What’s magical about Antarctica isn’t just its otherworldly ice—and seascapes, or its proliferation of rare wildlife species; it’s that travelers here get to experience these wonders in relative solitude. While ships of any size can cruise passively through the Southern Ocean, only ships bringing fewer than 500 passengers are allowed to disembark passengers on land on the Antarctic continent. And given the enormity of the frozen continent—roughly the size of the U.S. and Mexico combined—it’s unlikely that those traveling here will run into anyone apart from their fellow tour members.
Traveling with a small group can heighten the experience of exploring Antarctica. On Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Antarctica journeys, ships carry no more than 148 passengers each.