With Antarctica cruises becoming ever-more popular, getting a last minute Antarctica cruise deal can be a tricky business.
37,000 people visited the white continent in 2010 and this number keeps rising each year. In 2018 there is expected be over 45,000 visitors.
With cruises averaging at $12,000, finding a last minute Antarctica cruise deal can cut the costs of your Antarctica trip significantly.
However, bear in mind that last minute Antarctica cruise deals do come at a price.
Though you may save money overall, you will usually have to compromise on the quality of your cruise experience.
If you are looking for a last minute Antarctica cruise, it’s unlikely that you will be able to pick and choose when and where you go as cruise spaces will be limited.
Although some agencies do offer a last minute Antarctica cruise option, you may find that the prices are not hugely cheaper unless you are going for a luxury cruise, where you can find discounted deals up to 50% off.
Below, we have written a comprehensive page covering everything you need to know about a last minute Antarctica cruise.
We set the record straight on what is and isn’t possible when searching for a last minute Antarctica cruise deal, covering all the information so you can make the best decision.
Scouring the web for last minute Antarctica cruise deals is a timely process as many tour operators advertise last minute deals but without much of a discount.
There are many agencies located in Ushuaia who do take last minute Antarctica cruise bookings via email. This means you will have a good idea of what cruises are available and you can then book accordingly.
When booking a last minute Antarctica cruise online or over the phone, make sure to do your research.
We highly recommend checking all the details before you book to make sure your last minute Antarctica cruise is what you want and there are no hidden costs.
Some details to double-check are sleeping arrangements, size of your cruise ship and whether extras such as drinks are included in the price.
Since there are limitations on the number of people permitted on land at any one time in Antarctica, you want to get the smallest cruise ship possible. Bigger cruise ships mean that you will be less likely to step onto the Antarctic Peninsula and may mean you have less chance to experience the beautiful wilderness.
The cheapest cruises also tend to be shortest. So check your itinerary to make sure you are visiting the places you want to go.
Cruises that last 9 or 10 days mean you will only get to spend 4 or 5 days on the continent – not that long considering the distance you will travel!
Antarctica is not a backpacking destination or a popular destination for those on a tight budget.
Usually, the more money you pay, the better your Antarctic experience! When looking for a last minute Antarctica cruise deal, prices can vary considerably and start at around $6,500.
Sound high? Sadly, in the last few years cruise prices to Antarctica have risen with general costs and the days of being able to get a last minute deal to Antarctica under $5,000 are over.
However, there is a myth that last minute Antarctica cruises are the cheapest option for people wishing to cruise to the White Continent. This is simply not true.
The cheapest way of reaching Antarctica is to book well in advance. If you keep on the lookout, you’ll easily be able to get a cruise for around $5,000 per person. This will mean booking at least a year in advance, taking an early or late season trip and sharing a triple or quad cabin aboard a research style vessel.
By the time last minute deals come around, all triple and quad cabins are generally booked up.
This means you’ll get a last minute Antarctica cruise price based on a single or twin room which will be an excellent price for the itinerary/room, but still more expensive than just booking well in advance.
Of course, if you are just travelling and make a snap decision to take a cruise to Antarctica, then a last minute deal is all you can go after.
Keep in mind though that last minute Antarctic cruises are not as cheap as some people like to write about, particularly over the last few years.
If you are travelling in a larger group and want to spend a bit more time exploring Antarctica’s landscape, wildlife and history, you may want to pay a bit more than the base rate.
Luckily, the more expensive cruises are usually much more discounted than standard cruises and you might even find a half price deal. This is far more common on luxury cruises that have a higher starting price tag.
In general, longer Antarctica cruises are priced around $10,000-$25,000, depending on what type of accommodation you choose, where you want to visit and how luxurious you want your cruise to be.
Last minute Antarctica cruise deals for a longer and more luxurious trips can range from $9,000-$20,000.
With these last minute deals, you can expect a smaller cruise ship – around 100 passengers- a shared twin room with shared bathroom and extras such as drinks included in the price.
Though there are several different ports around the world for Antarctica cruises, Ushuaia is the closest and most popular.
Typically, ports other than Ushuaia have chartered services which require you to book well in advance so last minute Antarctica cruise deals aren’t available.
The tourism season in Antarctica runs from November to March, so this is the only time to find last minute Antarctica cruise deals.
There are loads of Antarctica cruise agencies located in Ushuaia itself, so staying in Ushuaia to find a last minute Antarctica cruise is often a good idea.
However, staying in Ushuaia to find a good deal does mean paying for accommodation and food for an unspecified amount of time. It also means not being able to book return flights in advance as you won’t know your return date.
You will need to visit several travel agencies on a daily basis and be prepared to board a cruise ship the day after booking.
However, nothing is guaranteed and there may not be many last minute Antarctica cruise deals available.
If travelling in a group, it is likely that you won’t be able to find lots of spaces on a single cruise ship and may have to sleep in different cabins.
Once again though, booking well in advance will be cheaper than booking a last minute cruise in Ushuaia.
Despite there being last minute Antarctica cruise deals out there, finding one suitable for your trip may not be that easy.
You will have to factor in extra costs for staying in Ushuaia whilst looking for a last minute Antarctica cruise deal and you may find that discounted prices may not offer the best Antarctica experience.
Cutting on costs for your Antarctica journey may not be the best option for groups of travelers. It’s also difficult to plan your Antarctica trip without knowing your set dates of travel and may cause a lot more stress trying to find a suitable cruise!
If you are looking for a bargain, don’t expect to find last minute Antarctica cruise deals for less than $6,500 and make sure to check the itinerary in detail to avoid disappointment.
However, if you don’t think a last minute Antarctica cruise is for you, don’t worry as there are lots of other reasonably priced cruises that can often work out cheaper than last minute Antarctica cruise deals when booked ahead.
To enquire about visiting Antarctica, please click here.
If you would like to know any more about a last minute Antarctica cruise then please just a comment below and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours. Alternatively, fill out our quote form to get a quote from our recommended operator.
Thank you and happy travels!
Burnham started his career as a professional tennis player before retiring due to injury. Since then Burnham has thrown himself into adventure travel. He has visited some of the most iconic and obscure parts of the planet - his most memorable experience is Antarctica!
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