Scenic Antarctic Expeditions for Winter 2024-2025

What’s your next big adventure? Antarctica? The final continent is surely a place on your bucket list?

We’ve been so impressed with the cruise company Scenic, who have some fantastic Arctic and Antarctic expeditions.

Their new Scenic Eclipse vessels are setting a higher industry standard in terms of the on-board cruise experience, with huge suites and dining that’s like a top island resort.

Off-boat activities, including with a semi-submersible and helicopter, mean you truly explore remote destinations. And we love Scenic’s explorer ethos.

We can guide you personally through different Scenic cruises. And tell you about White Desert, an Antarctic camp deep inside the continent, with five-night stays starting from around €65,000.

In this article we feature our three favourite Scenic Antarctica expeditions for winter 2024 – 2025.

Exploring Unexplored Antarctica

Antarctica cruises departing from Argentina are surging in popularity. Scenic is the first company to start Antarctica expeditions from New Zealand.

These are real explorer journeys, to places in Antarctica that have hardly ever seen visitors, certainly not tourists. Winter 2024-2025 will be the first season for these departures.

It’s a really new frontier, a rare place on our planet yet to be seen by tourism.

Mawson’s Antarctica: Along the East Coast

A Christmas and New Year experience, departing 15th December.

24 days from Queenstown (New Zealand) to Hobart (Australia). From €25,545 per person. 

Milford Sound is one of the natural wonders of the world, one of the biggest natural attractions in New Zealand. It’s the departure point for this Scenic cruise.

The journey to Antarctica is a day longer from New Zealand than from Argentina, with the reward being access to very unexplored places.

Scenic Eclipse has a strengthened hull, electric propulsion system and oversized stabilisers, making it the most comfortable vessel for such an adventure.

Scenic Eclipse Antarctica

After four days at sea you will reach the Balleny Islands, heavily glaciated islands dominated by whales, seals and penguins.

Expect to see a lot of whales breaching, blowing and slapping their tails. Crabeater, Weddell, elephant and leopard seals all lolling about. Plus Adélie and chinstrap penguins marching and squawking.

After two days along these ice-mantled islands you hit East Coast Antarctica, all jagged cliffs and postcards of natural drama.

Some half a million breeding Adélie penguins (yes, half a million) are a highlight and you can get close to courtship rituals and raucous neighbourhood disputes.

Glaciers glitter like gems, snow cliffs cast blue shadows, helicopters give you close-up perspectives of icebergs, and the exploration is endless.

It’s a real expedition with never another boat around, in the company of Weddell seals, storm petrels, emperor penguins and many whales.

The silent stillness of Mertz Glacier and cruising alongside the nine-kilometre-wide Suvorov Glacier are further highlights.

After ten days cruising along the East Coast of Antarctica (yes, a full ten days in Antarctica) you will turn northwards, first towards the many penguins of Macquarie Island, then onwards to Hobart in Tasmania, Australia.

Antarctica’s Ross Sea

Departures on 8th January and 31st January.  

24 days from Dunedin to Dunedin (New Zealand) or Hobart to Dunedin. From €30,970 per person. 

This itinerary is similar to the above Mawson’s Antarctica itinerary. There is a 8th January departure from Hobart, Australia, and 31st January departure from Dunedin in New Zealand.

The key difference is the itinerary is in reverse. First you encounter millions of penguins on Macquarie Island, along with leopard seals and elephant seals.

Scenic Eclipse Discovery Team

Then you cross the sea to the Balleny Islands, a stellar wildlife destination. Millions of animals congregate around these islands in the southern hemisphere summer, including many different species of whales, penguins and seals.

You then spend nine days exploring the Ross Sea area of Antarctica, with the exact daily itinerary dependent on wildlife sightings and weather.

Trips by zodiac get you close to the glaciers and wildlife. Helicopter excursions take you to places where few humans have ever touched land. You can kayak around Possession Island, home to thousands of penguins and hardly ever seen by people.

This side of Antarctica is a new frontier for tourism in Antarctica, a chance to explore places completely untouched and barely even photographed.

Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands

Departing 27th November and 28th February. 

22 days, to and from Buenos Aires. From €25,295 per person. 

Scenic also offers more traditional Antarctica cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula. We really like this detailed itinerary because you explore three contrasting destinations, the three wonders of this vast part of the world.

Ushuaia is the traditional jumping off point for exploring the Antarctic Peninsula. This is also an interesting cruise because you depart directly from Buenos Aires, rather than making the extra flight down to Ushuaia in Patagonia.

There are shorter Antarctica cruises. This is a genuine expedition starting with three days cruising to the Falkland Islands, a wildlife lover’s paradise.

Scenic Eclipse Antarctica in the Weddell Sea

Immerse yourself in large colonies of gentoo, king, Magellanic and rockhopper penguins. Find fur seals and elephant seals on the sandy beaches. Loose track of the whale and dolphin sightings. Albatross are only one of the major bird highlights.

After the Falklands Islands you cruise to South Georgia, surely one of the planet’s most striking places: black sand beaches, glaciers and glasslands, divided by a mountain spine that rises over 3000 metres.

Spend three days exploring around the island, with the exact itinerary dependent on local wildlife sightings. There is a huge abundance of wildlife to see here, sometimes more than in Antarctica itself.

Penguins are the perennial highlight on an Antarctica cruise

After two more days at sea you reach Antarctica on day 14, where you will have six days exploring the peninsula.

This trip report by travel designer Michal Pátek will give you a good idea of the experience, around the Antarctic Peninsula. With Scenic Eclipse it can be complemented by helicopter and submersible excursions.

You cross the Drake Passage only on the way back to Argentina, where you disembark in Ushuaia and are flown back to Buenos Aires for your outbound flight.

The departure on 27th November follows the above itinerary. The 29th February departure is the same itinerary in reverse.

When will you go to Antarctica?

Will you venture to this unexplored place?

Don’t leave it too late. This is a rapidly changing destination, in terms of the climate and landscapes, and the increased volume of tourists.

Yes, going to Antarctica is a big commitment in terms of time. But you really are travelling to the end of the world.

And the wonders of Antarctica cannot be compared with anywhere else on our planet.

Take me to Antarctica

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