What’s the cost of cruising Antarctica for 14 days & longer? Our per-diems chart gives you rates based on what you can expect to pay for each day of your cruise. If you’re looking for Antarctica cruises for durations of fewer than 14 days, see Antarctica Cruises: The Cost Of Cruising The White Continent, Our Per Diems Chart (Updated October 2018). All of the ships in our comparison chart feature vessels that land passengers ashore. Compiled by Tamera Trexler, the comparison chart focuses on 14-night and longer Antarctica cruises offered by ten major cruise companies.
There is a wide variety of Antarctic Expedition cruises. This chart attempts to compare cruises longer than 2 weeks that also include excursions to the South Georgia Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula and the Falkland Islands. At the bottom of the chart, you also will see the other long journeys to Antarctica that cruise companies offer. Most companies offer Antarctica cruises from two weeks to one month in duration. It is noteworthy that Seabourn offers Antarctica cruises that last up to 66 days, with much of that time spent along the shores of South America.
As much as possible, we are attempting to compare apples to apples. This chart attempts to compare entry level cabin rates based on double occupancy, around the same dates. The pricing is for cruises in 2019, except for Crystal Cruises, which will be joining the Antarctic Expedition Cruise market in 2021. Crystal Cruises will embark and disembark from Australia and New Zealand, which is unusual, as all other cruise companies come and go from South American ports.
Also, Scenic postponed its plans to cruise Antarctica in the first quarter of 2019. The launch of its expedition vessel has been pushed back to April 2019, but for comparison’s sake, we included prices that were published before the delay was announced.
It often happens that when exploring websites, pricing is not available if a cruise is sold out, a category of cabin is booked or there is a waitlist. So we used the next level up of cabin available as comparison. In addition, cruise lines make frequent changes in rates or introduce special offers. For example, Seabourn was offering a suite with a verandah at a lower rate than an entry level cabin. At the time of research Quark was advertising: “Single and solo travelers can take advantage of Ocean Endeavour’s no single supplement pricing, offered on select Single Inside cabins (subject to availability).”
The chart is not a guarantee of prices, but it attempts to serve as a guide to narrow down your search. We recommend you monitor websites and talk to a cruise advisor or travel agent.
Also, people have different criteria to consider when choosing a cruise, which is why the chart includes a lot of detail. The first subsection focuses on the basics of the cruise itinerary and ports. It also provides some of the ship details; for example, the number of restaurants, passenger capacity, square footage of cabins, rates, services and per diem. Also listed in this section are what type of windows – porthole, balcony, picture window or something different.
When looking at the chart you will note that most cruise lines include port charges and taxes, except for Crystal and Seabourn. Crystal’s website does not indicate the cost of its port charges, so it’s worth making further inquiries about that. Seabourn indicates that a charge of $715 extra per person in port charges; however, if you look at the per diem cost of cruising with Seabourn, it is still one of the lowest priced cruises. But there again, there are many intangibles. Seabourn carries 450 guests, compared to 200 on its competitors, and guest capacity could make a difference in how much time you spend ashore.
We list the cost of upgrading to a balcony suite and change in cost per diem for the upgrade. Crystal has suites as big as a bungalow, up to 2,500 square feet, and all cabins have balconies. All cabins on Scenic have balconies. Hurtigruten, Oceanwide and Quark do not have any cabins with balconies.
Crystal, Ponant, Scenic, Seabourn and Silversea all include butler service; however, with Ponant it depends on which level cabin you book. Ponant offers butler service only for guests booked in suites on deck six.
The “Other Inclusions” subsection of the chart focuses on what’s included: from gear to onshore excursions and other luxuries.
Hapag Lloyd has minibars in staterooms, but the the restock is for sodas and water only; alcohol will cost you extra. On Hurtigruten only luxury suites have minibars for a fee , basic polar side cabins do not have minibars at all.
On some cruises it is open bar 24/7 or alcohol included at every meal. Others include no alcohol. Hapag Lloyd offers a bottle of champagne upon arrival, but any other alcohol is for purchase. Quark includes wine with dinner only. Oceanwide and Hurtigruten include beverages, except alcohol, which can be purchased.
On all cruises Zodiac excursions and shore landings are included.
On Hurtigruten, however, there are $1,332 in optional excursions – kayaking, bird watching, farm tour, air tour and more. These can be purchased separately. Parkas are included and so are boots, but as a loaner. Crystal and Scenic cruises will have submersible and helicopter excursions for an extra fee, but prices are not indicated.
Oceanwide offers an extra excursion of camping on shore for $190 per person and kayak packages for $465. Silversea, Lindblad and Scenic include kayaking but there is a waitlist, and the activity is weather-permitting. We were recently on a waitlist for kayaking on Silver Cloud but never got to paddle because of weather – and our names were too far down the list.
Many cruise lines include parkas that you get to take home with you, except for Oceanwide, which rents parkas for $50 per person. Hapag Lloyd provides a loaner parka. On Silversea, we got to take home our parkas, Tamera’s being a Haglofs 3-in-1 parka, valued at more than $400 with a zip out insulation and a Gore-tex shell. Silversea also rents trekking poles for $48 for the duration of the cruise.
Most of the cruise companies have links to their gear shops on their websites. You can order packs and other outerwear and reserve your boots and parka. Best to do this as soon as you book your cruise; that way you are sure to get what fits you. Some of the on-board boutiques also have outerwear for sale but there may be limited inventory. For gear advice, see An Antarctic Voyage On Silversea: Part Five, The Main Course, Antarctica
Wi-Fi varies. Even if some cruise lines say it is included, there are conditions. For example, on Silversea, basic WiFi for one device is included, but you pay extra for multiple devices and faster service. Seabourn charges 40 cents per minute for WiFi. Hurtigruten offers WiFi for $24.46 per day, and Lindblad offers three different WiFi packages for purchase.
There are many features and amenities not listed in this chart. For example, Crystal will have a casino and Quark has a smoothie bar. But we hope to give you an overall picture of what to expect in terms of service and cost, a guide to narrow down your search based on your requirements and what you value in an Antarctic expedition cruise.
|Itinerary||Antarctica & The Ross Sea Expedition||Expedition Antarctica||Southern Hemisphere Adventure||Journey to Antarctica||Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica||Beyond the Polar Circle||Explorers and Kings||Antarctica, Falkland Islands, South Georgia||Ultimate Antarctica & Patagonia||Antarctica Expedition|
|Ship||Crystal Endeavor||Bremen||Midnatsol||National Geographic Orion||Plancius||LeBoreal||Ocean Endeavor||Scenic Eclipse||Seabourn Quest||Silver Explorer|
|Ice class Rating||Polar class 6||E4||1X||E3||1D||1C||1B||1A Super||ice class*||1A|
|Sailing Date||January 6, 2021*||January 22, 2019||February 26, 2019||February 13, 2019||January 9, 2019||February 6, 2019||November 14, 2019||March 2, 2019 (postponed)||January 13, 2019||February 3, 2019|
|From||Hobart -Christchurch||Ushuaia-Ushuauia||Ushuaia-Montevideo||Ushuaia-Ushuaia||Ushuaia -Ushuaia||Ushuaia-Ushuaia||Buenos Aires-Buenos Aires||Buenos Aires- Buenos Aires||Santiago- Buenos Aires||Ushuaia-Ushuauia|
|Rate per person||$32,999||$13,680||$8,524||$24,620||$17,950||$20,860||$17,595||$27,495||$13,999||$26,000|
|Cabin Category||Deluxe suite||Outside cabin||PolarInside||Cat. 1/ Main Deck||Twin-porthole Deck 4||Superior Stateroom||Twin Porthole||Verandah C/Grand Deluxe Verandah DD*||Veranda Suite||Adventurer Suite|
|Room With A View?||Veranda||Porthole||No window||Porthole||Portholes||Balcony||Porthole||Veranda||Veranda||Portholes|
|Balcony per diem||N/A||$1,341||N/A||$1,789||N/A||$1,558||N/A||*||$736||$2,235|
|Trekking poles/snowshoes||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Snowshoes included||$$|
Other Longer Journeys Availabile
|Days||22||16-31||15-23||19 & 24||19-31||16-22||16-23||20-30||24-66||15-31|