Wanderlust and Short Term Travel

How to book a bargain cheap Antarctica cruise- and save 1000s

Here are my very best budget Antarctica tips, in hopes of saving as much as you possibly can on the experience of a lifetime! Those Antarctica tours are not cheap! Many dream about it, few have done it. I recently booked for the coming season and saved over $7000 off the listed price of travel to Antarctica and $3000 off even the best group trips I could find. Let’s save some money on an Antarctica cruise!

The average listed price for a cruise to Antarctica is now up to $12,000 with insurance, flights etc. factored in, which is why these tips are so valuable. It’s not unusual though to see luxury trips at $20,000, eep!

Moneysaving before buying your ticket

If you don’t have one already, grab a creditcard that has amazing perks.

You’ll be able to squeeze airmiles out of it, and maybe even cashback. You can even get rewards from paying your rent via this site. Amex is always a good choice of plastic for really big spends so long as you repay it in full every month! I’m hoping to pay for my flight to Antarctica using this card’s fab loyalty scheme.

If you can’t use your trusty creditcard, a cashback site is the next best option and this is the cashback site I love. Make sure that whenever you pay for something, even if just everyday things, you work to get something returned to you.

You may need a visa for Antarctica, and if you’re British here’s the details on permits and details for US travellers. They vary for other countries! To get one usually takes around 4 months (!), but if you’re on an organised cruise, it’s likely the operator will have handled that already.

Most cruises leave from Ushuaia argentina, so you also need to pay the landing tax in Argentina, which will be around $140.

#alienplanet #ethereal #otherwordly #antarctica #travel #travelphotography #natgeo #natgeophotooftheday

A post shared by Lev L. Spiro (@llspiro) on

To wait or not to wait

Your next step is to sign up to every newsletter, and like every Facebook page of all the Antarctica tour operators, and feverishly hunt for discounts.

Many travellers will tell you to go last minute, or even fly to Ushuaia and hunt for a last minute Antarctica cruise bargain there. I’d say that if you are open to almost any cruise, even ones without activities or which don’t visit base camp on Antarctica, that’s great. But if you have dealbreakers in mind, you cannot risk the last minute deals. You might find yourself with no valid options or only expensive tickets left.


Factor in the cost of your flights

Before you jump at the deal you’ve just spotted, remember that Argentina has it’s own peak season during which flights will cost heaps more. The season is primarily December to Jan.

Most tours also ask you to stay 2 days on either side of your cruise in Ushuaia, so hotels are a factor. The reason is that, unsuprisingly, weather affects budget cruises to Antarctica a lot!


Save on essential accessories and gear for your Antarctica cruise

Rent your gear and book the sizes required in advance from Ushuaia; no need to purchase anything or carry it in your luggage. Also sign up to newsletters; you can leave any time but the hottest deals will be within.

When you do food shops in the run up to your trip, start buying almost exclusively products with that yellow discount sticker- most often spotted around an hour before closing or sometimes just after lunch. I now buy these items during most trips to the supermarket and have noticed a marked decrease in food costs. This will pay for a lot of your trip!

Book the perfect cheap Antarctica cruise

Start searching for the best deal on a budget Antarctica cruise that the web has to offer. Once you find one you like, immediately check if you are eligible for the berth, as some can only be taken by male or female passengers.

A nifty tip is to ask the travel agent to reserve the ticket for you for 1 week while you thoroughly explore your options, which they will do without charge. This gives you time to research and pick up your travel insurance. If you find  a better deal online, ask your original agency to match it. You might even be able to pick up some extra income while travelling!

Here’s a list of agencies where I found surprisingly discounted prices:

Freestyle Adventure Travel – who offered 40% off and a free internal flight plus hotel stay, so I jumped at their offer.

Polar Cruises

Antarpply Expeditions

Antarctica Travels

My top tip for bagging a cheap Antarctica trip

The best route I’ve found for getting a bargain is to Google “tourist agency Ushuaia” and view the sites of individual travel agencies based in that town. That’s how you find the deals that aren’t  so high on Google and get to the head of the queue. A little google translate here is very useful too for sites in Spanish!

So that”s how I managed to snag the cruise part of my trip for only $6280, stay tuned for tips on booking flights and insurance at bargain prices!

Creative tips and strategies that are essential for snagging a cheap Antarctica cruise

Pin this to save on your dream trip!

Note: this post is NOT sponsored and I am not receiving any payment for posting. I’ve paid my own ticket to Antarctica! This is my genuine opinion and I have shared the company I chose to travel with because I felt their service was excellent and other budget travellers might like to check them out too. I have included a referral link to a cashback site that I have used and recommended since 2012, so if you sign up I’ll get the price of a small coffee, at no extra cost to you. Your support of the site is greatly appreciated, and let’s do an espresso cheers!


  1. Jean

    July 29, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Oh great tips! I so wish I was going. We just can’t afford it 🙁 Not this trip maybe next time?

    1. Danni Lawson

      July 30, 2017 at 12:47 am

      Don’t give up Jean! It’s cheaper than you think, and companies routinely accept payment in 20% portions if you book well advance. Maybe go next season- Nov-March 🙂

  2. Kate

    July 30, 2017 at 12:56 am

    Really great tips on hunting for deals! I completely agree with “feverishly hunting for discounts” and such a great suggestion to follow the social media accounts for tour operators. Your photos are gorgeous too!

  3. Cristina

    July 30, 2017 at 2:46 am

    5680 Is still a lot but compared to 12000 it’s nothing! So cool to see that you actually can travel there for a lot cheaper than it seems to be.
    Thanks for the advice!

  4. Megan Indoe

    August 9, 2017 at 2:37 am

    Whoa I had no idea how pricey it was to do an Antarctic cruise! Great tips, we will be using this resource when we make the plunge and go to Antarctica! I would love to keep an eye out for deals like this sow hen we do find one we can nab it!

  5. Paige W

    August 9, 2017 at 8:14 am

    These are phenomenal tips! I honestly had no idea that it was so expensive to get there! I’ve been wanting to look into it for the future (like in the next two years or so) but maybe it’ll have be be a little bit longer since it’s so expensive, unless I can catch one of those deals! I’ll need all the help I can get. Thanks for the great info!

  6. Mel Butler

    August 9, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Going on a cruise to Antarctic is such a dream trip for me and I am always looking at other peoples photos of the place. This is a great post, I definitely pinning to my bucket list board, as you have some great links and tips on saving. If I had read your post I would know about staying an extra 2 days on either side of your cruise in Ushuaia or the discount food. Definitely will be coming back to your post when i save enough to go

  7. Danielle Desir

    August 10, 2017 at 12:30 am

    This post was extremely informative! I never thought about Argentina being a big factor in getting to Antartica and also, factoring things like landing tax in Argentina, and two nights hotel – wow, this is a costly trip! But like you mentioned, it’s a trip of a lifetime!

  8. Reshma

    August 10, 2017 at 10:20 am

    The reason I read this post with special interest is that it’s about Antartica! I mean who doesn’t want to travel to this rugged part of our planet! I had been following some cruise companies some time back, and it was about 8000$ per person then. Moving from Ushuaia and staying there obviously would make it even more expensive! Saving on gears by renting them certainly helps! Plus if the travel in Argentina can be simplified, it could cut down some cost as well. Loved how you put terms to Google to bag the cheapest deal!

Leave a Reply