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Poseidon Expeditions - your polar cruise operator

Antarctica / Antarctic Peninsula / Best of Antarctica

The Antarctic Peninsula is a pristine polar wilderness featuring abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery.

This classic Antarctica cruise departs from Ushuaia, Argentina. The air gets colder and daylight grows longer as we head south across the infamous Drake Passage, accompanied by albatross. Our first sighting of the White Continent is the South Shetland Islands, historically significant and rich with iconic Antarctic wildlife.

Our time in the Antarctic Peninsula region focuses on the Gerlache Strait area, where towering mountains, immense glaciers, and blue icebergs create a picture-perfect setting for incredible penguin and marine mammal encounters. This cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula is an authentic expedition in a wilderness of epic proportions.

Why travel with Poseidon Expeditions?

Poseidon Expeditions is one of the leading operators of polar expeditions in the cruise industry. Since 1999, we’ve offered voyages that combine the spirit of adventure with a generous measure of onboard comfort and well-being, along with educational enrichment.

Why travel with us?
M/V Sea Spirit – Tiny but Mighty

M/V Sea Spirit – Tiny but Mighty

With a maximum capacity of just 114 passengers, we usually operate with 100 guests off the ship. It maximizes our travelers' time ashore because there is no need for splitting passengers into groups for landing rotations as required on larger ships.

A real polar expedition

A real polar expedition

Experience active exploration of the polar regions through a variety of activities. Weather permitting, we schedule up to 3 excursions per day and offer optional kayaking and, in Antarctica, camping. Enrich your polar knowledge in an engaging and interactive way through Poseidon’s edutainment program.

25 years of polar cruising

25 years of polar cruising

Polar cruising is our passion and expertise and over the past 24 years, we’ve gained tremendous experience building a strong team of enthusiastic polar professionals who are all experts in their field. Each cruise is a thoughtfully crafted expedition voyage.

Thank you for choosing poseidon expeditions

Highlights

ABUNDANT ANTARCTIC WILDLIFE

ABUNDANT ANTARCTIC WILDLIFE

Antarctica is famous for its penguins. In the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula you can go ashore at sites where gentoo, chinstrap, and adélie penguins come together in boisterous nesting colonies. Meeting with an inquisitive penguin chick is an experience not to be forgotten.

The waters of Antarctica are also home to impressive numbers of marine mammals. Pinnipeds such as weddell, crabeater, and leopard seals are commonly seen reposing on ice floes or hauled-out on shore. Humpback and killer whales can also be spotted feeding in bountiful seas.

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DRAMATIC POLAR SCENERY

DRAMATIC POLAR SCENERY

The scenery in Antarctica is unique in the world. Tall, rugged, gleaming white mountains—covered on all but their sheerest faces by innumerable glaciers and permanent snow—rise from deep blue waters to form idyllic bays and scenic passages. This classic Antarctica cruise will allow you to check all polar landscapes off your bucket list.

Afloat everywhere in these protected waterways are fragments of Antarctica’s frozen surface. From billowy blankets of brash ice crackling in the wake of our Zodiacs to gargantuan tabular icebergs that dwarf our ship, ice is a dramatic and inescapable feature of any Antarctic tableau.

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HUMAN ENTERPRISE, PAST AND PRESENT

HUMAN ENTERPRISE, PAST AND PRESENT

Antarctica has been the setting of many heroic adventures and journeys of discovery. On a cruise ship to the Antarctic peninsula, you will be following in the historic footsteps of early whalers, polar explorers, and scientific expeditions. Evidence of these intrepid first visitors can still be seen in locations around the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands.

In these areas you also have the opportunity to appreciate modern human ingenuity at scientific research stations of various nationalities. Some of these stations, such as Port Lockroy, even boast a museum, gift shop, and post office.

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Departures

Itinerary Dates Days Activities Special Offer Rates from
Antarctic Peninsula
Realm of Penguins & Icebergs
06 Dec - 17 Dec 2024 12 Sea Kayaking Camping Photography
SOLD OUT
Antarctic Peninsula
Realm of Penguins & Icebergs
06 Feb - 17 Feb 2025 12 Sea Kayaking Camping Photography
SOLD OUT
Antarctic Peninsula
Realm of Penguins & Icebergs
16 Feb - 27 Feb 2025 12 Sea Kayaking Camping Photography
US$ 10 095
per person
Antarctic Peninsula
Realm of Penguins & Icebergs
07 Feb - 18 Feb 2026 12 Sea Kayaking Camping Photography SUPER EARLY BIRD SAVINGS UP TO 20% OFF*
US$ 10 395
US$ 8 836
per person
Antarctic Peninsula
Realm of Penguins & Icebergs
17 Feb - 28 Feb 2026 12 Sea Kayaking Camping Photography SUPER EARLY BIRD SAVINGS UP TO 20% OFF*
US$ 10 395
US$ 8 836
per person

Itinerary

Through the Viewfinder

Activities

PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTOGRAPHY

The Antarctic Peninsula is the ultimate destination for experienced and novice photographers alike. Our free photography program on this Antarctic peninsula expedition gives you the chance to learn and practice your photography skills alongside an expert photographer.

Antarctic wildlife is famously obliging to photographers. Having evolved without terrestrial predators, animals such as penguins and seals do not spook easily when on land or on ice floes. At sea, whales and seabirds also make excellent subjects.

With ice features of every description and scenery beyond comparison, Antarctica also provides a wealth of inspiration for the landscape photographer. Our expert will be available to help you make the most of this bounty in your viewfinder.

SEA KAYAK CLUB

Antarctica is truly a paddlers’ paradise. The White Continent delights kayakers with its spectacular polar landscapes, mesmerizing ice features, abundant marine wildlife, and variety of excellent paddling locations.

Explore beyond the boundaries of our Antarctic peninsula ships. Sea Kayak Club participants in Antarctica have the coveted opportunity to paddle with playful penguins in waters sparkling with ice while enjoying magnificent vistas of mountains and glaciers.

The picturesque and protected waters of the Antarctic Peninsula offer some of the best paddling opportunities in the world. If you enjoy sea kayaking, then be sure not to miss your chance to participate in this incredible optional activity.

SEA KAYAK CLUB
ANTARCTICA CAMPING

ANTARCTICA CAMPING

Antarctica Camping is a unique and unforgettable way to expand your experience on the White Continent. This optional activity allows you to meet Antarctica on its own terms by spending a night out on the ice and snow.

Camping is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the Antarctic wilderness. Spend hours watching the drama of ever-changing light upon the landscape, capturing that perfect photo, or simply falling asleep to the mysterious sounds of the ice.

On your camping night you can take the time to fully experience whatever joy Antarctica holds for you. You will also gain undeniable bragging rights, lasting memories, and a newfound appreciation for your warm bed back on the ship.

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History of The Antarctic Peninsula

Antarctica was discovered relatively late, most likely by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen in 1820. The first explorers to recognize it as a large mass of land were Edward Bransfield and William Smith on January 30th, 1820 (just 3 days after Bellingshausen); they proceeded to chart part of the Antarctic Peninsula. With subsequent exploration and mapping, the northeastern part of the peninsula was named Trinity Peninsula. John Biscoe, a British explorer, choose the name Graham Land for the northern Antarctic Peninsula in 1832. With the northern tip of the peninsula being only about 1,000 km (620 miles) from South America, this region attracted commercial whaling and seal hunting expeditions. The first aerial surveys by the British Graham Land Expedition (1934-1937) finally confirmed this area to be a peninsula and not just an island connected to the Antarctic Continent by an ice sheet. The term “Antarctic Peninsula” has only been around since 1964, when a long dispute between the United States (wanting to name this territory Palmer Peninsula) and Britain (who insisted on Graham Land) was finally solved.

Antarctic Peninsula Map

Reaching out like a tail toward the southern tip of South America, the Antarctic Peninsula features the Bellingshausen Sea on its west coast and the Weddell Sea on its eastern side. It features five of the 15 major ice shelves on the continent (Prince Gustav Ice, Larsen, Wordie, Wilkins and George VI ice shelves). The Antarctic Circle runs through the northern tip of the peninsula and there are no people permanently living on the White Continent anywhere (although it’s home to many research bases). East of the tip of the peninsula are the subantarctic islands (such as South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands). Next to the eastern tip of the peninsula is James Ross Island, where you can still discover the expedition huts of explorers Scott and Shackleton. Sailing south from the South American Continent, the first land you will see is King George Island (part of the South Shetland Islands).

Antarctic Weather

It’s cold down there! While generally this is true, it all depends on where on the continent you find yourself. The Maritime Antarctic climate in West Antarctica and on the peninsula is milder, with average temperatures of +1°C (33 °F) in the summer months and -15°C (5 °F) in winter. The West Antarctic ice sheet has been warming over the last decades and the cooler climate from East Antarctica only partly offsets this trend. The British Antarctic Survey launched an international research project on Antarctic Climate Evolution (published in 2003) to study Antarctica’s climate and glacial history. The team links climate and ice sheet modeling studies with geological surveys around Antarctica to gain a better understanding of how the climate has changed over time.

When to Go

November/December 

See Antarctica awaken after a long winter. Pack ice is melting and it’s the perfect time to see the biggest icebergs out there. See the peculiar mating rituals of penguins and pristine, snow-covered landscapes. This time is perfect to feel like a real explorer and to be one of the first in the season to explore!

December/January

This is the best travel time for photographers and wildlife lovers! Penguin chicks are hatching and the polar day gives you plenty of daylight to explore. See cute gentoo, chinstrap, adélie and king penguins in large colonies. Temperatures are rising, and you can see glacier calving.

February/March

As the days are getting shorter, you’ll witness the most incredible sunsets and sunrises on the White Continent. This is also the best time for whale watching as minke, killer and humpback whales return to the Southern Ocean to feed on krill.

FAQ

How do I get to Antarctica?

Visit Antarctica as part of an Antarctic cruise. You’ll depart from the southern tip of Argentina and explore the peninsula with a professional expedition team on a comfortable ship. Some expeditions even cruise from the Antarctic Peninsula south, to cross the Antarctic Circle.

Is Antarctica Habitable?

While temperatures and climate are relatively mild, no humans live permanently on the peninsula. Only research stations can be found on the continent.

Which country owns Antarctica?

No single country owns the continent. Over the decades, various nations made territorial claims to Antarctica. The Antarctic Treaty (signed in 1959) regulates internationals relations and countries who signed the treaty have since established research stations across the continent.

Where does the Antarctic Peninsula come from?

Western Antarctica (and the peninsula) originated in a similar way to the Andes Mountains in South America. Volcanic activity created Antarctica, which previously adjoined the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana. Eventually the peninsula separated from the South American continent.


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