For a long time, when you traveled to the ends of the earth, there wasn't much variety in what you'd do. Cruisers reaching Antarctica might go for quick hikes ashore, stare at a few thousand penguins and cruise on inflatable rubber Zodiacs around icebergs or wildlife. After all, there was no infrastructure to speak of, no ancient culture to discover (which is still true) and no opportunities for shopping. Safely reaching and returning from the White Continent was enough excitement.
No longer! As the expedition industry has developed and matured, creativity has upped the ante for shoreside activities. Of course, the standard model of hikes and Zodiac trips led by experienced naturalists still forms the backbone of every expedition cruise. These staples are always included in the price of your cruise. But nowadays, more adventurous activities aimed at younger, thrill-seeking passengers are available, with new ideas cropping up every year. The latest ships -- purpose-built for expedition cruising -- even offer helicopters and submersible rides for the ultimate James Bond moment.
Check out the activities that many companies are now offering, including a few of our own favorite extraordinary Antarctic activities available to everyone. For more on Antarctica cruising, check out these articles on Antarctica cruise basics and Antarctica wildlife.