Is it expensive to go to Antarctica?

Antarctica, the world’s southernmost continent, is known for its unique wildlife, breathtaking scenery, and extreme weather conditions. It’s no surprise that many people dream of visiting this remote and fascinating destination. However, one of the biggest questions that often comes up is whether or not it’s expensive to go to Antarctica. In this article, we’ll explore the costs associated with traveling to Antarctica and provide some tips to help you plan your trip. You are in luck! I have personally visited Antarctica and the scenery was breath taking. I created this blog with some tips and information and most important…some basic general price ranges from my experience booking trips there.

Average costs can range from $9000 to $185,000 a person depending on packages, excursions, and how you get there.


Antarctica is one of the most remote and isolated places on earth, and it’s not easy or cheap to get there. The cost of a trip to Antarctica can vary widely depending on a variety of factors, including the type of trip you choose, the time of year you travel, and the level of comfort and luxury you want. In general, though, it’s safe to say that a trip to Antarctica is not cheap.

Why is Antarctica expensive?

There are several reasons why traveling to Antarctica is expensive. First and foremost, the cost of getting there is high. Antarctica is located at the bottom of the world, and there are no major airports or commercial flights that go there. Instead, most people travel to Antarctica by ship, and the cost of a cruise can be quite high.

Another factor that contributes to the cost of a trip to Antarctica is the extreme weather conditions. Because Antarctica is so far south, it’s subject to extreme cold, high winds, and rough seas. This means that ships and equipment used in Antarctica must be specially designed and built to withstand these conditions, which can add to the cost.

Finally, the limited infrastructure in Antarctica means that everything from food and supplies to fuel and equipment must be brought in from outside. This can add to the cost of a trip, as well as to the environmental impact of tourism in the region.

The cost of cruises to Antarctica

As mentioned, most people travel to Antarctica by ship. There are several types of cruises available, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxurious expeditions.

Types of cruises

The most common type of cruise to Antarctica is a “classic” expedition cruise, which typically lasts between 10 and 20 days and includes a variety of activities such as wildlife watching, hiking, and kayaking. These cruises can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 or more, depending on the level of luxury and the time of year you travel.

Another type of cruise is a “fly-cruise,” which involves flying to Antarctica and then boarding a ship for a shorter cruise. These cruises can be more expensive, with prices starting at around $10,000 and going up from there.

Finally, there are also luxury cruises available that offer high-end accommodations, gourmet dining, and other luxurious amenities. These cruises can cost upwards of $30,000 or more.

Cost factors

There are several factors that can affect the cost of a cruise to Antarctica, including:

  • Time of year: Peak season for Antarctic tourism is from December to February, which is also the most expensive time to travel. Shoulder seasons (November and March) can be less expensive, but the weather can be less predictable and the wildlife sightings may be less frequent.
  • Cabin type: The type of cabin you choose can also affect the cost of your trip. Standard cabins are more affordable, while suites and other luxury accommodations can be significantly more expensive.
  • Cruise itinerary: The length and itinerary of your cruise can also affect the cost. Longer cruises with more stops and activities will typically be more expensive.
  • Additional fees: Many cruises to Antarctica have additional fees, such as landing fees, park fees, and fuel surcharges. These can add up quickly and increase the overall cost of your trip.

Additional expenses

In addition to the cost of the cruise itself, there are several other expenses to consider when planning a trip to Antarctica.

Gear and clothing

Because of the extreme weather conditions in Antarctica, it’s important to have the right gear and clothing. This can include everything from waterproof jackets and pants to insulated boots and gloves. Depending on what gear you already have and what you need to purchase or rent, this can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to the cost of your trip.

Travel to and from departure points

Most cruises to Antarctica depart from Ushuaia, Argentina, which is located at the southern tip of South America. Getting to Ushuaia can be expensive, especially if you’re coming from another continent. Additionally, if you need to spend a night or two in Ushuaia before or after your cruise, that will also add to the overall cost of your trip.


Because of the risks associated with travel to Antarctica, it’s important to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and other potential issues. Depending on the coverage you choose, this can add several hundred dollars or more to the cost of your trip.

Tips for saving money on a trip to Antarctica

While a trip to Antarctica will never be cheap, there are several things you can do to help keep costs under control:

Travel during shoulder seasons

As mentioned earlier, traveling during the shoulder seasons (November or March) can be less expensive than traveling during peak season. Additionally, you may be able to find deals or discounts on cruises during these times.

Consider alternative routes

If you’re coming from another continent, consider alternative routes to Ushuaia. For example, instead of flying to Buenos Aires and then on to Ushuaia, you could fly to Punta Arenas, Chile, and then take a bus or taxi to Ushuaia. This may be less expensive than flying all the way to Buenos Aires.

Look for deals and discounts

Many cruise companies offer deals and discounts throughout the year. Check their websites or sign up for their email newsletters to stay informed of any promotions or special offers.


In conclusion, a trip to Antarctica can be expensive, but it’s also a once-in-a-lifetime experience that many people consider well worth the cost. By understanding the factors that contribute to the cost of a trip to Antarctica and following the tips we’ve provided, you can help keep costs under control and make your dream of visiting this incredible destination a reality.