5 reasons to go to the Ross Sea

  1. Be one of very few to visit one of the remotest places on the planet
  2. Experience nature on a grand scale, a hauntingly beautiful and austere region
  3. A rare chance to visit the little known Sub-Antarctic Islands en-route
  4. Explore the historic huts from the 'Heroic era' and other sacred places in Antarctic history
  5. The potential to step foot into Early Explorers Huts on Ross Island
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What our customers think of Ross Sea Cruises

Ross Sea Cruises trips scored 3.1/5 from 4 reviews

The Antarctica expedition was so much more than I ever imagined. I am still in awe of this fabulous trip of a lifetime. It has changed me in so many positive ways. The historic huts were amazing; to think that the explorers endured and many lost their lives for exploration gives me so much respect for all they accomplished. The landscape: icebergs, as well as the flora and fauna in such remote areas, were breathtaking. Read the full review

Travelled: February 2019

Sarah Ross - United States Of America


What will I see on a Ross Sea cruise?

Landing sites

Voyages stop at the spectacularly stunning sub-Antarctic islands, which only receive a handful of visitors every year. Each island is unique, from the huge wild flowers on Campbell Island to the rugged Snares Islands, and imposing windswept cliffs of the Auckland Islands. Expect to be out and about, cruising the shoreline in zodiacs and setting up your camera on beaches for the perfect penguin shot.

On reaching the Ross Sea, you'll be pulling on your boots each day to explore the coastline, including Ross Island itself with its imposing volcano Mt Erebus. You may also visit the Ross Ice Shelf, the world's largest body of floating ice, to gaze at its enormous 30m high ice cliffs.

Ross Sea Cruises


It might be remote, but this region is absolutely teeming with animals and birds, and is nothing short of a wildlife-lover's paradise. Observing the wildlife will form a huge part of your voyage; watching out for southern right whales, petrels, parakeets, emperor penguins and albatross, sharing beaches with elephant seals and rare New Zealand sea lions, and walking amongst bustling colonies of king, royal, rockhopper and gentoo penguins

Cape Adare also boasts Antarctica's largest Adelie penguin rookery, something of a sensory overload for the nose as well as the eyes. A chattering, bickering, waddling mass of black and white, these birds are hugely curious and charmingly friendly.

Adelie penguin, Antarctica, December

Adelie penguin, Antarctica


In the early 1900s, this part of Antarctica was the buzzing epicentre of heroic-era exploration. The race to the South Pole was on, and the huts used by the pioneering explorers are incredibly well preserved. From food rations to clothing, candles and bedding, to step into these huts is to step back in time, a fascinating insight into the scientific endeavours and hardship faced by the explorers.

Scott's Hut was a research base during the Discovery expedition, a landmark in British Antarctic exploration which was to make Scott a national hero. Shackleton's Hut was the base for the fated Nimrod expedition, where the team got within a tantalising 100 miles of the South Pole before Shackleton made the historic call to turn back for the safety of his men.

Scott's Hut, Ross Island, Antarctica

Scott's Hut, Ross Island

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Swoop says

Days at sea fly by with informal lectures from your expert expedition team. You'll learn about the nuances of the changing scenery, the behaviour of the animals, and what makes this complex ecosystem quite so special.

Visiting the Ross Sea

Getting to the Ross Sea

There's a reason that the Ross Sea is a bit of an exclusive destination, as you'll need to be able to block out a month in your diary to explore it. Voyages here are considerably longer than the average Antarctic Peninsula trip, often lasting 30-35 days, but if you have the time, it's a true, off-the-beaten-track trip.

Due to its location on the edge of Antarctica, voyages to the Ross Sea start on New Zealand's South Island, rather than in Argentina or Chile. Christchurch is the nearest international airport, and internal flights connect with Auckland on the North Island. Read more about getting to Antarctica.

Ross Sea Cruises

Ships sailing to the Ross Sea

Built in Finland in 1993, few expedition ships are capable of delivering such a well-appointed, comfortable Antarctic experience on board such a safe and ice strengthened vessel. The MS Adventurer has spacious cabins, modern stabilising and an outstanding expedition staff all help to enhance the adventure.

With generous proportions, all 140 passengers have plenty of space. There are large observation lounges and a choice of two dining rooms all with panoramic views of the Southern Ocean.

MS Adventurer - Antarctic Ship

Your Antarctic vessel

Voyages to the Ross Sea

Exploring the Ross Sea: FAQs

  • Is it more expensive than going to other parts of Antarctica?

    These voyages start from $20,000 USD per person, depending on cabin category.

    Compared to shorter cruises from the toe of South America to the Antarctic Peninsula, these Ross Sea voyages appear at first glance considerably more expensive. However, you need to bear in mind that any voyage to the Ross Sea is considerably longer than to the Peninsula due to the greater distances to be covered. The logistics are much more complicated, operating in one of the world's genuinely most remote regions. The boats tend to be smaller with fewer passengers and the operating costs are generally higher, particularly if the ship is required to push through ice. 

  • When should I book?

    With so few departures each year and so much interest, these voyages book up over two years in advance. There is always a wait list, so you need to plan well ahead and prepare to be patient. However, it will be worth it!

  • When's the best time to go?

    Visiting the Ross Sea is only possible during January and February, the months where navigating by ship through the ice is possible. At all other months, the ice is simply not passable, making this a particularly exclusive area of Antarctica to visit. In January and February you're also at the height of the Antarctic summer, with near 24-hour daylight and a better chance of good weather.

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Looking for a shorter cruise?

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Ready to plan your Antarctic adventure?



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



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



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

With over 50 years of Antarctic experience between us, we can help guide you to exactly the right trip for you.