The continent of Antarctica is truly the last untouched land to be found on planet Earth. At 14 million square kilometers it’s about twice the size of Australia and yet has not a single permanent resident. Human residents that is; there are plenty of animals that call this part of the world home. 98 percent of its surface is covered by ice that’s a mile deep or more. Despite all of this barrenness, Antarctica cruises are some of the most highly sought after.

Unsurprisingly, Antarctic cruises are limited in number, with very few cruise lines offering passage to the region. Those that do are booked up well in advance so making your way south isn’t a spur of the moment thing. Passengers embarking on an Antarctica cruise generally board at either Valparaiso (Chile) or Buenos Aires (Argentina) and take an “Around the Horn” journey, meaning they travel from one to the other by way of the Antarctic Peninsula and Cape Horn. Some specialist cruises depart from Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina) at the southernmost tip of South America and head deeper into Antarctic waters. Other passengers fly to King George Island (South Shetland Islands) to commence their cruise.