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Antarctica Safaris

Located at the southern end of the world, this unowned, extraordinarily stark yet pristine wilderness offers pure natural beauty and a truly unique safari experience. Largely untouched by humans, the vast frozen continent is incomparable; a remote wilderness shaped by the elements. Partly because it remains one of the hardest, most isolated destinations to reach, the seventh continent has long held much allure for travellers with a spirit of adventure. It covers a mind-boggling 14 million square kilometres and, as you might expect from the remotest of the Earth’s continents, the conditions can be foreboding. Despite this - at times - brutal climate, penguins can be found in unfathomable quantities. Witness them waddling awkwardly and marvel at their speed and elegance in the water. Glaciers, icebergs, jagged mountains, valleys and the endemic wildlife all combine to overwhelm the senses.

As the total or near-total darkness that shrouds the continent for eight months of the year gives way to a brief austral summer, a range of exploration possibilities open up. These include sea-based expeditions, fly-in discovery cruises and even the opportunity to base yourself on the continent, trekking to emperor penguin colonies or taking a short flight to the South Pole. Following the trails laid down by the first polar explorers, you will travel on board ice-strengthened expedition ships, sailing through a landscape of sea-sculpted icebergs, crashing seas and creaking glaciers, Antarctica is the perfect destination for travellers who wish to experience one of the world’s last truly wild frontiers.

Why Natural World Safaris for your Antarctica Safari?

While there are many tour operators offering trips and cruises to Antarctica, it is our wildlife expertise and key partnerships that set us apart. Our considerable experience and wealth of knowledge has led to carefully selected expeditions, providing you with nothing but the best ships and guides; placing you in the right place at the right time to maximise your encounters with the Antarctic fauna. We can advise you on when the penguins are at their comical and photogenic best or get you on the bow of the ship at the right time for sightings of vast whale pods. Our expertise can match you with the perfect Antarctic Safari for you and we are on hand to help with the careful planning that is needed for a trip of this kind. Whether it’s advice on the right kit or clothing, or just weighing up the pros and cons of travel at different times of the season, our team have already ‘walked the walk’ and can advise from personal experience.

How Much Does Antarctica Cost?

Crossing the Drake Passage on an expedition ship to explore the Antarctic Peninsula starts from only £5695 per person for a 10 day trip. Flying down to the world’s largest desert, typically expect to budget from £11250 for an 8-day itinerary, including the flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island. If you would prefer to be immersed in the activity of the emperor penguin rookery, budget from £40160 per person for 9 days.

Cl Antarctica South Georgia Credit Jonathan Z Lee

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The Antarctica Safari Experience

A region of stark colour, where brilliant white meets countless shades of blue in an ice-cap dominated wonderland, the polar regions of our planet are a wilderness like no other. This wild land of superlatives, the coldest, windiest and driest location on earth has been hardly touched by humanity.

  • Penguins - Marvel at extraordinary colonies of penguins; the King Penguins on the Salisbury Plains of South Georgia can be seen in numbers up to 500,000. These loveable creatures - clumsy on land and swift in the water - are found in huge numbers all over and may be witnessed hatching, feeding or courting. Species include Emperors, Adélies, Gentoos, Rockhoppers and the Macaronis - with their striking, punk-like appearance – which you see will depend on your route and timing.
  • Whales – Seeing these colossal mammals breach the wild southern oceans is unforgettable; species such as southern right, blue, orca, minke, sperm, humpback, sei, fin and beaked are all found in Antarctic waters.
  • Seals - Leopard seals and fur seals can often be seen around the Peninsula, whilst Weddell seals are more southerly and crabeater seals are generally found around pack ice. Elephant seals and fur seals can be found on most (if not all) landings on South Georgia.
  • Dramatic Landscapes & Ice Formations - Far from anywhere and everywhere, expect overwhelmingly vast landscapes and stunning icebergs, where the refraction of light will take your breath away.
  • Shackleton’s Grave - Visit the grave of famous explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, which is found in Grytviken, South Georgia. A whisky toast to ‘the Boss’ is a cherished way to connect to the fascinating history of human endeavour in Antarctica.

Where to Stay in Antarctica?

Navigate Antarctica by first class expedition ship, or even sleep on the icy continent itself in some astoundingly unique camps. This forbidding landscape is the realm of expedition travel, and as such your accommodation options will be on carefully chosen specialist vessels that are designed to navigate the icy waters. We only work with ships that we know offer the perfect mix of stability, speed, comfort, expert leadership and safety. Read more about where to stay in Antarctica.

When to go to Antarctica?

The Antarctic season is relatively short, from mid-October through to March, and sees temperatures ranging from -16C to 10C. Travelling early in the season offers unique wildlife with a backdrop of snowy peaks and towering icebergs, mid-season is peak time for penguin hatching, and the end of the season sees the whales arriving in the greatest numbers. Read more about when to go to Antarctica.

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Antarctica Safaris FAQs

Where is Antarctica?

Antarctica is located at the southernmost part of the Earth. It is the continent that surrounds the South Pole and is situated almost entirely within the Antarctic Circle. It is bordered by the Southern Ocean, and its exact coordinates vary depending on specific locations. The continent is covered by a vast ice sheet and is known for its extreme cold temperatures and unique polar ecosystems.

Is Antarctica a desert?

Antarctica is a desert because it gets very little precipitation, mainly in the form of snow. Despite being icy, it's the world's largest desert due to its low annual rainfall.

What animals live in Antarctica?

Antarctica hosts diverse animals adapted to its extreme cold. Penguins, seals (like Weddell and Leopard seals), whales (including Orcas and Blue whales), and birds (such as Snow petrels and Albatross) inhabit its coasts and waters. Fish like Antarctic toothfish, invertebrates like krill, and microorganisms also thrive. These creatures have evolved unique ways to survive in this harsh environment. All of this teeming wildlife makes Antarctica a fantastic place for a safari.

Discover more about Antarctica's wildlife.

How many people live in Antarctica?

Antarctica is primarily inhabited by scientific research personnel. The population fluctuates, with approximately 1,100 during the harsh winter and around 4,400 in the milder months (October to February). Additionally, there are about 1,000 staff in nearby waters during this period.

What can tourists do in Antarctica?

Tourists visiting Antarctica can enjoy scenic cruises, wildlife viewing (penguins, seals, whales), educational lectures, Zodiac boat tours, photography, kayaking, snowshoeing, and even camping. They may also visit research stations and experience unique activities like polar plunges. Strict regulations are in place to protect the environment and wildlife, and visitors must follow guidelines to minimise impact.

Find out more on where to go in Antarctica.