Antarctica Trip Recommendations
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Things to Do and See in Antarctica
An Antarctica vacation is all about sightseeing within the relatively safe bubble of shipboard and small craft travel. As mentioned above, the stark beauty of the frozen continent is difficult to describe, or even to convey via film. Add to the natural beauty of the landscape the unique animals that you may encounter, and Antarctica may well be the trip of a lifetime.
Wildlife that you may encounter includes several species of whales and dolphins, leopard seals, several species of penguins, and many other birds. If you’re looking for polar bears, then you’ll need to turn around and head for the North Pole. Polar bears do not live in or around Antarctica (and penguins don’t live in the Northern Hemisphere at all).
The Weather in Antarctica
The weather in Antarctica is cold, with daytime highs hovering in the forties at the height of summer. The weather is also extremely unpredictable. Make sure that you are well equipped with waterproof gear that is temperature-rated in accordance with the time when you are planning to travel. Your carrier may have gear that they can rent or loan passengers, but this gear is typically well used and may not fit terribly well.
Antarctica Transportation Options
Antarctic tourism is very limited in terms of the available options for travelers. You can select a large cruise ship that carries more than two-hundred passengers and features greater comfort and amenities, and one that is more stable in the rough seas around the frozen continent, or a smaller cruise ship with fewer passengers, fewer amenities, but one that has access to more sites. Aboard small craft, you will be more at the mercy of the weather, but you will have the ultimate trip in terms of flexibility and access.
Keep in mind that many Antarctic landing sites have internationally agreed upon limits to the amount of people allowed on land (typically around one-hundred), so you may be jockeying for position in a limited amount of shore craft if you’re on one of the bigger ships. Take the time to research your trip fully to better understand the trade-offs involved with selecting one mode of transport over another. For example, many larger ships will reduce the number of guests they allow on Antarctica cruised to no more than 200 people.
Tourists working with less of a budget can schedule a fly-over of the continent. Seeing Antarctica from the air can be quite breath taking, but again, the weather may be a factor, and flights can be cancelled without much notice. For the very adventurous and those with deeper pockets, a flight that lands on the continent can also be arranged. There are new ships coming in 2018 that will have helicopters on board, permitting guests to do flights from their cruise ship (Scenic Cruises and Crystal Cruises).
Hotels & Resorts in Antarctica
Other than research stations, Antarctica has no true lodgings. Accommodations for travelers are only found aboard the ships, and smaller craft that offer tours of the continent by sea.
Unique Adventures and Experiences in Antarctica
Much of what you will do while on your voyage to the bottom of the world will be unique and adventurous, requiring very little in the way of actual “attractions.” However, unless you have the money and adventurousness necessary to book a landing flight on the continent, or to travel by private yacht to the continent, then you will only have the option of doing what the rest of your fellow travelers do.
The reason for this is two-fold: Antarctica can be a very dangerous place for those untrained in cold-weather wilderness survival, and the environmental impact of human tourism on the continent is best kept confined and at a minimum.
More About Antarctica
Plan your adventure to the bottom of the world today. Whether you are looking for a full luxury tour of the white continent, or something a little less pricey that includes a bit more adventure, your Antarctica vacation experience begins with a call to one of our Antarctica travel experts.