Antarctica is more than a once-in-a-lifetime, bucket-list travel destination. It’s a pristine, serene paradise that offers a glimpse into the outermost boundaries of human exploration. It wasn’t until 1820 that explorers set off on expeditions to the long-mysterious “White Continent”, home of the world’s biggest icebergs and some of the most unique wildlife on the planet, including penguins, orcas, and whales. If you’re looking to explore this wondrous ice wilderness, here are five reasons why a PONANT luxury Antarctica cruise promises to embrace your inner explorer as you experience magical Antarctica.

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Antarctica Cruise ©Studio PONANT Nathalie Michel

PONANT’s cruise itineraries guarantee you’ll experience Antarctica’s most extraordinary landscapes — glaciers, icebergs, ice floe, mountain ranges — all from the comfort of a luxury cruise ship.

PONANT’s luxurious yachts are built on an intimate, human scale, so you can better experience the majesty of Antarctica. Each ship accommodates a maximum of 264 passengers, so you can maintain your privacy. You’ll feel as if you are sailing on your own private yacht! Smaller ships make for more agile sailing: you’ll sail between the majestic icebergs and into some of Antarctica’s most curious corners.

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Antarctica Cruise PONANT photo by ©Richard Harker

PONANT’s intimate yet luxurious yachts guarantee encounters with the White Continent’s exceptional wildlife.

Six of the seventeen species of penguins are found in Antarctic waters and watching these beloved creatures waddle and swim in their natural environment is nothing short of delightful. You’re also bound to see seals stretched out on icebergs or lying in the sun, as well as whales, swimming beside your ship and albatrosses stretching their magnificent wings above. Shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides give guests the chance to mingle up-close-and-personally with the amazing animals that call this corner of the world home. PONANT offers the option of customizing your cruise so you can see and do exactly what you dream.

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PONANT ©Nath. Michel Austral Antarctic

PONANT’s cruises are truly all-inclusive with a French touch.

All of PONANT’s Antarctic cruises include flights (selected by PONANT) from/to Buenos Aires, transfers, full board, open bar on board, all landings and conferences, offering a truly all-inclusive experience. The French crew, expertise, attentive service, gastronomy make for a five-star travel experience that’s both authentic and sophisticated. You can expect excellent gastronomy thanks to carefully selected cheeses, delicious specialty bread and sweet pastries imagined by Maison Lenôtre, and a fine selection of vintage wines from Maison Taillevent. Say cheers with champagne from Maison Veuve Clicquot at cocktail hour, and enjoy afternoon tea with bits from the famed Ladurée bakery. Know that you can board your ship and truly relax as you focus solely on indulging your Antarctic dreams from the comfort of a truly luxurious, all-inclusive ship.

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Antarctica expedition Cruise ©Studio PONANT Nathalie Michel

PONANT promotes eco-friendly tourism.

PONANT has made a commitment to promoting sustainable tourism. In 2018, PONANT created the PONANT Foundation, to preserve the oceans and the polar regions and encourage exchanges between its peoples. “PONANT was created by sailors keen to share their passion for the sea,” said Jean Emmanuel SAUVÉE, PONANT CEO and Co-Founder. “For more than thirty years, we have taken our guests to the most secret places on the planet, where nature reigns supreme. This choice brings with its responsibilities towards the environment and the indigenous peoples that we meet.”

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antarctica©Studio PONANT-Michèle Dague

PONANT offers a wide range of cruise itineraries to Antarctica, for every type of traveler.

PONTANT offers so many cruise options it’s easy to find a cruise that fits with your innermost travel desires (and available vacation time!). Some of PONANT’s most requested cruises include a 16-day itinerary to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica – with National Geographic, partnered with National Geographic; a climate change-focused cruise with New York Times science writers Henry Fountain and James Gorman; and an 11-day New Year’s polar expedition cruise that will include a crossing of the mythical Drake Passage, during which you will probably be escorted by several albatrosses and Cape petrels.