Natural Habitat Adventures

Sailing Antarctica: A Polar Wildlife Expedition

An Intimate Exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula on a Private Expedition Vessel—for Just Seven Guests!
17 Days
7
From $32595 (+internal air)

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Intrepid explorers passionate about adventure won’t find a more exhilarating way to experience Antarctica than on this one-of-a-kind polar expedition. With just seven travelers on a handful of departures each season, this is the most exclusive of opportunities! Explore the Antarctic Peninsula aboard an ice-strengthened motorsailer, surrounded by seals, whales, penguins and icebergs. Ply channels that larger ships can't reach, and relish profound quiet, enveloped by ice and sky. In a world where “adventure travel” has become a relative term, we’ve reclaimed it with this total immersion in the planet’s last, most pristine wilderness. Our expedition yacht voyage—with a world-class skipper and seasoned polar crew—rewards serious adventurers with a rare experience of one of the most remote and magnificent places on Earth.
    Aerial view of the bow of the S/V Australis as two whales swim in front, AntarcticaA view of the S/V Australis through an arched iceberg, AntarcticaNatural Habitat Adventures travelers kayak near a glacier in AntarcticaA Natural Habitat Adventures Expedition Leader smiles with a chunk of ice from the waters off AntarcticaThe Ocean Tramp ship anchored off the shoreline of AntarcticaA chinstrap penguin walks along the rocky shoreline of AntarcticaNatural Habitat Adventures travelers camp in the snow in AntarcticaNatural Habitat Adventures travelers prepare to kayak from the S/V AustralisA seal lies on the ice in AntarcticaTravelers wave from the bow of the Ocean Tramp in the waters off of AntarcticaA whale surfaces in the icy waters of AntarcticaTravelers in a zodiac head back to the S/V Australis in AntarcticaA Natural Habitat Adventures Expedition Leader and traveler stop to view gentoo penguins, AntarcticaA Weddell seal lies on the snow in AntarcticaClose up of a gentoo penguin in AntarcticaTravelers aboard the S/V Australis wave to the camera as they sail through the waters off AntarcticaChipstrap penguins in AntarcticaTravelers pose with ice from the waters off AntarcticaA whale fluke emerges from the water in AntarcticaAn Antarctica fur seal in AntarcticaGentoo penguins jump into the water from an icebergNatural Habitat Adventures travelers kayak through the icy waters in AntarcticaSunset over the icy waters of Antarctica

Trip Highlights

  • The Ultimate Small-Group Expedition—Just 7 GuestsThere's no more intimate Antarctica adventure! Join top polar naturalists aboard our private expedition yacht and meet wildlife up close
  • Explore the Antarctic Peninsula in Greater DepthSail, hike, kayak and camp ashore with penguins via our special permits that facilitate exclusive access—a very rare opportunity!
  • Sail the Drake Passage One Way or Fly Round-TripMotor-sail to or from Antarctica and fly the other direction—a combination of high adventure and enhanced comfort—or fly both ways

This Antarctica Adventure Stands Alone

While Antarctica is an epic adventure destination, most visitors never fully experience 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 the most moving encounters with this incomparable polar wilderness. That’s why we’ve created a different kind of Antarctica expedition—one that immerses you completely in the magic of the White Continent. It's challenging—and not for everyone—but it may be right for youLearn more:

  1. An Exclusive Itinerary—No One Else Offers This Particular Journey
    This expedition yacht-based itinerary is offered exclusively by Natural Habitat Adventures and WWF. While others cross the Drake Passage via cruise ship, we do it like the legendary explorers of old did—on a smaller expedition vessel! Except our modern motorsailer 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 ardent explorers endured a century ago. 
  2. A Small-Group Wilderness Immersion for Just Seven Travelers
    We take a maximum of seven guests. Most Antarctica cruise ships carry from 50 to 150 passengers and sometimes many more. 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, which are ironically rare commodities on most Antarctica journeys. You'll feel like you're on a private expedition.
  3. More Time Ashore, Alone...and More Flexibility
    Most ship-based Antarctica voyages generally spend 4–6 days making shore excursions on the Antarctic Peninsula. On our sailing expedition, you'll have up to 10 days (depending on weather) to explore remote coves, beaches and icebound headlands, generally on our own and away from the crowds that are inevitable with larger ships. And, because our timing is more flexible, we have added freedom to craft the rhythm of our days as each group prefers.  
  4. 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 fellow travelers—not exactly the feel of a remote wilderness experience. Plus, these groups must arrive after dinner and be out by 5:30 am. It's really just a quick chance to sleep on the ice in the vicinity of many other people. We, however, hold special permits that allow us to spend up to three nights camping ashore (weather permitting), in locations far from other human presence. When we camp, it’s just us and the penguins and seals. While camping is optional (you're welcome to sleep aboard the boat instead), it’s usually a major highlight of our travelers’ experience. 
  5. 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 crowds. Our small group is able to hike farther, by ourselves, in the vast, pristine silence of the polar world. This is a genuine wilderness experience, and it isn't available on other itineraries. 
  6. Guided Small-Group Kayaking Excursions
    Optional opportunities for kayaking are included, and you are accompanied by our experienced Expedition Leader on exciting short excursions. We explore the shoreline in very small groups to ensure the quietest and most intimate wildlife encounters. (Kayak outings from larger ships often include groups of 20 or more.) Also, when you're kayaking with just a few individuals, you receive personalized attention from our Expedition Leader to help you improve your paddling skills quickly and efficiently.
  7. Sail with World-Class Polar Mariners
    We've scoured the globe to find the premier vessels, captains and crew for this extraordinary expedition. You can rest assured that you'll be in the hands of preeminently qualified mariners with in-depth experience in polar waters as we cross the Drake Passage and navigate the crenellated coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. All have extensive training in offshore safety and sea survival in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic waters.
  8. 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 alongside the ship's staff, asking myriad questions and developing the kind of friendship that typically accompanies any genuine shared adventure. In contrast, our naturalist Expedition Leader provides a level of personalized service you won't find on other Antarctica trips. With tremendous depth of knowledge and experience in the 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.
  9. Top-Quality Expeditionary Equipment
    As part of our unwavering commitment to safety and comfort, we provide state-of-the-art equipment, 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.
  10. Our Quality–Value Guarantee Ensures Your Antarctica Expedition
    With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive quality and 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.
  11. Feel Good About Your Carbon-Neutral Journey
    We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you travel with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset—including your round-trip flights from home. Natural Habitat Adventures has been the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company since 2007.
  12. 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!

Read what travelers are saying about our Sailing Antarctica expedition:

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