Where to go on a cruise to Antarctica

Exploring the Antarctic Islands

Most Antarctic cruises pride themselves on their flexibility when it comes to the cruise itinerary. Even though each day's itinerary is planned in advance, if there's a particular Antarctic island where it's best to see the sunset, or there's a pod of humpback whales close by, the Expedition team can change plans to make sure you see it.

Where to buy Antarctica maps

Given that most Antarctic cruises visit the Antarctic Peninsula rather than the whole continent (although some do venture south of the Antarctic Circle and even as far as the Ross Ice Shelf), we recommend that you take a scaled map with you whilst on board, rather than one of the whole continent.

Without a doubt, our preferred map of Antarctica, as well as the Falklands and South Georgia is this Antarctic Explorer map, which is essentially a visitor's map of the Antarctic Peninsula Region and a Map of the Antarctic Continent. This folded may show the continent at a scale of 1:12,250,000 with an enlargement of Ross Island and McMurdo Sound at 1:1,750,000, and with enlargements on the reverse of Graham Land at 1:900,000, South Georgia at 1:800,000, and the South Shetlands and Tierra del Fuego at 1:2,750,000.

We like it because not only does it give you a feel for the size of the place, there's also a lot of history including five historic exploration routes and illustrated biographies of 30 of the most important characters in early Antarctic exploration from Shackleton and Cook to Scott Weddell and Ross. You can also learn more about the territorial claims to Antarctica, the location of research bases and importantly, the location of the landmarks that you'll be visiting on your Antarctic cruise.

We're pleased to say that Stanford's currently has Antarctica maps in stock so you can get your hands on one either online or possibly in store in either London or Bristol. 

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Swoop says

Choosing to visit Antarctica is a very exciting decision but can also be quite a daunting prospect with so much choice out there. We want to help you plan your trip and find the right cruise for you. Here's a selection of pages to get you started.

How do I get to Antarctica?

  1. Sailing from Ushuaia, Argentina - The most popular gateway to Antarctica for 90% of visitors with the widest choice of voyages.
  2. Flying by charter plane from Punta Arenas, Chile - Reach the Antarctic Peninsula in just 2 hours, instead of 2 days at sea. Perfect for time sensitive or anxious travellers.
  3. Sailing from South Island, New Zealand - Only four voyages each season depart from here to Antarctica's remote Ross Sea, home to emperor penguins.
  4. Flying into Antarctica's interior from Punta Arenas, Chile - Land on a blue ice runway in the heart of the white continent. Limited departures each season.
  5. & 6. Flying to the South Pole - For a lucky handful each season, you can fly to the South Pole from either Punta Arenas, Chile or Cape Town, South Africa, and spend some time in Union Glacier Camp.

Visiting Antarctica

A guide to Antarctic travel

A guide to Antarctic travel

Extending almost 14 million square kilometres, the Antarctic ice sheet is the largest single mass of ice on Earth and is twice as big as Australia, with ice up to 2.5 miles thick …

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What our customers think of Antarctica Maps & Landmarks

10/10 It was the perfect mix of adventure, unique experience and educational / fulfilling vacation as I could have imagined. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2023

Gene Piper - USA

Perhaps Zodiac cruising amongst glaciers and huge icebergs in the Cierva Cove was the highlight, with the ice popping and cracking and singing all around us. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2022

Helena Polackova - UK


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