The most remote and untamed continent on the planet is Antarctica. You`ll need to do your research to locate one of the few tourists that will take you on a journey through the Antarctic circle. Here’s a brief travel itinerary, from what to bring with you to what to expect when you get there.
1) When Is It Ideal to Visit Antarctica?
Yes, November is a very chilly month in the Antarctic Peninsula, with temperatures averaging around -30°F. Low temperatures are essential to seeing Antarctica in its most natural condition: tourists have not yet arrived. Yes, November is quite chilly, but it also has some of the world’s most stunning vistas, pristine snow and charming settings.
The breeding season for penguins is brief, lasting only about four months. It’s also an excellent time to see the penguins mating because the animals aren’t as plentiful (as you’ll see later in the season) but it’s still a nice time to watch them mature. November temperatures are typically below freezing point.
You’re more likely to see wildlife, especially penguin chicks, if you travel during this time. Plus, the weather is nicer then! If you want to go during peak season, make sure to plan your trip several months in advance since spots fill up quickly. Keep in mind that temperatures usually range from+ 2-5 degrees Celsius though.
If you’re looking to spot whales, February and early March is the best time. You’ll also be able to see plenty of other wildlife, like penguin chicks that are fully grown by now and very curious. Plus, you can book an expedition for a relatively cheaper price since average temperatures range from -2 to +2 °C during this period.
2) How Long Will the Trips to Antarctica Take?
Anything from a 6-day to 25-day expedition is possible when traveling to Antarctica, though most people recommend a 12-day cruise. This way, you can explore the continent without wearing yourself or your wallet thin.
You’ll spend half of your time sailing and the other half enjoying the sites ofthe Antarctic Peninsula.
3) Where do Antarctica expeditions typically depart from?
The most popular excursions to Antarctica depart from Ushuaia, Argentina. Although few, particularly air cruises, depart from Punta Arenas, Chile. There are also various alternatives to depart from New Zealand or even fly from South Africa, but they are quite uncommon and considerably more expensive than the standard ones from Argentina.
4) What Is an Antarctica Tour Cost?
An Antarctica trip costs about $8,000 USD on average. Depending on the operator, the season, the length of the cruise, amenities on board, location and size of the cabin chosen, and other factors, prices vary considerably. Cruise prices begin at $4200 before the start of the season (October and early November) and may go up to $20,000 depending on the vessel type, room type, number of days spent at sea.
It’s suggested that you book your trip as far in advance as possible for the greatest variety of options. Many departures are booked a year ahead of time, with some booking even more than that.
5) What sort of activities are available?
Most Antarctica operators offer zodiac excursions, hiking, and other activities to get an up-close experience with Antarctic wildlife. Some ships also offer kayaking or even overnight camping on the glaciers as part of their expedition packages. Note that these additional activities usually come at a higher cost.
Polar plunge is available on most ships for no extra charge. Shore excursions typically last 2-3 hours, during which you’re not allowed to bring food ashore with you, so make sure to eat well onboard before heading out!
6) What Kind of Health Checks are There?
Though a journey to Antarctica isn’t very physically taxing, you should be in good health overall. Also, if you have any life-threatening medical conditions, it’s best not to come because there are no hospitals or modern medical facilities nearby.
7) Is Antarctica a Good destination for families with young children?
A minimum age of six years is required for some cruises. Individual discretion is recommended by other companies. The stunning scenery and curious penguins may be fascinating to children, but it might also bother the wildlife. Children can become weary after long voyages (2 to 3 days at sea without stopping) on board a ship in the ocean.
8) Can I Safely Travel to Antarctica Alone?
Are you aware that Antarctica is the perfect place to travel solo? Most operators offer single rates and can also set up a shared room if requested beforehand. Some vessels also have triple or quadruple rooms. Even though most individuals still travel with either family or as couples, the number of solo travelers has increased greatly over time.
9) What to Bring to Antarctica
Antarctica’s weather is fickle. In addition to the cold, the continent is frequently windy and snowy. You’ll need a warm coat, boots, thermals, gloves, wool socks, waterproof jacket, rain pants, and a waterproof bottom with a parka. SPF and sunglasses are required because the ozone layer over Antarctica is very weak. All cruise ships should have rubber boots available for shore excursions at no cost.
10) Do I Need a Visa?
Although you don’t need a visa to travel directly to Antarctica, you might need one for the country from which you’ll be traveling (Chile and Argentina are the most popular). For your safety, staff on your vessel will keep your passport during the entirety of the excursion.
11) Should I Bring a Credit Card or Cash?
On all cruises, the normal money is USD. Some ships take Euros as payment. Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. Although credit cards are accepted on most boats, it’s always a good idea to bring cash in excess of $300-$500USD with you.