Discover the wonders of the polar regions with our winter game

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Aurora Expeditions Greg Mortimer Spirit of Antarctica

Celebrating Antarctica aboard the Island Sky

See the very best this continent has to offer on the adventure of a lifetime


14 Days

Ship category


Ship type

Small Ship


114 Passengers

Celebrating Antarctica

9 Reviews

Trip highlights

Cross the infamous Drake Passage

Whale watching from the deck

Zodiac rides with experienced guides

Step foot on the continent with fellow penguin friends

The Polartours experience

Participate in Citizen Science Program

Free award-winning photography coaching

Expedition jacket to keep as a souvenir

Take home a digital voyage log

Antarctica is an incredible and ever-changing destination. Our extensive experience navigating its complicated sea, ice and wind will ensure that you make the most of your expedition cruise. Prepare yourself for enormous icebergs, amazing wildlife, and historical sites that will take you back to the very first days of Antarctic exploration.


We compensate all 3.9 tons of CO2 that this trip will cause.

Your ship: Island Sky

Island Sky
island sky deck plan
Island Sky

Welcome aboard the Island Sky! With spacious, well-appointed suites, stylish common areas, an ice-strengthened hull, and redundant core technology, the Island Sky represents the height of comfort and style. In 2017, it was upgraded to add tinted sliding glass doors to all cabins on Promenade Deck 4.

We’re thrilled to be bringing Island Sky back to Antarctica beginning in December of 2022.

The Island Sky is a fantastic platform for exploring Antarctica in comfort and style. It exudes old-world charm and is one of the few ships in her class that boasts 3 decks of suites with sliding glass doo … Read more about Island Sky


island sky penthouse suite
Penthouse Suite


Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:


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island sky promenade suite
Promenade Suite


Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:


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Island sky window suite
Window Suite


Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:


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island sky veranda suite
Veranda Suite


Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:


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island sky owners suite
Owner's Suite



Max. occupancy:


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Island Sky porthole suite
Porthole Suite


Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:


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island sky deluxe suite
Deluxe Suite


Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:


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Keep in mind this is an expedition cruise, so your itinerary will depend greatly on the weather, amount of ice and wildlife breeding behavior.

Camping in Antarctica

0 Days

Camping in Antarctica

Please note that depending on the ship, length of your cruise, and the itinerary, this price may vary. Inquire with your Polar Specialist. Take your expedition voyage to the next level with a once-in-a-lifetime overnight camping adventure in Antarctica! This is one of the very best ways to experience Antarctica, hopefully under a sky full of stars. Camping is available on many early-season Antarctic voyages. Your ship operator will provide your gear. All you are left to do is enjoy. This is one of the most popular activities, and we recommend you book early. IMPORTANT: This activity is dependent on weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request


0 Days

Sea Kayaking

Embark on an exhilarating sea kayaking adventure in some of the world's most magnificent and biodiverse wilderness areas, including Antarctica and the Arctic. Take in the breathtaking scenery as you navigate through ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes. In Antarctica, spend unforgettable moments with penguins, seals and whales, and keep an eye out for the occasional encounter with leopard seals or killer whales. In the Arctic, paddle through bird colonies, past massive glaciers and around huge icebergs. Led by experienced guides, you will join a small group of like-minded adventurers to explore the picturesque coastlines of these wild and remote destinations. Paddling offers an intimate and unique way to experience the beauty of these regions and make the most of your time there. Important: This activity is subject to weather conditions and logistics.



Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival to Ushuaia
Laguna Esmeralda

Arrival at Ushuaia

Arrive with plenty of time to relax and enjoy the lovely Arakur Resort & Spa or spend time exploring the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia.

Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival to Ushuaia
Laguna Esmeralda

City tour Ushuaia

Hike in Fireland National Park

Penguin Island Isla Martillo

End of the World Museum

City Exploration

Discover the sights of Ushuaia such as the museums and Argentinean leather markets or continue unwinding at the hotel. Attend the optional evening briefing for the opportunity to ask questions and meet some of your fellow cruise mates.

Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival to Ushuaia
Laguna Esmeralda

Embark in Ushuaia

Spend your morning continuing to explore Ushuaia or unwinding at the resort until our mid-afternoon transfer to the ship. The Expedition Team and crew will greet you on board, followed by a safety and orientation briefing and Captain’s welcome dinner.

Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
Beagle Channel

The Drake Passage is the name given to the infamous stretch of open ocean between the tip of South America and the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.

It usually takes 2 or 3 days to cross the Drake Passage, and this is a great time to learn from your expert Antarctic naturalist guides. Through a series of fascinating talks and lectures, you'll begin to learn more about the remarkable wildlife and awe-inspiring geology of the Antarctic continent.

Your guides are always on hand to help you identify the sea bird species that always follow the ships, as well as spotting whales and other cetaceans that can be seen en route to the Antarctic Peninsula or the South Shetland Islands.

South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands

Yankee Harbour

Baily Head on Deception Island

Northeast beach Ardley Island

Penguin Island

Telefon Bay

Hannah Point

Pendulum Cove

Turret Point

Point Wild

Whalers Bay

Barrientos Island

Sometimes overlooked as a destination by people keen to set foot on the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands are a must-see destination in their own right.

Often the first and last landfall on an Antarctic cruise, many people are taken aback by the stunning beauty of these islands. What better way to make contact with the Antarctic than by making your first beach landing here surrounded by gentoo penguins?

Apart from some of the most southerly species of penguin, the South Shetlands are home to a huge range of Antarctic wildlife, and they make a superb introduction to the wildlife of the whole region, including key species like elephant seals, humpback whales, and more.

With active volcanoes, the relics and remains of its history as a centre for whaling, and some of the most beautiful Antarctic mountain scenery, the South Shetland Islands are a fitting first destination for any Antarctic cruise.

Antarctic Peninsula
Before and After Antarctic Peninsula
South Georgia

Cuverville Island

Georges Point, Rongé Island

Neko Harbour

Port Charcot, Booth Island

Goudier Island

Danco Island, Errera Channel

Damoy Point

Jougla Point

Astrolabe Island

Orne Harbour

D’Hainaut & Trinity Island

Orne Islands

Portal Point

The North-West portion of the Antarctic Peninsula is the most frequently visited by expedition cruises and is home to many of the most popular landing sites. The Gerlache Strait is renowned for the stunning scenery with the snow covered mountains, as if covered in icing sugar, with numerous glaciers tumbling down to the sea.

Being the most northerly part of the whole continent, the Peninsula enjoys the mildest Antarctic condition, with temperatures in winter averaging a balmy -20 degrees C (-4 degrees F)! In the summer, things warm up to an average of just above freezing. Large areas of this part of the peninsula are ice-free in the early season, being important breeding and feeding grounds for many iconic Antarctic species.

It's here that many of the historic Antarctic expeditions began, and where early military and scientific bases were first established, some of which you will be able to visit if conditions allow. These remarkable artefacts have been left as time capsules, their contents showing remarkable levels of preservation thanks to the dry and cold climate.

Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
Beagle Channel

The Drake Passage is the name given to the infamous stretch of open ocean between the tip of South America and the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.

It usually takes 2 or 3 days to cross the Drake Passage, and this is a great time to learn from your expert Antarctic naturalist guides. Through a series of fascinating talks and lectures, you'll begin to learn more about the remarkable wildlife and awe-inspiring geology of the Antarctic continent.

Your guides are always on hand to help you identify the sea bird species that always follow the ships, as well as spotting whales and other cetaceans that can be seen en route to the Antarctic Peninsula or the South Shetland Islands.

Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival to Ushuaia
Laguna Esmeralda

After an unforgettable expedition cruise, you'lle disembark in the morning, letting you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure.


Single Cabin Supplement

When booking online, you can choose the option to "Upgrade to single occupancy". This will guarantee you the whole cabin to yourself, for an additional fee. If you don't select this option, then another traveler of the same sex might be placed into the same cabin with you.

What's included


Two pre-voyage hotel nights in Ushuaia for all departures which embark in Ushuaia

Nov 1, 2022 and Nov 2, 2023 departures only: One pre-voyage hotel night* in Puerto Madryn

*These departures also includes a post-voyage hotel night in Ushuaia

Transfer from airport in embarkation city to group hotel if arriving on Day 1 of itinerary, and providing we have your confirmed air itinerary at least 30 days prior to departure

Transfer from group hotel to ship for embarkation


Shipboard accommodations

All meals on board

All alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (some super premium brands excluded)

Coffee/Tea/Cocoa 24 hours a day

All scheduled landings and excursions

Our Citizen Science program: participation in a variety of scientific activities that support important research projects

Expedition jacket (yours to keep)

A pair of loaner boots for use during the voyage

WiFi from the public computers

200 MB WiFi card for use on your personal devices

Daily international news service

All port fees

All landing fees

Digital Voyage Log


Group transfer from ship

Please note we cannot drop at Airbnb / private homes which are often inaccessible for our transfer vehicles.

For the Nov 1, 2022 and Nov 2, 2023 departures only, one post-voyage hotel night in Ushuaia.

What's not included

Any airfare or travel expenses associated with arrival in Ushuaia or Puerto Madryn other than those listed above

Transfer from airport to group hotel, unless arriving on Day 1 of the itinerary

On the Nov 1, 2022 voyage, departure transfer from hotel to airport in Ushuaia

Pre- or post-voyage expenses in Ushuaia or Puerto Madryn

Travel insurance; medical insurance; evacuation coverage

Laundry and personal expenses incurred on board

Onboard communication charges such as outgoing phone calls, WiFi from personal devices in excess of the 200 MB provided

Staff gratuities



Island Sky Antarctica Cruises


Cabin was very comfortable. The F&B team was super! The food was just too good!! We had a difficult time adjusting when we came home. We would definitely love to live on the Island Sky again and again. (Copied from Swoop Antarctica)


Island Sky Antarctica Cruises


The captain and crew were just lovely. Well taken care of boat. The food was plentiful, maybe too plentiful, and delicious. (Copied from Swoop Antarctica)

Island Sky


Island Sky Antarctica Cruises


The ship was very well kept and staffed. Excellent food and too much of it The ship size was perfect (Copied from Swoop Antarctica)


When it comes to traveling to Antarctica, one of the first questions that often arises is, "Can I fly to Antarctica?". The answer is: Yes, you can. Most trips start in Patagonia (Ushuaia and Punta Arenas) and cross the Drake Passage by ship, but there are also trips that use planes to cross that infamous sea passage. Here are the Pros and Cons for each method:

Flying to Antarctica:

  • Pros: Flying to Antarctica is the quickest way to reach the continent. It offers convenience and is often the choice for those with very limited time.

  • Cons: There are limited commercial flights to Antarctica, and these are primarily reserved for research and expedition purposes. Tourist accessibility is limited, and it can be costly. Also, as not many trips include flights, you'll be limiting your choice a lot if you decide to only look for such trips.

Crossing the Drake Passage by ship:

  • Pros: If you choose to cross the Drake Passage by ship, you embark on an incredible adventure. This journey is not just a means of transportation; it's an expedition in itself. The crossing takes 1.5 - 2 days, which are filled with scientific lectures that prepare you for the experience. You'll witness diverse wildlife, including penguins and whales, as your anticipation starts building up. To us, the crossing is a quintessential experience of a true Antarctic explorer.

  • Cons: Crossing the Drake Passage takes some time, and the seas can be rough. It's not the quickest way to reach the continent, and you need to allocate more time for your expedition.

In conclusion, when it comes to traveling to Antarctica, you have these two choices. Flying offers efficiency and direct access, perfect for specific purposes. Crossing the Drake Passage by ship provides an unmatched adventure and connection with Antarctica's unique environment. Consider what truly matters to you, and you'll find the Antarctic transportation choice that suits your goals and spirit of exploration.

All cruises in the polar regions operate to itineraries that are more-or-less fixed. We say "more or less", because wildlife (breeding, seasonality) and weather always play an important role in routing. Most cruises will offer a range of land-based and water-based activities that you will enjoy at various points in your cruise, including:

  • Land excursions (including hiking trails, visitor centers, time relaxing on beaches, observing animals, etc.)
  • Bird Watching
  • Snorkeling (from ship or beaches)
  • Dinghy rides
  • Kayaking
  • Diving (on ships with diving itineraries)
  • Naturalist presentations. These usually take place every evening - on board the bigger ships also with help of projectors, microscopes etc.

All boats carry English speaking, scientifically trained guides. They will lead you on your excursions, allowing you to learn as much as possible about the unique wildlife and habitats of the Polar Regions.

Choosing the right ship for a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic seems difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Our fleet is over 30 vessels, we are sure that there is the perfect one for you. Please, follow these simple steps, and you will be able to find your ideal ship:

  • Determine your budget and desired level of comfort: Are you looking for luxury or more budget-friendly options? On our website you can set the price range.
  • Consider ship size: Large ships offer more amenities and facilities, but they can also feel crowded and impersonal. Smaller ships offer a more personal experience, but may not have as many amenities.
  • Look at the cabins: Although you probably won’t spend much time in your cabin, look at the photos and read the descriptions to make sure you're happy with the one you choose.
  • Consider the activities on board: Are you interested in kayaking, camping, diving or a photography workshop? Or maybe you want to take part in a Citizen Science Program? These activities can enhance your overall experience. See what our ships have to offer.
  • Read customer reviews: Learn about other travelers' experiences by reading reviews.
  • Ask your Polar Specialist: Feel free to contact your Polar Specialist. They are happy to share their knowledge and are always ready to help.

In addition: We work with responsible partners who provide a great experience for their passengers. All of our providers are committed to sustainability and to preserving the beauty of the polar regions. You don’t need to worry about the impact of your cruise, because we’ve already taken care of it.

We love to help people find their dream vacation to the Arctic and Antarctic. Whether you give us a call, contact us via email, or use our website inquiry form, one of our Polar travel experts will be more than happy to answer any questions, recommend ships and itineraries, and walk you through the whole process!

Step 1: Find your perfect trip. If you have already started looking for Polar Cruises, you will have quickly noticed that the sheer amount of options can be quite overwhelming. To help you navigate the countless departures and itineraries that our fleet offers, we have put together a great filter page for Antarctic and Arctic Expedition Cruises. Use this page to filter all trips by price, date, ship category, and even destinations you wish to visit. We update all dates, prices, and availabilities daily, and are proud to host what is doubtlessly the world's most complete collection of information.

Step 2: Found something you love? We'll hold your spaces, free of charge! If you find a cruise you like, you can either inquire directly with us or make an unbinding booking online. We will then reach out to the shipowners to put a hold on your spaces for a limited time, free of charge. Once we have confirmed your block with the ship, we will send you a written confirmation of your reservation and include full payment details in an invoice. Typically, we are able to hold unpaid reservations for up to 1 week*. This gives us time to clarify all your remaining questions, and also ensures that no other passengers can book your spaces, while we continue our conversation.

Step 3: Confirm your booking. In order to confirm your booking, we ask for a deposit payment. You can pay via bank transfer or credit card. Keep in mind, that we can only hold your spaces for a limited amount of time. If we don't receive your payment after this time, we can no longer guarantee that the places will be available or that the price won't increase. To prevent disappointment, we will automatically cancel your reservation if we don't receive your deposit by the due date stated on your booking reservation.

Step 4: Booking confirmation & Payment. As soon as we have received your deposit and a completed passenger information form, we will be pleased to send your booking confirmation and updated invoice, along with your trip itinerary, important information, and other great tips for your cruise.

Step 5: Final payment. In your initial invoice, we will define a final payment date by when you need to pay us the remaining amount of your trip. Once we have received your final payment we'll send you your cruise documents and voucher. As your trip approaches, we make sure to pass along all necessary information, so you feel super prepared and stress-free.

*For last-minute bookings, we might not be able to hold your spaces for so long. We will also require the full payment of your cruise upon booking.

An expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic is a big deal! Most people plan for this type of trip at least 8 months in advance. This means the earlier you book, the better chance you'll have to reserve your prefered cabins. Early bird discounts are also popular and a great way to get 10-30% off your cruise.

Most expedition cruises offer optional activities like camping and kayaking, but the spaces are limited. A cruise with 120 passengers can have only 10-15 spaces for kayaking. These are reserved on a first come first served basis. The earlier you book, the higher your chance of grabbing a spot.

Even though last minute deals do occur, keep in mind that the airline prices will be much higher if you purchase them last minute. You may save a few hundred on your cruise, but you may end up paying the most for airfare.

If you are prone to motion sickness then here are a few hints to help you.

Firstly, book a cabin in the middle of the ship. The middle of the ship will move less, both in roll and in pitch. Secondly, chose a larger ship. Bigger vessels typically are more stable, and some of them are even equipped with "stabilizers", fins under water that remove the rolling in the swells. Thirdly, take medical advice on anti-seasickness medication. Some traditional remedies are said to be very effective, such as taking ginger or using commercially-available acupressure wristbands.

Watch this informative video about life onboard an expedition ship and seasickness from our expert guide and Polartours Brand Ambassador, Kevin.

Life Onboard & Seasickness
Celebrating Antarctica






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