Antarctica Cruises From New Zealand & Australia

Explore the remote, seldom-explored Ross Sea region, known for its Emperor penguins and rich history of exploration, on an Antarctica cruise from New Zealand or Australia.

Introduction To Cruises To Antarctica From New Zealand

Antarctica cruises from New Zealand offer the amazing opportunity to explore some of the most remote and seldom-explored parts of Antarctica within the Ross Sea Region, known as 'The Heart Of Antarctica'.

Due to its remoteness, only a few hundred explorers make the crossing each year to witness East Antarctica's wild coastlines, which are locked by ice for most of the year. Visitors are captivated by its rich wildlife, including Emperor penguins, wild landscapes seen by early explorers, and fascinating history. For history lovers, a visit to Scott and Shackleton's huts, which still stand today, is an homage to the golden age of exploration. 

Cruises to Antarctica from New Zealand and Australia also include fascinating sub-Antarctic islands known for their abundant wildlife and penguin species. Macquarie Island has over 850,000 royal Penguins and some of the largest King penguin populations in the world. 

Our hand-picked range of Antarctica cruises from New Zealand to the Ross Sea offers small-ship voyages. They are the perfect option for wildlife lovers, explorers looking to get off the beaten path, or travellers who have already visited the Antarctic Peninsula. 

Do you prefer to explore a different part of Antarctica? Our guide below lists all types of Antarctica cruises.

Ross Sea Cruises

Dunedin - Dunedin
Feb 16 2025 - Mar 09 2025
21 Nights

Price from per person

Le Soleal Antarctica cruise ship
Dunedin - Dunedin
Jan 26 2025 - Feb 16 2025
21 Nights

Price from per person


Highlights of an Antarctica Cruise from New Zealand to the Ross Sea

Why Visit?


Explore Rarely Visited Parts of Antarctica's East Coast

Follow in the footsteps and witness unspoilt nature on a grand scale only occasionally seen by humans. Explore the remotest coasts of Antarctica by Ship, on Zodiacs, and while hiking ashore.


Encounter A Wildlife Lovers Paradise

From one of Antarctica's largest Adelie Penguin colonies at Cape Adare to mineral-rich waters where whales feed, seabird colonies, and seals, East Antarctica is a pristine environment for wildlife.


Discover Antarctica's Golden Age of Exploration

A massive draw for history lovers, the well-preserved explorers' huts from the race to the South Pole can be visited. Today, Shackleton's and Scott's huts remain on Ross Island and offer a glimpse into a bygone age of exploration. 


Witness Giant Ice & Captivating Scenery

Off-limits to ships for most of the year, the Ross Sea has colossal icebergs and sheer ice cliffs along its ice shelf, which are indeed a sight to behold.


Explore Remote Sub-Antarctic Islands

A perfect stepping-off point en route to Antarctica, Macquarie Island is a seldom visited sub-antarctic Island, a spectacular place to encounter penguins in their hundreds of thousands.


Expert Polar Guides

Each cruise from New Zealand to Antarctica is led by a team of world-class naturalists and polar guides passionate about exploring the most remote polar regions.


Purpose Built Small Expedition Ships

Modern, ice-strengthened expedition ships allow travellers to explore the most remote regions in the Ross Sea comfortably and safely, with the intimacy of a small group

How To Get To Cruises To Antarctica From New Zealand

Most cruises to Antarctica from New Zealand depart from southerly ports on the South Island of New Zealand, such as Dunedin and Queenstown, with occasional departures from Hobart in Tasmania. 

For guests embarking in Dunedin, there is an airport with frequent direct flight connections between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch for onward international connections. 

For guests embarking in Queenstown, the local airport offers daily flights from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch for international connections. 

Our Travel Experience Team is here to help you with your journey. If you need help planning your flights to New Zealand, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. To learn about all the different ways to get to Antarctica, including flying, please see our complete guide below.

When To Go On An Antarctica Cruise From New Zealand To The Ross Sea

Antarctica cruises from New Zealand to the Ross Sea have a short season and operate only during the height of the Antarctic summer, during January and February, when conditions are the most favourable for exploring such a remote region. This offers visitors the mildest temperatures and the best conditions for the sea crossing, and it is when the wildlife is at its most active.

Due to this region’s extreme weather and climate, the Ross Sea cannot be visited by Ship at other times of the year. 

Please see our guide below to learn more about what Antarctica offers each month, including wildlife sightings.

Our Recommended Ships for Antarctica Cruises From New Zealand

Le Soléal

220 Guests
1C Ice Class
142 Metres
Le Soleal offers travellers the chance to embark on an Antarctica cruise from New Zealand and explore the Ross Sea in comfort on a modern, ice-strengthened ship. The Ship features well-appointed suites with balconies, two dining options, and an outstanding guide team

Scenic Eclipse 2

200 Guests
1AS Ice Class
168 Metres
The Scenic Eclipse 2 offers discerning travellers the chance to experience the remote Ross Sea for the first time on a 6* Luxury Discovery Yacht. The only Ship to sail to East Antarctica with an onboard helicopter and a submarine, Scenic Eclipse 2 offers unrivalled adventure levels. With expansive suites and up to 10 dining choices, this Ship is perfect for travellers looking for the highest levels of comfort and luxury.

Heritage Adventurer

140 Guests
1AS Ice Class
125 Metres
The Heritage Adventurer is the perfect choice for travellers looking for a small-ship expedition cruise to explore East Antarctica with an intimate group of 140 guests. It is also the ideal Ship for wildlife watchers and photographers looking to spend ample time exploring. The Heritage Adventurer is the perfect choice for explorers, equipped with 14 Zodiacs and one of the most experienced guide teams in East Antarctica.

Plan Your Antarctica Cruise from New Zealand

Book Well in Advance: Antarctica cruises from New Zealand only operate a few times yearly and are in high demand. With a limited choice of ships and dates, spaces fill quickly. We recommend reserving your cruise well in advance to secure your chosen Ship and cabin.

Choose Your Itinerary: We offer a variety of small expedition ships, itineraries, and activities from which to choose. Our Travel Experience Team will recommend different options based on your preferences.

Reserve Your Cabin With North Pole Cruises: We will ensure you receive the best price from the operator on your Antarctica small ship cruise at the time of reservation.

Our knowledgeable Travel Experience Team will help you choose your trip and answer any questions. We will also provide lots of helpful information, including packing lists, before the voyage and support you during your journey if you have any issues. Moreover, with every booking, we offer peace of mind with 100% financial protection.

Travel Insurance: When booking, purchase comprehensive travel insurance for your Antarctica small ship cruise that covers trip cancellations, medical emergencies, and evacuation from remote locations. Ensure that your policy explicitly covers polar travel.

Cruise from New Zealand to Antarctica FAQ

Cruises to East Antarctica are some of the longest in duration due to the long sea passage between New Zealand and Antarctica. 

A cruise from New Zealand to Antarctica to explore the Ross Sea region and visit the sub-Antarctic islands typically lasts between 21 and 28 days. If you want to see more, we recommend choosing a more extended cruise.

It takes between 6 and 7 days to reach Antarctica by Ship from New Zealand or Australia, depending on the Ship’s speed and weather conditions. Macquarie Island and the Snares offer excellent stopping points to help break up the sea crossing.

Financial security is paramount for our clients, so all bookings made through North Pole Cruises include 100% financial protection. We also include supplier failure insurance free of charge for extra peace of mind. This ensures you have the very best protection when booking. 

When reserving your chosen itinerary, the payment options will be quoted.

Typical payment terms are a 25% deposit when booking to reserve your cabin and the final balance payable 90 days before departure. 

We accept payment via credit card or bank transfer.

Cruises from New Zealand to Antarctica start from £15,850 ($19,924) based on two guests sharing a suite onboard Le Soleal on a 22-day expedition.

Yes, we offer only one supplement on selected Antarctica cruises from New Zealand, but these are in high demand due to the fewer cabins onboard. If you are a solo traveller, we recommend contacting our Travel Experience Team to access the best offers for solo travellers.

Do you need help planning your expedition cruise?

Why Reserve With Us?

Join Us

Subscribe to be the first to know about new voyages, exclusive offers and insider travel tips.

North Pole Cruises – a brand by the Expedition Collective Limited

© 2024 The Expedition Collective

Ask A Question

Do you have a question for our knowledgeable Travel Experience Team? We’re all ears! Just fill out this form, and we will be in touch shortly to answer your question.

Call Us

USA & Canada

Your Guide To Exploring The Polar Regions

Subscribe to be the first to know about new voyages, exclusive offers and insider travel tips.