Antarctica is a breathtaking, adventurous destination for most but today we are sharing how to visit Antarctica, for those looking for a different type of travel experience.
How to visit Antarctica
When planning a trip, you will need to start with choosing a tour. The only way to visit the world’s Southernmost continent safely and reliably is by choosing an Antarctica tour company and the right tour and cruise for you.
Here are a few things to consider before you book:
Depending on where you want to go, expenses will always be a part of the key factors you should consider. If you’ve prepared well and saved specifically for your Antarctica tour, then you may not need to mind your budget all that much. However, it’s still better to think of your options so you can save money or at least keep to your budget.
Antarctica tour costs around $10,000 per individual, with the cheapest costing $5,000 for an excursion that can last for up to 10 days. Why is it so expensive? Ships that go to the White Continent need more fuel to operate, not to mention that fuel prices there are also way higher. And because there are no ports in Antarctica, these ships should put everything on board. Other expenses are for the tour operators and guide, who can explain the continent to tourists, and the ship’s maintenance.
You can search online and find other ways to save money during your journey. Some other tips are included in subsequent reminders.
Depending on the time of the year, you’ll either pick a tour jam-packed with other people or not. Take into consideration the level of comfortability you need to have when interacting with others, especially during the pandemic.
To get the most out of Antarctica, pick the summer season. Then you can see the stunning wildlife the continent has to offer, and you can enjoy 24 hours of daylight. There are plenty of incredible animals in Antarctica so no matter what time of the year, you will be able to see a variety of wildlife.
Because November to March is when Antarctica is at its peak, the cost of tours can also be more expensive since more people want to be on board. A tip: most opt for December to February, so you can save a little by avoiding these months.
Expect researchers, zoologists, geologists, and photographers to be on board with you. If you enjoy learning and connecting with other people through the mutual love of the continent, you’ll find yourself enjoying their presence.
Depending on the tour you signed up for and what the ship has onboard, your daily activities can include kayaking, camping, snowshoeing, and others. The best thing to do is properly talk with the tour operator to know what you can and can’t do.
You can make a list and write down what you want to do in Antarctica. Then, put them in order to know what you want to do the most and adjust to the others when they are not available. Say, for example, you don’t mind not kayaking, but you really want to see the wildlife; then you can choose a tour that focuses more on onshore excursions and observation.
Activities Antarctica travel companies offer include:
- Shore excursions
- Attending lectures
- Crossing the Drake Passage
- Zodiac cruising
- Explore Deception Island
- Whale watching
- Going to science research stations
- Climbing Mount Vinson
- Wildlife watching
- Cross-country skiing
- And many others
Before going into a ship, you’ll need to know what they have inside so you can plan your activities better. Your itinerary may be your guide on what you can do, but taking advantage of what’s inside the ship should also not be out of the picture.
Here are some of the facilities your ship may have:
- Lecture theatres – Experts explain and present to the tourist what Antarctica is all about in these lecture theatres. These lectures will help you understand and appreciate just how big of a deal it is that you get to have this experience. Some tours can even bring professional photographers who will give you tips on taking great shots of the world around you.
- Outdoor decks – Former research vessels have wide outdoor decks that can be used to observe your path while traveling. These research vessels may have laboratories for scientific purposes. Some decks are enclosed with panoramic windows showcasing the outside. These closed decks are perfect for observing the Drake Passage and polar storms.
- Cabins and suites – Cabins often come in different variations. It can be single, double, or triple, depending on your taste.
- Private bathrooms – If you don’t want to wait to clean yourself, then getting a private bathroom is the best thing to do. Luxury cruises even have a hot tub in private bathrooms.
- Observation lounges – While the ship travels, you can learn more about Antarctica with these observation or conference lounges. These presentations can also help you be prepared for your adventures.
- Clinics – Because there are bound to be accidents while onboard, minor or not, clinics are essential – especially for a tour that lasts for days. So, your ship will have a clinic that is equipped for emergencies.
- Gift shops – Standard expedition ships have gift shops where tourists can get their last-minute mementos. It’s convenient for the tourists and helpful to the ship operator.
- Gyms – If you don’t want to miss out on days of training, then luxury ships with gyms are perfect for you.
Best time to visit Antarctica
The best time to visit Antarctica is during the Antarctic summer which runs from November to March this will bring plenty of wildlife opportunities and the most sunlight. The first cruises tend to reach Antarctica around the end of October when the ice is beginning to open up on glaciers to allow ships through. The warmest month in Antarctica is January with temperatures reaching up to 0 degrees.
How much does it cost to visit Antarctica?
This can really depend on which company you’re visiting with but the average cost to visit Antarctica is $10,000. However, more and more economical cruise options are becoming available and prices begin at around $5000 per person.
What to pack for Antarctica?
Start Your Antarctica Adventure
Going to Antarctica may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Do your research and plan ahead of time so you can experience everything that you want to go through and commit it to memory. Pick your Antarctica tour company and go on your most-awaited adventure!
How to visit Antarctica F.A.Q
What activities take place in Antarctica?
Whilst in Antarctica, you can enjoy activities like sea kayaking, snowshoeing, scuba diving, hiking, and mountaineering. A special activity in Antarctica includes ice camping and cross-country skiing.
What is forbidden in Antarctica?
You are not allowed to take anything from Antarctica; whether it is rocks, bones or feathers, EVERYTHING is off limits.
Can you legally visit Antarctica?
Yes, you can legally visit Antarctica. Since no country owns Antarctica, there is no visa required to travel there but you will need to take a tour or cruise to visit the continent safely and legally.
How much does it cost to go to Antarctica?
The average Antarctica cruise price is $8000 per seton, with the cheapest option costing around $5000 and luxurious cruises costing at least $15,000.
What animals can be found in Antarctica?
There are plenty of amazing animals that can be found in Antarctica. This includes penguins, whales, seals, albatrosses, and a wide variety of seabirds.
Why is Antarctica so expensive?
Because of the Antarctic Treaty, only certain carriers can visit due to the permits needed. Therefore, because there is a limited supply of cruises, prices can be set higher than other cruise options around the world.
How cold is it in Antarctica?
In winter, the continent experiences months of darkness, meaning the temperature at the South Pole sits around -60°C (-76°F). Along the coast, winter ranges from -15 to -20°C (-5 and −4 °F).