Antarctic Circle

Enjoy a sweeping voyage beyond the polar circle

This border, that is located at Latitude 66° 33′ South, marks the Antarctic Territory according to one of the definitions.

The Antarctic Circle experiences a period of 24 hours where the Sun is above the horizon during the summer solscice on 21st December. The reason for this phenomenon is that the axis of the earth is tilted by 23.5 degrees.

South of the Polar Circle at Detaille Island in Crystal Sound is the farthest south that we will probably reach at Latitude 66°52' South.

Read more

Cruises to the Antarctic Circle

Falkland Islands - South Georgia - Elephant Island - Antarctica - Polar Circle

Meet at least six penguin species

HDS29-25 This Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctic Peninsula cruise is an animal-lover’s dream come true. The expedition explores one of the last untamed areas on Earth – a land of ruggedly beautiful landscapes and amazingly varied wildlife.

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

20 Feb - 14 Mar, 2025

Berths start from:

16700 USD

Antarctica - Elephant Island - Weddell Sea - Polar Circle

Venture beyond the polar circle, visiting some of Antarctica’s most wildlife-filled waters and islands

PLA31-25 This expansive expedition takes you into the Antarctic Circle, combining the rich animal life of the Weddell Sea with the surreal shores and islands of the Antarctic Peninsula. Such key landing sites as the legendary Elephant Island and Crystal Sound...

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

9 Mar - 23 Mar, 2025

Berths start from:

10500 USD

Antarctica - Polar Circle - Deep South Discovery voyage

Crossing the Polar Circle

OTL31-25 This Polar Circle and Antarctic Peninsula cruise passes through waters travelled by Humpback, Minke and Fin whales. Anchoring in various spots around the region, the expedition offers the chance to hike and dive in the iceberg-heavy waters.

m/v Ortelius

m/v Ortelius

Cruise date:

10 Mar - 21 Mar, 2025

Berths start from:

7700 USD

Antarctica - Beyond the Polar Circle - Wilkins Ice Shelf - Aurora Australis

Visit places discovered by De Gerlache on his polar expedition onboard the Belgica

OTL32-25 This voyage explores a number of historically significant Antarctic areas, such as the very rarely visited Bellingshausen Sea, Marguerite Bay, and Alexander Island. We focus on places discovered by Adrien De Gerlache on his Belgian Antarctic Expedition...

m/v Ortelius

m/v Ortelius

Cruise date:

21 Mar - 5 Apr, 2025

Berths start from:

10500 USD

Antarctica - Polar Circle - Whale watching

Crossing the Polar Circle

PLA32-25 This Polar Circle and Antarctic Peninsula cruise passes through waters travelled by Humpback, Minke and Fin whales. Anchoring in various spots around the region, the expedition offers the chance to dive in the iceberg-heavy waters.

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

23 Mar - 3 Apr, 2025

Berths start from:

9450 USD


Latest blog and customer story


Guide’s Choice for Binoculars: Swarovski Optik

Our guests often ask us what they should pack when it comes to the more optional polar travel gear, such as cameras or binoculars.

Read more All posts

Latest highlight and wildlife

Map of

Fan(tastic) photo

Antarctic Circle cruise reviews

The whole trip was very exciting, which gave me a deep understanding of the Arctic scenery and wildlife. The speed of glacier melting also shocked me. I hope each of us can protect the earth well Read full review
by Gottfried Archan
hallo! Diese Reise (10.6. - 17.6. ab Longyearbyen) war die Reise meines Lebens. Da hat einfach alles gestimmt. Die Crew, alle Kategorien, perfekt. Nur manche Passagiere haben mich schockiert. Wie respektlos mit dem ausgesprochen gutem Essen umgegangen wird. Hier sollte man nachdenken wie man Bioabfall zumindest reduzieren kann. Mir ist bewußt das, das nicht einfach ist. Aber es wird nichts verändert wenn man nicht darüber nachdenkt. LG Gottfried Archan Read full review
by Sandy Kuan

The destination of this trip were Antartica, Falkland Island , South Georgia in January 2024, for 18 days cruising. For the most part on Hondius, we felt we were discriminated by some of the Expedition team members. This can be seen especially at lunch and dinner time. Most of the team members sit only with Caucasian guests. There were also different attitudes towards Caucasian vs second language English speakers seen throughout this trip. I tried to initiate conversations with some of the team members but gotten minimum replies. It was very different attitude when this team member interacted with Caucasian guests which was always with lots of enthusiasm. I remembered the first day we arrived on the ship, the Team Lead said ‘’ we are on the same ship and we are a big family.’’ But it didn’t feel that we were welcomed throughout the journey. Most of the time it felt been treated as secondary. I understand there was a group of people from other countries who don’t speak English well or at all. But, It doesn’t mean it’s okay to ignore or treat one who doesn’t speak English or who is not Caucasian differently. I am not taking about Language barriers but more about attitudes and Oceanwide appearance in front of its customers from its own expeditions team members. Only the last day or two, some of the team members finally started been seen doing their “homework “ it felt like, by company’s standard I sit with second language English speaking guests at lunch/dinner whom they have almost never interacted with. The positive sides were the expedition team members were very knowledgeable about Antarctica, from water, ice , birds, whales, winds, penguins, Hondius ….etc. They were able to answer every question, putting efforts to lectures and landings. They even tried to use rope to show us how long each different whale looked like. The Team from the restaurant was impressive, very nice service, excellent food. Front desk, super sweet, friendly and helpful. Housekeeping, they kept our room and bed clean and cozy, surprised towel animals every day. However it does not justify how we were been discriminated. Once again, you can’t treat your guests differently by skin color.

Read full review
by Darlene Zabowski
This was the best cruise we have ever done. The guides, the sites, the ship, the food, the weather.... it was all more than we had ever hoped for! The crew and guides kept us safe and gave us a fabulous trip. Thanks for all the wonderful experiences! We hope to do another trip with Oceanwide Expeditions again! Read full review
by Barclay Lezon

Plancius - [ ] No tv except for web camera on the ships deck - [ ] WIFI needs improvement; it doesn't work in cabins - [ ] I paid $260 € for Internet access. It is a little frustrating that I paid $1500 more than passengers who bought a ticket days before we left the dock and they got the same type of room as me. That $1500 should have been used to buy internet time or refunded. - [ ] The lounge benches need to be reupholstered. They are covered in pleather. Whereas real leather would last longer and look good. - [ ] The activities were great. It was a once in a lifetime experience. The zodiac drivers knew just where to look for wildlife. - [ ] The food was excellent. Jerrica had a smile on her face constantly. She knew everyone by name. That is a talent! - [ ] The cabin steward was awesome. - [ ] I learned something new from every lecture. The staff who gave the talks were confident and competent. - [ ] I did not like passengers and staff smoking while we were loading the zodiacs; that should be a no smoking area. - [ ] I was happy you sold waterproof pants. - [ ] The barbecue was a pleasant surprise. - [ ] Overall the staff, accommodations, attention to detail, was beyond

Read full review
by Samantha Arumadura
It has been a wonderful experience on Plancius for Around Svalbard Expedition & also on Ortelius for Antarctica Deep South Polar Circle Expedition with Oceanwide. The expeditions are arranged very professionally by friendly & knowledgeable expedition staff. Hotel staff also very friendly. Great lectures & new knowledge provided by the expedition staff. Happy to see environmental conscious people handling these expeditions.
Read full review

Antarctic Circle FAQ

The Antarctic Circle, which is also referred to as a polar circle, is one of the five latitude circles that are used to divide maps of Earth. An expedition cruise to the Antarctic Circle will take travelers south of the Equator to the 66°33′45.9″ coordinates. The Antarctic Circle is between the Southern Temperate Zone and the Antarctic. This polar circle crosses through Antarctica, the Southern Ocean and the Balleny Islands.

Due to the range of the Antarctic Circle, the average weather conditions can vary greatly. However, most expedition cruises that go near the Antarctic Circle stop at Detaille Island. This area can be warmer than many travelers would imagine. For example, in October, the temperature usually ranges from -7 to 0 degrees Celsius (19.4 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit). Of course, the Antarctic Circle can also be extremely frigid, depending on the time of year.  

The Antarctic Circle is slowly moving southward. This movement changes its exact coordinates by approximately 15 meters (49 feet) every year. At the current time, the entire area beneath the Antarctic Circle takes up 20 million square km (7.7 million square miles), which accounts for 4 percent of the Earth’s total landmass. 

Although we do not know which individual determined the existence of this Polar Circle, history does tell us that James Cook was the first person to travel to the Antarctic Circle. Cook reportedly crossed the circle via boat in 1773 as part of his second voyage to discover new regions.  

The exact area of the Antarctic Circle that you visit will directly impact the type of wildlife that you might encounter. During a cruise to the Antarctic Circle, it is possible that you will see a variety of penguin species, along with whales, seals and seabirds. 

A cruise to the Antarctic Circle is definitely a unique experience, and you may see a variety of photo-worthy things. Examples include wildlife, glaciers and icebergs.

One of the most intriguing facts about the Antarctic Circle is the region’s 24 hours of daylight and nighttime that take place once a year. To explain, December is filled with a full 24 hours of daylight to mark the solstice, and the opposite event occurs in June. 


Antarctic Circle Weather

While much is said about just how frosty it can get in the Antarctic, your Polar Circle trip will happen in a more hospitable time of year. When you visit the islands and the continent you can expect temperatures to range from around 0°C up to about 5°C.

However, when you’re thinking about what clothes to bring don’t forget about the famous Polar Circle winds which can whisk away your body heat. 

Facts about the Antarctic Circle

  • The magnetic South Pole is constantly on the move, travelling about 8 km a year.
  • The southern Polar Circle contains the driest, coldest, and windiest continent on Earth – Antarctica!
  • The western portion of Antarctica is actually an archipelago (chain of islands) that are all joined together into one big mass by ice.
  • The South Polar Circle is defined by anything south of 66°30’ S line of latitude.
  • This line of latitude was first crossed by Captain James Cook on January 17, 1773.
  • The hours of daylight on any particular day in the southern Polar Circle are matched by hours of night in the northern Polar Circle.
  • Winds in some places within the South Polar Circle can reach 320 km per hour.

Travel to the Antarctic Circle

Your Polar Circle cruise to the Antarctic region brings you to one of the coldest, windiest, and driest places on Earth… and yet one that is teeming with a huge variety of wildlife and fantastic rugged landscapes.

Our Polar Circle expeditions are a trip to Heaven for bird watchers. You’ll be able to go ashore on islands and the continent, and the experienced can even go diving into waters shared by seals and whales. On your Polar Circle holiday you’ll be able to kayak, join photography workshops, make friends with thousands of penguins, an enjoy great whale watching opportunities.