Travel to Antarctica From the USA

Antarctica Cruise and Adventure Travel With Cool Antarctica and Expedition Trips

  Travelling to the Antarctic Peninsula

Most trips to Antarctica are cruises or fly-cruise trips that leave from the port of Ushuaia in Argentina or the airport at Punta Arenas in Chile visiting the Antarctic Peninsula and the islands of the (largely undersea) Scotia Arc (fig 2). This stretches east from the southernmost tip of Tierra del Fuego (South America), through South Georgia, the South Shetland Islands and back to the west again through the South Orkney Islands before joining the northernmost tip of the Peninsula.

A smaller number of trips leave from Australia or New Zealand and visit the eastern region of Antarctica, sailing time is about 6-7 days there and the same back again. These trips are longer and therefore more expensive, they usually leave from Hobart, Australia or Invercargill, New Zealand, sometimes leaving from one and returning to the other on alternate trips.


Fig 1. Trips to the Antarctic leaving from the USA most commonly leave from the southern most tip of South America and visit the Antarctic Peninsula and nearby islands.

Distances miles / km
New York - Ushuaia, Argentina 6,615 / 10,646
Dallas - Ushuaia, Argentina 6,290 / 10,124
Miami - Ushuaia, Argentina 5,617 / 9,040
New York - Hobart, Australia 10,335 / 16,633
New York - Invercargill, NZ 9,382 / 15,099
trips to antarctica from usa

        1 - New York, USA    2 - Dallas Tx, USA
        3 - Miami Fl, USA    4 - Ushuaia, Argentina
        5 - Antarctic Peninsula


Fig 2. Trips to the Peninsula region of Antarctica. The majority of trips visit the Peninsula 6 and nearby islands such as the South Shetlands 5. Longer trips may also take in the Falkland Islands 3 and / or South Georgia 4 and possibly some other landings en route.

Cruises most commonly go down the western side of the Peninsula as they are less likely to encounter problematic sea ice that is more likely found on the Eastern side in the Weddell Sea.

Distances miles / km
Ushuaia - Falklands 480 / 770
Ushuaia - South Georgia 1,255 / 2,020
Ushuaia - South Shetlands 610  / 980
Ushuaia - Peninsula tip 724 / 1,165
Punta Arenas - Peninsula tip  870 / 1,395
Peninsula top to bottom 765 / 1,230
Peninsula top to Antarctic Circle 280 / 450

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        1 - Ushuaia, Argentina    2 - Punta Arenas, Chile
        3 - Falkland Islands / Islas Malvinas    4 - South Georgia
        5 - South Shetland Islands    6 - Antarctic Peninsula

  Travel to the Ross Sea / Commonwealth Bay Region - Eastern Antarctica

Fig 3. Trips to the more remote Eastern side of Antarctica usually leave from Australia and New Zealand often Invercargill / Port of Bluff in New Zealand 2, Invercargill has the airport, Bluff, 30km away by road has a deep-water port. Less commonly trips may leave/return from Hobart, Australia 1, and Dunedin, New Zealand (about 180 km / 110 miles from Invercargill).

The trip may depart and return to the same port or leave from one and return to another in either direction. It takes about seven days sailing to reach Antarctica from Australia or New Zealand, the journey there and back is usually broken up with visits to the wildlife rich Macquarie Island 3 and others such as Snares, Auckland and Campbell Islands that lie between Macquarie and New Zealand.

Once having reached Antarctica trips usually spend their time either in the Commonwealth Bay area 4 or the Ross Sea region between Cape Adare 5 and McMurdo 6 with possibly a short trip along the front of the Ross Ice Shelf R

Distances miles / km
Hobart - Commonwealth Bay 1640 / 2640
Invercargill - Commonwealth Bay 1720 / 2760
Hobart - Macquarie Island 940 / 1500
Invercargill - Macquarie Island 690 / 1110
Commonwealth Bay - Cape Adare 805 / 1300
Cape Adare - McMurdo 470 /760

        R - Ross Ice Shelf     1 - Hobart - Australia
        2 - Invercargill / Port of Bluff - New Zealand
        3 - Macquarie Island    4 - Commonwealth Bay
        5 - Cape Adare    6 - McMurdo / Scott bases
       




Need a Little Guidance? contact our travel partners who will help you find the best cruise for your requirements Antarctica Ross Sea Region Cruise

Antarctic Peninsula - Sample Cruises - 2016 / 2017

Trip Highlights Prices USD* Days
Antarctica Cruise - Discovering the 7th Continent South Shetlands, Antarctic Peninsula, Penguin Rookeries, Lemaire Channel Optional kayaking, camping and snowshoeing $6,995 -
$13,995
11
Antarctica Cruise - The Peninsula Classic Antarctica, pristine scenery, classic sites of scientific and historic interest, experienced naturalist guides. Optional kayaking, camping, cross-country skiing and mountaineering $6,295 -
$18,195
13
Classic Antarctica Air-Cruise Fly over the Drake Passage in both directions, Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, Wildlife, Scenery, Ice Optional kayaking and snowshoeing $10,795 - $19,995 8

Antarctica Ross Sea Region - Sample Cruises - 2016 / 2017

Trip Highlights Prices USD* Days
The Ross Sea Region - In the Wake of Scott and Shackleton Auckland Islands, Macquarie and Campbell Islands, Explore the Ross Sea, Historic Huts, Ross Ice Shelf, McMurdo base. $22,300 -
$30,200
30
East Antarctica - In the Wake of Mawson Antarctic Peninsula to Ross Sea, Historic Huts, remote East Antarctica, Emperor penguins, sub-Antarctic islands, helicopter excursions $16,000 -
$22,000
26

South Georgia / Falkland Islands / Antarctica - Sample Cruises - 2016 / 2017

Trip Highlights Prices USD* Days
Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands Vast Colonies of King Penguins, Breathtaking Scenery, Historic sites, optional kayaking $23,100 -
$40,690
24
Antarctica and South Georgia Two great destinations, anticipate penguins, whales, seabirds and seals as well as scenic highlights $9,995 - $20,995 16
Notes

* Prices are based per person, the lowest price is usually for triple occupancy in a basic cabin, the highest for double occupancy in the best available suite.

Options may be at additional cost and are usually booked when the cruise is booked - it may be too late once the cruise has started.