards the spartan – a single dining area, a basic gym, some cramped library shelves and a small gift shop if you were lucky. This has all changed very much for the better.

Modern Antarctic luxury cruise ships are extremely well catered for, with facilities in line with a boutique hotel experience on dry land. As well as a range of dining options, you can expect sophisticated gyms, saunas and spas – and even swimming pools in a few cases.

Anyone who's been on a much larger cruise ship might find the comparison with what's on offer there to be unfair, but these ships manage to pack a lot in for their size. And size really does matter here. Ships carrying more than 500 passengers are only allowed to look on Antarctica from afar: a nimbler luxury ship can navigate into smaller bays and quickly get its passengers off the ship and experiencing Antarctica up close and personal with the expedition team.

Gastronomy

The restaurant onboard Silver Endeavour, Antarctic Vessel

The restaurant

Having a choice of dining options when you’re on a ship for 10 or even 20 nights is a definitive luxury and one which you’ll only find on the best Antarctic cruise ships.

You can forget the queue for the buffet: some of our luxury vessels have as many as five different eateries with a range of styles and cuisines, allowing you to pick and choose to what suits your taste that day. As with all the best restaurants, you'll generally pre-book your preferred table time before dining.

Of course, choice is nothing without quality. Excellent food is central to the luxury experience, and after a long day exploring dinner is an event to be savoured and enjoyed. There’s typically a choice of both a la carte as well as set menus all accompanied with carefully selected complimentary paired wines, offering you some of the best dining on the Southern Ocean. For those who enjoy their wines, every ship has an extensive cellar of wines to choose from including premium wines all priced individually.

If you want a little personal service, why not dine your cabin? There's nothing quite like having a butler serve you breakfast on your private balcony while you watch icebergs to start your Antarctic day. 

Optional adventure activities

A groups of kayakers on the Antarctic Peninsula

While eschewing your luxurious cabin for a night of camping out on the ice might not be high on your Antarctic wish list, there are additional activities on our luxury ships than can offer you novel perspectives on the White Continent.

Kayaking is the most popular of these and there's nothing quite like being surrounded by porpoising penguins when you're out on the water to bring home just how special Antarctica is. Not all luxury ships offer additional adventure options, so if this is important to you we can help guide you to those which do.

Uniquely, two of our luxury ships even offer the option to experience Antarctica underwater aboard one of their pair of seven-man piloted submarines. Dive below the surface for a view of Antarctica which few others will ever get to experience.

Tips on choosing your luxury cruise to Antarctica

Silver Endeavour, Antarctic vessel, Antarctica

Your Antarctic vessel

In narrowing down your options to find exactly the right voyage for your luxury cruise, it’s worth considering the following key questions that will allow us to find the right ship and sailing for you:

  • What’s most important to me? What you personally want to get out of your Antarctica trip will strongly influence your options which we can help guide you towards.
  • Would you prefer to sail or fly to Antarctica? Sailing takes two days instead of the two hour flying time, but there are trade offs involved for each method of travel. How important is the size of the ship to you?
  • The ship size will have an influence on the amount of time you spend off ship as well as what amenities you’ll find on board.
  • Which amenities are most important to you? Knowing your priorities will help us match you to the right ship.
  • Is either kayaking or exploring Antarctica from below the waterline in a piloted mini submarine of interest? We can guide you towards the best ship with additional activities 

Fly to Antarctica

How to get to a luxury Antarctica cruise

King George Island, Antarctica

When time itself is a luxury and squeezing the most out of your time in Antarctica is of the utmost importance, flying can be a great option. It takes two days to sail to Antarctica but just two hours to reach it from Punta Arenas in Chile instead. For many, skipping the crossing of the notoriously choppy Drake Passage is reason enough to consider flying.

When you fly to Antarctica, you’re taken directly from the plane on landing to embark on your cruise ship. From here, you’ll have exactly the same experience as any other polar travellers, enjoying the same daily landings, zodiac cruising and activities as if you’d sailed.

However you travel, it's important to remember that Mother Nature calls the shots in Antarctica. Since planes are more susceptible to bad weather than ships, if you fly you’ll need to accept a flexible schedule and the possibility of weather impacting flight timetables. 

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What our customers think of Luxury Antarctica Cruises

Luxury Antarctica Cruises trips scored 4.6/5 from 468 reviews

My advice is to strongly consider this new segment of cruises that are small and combine expeditions with luxury (cabins, restaurants). Read the full review

Travelled: February 2022

Gary Lincoln Neilson - USA

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It was wonderful; the ship's crew could not do enough for anyone, and the food was excellent.

Travelled: March 2018

Mick - UK

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The expedition team went out of their way to make it the best experience possible for us. They were very personal in their approach and always willing to spend time individually with passengers.

Travelled: February 2018

Sue - Australia

Very pleased - the Hebridean Sky and expedition staff were first class.

Travelled: February 2018

RSW & MW - UK

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It was a beautiful ship! Our rooms were really large. The food was delicious and the entire crew on the ship was so friendly. It's the perfect size ship to get to know pretty much everyone.

Travelled: December 2017

Jill & Family - Texas

Swoop and especially Loli were terrific from initial contacts to getting on the ship.

Travelled: December 2017

Austine & Cathleen - Colorado

Swoop provided excellent service; they have a lot of experience in Antarctica and recommended me the perfect voyage. There were many discussions but they helped me narrow it down.

Travelled: December 2017

Dominic & Jennifer - New York

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The expedition staff were all super professional and top in their field. They were very personable as well. It was nice to have the option to snowshoe on one day and go out on the science boat on another.

Travelled: December 2017

Lori - Texas

Review:

Luxury Antarctica cruises: FAQs

  • Will I still get a proper Antarctic experience?

    Most of the luxury Antarctica ships are expedition ships at heart - their focus is on getting you out and into Antarctica. Experiences such as walking with penguins, kayaking, zodiac rides with humpback whales, and hikes on remote islands are all still very much on the menu. What's more, you'll be with award-winning expedition teams, and can relax in comfort as you sail between Antarctica's most intriguing, spectacular destinations.

  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    These trips are highly sought-after and cabins begin to fill up 24-18 months in advance. To be confident of securing your first choice of ship and cabin, we strongly recommend booking well in advance to avoid possible disappointment.

  • Are adventure activities available?

    Yes: kayaking amongst the icebergs and penguins is offered on a number of luxury voyages, offering you the ultimate close-up experience of Antarctica. See our dedicated page about kayaking to more information about exploring Antarctica by paddle. 

  • What is the most luxurious Antarctica cruise?

    Some of the most luxurious Antarctica cruises are those aboard the Silver Endeavour. The all-suite ship has extensive onboard amenities including a spa, jacuzzi and multiple dining options. Each suite has its own private balcony, where you might sample breakfast delivered by your personal butler. One of our favourite trips aboard the Silver Endeavour is the Ultimate Luxury Antarctic Fly & Cruise.



Why Swoop

Expert Impartial Advice At No Extra Cost

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Antarctic travel options are complicated. We help you choose the right ship, the right cabin, and at the right point in the season.

A Depth Of Knowledge On Board

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As a team of ex-guides, tour leaders, & polar adventurers our Antarctic knowledge is leagues ahead of the rest.

For The Ends Of The Earth

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Swoop is proud to be B Corp Certified as we know sustainability is more than our carbon footprint (but we’re reducing that too).

We’re With You At Every Step

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We’ll make sure you have the adventure of a lifetime.

Luxury Antarctica cruise ships

Silver Endeavour, Antarctic Vessel

Silver Endeavour

With luxury, comfort and exceptional service as the foundations of its onboard experience, the Silver Endeavour is purported to be one of the most expensive expedition ships ever …

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Ready to plan your luxury Antarctic adventure?

1
Listen

Listen

We'll spend some time listening to your aspirations, then discuss the kind of experience that might suit you.

2
Match

Match

Next we'll discuss the options, shortlist the best trips for you and present you our impartial recommendations.

3
Reserve

Reserve

We'll place a 24 hour hold on your preferred option - without obligation - whilst we talk through the details.

With over 150 years of Antarctic experience between us, we can help guide you to exactly the right trip for you.

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