While Antarctica is an epic destination for adventure travelers, most never experience the fullness of this pristine polar realm. The majority travel via cruise ship, often with more than a hundred other passengers. And while such voyages generally include shore excursions and Zodiac outings, there’s still a level of buffering from the elements, from silence and solitude, that define an authentic encounter with this incomparable polar wilderness. That’s why we’ve created a different kind of Antarctica expedition—one that immerses you completely in the wilderness of the White Continent.
- An Exclusive Itinerary — No One Else Offers This Trip
Natural Habitat Expeditions is the world’s only company to offer this unique sailboat-based adventure. While others cross the Drake Passage via cruise ship, we do it like the legendary explorers of old did—on an authentic sailing vessel! Except our modern sailboat has an ice-strengthened steel hull and state-of-the-art navigation and safety equipment, ensuring that our thrilling voyage is also a much safer one than expeditioners endured a century ago.
- A Small-Group Wilderness Immersion
We take a maximum of just 8 travelers. Most Antarctica cruise ships carry from 80 to 150 passengers. On such voyages, you’re in the most remote place on the planet, yet you never get a break from the presence of many traveling companions, nor the noise of the ship. Our small-scale journey ensures a profound sense of solitude and quiet — ironically rare commodities on most Antarctic journeys!
- Exclusive Camping Opportunities
While some ships offer a chance for a single night’s camping on the ice, it happens in the company of up to 50 or 60 or more fellow travelers—not exactly the feel of a remote wilderness experience. We hold special permits from the National Science Foundation that allow us to spend six nights camping ashore, in locations far away from any other human presence. When we camp, it’s just us and the penguins and seals. While camping is optional, it’s usually a major highlight of our travelers’ experience.
- Extended Hiking Ashore for a True Wilderness Encounter
Most visitors who travel to Antarctica aboard larger ships go ashore and essentially stand on the beach, perhaps walking a short distance in large groups. While even this opportunity can be exciting, often among multitudes of penguins, it pales in comparison to the chance to really explore away from the crowds. Our small group is able to hike farther, by ourselves, in the utter, vast, pristine silence of the polar world. This is a genuine wilderness experience, and it isn't available on other itineraries.
- Opportunities for guided small group kayaking excursions
Our optional kayaking activity is included in the trip and our experienced Expedition Leader will accompany you out on fun day trips. We will explore the shorelines in very small groups (no more than 4 people) to ensure the best wildlife encounters so that you can enjoy the Antarctica waters in an intimate way. Also, in a small group we can pay more attention to improving your paddling skills quickly and effciently.
- The Best Expeditionary Equipment
As part of our unwavering commitment to safety and comfort, we use the best and most up-to-date equipment available on the market, including top-quality safety and survival gear, tents, kayaks and camping equipment. Our gear is meticulously maintained, reducing the chance for unexpected mishaps as we travel.
- Highly Personalized Guiding
While most Antarctica ship operators travel with onboard experts from naturalists to polar historians, few guests have a chance to interact with them personally. Most are consigned to attending lectures in the ship's lounge, rather than traveling with them side by side, asking myriad questions, and developing the kind of friendship that typically accompanies any shared genuine adventure. In contrast, our naturalist Expedition Leader provides a level of personalized service you just won't find on other Antarctica trips. With tremendous depth of knowledge and experience in the southern polar realm, as well as training and resources from WWF’s renowned scientists, our guide embodies why we hold a global reputation for hiring the very best! See Expedition Leader bios with traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
- Our Quality Guarantee Ensures Your Antarctica Expedition
With Natural Habitat Expeditions, you receive our exclusive quality & value guarantee, clearly stating that we will meet the lofty expectations we set in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
- Feel Good About the Way You Travel
We all care about the planet, and on this adventure you can travel knowing that the emissions from your trip are 100% carbon-offset — Natural Habitat is the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company.
- Natural Habitat is WWF's Travel Partner
Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our worldwide adventures, we have been chosen by World Wildlife Fund -- the world's leading environmental conservation organization -- as its worldwide travel partner, a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!
Longitude Books has created a custom comprehensive listing of Antarctica: The Ultimate Polar Nature Expedition adventure travel books
for this trip.