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Antarctica

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The 'White Continent' of Antarctica is nature at its most extreme, most inhospitable yet most beguiling.  Taking an expedition ship through the inky abyss of the Antarctic is unlike any other experience. The excitement of discovering a land where few have been and few will have the opportunity to visit, largely untouched by humans and ruled by wildlife and the elements.  You will see colonies of penguins, majestic glaciers calving into the ocean, pods of whales, sea ice on an unbelievable scale and majestic fjords. 

It often surprises people to learn that Antarctica is the world's largest desert. The amount of precipitation is a key qualifying characteristic of a desert, and some parts of the continent haven't seen rain or snow for over two million years!  For the record, the second largest desert is the Arctic, with the Sahara a poor third).  It has no reptiles and no indigenous peoples, but it does have the world's southernmost active volcano, Mount Erebus, that sends out ice crystals during periods of activity. 

Follow in the footsteps (icy wake?) of one of the greatest explorers of all time, Sir Ernest Shackleton.  His expedition to cross Antarctica, which incidentally left London just a few days after the outbreak of WW1, had to be abandoned when his ship, Endurance, was lost to the unforgiving ice.  That was when his adventures really started.  Shackleton showed leadership and courage on an epic scale as he took on Mother Nature - and won, along with all members of his expedition.  Pack ice that crushed all in its path, severe cold, debilitating hunger, terrifying katabatic winds, high seas, icy mountains and glaciers that no man had set foot on before - Shackleton emerged victorious after battling all these fearsome adversaries.

Shackleton is buried on South Georgia, a port of call for many voyages to Antarctica, where he died en route to his third Antarctic expedition.  He was only 47.  This lonely outpost is also the scene of the most southerly battle, in 1982 when British troops were sent to liberate the island from Argentinian invaders.

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Ponant Emblematic Antarctica Cruise
from £9109 (per person)
G Adventures Antarctica Classic
The Antarctic Peninsula is anything but a world of white desolation. Join us on a true adventure to a world of immense scale and visual splendour.
from £4599 (per person)
G Adventures Spirit of Shackleton
Experience vast penguin rookeries and seal colonies on this awe-inspiring voyage to Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands.
from £10999 (per person)
Hurtigruten Antarctica and Falklands Southern Hemisphere Adventure
On this amazing adventure you will experience South America, Patagonia, the Falkland Islands and Antarctica. See penguins, seals and whales, take hikes on the frozen continent and kayak among icebergs.
from £6016 (per person)
Hurtigruten Antarctica White Christmas with Penguins
Celebrate a spectacular Christmas! From Ushuaia, cross the Drake Passage and sail on to an unforgettable exploration of Antarctica. Meet penguins up close and touch icebergs with your bare hands.
from £6082 (per person)
Hurtigruten Chilean Fjords and Antarctica White Christmas
Travel in harmony with the elements to the White Continent. En route, you will experience the wild natural wonders of the Chilean fjords. Once in Antarctica, the sight of mighty glaciers calving into the ocean, colonies of penguins and pods of whales in the icy seas will create indelible memories.
from £6056 (per person)
Hurtigruten The Ultimate Expedition to Antarctica, Falklands and South Georgia
This epic expedition takes you through the isolated Falkland Islands and stunning South Georgia before experiencing the great continent of Antarctica.
Hurtigruten Chilean Fjords, Antarctica and Falklands
Travel in harmony with the elements to the White Continent. En route, you will experience the wild natural wonders of the Chilean fjords. Once in Antarctica, the sight of mighty glaciers calving into the ocean, flocks of penguins and whales in the icy seas will create indelible memories.
Hurtigruten Patagonia, Chilean Fjords & Antarctica
This expedition takes you to the beauty of the South American coast and on to magical Antarctica. Visit one of the most scenic national parks in the world, see the rich wildlife of Patagonia, the Chilean fjords and Cape Horn before the highlight of the journey, Antarctica.
from £6415 (per person)
Riviera Travel: Voyage to Antarctica
Get up close to incredible numbers of penguins, seals and whales, stunning mountain scenery and gigantic icebergs on a trip of a lifetime to the Great White Continent.
from £8999 (per person)
Hurtigruten Antarctica – Highlights of the Frozen Continent
Get ready for a rare adventure! From Ushuaia you cross the Drake Passage and sail on to an unforgettable exploration of Antarctica. Meet penguins up close and touch icebergs with your bare hands. On board there is so much to do: Science Center, exciting lectures, and more, all designed to enhance your trip.
Abercrombie & Kent Classic Antarctica
This unforgettable Antarctica itinerary cruises in style and comfort through the Drake Passage in the company of award-winning experts including leading scientists and professional photographers.
from £10115 (per person)