Contemplating touring to Antarctica? We had a incredible journey to the frozen continent, and though it was doubtless a once-in-a-lifetime journey, these are a few of the Antarctica journey ideas we want we had recognized earlier than we went!
Our Prime Antarctica Journey Suggestions
Are you able to simply journey to Antarctica?
Whereas Antarctica has usually simply been visited by researchers and scientists on scientific analysis expeditions, now most of the people can journey to Antarctica.
Nonetheless, the common particular person can’t simply journey to Antarctica independently. There aren’t any business flights to Antarctica and no lodges, lodging, or eating places catering to vacationers, and you could cross over the Drake Passage to get there. Antarctica is a distant and harsh setting, and journey to the continent is closely regulated to guard its distinctive ecosystem and stop hurt to guests.
Many of the common public should hop on expedition ships or cruises to take pleasure in Antarctica journey, and these journeys and itineraries are closely regulated. They will solely cease in sure locations for a sure period of time – extra on that later.
Is it in opposition to the regulation to go to Antarctica?
It’s not unlawful to journey to Antarctica, however it’s closely regulated. Antarctica is ruled by the Antarctic Treaty System, a set of worldwide agreements designed to protect the continent for peaceable scientific functions and shield its distinctive setting.
If you wish to journey to Antarctica, you could adjust to the rules set forth by the Antarctic Treaty System. This consists of acquiring the mandatory permits and adhering to environmental tips to attenuate your affect on the ecosystem.
Moreover, most journey to Antarctica is organized by tour operators licensed by the nations’ governments which can be signatories to the Antarctic Treaty System. These tour operators should observe strict tips to make sure their actions don’t hurt the setting or violate the treaty’s phrases.
Is Touring to Antarctica Protected?
Touring to Antarctica could be thought of secure if correct precautions and preparations are undertaken. Nonetheless, it is very important observe that Antarctica is a harsh and distant setting, and touring there requires cautious planning, specialised tools, and adherence to strict tips.
All vacationers might be rigorously regulated when touring to Antarctica to make sure security for all and that they’re taking good care of the valuable setting. Some components to contemplate for secure journey to Antarctica embody:
- Selecting a good tour operator: Do your analysis and make sure that the tour operator you select has expertise and experience in Antarctic journey and follows all security protocols.
- Buying obligatory permits: Get hold of the required permits and approvals from the suitable authorities earlier than touring to Antarctica. Most journey operators will deal with all these logistics for you.
- Put together for excessive climate circumstances, together with chilly temperatures and robust winds. Costume in applicable layers and use specialised gear appropriate for polar environments.
- Bodily health: Preserve good bodily health and seek the advice of with a healthcare skilled earlier than embarking on the journey when you’ve got any well being points or issues, as Antarctica’s distant location can pose challenges for medical help.
- Observe environmental tips: Respect and observe strict environmental rules to guard the delicate Antarctic ecosystem.
- Transportation security: Select a good transportation technique, similar to a well-equipped ship or plane, to achieve Antarctica safely.
Is Antarctica a Nation?
Antarctica shouldn’t be a rustic however a continent – the fifth-largest on earth. There isn’t any human inhabitants, although some folks reside there a part of the 12 months for scientific analysis.
Antarctica is ruled by the Antarctic Treaty System, a set of worldwide agreements designed to protect the continent for peaceable scientific functions and shield its distinctive setting. The treaty system is signed by greater than 50 nations, together with the USA, Russia, China, and the UK. It outlines rules for actions on the continent, together with analysis, environmental safety, and tourism.
Due to this fact, whereas Antarctica shouldn’t be a rustic, it’s ruled by a set of worldwide agreements that guarantee its safety and preservation for scientific and environmental functions.
Who “Owns” Antarctica?
No nation owns Antarctica, though seven nations – Australia, Argentina, Chile, France, Norway, the UK, and New Zealand all have territorial claims. These claims will not be acknowledged by the USA or many of the world.
There are greater than 70 energetic analysis stations in Antarctica. The USA, Russia, China, Australia, and others function year-long and part-time analysis stations in Antarctica.
When is the Greatest Time To Go to Antarctica?
There are fundamental seasons in Antarctica, The Antarctic summer season and Antarctic winter. The Antarctic winter season begins in late March and lasts till early September. It’s freezing and darkish throughout this time, and the solar doesn’t rise over the horizon for a lot of months.
It’s not the perfect time to be in Antarctica, and most analysis stations even shut down for the season. Even in case you like -40 levels Celsius and excessive darkness, you couldn’t journey right here throughout this time anyway.
Journey to Antarctica is barely throughout the summer season months – from October to March. That is when it’s hotter, lighter, and when the ocean ice melts sufficient to let ships safely navigate the waters, so in case you’re questioning when one of the best time to go to Antarctica is throughout these months.
Now inside these months, there are some execs and cons:
October: (nice for probably the most chic ice circumstances and good worth) Cruises gained’t begin working sooner than late October on the earliest. That is thought of shoulder season for Antarctic journey, and also you might be able to catch an early-season deal. It’s nonetheless fairly chilly throughout this time, and loads of sea ice is lingering making landings and ship navigation tougher. The upside? The frozen tundra makes the panorama views that rather more pristine.
November: November is great for big icebergs! Most cruise ships kick off their season in November! That is after we traveled to Antarctica and had an exquisite time. Days get longer throughout November, and the air is barely hotter. The primary vacationers of the season arrive in November, and locations like Port Lockroy start to employees up and open up for the season. The dangerous information? Sea ice remains to be lingering, and the winds and climate are a bit wilder, which means continent landings aren’t assured. We had three canceled landings on our ship resulting from climate and sea ice blockage. The excellent news? The landscapes are at their most dramatic.
December: December is great for hotter climate and seeing penguin chicks! Many would say that December is one of the best month to go to Antarctica. Temperatures are getting heat (by Antarctica requirements, that’s). The solar barely units, so that you get lengthy days, and the wildlife is at its most energetic. It’s a superb time for birders.
Prepared for the con? December can be the most expensive time to go, particularly across the vacation season – guide this journey effectively upfront!
January: Greatest for entry to the Ross Sea and hotter climate and seeing seal pups. It’s nonetheless peak season for Antarctica journey. Journey throughout this time, and also you’ll get 24 hours of daylight and loads of alternatives to identify wildlife. As a result of the ocean ice has damaged up, you stand a great likelihood at making all of your continent landings and may be blessed with good climate.
February: February is great for Antarctic circle crossings. February is one of the best time for whale watching in Antarctica, and in case you’re fortunate, you’ll even see some fur seals and seal pups. You doubtless gained’t have any points with sea ice, and because it retreats, extra Antarctica itineraries open up, together with the Ross Sea, Crossing the Circle, and East Antarctica voyages. Penguins are most energetic throughout this month, and grownup penguins start molting.
March: March is one of the best time for whale exercise! March is the final Antarctica journey season, and issues have began winding down. It’s starting to get chilly once more, although March is a superb time for whale watching and photographers for the reason that solar is usually so low within the sky.
Methods to Get to Antarctica
There are a couple of other ways to journey to Antarctica, however 90% of individuals will go the Ushuaia cruise route. Ushuaia is the southernmost metropolis on this planet. It sits on the tip of Argentina, and one can fly to Buenos Aires after which take a home flight to Ushuaia from there. Most cruises depart from Ushuaia, thought of the gateway to the Antarctic.
It might have taken you a couple of days to get to Ushuaia from wherever you’re from (it took us three from Cape Town) Nonetheless, when you arrive in Ushuaia, your journey is simply beginning. That is the place most will board their ship; from there, it takes practically three days to cross the notorious Drake Passage, and after a hopeful clean crusing, you might have made it to Antarctica!
What the Gateway Cities to Antarctica
In addition to Ushuaia, a number of different gateway cities function departure factors for
Antarctic expeditions. They’re Punta Arenas (Chile), Hobart (Australia), Christchurch, New Zealand, and Cape City (South Africa).
Although it’s value noting that routes from these different locations are fewer and additional between and sometimes costlier, we had a gaggle of Kiwis and Aussies on our ship that traveled to Argentina to sort out the Ushuaia route.
We have been coming from Cape City, which is technically a gateway metropolis, although upon additional analysis this feature is just for these with a substantial funds as luxurious tour operator White Desert owns a lot of this area, and their excursions are upwards of $100k.
Guide a Respected Tour Operator
We did in depth analysis earlier than touring to Antarctica about who to journey with. Tons of of corporations appear to be now vying for the chance to take vacationers to Antarctica. Whereas just some years in the past it was primarily expedition ships going to Antarctica, now massive cruise ship corporations like Disney, Royal Caribbean, and Superstar are actually getting their little piece of the Antarctic pie.
We didn’t wish to journey Antarctica on a normal cruise ship. We wished extra of an expedition model ship, so we selected Albatros Expeditions, which operates Arctic and Antarctic expedition-style excursions. Not like touring Antarctica on an expedition ship simply 5 years in the past, the place staterooms and mess halls really feel exactly like an expedition, Albatros makes expedition-style journeys whereas nonetheless having fairly luxurious rooms and couldn’t have been happier with our selection.
Albatros is among the many tour operators members of IAATO. IAATO stands for the Worldwide Affiliation of Antarctic Tour Operators. This group of choose tour operators based in 1991 to advocate and promote the observe of secure and environmentally accountable private-sector journey to the Antarctic.
Membership at this time is comprised of greater than 100 revered corporations from internationally. There’s nothing on this planet fairly like IAATO, however as a result of nobody owns Antarctica, this can be a nice technique to provoke guidelines and rules that tour operators should observe.
The objective of IAATO is to advertise secure journey to the area and make sure that all the obligatory precautions are taken to attenuate the affect on the setting and wildlife. Earlier than reserving your Antarctica journey, we suggest trying into IAATO and making certain your tour operator is a member.
Observe environmental tips
This could go with out saying, however all vacationers in Antarctica must observe the environmental tips set by IAATO. It’s vital to know that you’re one of many few folks on earth touring to such a fragile setting, and Antarctica have to be handled with the utmost respect.
Keep on the designated trails, don’t contact wildlife, and, god forbid, don’t litter. Your tour operator will evaluation the whole lot, and the principles may change. For example, after we traveled to Antarctica, there was an Avian fowl flu outbreak, so we weren’t allowed to position backpacks, cameras, or tripods on Antarctic grounds.
How Dangerous is the Drake Passage?
After a couple of viral social media posts, I can’t depend what number of occasions I used to be requested in regards to the Drake Passage. However first, what’s the Drake Passage? The Drake Passage is a physique of water between South America’s Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. It’s the shortest crossing from Antarctica to another continent. Most should cross the Drake Passage to get to Antarctica until you look into a few of the few flight choices.
Crossing the Drake is fairly infamous as it’s thought of one of many world’s most treacherous and unpredictable our bodies of water. The passage is understood for its fierce winds, sturdy currents, and tough seas, which might trigger waves as much as 30 meters (100 ft) excessive. Fortunately, ships these days are effectively outfitted to deal with the drake; ours even had stabilizers to assist.
You may get the “Drake Lake” or the “Drake Shake” whereas crossing. Drake Lake is what it feels like when the water appears like a relaxed lake. The Drake Shake is exactly the alternative. Sadly for me, we bought the Drake Shake going to and getting back from Antarctica. I believed I didn’t get seasick, however I used to be fallacious. On a scale of 1 to 10, our captain stated our Drake Passage was about 7; even the well-seasoned employees had some inexperienced faces. To me it felt like a 15!
I can’t inform you how dangerous your Drake Passage crossing might be. There’s no “good” season to cross the Drake, so there isn’t any technique to plan for clean crusing – sorry!
How Lengthy Does it Take to Cross the Drake?
A typical Drake crossing takes two full days. For us leaving Antarctica was approach worse seasickness-wise, plus we didn’t have all of the constructed of pleasure of attending to Antarctica to push us by!
Select your ground properly.
In case you get seasick, request a decrease ground when reserving your room. Though probably the most wonderful rooms are usually on the upper decks, I couldn’t have been happier to be on a decrease deck throughout our time.
The decrease decks expertise much less motion than increased decks. So in case you get a horrible Drake Crossing and are on the highest ground, you’ll really feel each rock the ship makes.
What Time Zone is Antarctica?
Antarctica has no designated time zone since it’s not a rustic. Nonetheless, the time zone utilized by analysis stations on the continent is often decided by the federal government that operates the station.
For instance, the USA operates the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, which makes use of New Zealand Time (NZT), which is UTC+12. For tourism functions, most cruise ships function on Ushuaia time.
Visas For Antarctica
There isn’t any authorities and no inhabitants, which means anybody from any nationality can journey to Antarctica visa-free. There aren’t any customs officers and no passport checks. You gained’t even get a “actual” passport stamp (although they do have enjoyable ones you’ll be able to stamp your self at Port Lockroy!)
That stated, you’ll need to examine entry and visa rules from the nation of your departure level. For many, this might be Argentina.
How A lot Is a Journey to Antarctica?
There isn’t any one technique to reply this. The price of a visit to Antarctica dramatically depends upon your itinerary, the time of 12 months you’re going, the operator, the ship, and so many components.
All that being stated, a visit to Antarctica isn’t low cost. The common journey price is between $8000-$10,000 per particular person for a 10-14 day journey, and this doesn’t embody your journey to your departure level. This price consists of lodging, meals, and excursions (not together with add-on excursions like tenting or kayaking).
On the very least, a journey to Antarctica will run $4000-$5000 an individual. A few of the most luxurious ships price greater than $20,000, and a few high-end luxurious camps can attain upwards of $100,000 per particular person! The Antarctica journeys touring to South Georgia and the Falkland Islands take extra time, and value upwards of $20,000.
How To Save Cash on A Journey to Antarctica
I’m certain you see that $5000 quantity and marvel how one can make journey to Antarctica occur for that quantity. Properly, there are a couple of methods this will occur:
Guide exceptionally far upfront: You possibly can often rating offers by reserving over a 12 months upfront.
Wait it out: We met a number of backpackers on our ship that paid $4500 (not less than that’s what they stated) by flying to Ushuaia and ready till last-minute offers got here alongside. How final minute? We met cruisers who booked their journey to Antarctica lower than three days earlier than departure. Because the ship approaches the departure date, they may attempt to dump their final remaining empty rooms at closely discounted costs. This technique solely works for these which can be tremendous versatile and have time on their arms. It additionally helps to be in Ushuaia already, as you’ll be able to waltz into tour operators each day and ask them for last-minute offers. That is finest completed throughout the shoulder season months.
Guide the most affordable cabin: If you wish to get monetary savings, guide the most affordable cabin on the ship. You get precisely the identical service, meals, excursions, and total expertise. The one distinction is your cabin gained’t be as luxurious because the others.
Guide a Small Cruise Ship to Antarctica
We have been unaware that rules stipulate that not more than 100 people per voyage can disembark the ship at any given time. Because of this in case you are on an enormous ship with 500 passengers, your time on land may very well be severely restricted, and also you’ll be ready round whereas others take their journey to Antarctica, earlier than you get to land.
Moreover, deciding on a bigger cruise vessel could current a fair higher concern, as it could show too cumbersome to strategy the continent, leading to extra distant sightseeing alternatives.
The smaller, the higher on the subject of touring to Antarctica.
Foreign money in Antarctica
What’s the foreign money in Antarctica? Properly, chances are high you gained’t pay for a lot of your ship, and most outlets settle for bank cards.
In addition they settle for USD, Euro, Argentinian Pesos, and British Kilos. We solely discovered we wanted money after we visited the Port Lockroy giftshop. Port Lockroy accepted USD, Euro, and British Kilos. As with wherever on this planet, it by no means hurts you to have USD helpful anyway.
expedition cruising, not Disney cruising
Our cruise director stated this a number of occasions on our journey to Antarctica. Crusing to Antarctica shouldn’t be your typical cruise with scheduled ports of name and assured locations. Nothing about touring to Antarctica is 100%, and it’s even attainable for some expeditions by no means even to make a continent touchdown if the climate doesn’t work out. Or it’s attainable that the climate is incredible and the expedition workforce crams in additional stops than on the itinerary!
Every little thing about touring to Antarctica revolves across the climate. Because of this if the climate isn’t in your favor, you may be unable to depart the ship. You’ll have to overlook particular stops if there’s a storm, or the zodiacs may not have the ability to break by the ocean ice.
Deal with your itinerary as a guideline. Your tour operator will do the whole lot they’ll to stay to that common itinerary, but when they’ll’t, don’t depart a nasty evaluation as a result of they’ll’t management the climate, and you’re in probably the most inhospitable place on earth.
We couldn’t make three of the deliberate stops we have been hoping to make on our explicit journey as a result of the climate was too wild and unpredictable. Whereas at Port Lockroy, we needed to rush by the museum as a storm rolled in quick, and the crew needed to get everybody again on board the ship as quickly as attainable
We have been supposed to go to one of many largest penguin colonies, however as a result of it was November, the ocean ice was too thick for the zodiacs to make a secure touchdown, so we went on a zodiac cruise as an alternative.
What’s a zodiac? A Zodiac is an inflatable boat generally used for transportation to and from shore, in addition to for exploring shallow waters and getting up near marine wildlife.
These boats are small and light-weight, with a capability of about 6-12 passengers. They’re recognized for his or her stability and maneuverability, making them in style amongst scientists, photographers, and vacationers for observing and finding out marine life.
Antarctica has no docks, and ships should anchor at sea and transport passengers to Antarctica by zodiac. They’re important for accessing distant places, and it’s vital that guests can adequately enter and exit a zodiac. That stated, expedition ships welcome disabled company and have methods of getting them onto the continent.
If you’re disabled and apprehensive about touring to Antarctica, inform your tour operator.
Is There a Medical Requirement For Touring to Antarctica?
It’s finest to be in good well being when touring to Antarctica so you’ll be able to transfer in regards to the ship shortly and luxuriate in Antarctica to the fullest.
Earlier than boarding, all company should full a medical data declaration to tell the medical employees on board of any medical circumstances, allergic reactions, or sicknesses that might affect the voyage. It’s doubtless your operator would require you to have journey insurance coverage with excessive evacuation protection. As you’ll be able to think about, a medical evacuation for Antarctica could be fairly expensive. Additionally, a medical evacuation from sure locations might take as much as two days.
There are docs on virtually each ship, although they’re restricted of their capabilities. If in case you have a abdomen bug, they’ll have the ability to assist, however there wouldn’t be a lot they may do within the occasion of one thing like a coronary heart assault.
Go to The Lectures
It’s possible you’ll marvel what you’ll do with all that downtime crossing the Drake Passage. It depends upon your ship and what facilities are supplied. Our ship had a library, board sport middle, health middle, and scorching tub. Although one factor that’s widespread on virtually each boat is a sequence of lectures and talks
On each expedition ship is a workforce of specialists that can give displays associated to your journey. These displays could also be about issues like studying images, regional birds, tales about Shackleton or Roald Amundsen, dwelling in Antarctica, and the whole lot in between.
I’m not sure of the precise quantity, but when I have been a guessing gal, I’d say there have been not less than 40-50 completely different lectures all through our cruise. In fact, it’s not anticipated to go to each single one, however we extremely suggest you attend as many as attainable as they are going to be extremely helpful!
Our ship, fortunately, aired their lectures on the in-room televisions as effectively, a godsend for me after I was mendacity horizontal making an attempt to not throw up on the Drake Passage days.
Do the Polar Plunge!
Most ships have a chance to do a polar plunge. What’s a polar plunge? Properly, it’s while you leap into the icy Southern Sea. If you’re in good well being with no coronary heart points, we extremely suggest braving the water and taking the plunge.
Though I used to be nervous, I couldn’t consider how refreshed I felt after – I even wished to leap once more! The leap isn’t only for younger folks both! Over 120 folks on our ship jumped, starting from 16 to 70+! Simply ensure you haven’t any coronary heart circumstances that affect you leaping into icy water.
Are Children Allowed to Go to Antarctica?
That is one other query I get requested usually, and the principles rely in your tour operator. Ours required that youngsters be over 12 years previous; that is primarily for a security side.
Nonetheless, I personally don’t suppose an Antarctica journey fits younger youngsters. Not solely will you wish to carry them on such an epic journey that they’ll keep in mind and respect the wonder. But additionally, there’s not sufficient to do for kids on most Antarctica expeditions.
There’s no daycare, no youngsters’s playroom, and no dependable WiFi to depend on for leisure. In fact, you’ll be able to carry books and flicks, however there’s a variety of don’t time. Keep in mind after I stated you go to lectures throughout your downtime?
Properly, that’s what youngsters have for choices too, and until they’re tremendous intrigued with Antarctica info and knowledge, I can’t think about younger youngsters would maintain consideration effectively. But it surely’s all as much as you and your loved ones. I do know that Disney has since began working Antarctica cruises, which can be a great possibility for households.
Most Antarctica tour operators provide three additional excursions, although some provide extra. These vary from kayaking, get up paddleboarding, snorkeling, to tenting in a single day on the continent to snowshoeing. These extras are sometimes not included within the worth of your journey.
As well as, these actions are in excessive demand, they usually can not accommodate everybody on board. This implies there’s a lottery system if demand is excessive sufficient. If you wish to participate in these excursions and have the chance to guide upfront, we suggest doing so!
We’ll create a complete Antarctica packing checklist quickly, however pack accordingly to your journey! We packed for fall/winter climate. Which means denims, leggings, boots, sweaters, fleece jackets, a hat, gloves, and buffering.
Most ships will provide you with a jacket on the journey; you additionally get to maintain this heat jacket and convey it dwelling. We thought we would want sturdy mountain climbing boots too, however we discovered after we bought on the ship that in addition they offered a pair of wellys. Past that, you want waterproof pants (the zodiacs get moist), base layers, a hat, gloves, sun shades, and sunscreen.
Do that you must carry costume garments to your journey? Our journey had no “captains’ nights” or formal dinners the place company have been allowed to decorate up. When not on the zodiacs or exploring, I wore primary on a regular basis put on. Sweaters, leggings, and denims; nevertheless, you’ll should examine your ship itinerary to see if there are occasions when you could wish to costume up.
Don’t overlook a swimsuit in case your ship has a scorching tub and exercise garments for the health club. The primary merchandise I want I had was slippers. There’s a variety of downtime on the journey, and strolling across the ship in snug slippers would have been greater than acceptable.
Take Care of Your Pores and skin!
Talking of issues to carry, don’t overlook face moisturizer, lotion, and sunscreen. Though it’s chilly and you could not suppose you’re getting a lot solar, the climate within the Antarctic circle is dry and harsh on the pores and skin, however belief me after I say you may get sunburned in Antarctica, and all that ice and snow certain is reflective.
It solely took me forgetting sunscreen on my face sooner or later to be taught a useful lesson whereas touring Antarctica.
If you’re liable to seasickness (and even in case you’re not), carry Dramamine with you to your Drake Passage journey. Another movement illness aid could also be useful too. Wristbands, ear patches, motion sick glasses, and ginger candies – I want I had all of it!
Put together for a rocking boat.
If it’s trying such as you’ll have a tough crossing, which the crew ought to have the ability to inform you, pop that Dramamine earlier than the ship will get a rockin’ and rolling. As soon as the seasickness has set in, it’s usually too late for a movement illness pill to have any impact.
Use Your Time on Land Properly
There are a lot of guidelines and rules when touring to Antarctica, and these guidelines trickle all the way down to your stops and time on land. To reduce our affect on the eco system there are solely a specific amount of individuals allowed on land at any given time, and for a sure period of time.
For instance, our ship had lower than 200 company on board. Company have been separated into 4 teams, sorted by colour. Land visits have been staggered by colour, after which the zodiacs carrying these 40-50 passengers have been additionally staggered which means there have been by no means greater than a specific amount of individuals on shore without delay.
Virtually all of our visits have been lower than an hour on land – so use your time properly. Take your pictures, observe, and ask the expedition workforce all of your questions!
Keep on the Path!
Earlier than you make it to land, the expedition workforce will go earlier than you to arrange a guided path for guests to stroll round. This path ensures folks don’t trample on the delicate ecosystem. Please keep on the trail.
Convey a Digicam!
You do not need to overlook your digicam for this as soon as in a lifetime journey! Be sure to carry additional reminiscence playing cards and batteries. It can even be very useful to have a drybag to your digicam gear. The zodiacs can get soaked.
Is There WiFi in Antarctica?
Amazingly you may get WiFi just about wherever nowadays, and that is true for Antarctica. Most ships could have WiFi which you could pay additional for. Be forewarned, it’s fairly costly.
Does the WiFi precise work? I used to be shocked by how effectively the WiFi labored on our ship, even in the midst of the Drake Passage, I used to be in a position to ship emails and work a bit.
Nonetheless, in case you don’t want the WiFi we suggest not worrying about it. Not solely is it costly, however it could detract out of your entire expertise on board!
In case you’re sending a postcard
It is a random Antarctica journey tip, however in case you plan on sending postcards from Port Lockroy, have them written out and able to go beforehand. I sadly bought postcards at Port Lockroy as I didn’t get any in Ushuaia.
Whereas the postcard pictures could have been barely higher, I finally rushed by writing my postcards in opposition to a wall within the Port Lockroy museum. Getting a number of postcards written, addressed, and stamped in a fast method resulted in some anxiousness on my finish!
Do You Should Take a Cruise to Antarctica?
You don’t should cross the Drake Passage by ship, as there are ‘Fly the Drake” excursions the place vacationers pays a bit extra to take a constitution airplane over the Drake. Although, as all nice explorers needed to cross the drake earlier than us, we expect it’s a proper of passage that it’s a must to cross the drake to be able to get to Antarctica.
Plus in case you choose to skip the Drake Passage, you’ll miss out on all that point studying from the seminars and making ready your self for one of the best week of your life!
If you wish to fly, greater than 98% of flyers fly from Punta Arenas to King George Island, lower than 1% fly from Punta Arenas to the South Pole. There isn’t any business flight to Antarctica, which means you could guide a chartered flight. These don’t run incessantly and function between December and February.
Make Positive to Verify Your Itinerary
All itinearies to Antarctica will not be the identical. Most 10 days cruises take you to the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. Longer cruises go to South Georgia and The Falklands, and a few of the most in depth (and costly) journeys half-circumnavigation all the Antarctic continent!
Itinearies rely in your funds, time, and pursuits.
You Possible gained’t see emperors
Possibly I ought to have completed extra pre-travel analysis – okay, I positively ought to have, however for some cause, I used to be underneath the impression I’d see emperor penguins on our journey. I assume I’ve seen Completely happy Ft too many occasions. I imply, I used to be going to Antarctica – and Emperors reside in Antarctica. 🤪
Little did I do know that even probably the most skilled birder on the crew, with over 20 years of expertise, had by no means seen an Emperor Penguin. Emperor Penguins solely reside in Antarctica however within the harshest, most hard-to-reach areas of Antarctica. They’re tailored to Antarctica’s most freezing temperatures and may survive winter.
Most guests to Antarctica is not going to see emperor penguins. Seeing these big birds requires a Drake crossing and venturing to locations like Snow Hill Island, the place vacationers must courageous the icy Weddell Sea aboard probably the most resilient polar vessels, adopted by a helicopter journey. Lastly, the final leg of the journey entails trekking on foot.
But it surely nonetheless actually is like completely happy ft.
Despite the fact that it’s doubtless you gained’t see Emperor Penguins, there’s nonetheless loads of wildlife to see. Penguin-wise, you continue to have Adélie Penguin, Chinstrap Penguin, Gentoo Penguin, and Macaroni Penguin.
Different wildlife you’ll doubtless encounter are Antarctic seals just like the Weddell Seal, Leopard Seal, Crabeater Seal, Ross Seal, and Antarctic Fur Seal.
Totally different species of whales could be discovered within the waters round Antarctica, such because the Humpback Whale, Orca (also called the Killer Whale), Minke Whale, and Blue Whale.
Birders could have a incredible expertise, so pack the telephoto lens! In addition to penguins, numerous fowl species inhabit Antarctica, together with the Snow Petrel, Antarctic Petrel, Antarctic Fulmar, South Polar Skua, and Wilson’s Storm Petrel. Lastly, don’t overlook about Albatrosses. A number of species of albatrosses, recognized for his or her spectacular wingspans, could be noticed within the Southern Ocean close to Antarctica, together with the Wandering Albatross.