Nature documentaries steal the thunder from most of our travel experiences – David Attenborough gets three months to hang around looking at cheetahs so of course he gets the best shots – but nothing can take anything away from Antarctica. Remote, inhospitable, wild and white, it is – paradoxically – a natural wonderland, home to 17 types of penguin, albatrosses, pretty fur seals and evil leopard seals, and several species of whale and dolphin. A lot of cruise ships are big and fast – they carry 2,000 to 3,000 people from Ushuaia in Argentine Tierra del Fuego, whiz them down to the peninsula and then back again. But if you’re going to blow a few grand anyway, why not double it and double your time down here?
Costs from £3,100 for a 10-day trip to £6,000 for a 3-week odyssey that takes in the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. Airfare is extra. Contact Imaginative Traveller (www.imaginative-traveller.com /0845 077 8802).