Antarctica Transport Guide

To get to Antarctica, you can take a ship with the option of going ashore or take a sightseeing flight over the big white continent instead.

How to get around Antarctica

You can set sail to Antarctica from: Cape Town (South Africa), Christchurch (New Zealand), Hobart (Australia), Punta Arenas (Chile), Stanley (Falkland Islands) and Ushuaia (Argentina). It takes around 2 days to sail from these gateway ports to the Antarctic Peninsula, and 3 or 4 days to other destinations on the continent. If you are more interested in seeing Antarctica from a bird’s-eye view rather than setting foot on it (you can save on the thermals!), there are 12-hour flights over Antarctica that leave from Melbourne and Sydney. They do not touch down, but instead offer in-flight lectures explaining the great white below, starting at around AU$7,500. For treks to the South Pole, you’ll fly part of the way and ski the rest – depending on the tour, you could even throw in a climb up the peaks of Vinson Massif with incredible views of Mount Gardiner, Mount Shinn and the astonishing Antarctic landscape. Most tours will take you off the ocean liner, gliding along the waters via a Zodiac boat and offering a close-up view of the landscape and the wildlife. In some cases, you’ll get to disembark and spend time walking around the exploring the coast and surrounding islands. Unfortunately, living out your wildest fantasies of being transported to the South Pole by husky dog sled is all but over - while dog sleds were instrumental in helping Roald Amundsen be the first to reach the South Pole in 1911, in 1994 they were removed from Antarctica for fear they might introduce diseases that might be transferred to seals. Shame.