White out: Exploring the wilds of Antarctica, in PONANT signature luxury

©Studio Ponant by Olivier Blaud

The world’s last true wilderness frontier is no match for this French small-ship company whose 35-year expertise will guide you through the unspoilt landscapes in world-class luxury and style

In partnership with Ponant

At a time when space amid nature is the world’s greatest travel luxury, expedition cruising may well be the most exclusive way to see the world. This is the ultimate means to enjoy adventures in far-flung frontiers, places that most ships can’t reach – like the ends of the Earth.

In the good old days of cruising, to visit Antarctica meant jumping aboard a polar cruise ship that, well, got you there, but came with few comforts. 50 years on since the first commercial vessel brought eager explorers to the Antarctic shores and safe to say the luxury expedition vessels of today come with all the trimmings those early polar ships were missing. Now your voyage is equally about the journey, the destinations, and your time spent aboard.. After all, why not enjoy all three?

The White Continent has piqued the imagination of explorers for centuries. Let it inspire yours when you voyage to Antarctica with PONANT, witnessing the whales, orcas, penguins and seals, the immense icebergs and gem-like glaciers that inspired Shackleton and Scott all those years ago – and still leave you lost for words today. On your PONANT itinerary south, you’ll follow in the footsteps of intrepid adventurers of yesteryear. But unlike those early pioneers, you’ll be enjoying the spine-tingling outlook from the comfort of a world-class luxury floating hotel that is PONANT.


Your days in Antarctica are spent with expert guides, perhaps kayaking alongside humpback whales while icebergs calve around you. Or meeting curious penguins while hiking over otherwise deserted islets. Every experience ashore is expertly considered, as are all luxuries when you step back aboard your small ship, with an intimate capacity of just 264 guests, to warm up. Make the most of unlimited Wi-Fi and stay connected with family and friends, indulge in a luxurious French treatment at the spa or salon, or take a deep dive into the gastronomic world of the world-class Ducasse Council. We highly recommend pairing your meal with a flute of complimentary Champagne from the bar – it’s freely poured throughout your journey.

That’s not the only thing that’s included. Most of PONANT’s polar adventures also cover the pre- and post-voyage arrangements you will need, to make your experience as smooth as possible. From land transfers and pre-embarkation hotel stays or transfer flights between cities, PONANT ensures a seamless experience from start to finish.


Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, the Drake Passage is the shortest route to connect Antarctica to South America. As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, the Drake Passage harbours a very diverse marine fauna. Don’t forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.

Succumb to the magic of a place unlike any other – the mystical Antarctic Peninsula never fails to dazzle. This icy realm is all mint blues and silvery whites, creating a fairytale setting that sparkles like a string of gems. Glaciers, ice floe, tabletop icebergs, mountain peaks that plunge straight into the sea, volcanic beaches, research stations, enchanting bays and vestiges of the whaling industry: these are the faces of the Antarctic that will likely reveal themselves to you, in a hushed and surreal atmosphere.

It’s a natural magnet for an abundance of wildlife, from petite tuxedoed penguins to enormous humpback whales, with fur seals, minke whales, and orcas catching your gaze in between.

Each day, based on ice conditions, your expert PONANT captain and the ship’s expedition leader will suggest zodiac outings or landings to discover the infinite riches of this part of the world.

For a limited time, PONANT are offering an exclusive flight credit of up to $2,500 per person to use towards your international airfare* on two itineraries exploring the Antarctic Peninsula in 2025 and 2026 including:

Emblematic Antarctica – 12 Nights
From Ushuaia to Ushuaia
2 March, 21 & 23 Nov 2025
Aboard Sisterships L’Austral & Le Boréal

The Great Austral Loop – 17 Nights
From Ushuaia to Ushuaia
Flight valid on 9 departures in 2025 & 2026
Aboard Sisterships L’Austral, Le Lyrial & Le Boréal


Begin your adventure in the Ross Sea, the southernmost sea on Earth, where Cape Adare welcomes you with the world’s largest colony of Adélie penguins. Explore Terra Nova Bay, home to Italian and South Korean research stations, and witness the ancient beauty of the 4000-year-old Drygalski Ice Tongue. Delve into history on Inexpressible Island, where the resilience of Terra Nova expedition members echoes through time and stand in awe at Sir James Clark Ross’s and Sir Ernest Shackleton’s huts on Ross Island, monuments to polar exploration.

Journey further to Macquarie Island, a renowned haven of natural wonders. Here, over 3.5 million seabirds, including Royals, Kings, Gentoos, and Rock Hoppers, find sanctuary alongside diverse seal populations. Among New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands lies the Snares, a forested haven untouched by introduced mammals. Here, amidst the raucous calls of two million sooty shearwaters, four species of albatross grace the skies, joined by 35,000 endemic Snares crested penguins.

It’s such a pristine environment that landing on the Snares is prohibited. But if time and weather permit, you will have the opportunity to explore the coastal environments and view the prolific wildlife from PONANT’s fleet of zodiacs.

This expedition is closer than you think! You will sail from Dunedin, New Zealand to follow in the footsteps of some of the greatest polar explorers and for a limited time enjoy a flight credit of up to $2,500 per person to use toward your airfare!*

Scott & Shackleton’s Ross Sea – 21 Nights
From Dunedin – Dunedin
Departing 16 February 2025
Aboard Sistership Le Soléal


If it’s wildlife you’re after, you’ve picked the right itinerary. It’s hard to fathom the sheer number of animals and birds that inhabit South Georgia, a region formed by an underwater mountain chain that extends from the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula.

In fact, all the wildlife of the Far South can be found here: king and gentoo penguins, elephant seals, fur seals… You might get the chance to discover the majestic glaciers of Gold Harbour and the vast plains of Fortuna Bay. If you are fortunate enough to land at Salisbury Plain, you can expect a wonderful spectacle: more than 300,000 king penguins, which you will recognise by the bright orange mark on their head and neck, have taken up residence there.

Visit South Georgia on the 12 night  Great Austral Loop expedition , departing from Ushuaia to Ushuaia. Plus, on  9 departures in 2025 & 2026, enjoy a limited time flight credit offer of up to $2,500 per person*. Or combine this itinerary on the Ultimate Antarctic Grand Voyage and save 10% on back-to-back voyages.*


Just by virtue of jumping aboard a PONANT expedition vessel you’re channelling your inner adventurer. If you’re particularly intrepid, you’ll want to experience a PONANT Grand Voyage, which expertly combines multiple itineraries, so you can delve deeper into the remote regions you visit and experience the ultimate polar thrill.

The epic 31-night Ultimate Antarctica Grand Voyage aboard sistership Le Lyrial is the only itinerary that takes you deep into the Chilean fjords, a part of the world that you can cruise and never see another soul. The air is cleaner here, the colours brighter, the wilderness, well, wilder. Visit, and you’ll know what it means to be alive.

There are endless highlights – among them is a visit to Brüggen Glacier (Pio XI), the largest coastal glacier in southern Chile and part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. The Ice Field is the world’s third-largest ice mass, nestled amidst the Andes Mountains. And when parts of Pio X start to calve into the sea, you’ll know about it. The sound reverberates around the bay, its ripples sending breakoff ice into a tailspin.

There’s more action where this came from. El Brujo Glacier is located in Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, Chile’s largest protected area. This is the spectacular end of Asia Fjord, a colossal ice wall shaped by wind. Depending on the time of day you visit, the wall changes colour and shape, appearing like a prism you could pluck and embed in an enormous ring.

And then there’s Skua Glacier (Amalia Glacier), situated in the heart of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, where Bernardo O’Higgins, Torres del Paine and Las Glaciares National Parks converge. Rather staggeringly, this tidewater glacier is some three kilometres wide, sitting pretty in the Andes and a patchwork of breathtaking blue landscapes – the crackling ice is your soundtrack.

The Garibaldi Glacier awaits along the Garibaldi Fjord – you’ll cruise along its narrow arm, adorned with lush green vegetation on steep mountains, before reaching the towering ice giant at the fjord’s end. Your welcoming committee? A colony of sea lions and a sky full of birds. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Visit South Georgia and the Chilian Fjords on the Ultimate Antarctic Grand Voyage, where you will save 10% on the expertly curated back-to-back itineraries!*

To take advantage of PONANT flight credit offer visit or speak to your preferred travel agent today.

*Terms and conditions apply and subject to availability. Please visit for full details.

Share this article