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.
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!
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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.
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!
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!