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Expeditions

Antarctica

Explore this wild and wonderful frozen continent and see penguins, whales and seals in their natural habitat

See all expedition cruises

Antarctica

Explore this wild and wonderful frozen continent and see penguins, whales and seals in their natural habitat

See all expedition cruises
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Cruising to Antarctica with Hurtigruten

Go ashore and on small boat cruises to discover charming wildlife and spectacular frozen landscapes - from snowy mountains to icebergs and glaciers.

We’ve sailed these polar waters for over 20 years. Our expedition ships combine hybrid technology with a premium onboard experience, designed for your safety and comfort.

Learn about Antarctica’s fascinating history and science through lectures and hands-on projects. Fully enjoy your discovery of the white continent knowing that we have the lowest possible CO2-footprint of all expedition cruises to Antarctica.

Travel Guide to Antarctica

Six reasons to go to Antarctica

Antarctica is a land of superlatives: the coldest, driest, highest and most remote continent on Earth. Here, the elements rule and exploring this vast, white continent will seem daring and extreme to many. And that’s exactly why you’ll want to go.

Great Antarctic explorers like Roald Amundsen have described the seventh continent as “mythic”, “otherworldly”, and “like a fairy tale” – because nothing compares to the Antarctic travel experience.

Six reasons to go to Antarctica

Antarctica is a land of superlatives: the coldest, driest, highest and most remote continent on Earth. Here, the elements rule and exploring this vast, white continent will seem daring and extreme to many. And that’s exactly why you’ll want to go.

Great Antarctic explorers like Roald Amundsen have described the seventh continent as “mythic”, “otherworldly”, and “like a fairy tale” – because nothing compares to the Antarctic travel experience.

1. Incredible ice-scapes

One reason to go to Antarctica is for the splendour of its scenery; endless ranges of snow-coated mountains and the majesty of icebergs sculpted by sun, wind, and waves. Experience the tranquillity of the vast landscapes; the starkness of monochromatic white everywhere you look; and the way the light plays off shades and hues in the ice, sea and sky.

2. Rich wildlife

The krill-rich waters of the Southern Ocean are a beacon for abundant wildlife: whales, seals, seabirds and of course, penguins. The Antarctic Peninsula is home to an estimated population of 12 million penguins across several species. Depending on when during the Antarctic summer you visit, you’ll witness their courting rituals first hand, see newly hatched chicks, or the moulting period.

3. Active exploration

You won’t simply wave at Antarctica from the ship as you sail past it. Instead, you’ll join our experienced Expedition Team to go on landings ashore, on small boat cruises in the area, and on optional activities like kayaking, snowshoeing, camping, and maybe even a polar plunge if you’re feeling brave enough! No matter your activity level or interests, you can explore Antarctica in the way that best suits you.

4. Knowledge seekers

Our Expedition Team are there to guide and enhance everything you see and experience in Antarctica, sharing their insights on geology, climate change, polar history, and wildlife. We also offer photography tutorials, Citizen Science projects, and access to the ship’s onboard Science Center, a fully-equipped learning zone with a library, microscopes and other advanced tech.

5. Going beyond the Antarctic Circle

Some of our expeditions will attempt landings south of the Antarctic Circle in Marguerite Bay, Crystal Sound and the Weddell Sea. Much like the great explorers before you, your expedition will be determined by the weather and sea conditions, where plans sometimes change and adventure presents itself in unexpected ways… which is exactly what you’d expect from a polar expedition.

6. Protecting the pristine

Antarctica is a pure and fragile environment. We work hard to ensure we leave nothing but sterilised boot prints and take nothing but precious memories. Our ice-class expedition ships combine state-of-the-art hybrid technology, helping us have the lowest possible CO2-footprint of all expedition cruises to Antarctica. We’ve also sailed these polar waters for over 20 years.

Cruises

Penguins on a giant iceberg in the Antarctic sound Penguins on a giant iceberg in the Antarctic sound

A polar wildlife paradise

On small boat cruises and landings ashore, we’ll bring you to see some of the most inspiring animals on earth who survive and thrive in their frozen desert home.

Depending on the season, you may see whales feeding, seal pups playing, penguins mating or penguin chicks hatching.

The Antarctic Peninsula is home to an estimated population of 12 million penguins. Observe them in their natural habitat, uninhibited and curious.

Wildlife in Antarctica
  • Whales near an expedition boat
  • Gentoo penguin on Cuverville Island, Antarctica
  • A close up of an animal
  • A colony of Adelie penguins in Antarctica
  • Killer whales

Photo: Genna Roland, Andreas Kalvig Anderson and Dominic Barrington

Activities in Antarctica

Your expedition cruise comes with a full programme of included and optional activities designed to immerse you in the many wonders the frozen continent has to offer.

No matter your activity level or interests, there will be something that suits you. Here are some of the activities you can enjoy on your expedition cruise to Antarctica with us.

Activities in Antarctica

Your expedition cruise comes with a full programme of included and optional activities designed to immerse you in the many wonders the frozen continent has to offer.

No matter your activity level or interests, there will be something that suits you. Here are some of the activities you can enjoy on your expedition cruise to Antarctica with us.

Landings

Whenever weather and sea conditions allow, we’ll attempt landings via small explorer boat. Sites might include a scenic harbour, ruins from the whaling era, or penguin rookeries. Once ashore, the Expedition Team will guide you on where to go and what to see. You are free to walk around on your own, keeping a safe distance from any wildlife you encounter.

Small boat cruising

Even though your expedition ship is specially designed for sailing in Antarctica, there are limits on where it can go. This is where our small explorer boats come in. Enjoy gliding through the water as you take in views of the surrounding white landscape and floating icebergs. You might spot seals, penguins or whales feeding on krill.

Kayaking Adventure in Antarctica

Enjoy the feeling of gliding through Antarctic waters in serene silence and admiring the sight of glaciers, icebergs and snow-covered mountains around you. You might even meet seals, birds, penguins and perhaps whales along the way.

Camping in Antarctica (An Amundsen Night)

In the true style of the early explorers, we venture out at night for a once in a lifetime experience as we go camping in the Antarctic night.

Although Amundsen, Scott and Nordenskjold had different equipment, they used the best gear available at the time. So do we. This activity features top of the line camping equipment that meets Antarctic standards for camping on snow.

Snowshoeing in Antarctica

This activity is only possible when snow conditions are right, which is usually late spring or early in the Antarctic summer. Equipped with modern snowshoes, you’ll easily walk on the soft snow and reach places that are normally difficult to get to just on foot.

Extended hikes in Antarctica

Join the Expedition Team on hikes handpicked by them and based on their deep and extensive knowledge of exploring the Antarctic Peninsula. Reaching the best viewpoints may involve some effort, making it all the more satisfying when you do.

Citizen Science

You can also get involved in a variety of projects that ask you to document wildlife or aspects of the environment. Your photos are then uploaded to scientific organisations around the world. Not only do you engage with nature, but you’ll contribute to important research too!

Lectures and talks

Your expert Expedition Team will be delivering lectures on a range of topics, such as geology, marine biology, history, photography, and ornithology. This will be in the ship’s onboard Science Center, out on deck, ashore during a landing, or when cruising in small boats.

Polar plunge

For the brave and bold, there is an option to literally dive into Antarctica at the end of one of the landings. A plunge into the icy-cold water for a few seconds will undoubtedly get your blood pumping. Only a few guests on each expedition ever take up the challenge. Will you?

Hurtigruten expedition leader prepping guests for a landing. Hurtigruten expedition leader prepping guests for a landing.

An Expedition Team with expertise, experience and enthusiasm

You’ll get the full perspective on what you see and experience in Antarctica in the excellent company of our Expedition Team. Their knowledge and operational experience of Antarctica is second to none, and their passion and energy is infectious.

Through our lectures and workshops, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of this splendid, complex and fragile ecosystem… and how to protect it.

Expedition Team in Antarctica
  • Hurtigruten expedition team member with guests in the onboard science center.
  • Expedition team members awaiting guests at Esperanza Base on Trinity Peninsula.
  • Hurtigruten Expedition team member in a small boat during a landing.
  • Hurtigruten expedition team member with guests collecting citizen science samples.
  • Woman with microphone standing in front of two screens saying "Wales of Antarctica".

Photo: Agurtxane Concellon, Stefan Dall, Genna Roland and Andrea Klaussner

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