A captivating destination like no other, to just get to Antarctica requires effort and commitment. The reward can be life-changing and many things seen or experienced here cannot be replicated anywhere else on earth. To see gravel beaches with over 100,000 penguins, or vast pods of whales following your ship, or waking up in a tent on the frozen continent, experiences that will take your breath away.
Antarctica is an adventure lover’s dream. 10-12 day adventure expeditions on board purpose built adventure cruise ships will have to touch the Antarctic in 3 days from Ushuaia or the Falkland Islands. Here, with near 24-hour daylight you will witness seals, seabirds and penguins all sharing crowded Antarctic beaches. Walk on the snow and rock of landscapes that are breath-taking, and marvel at the icebergs and glaciers that make this place so wondrous and special. On these adventure cruises, you can also sea kayak, mountain climb, camp ashore, paddle board or join photographic tour adventures.
For those with a penchant for big bold adventures, Antarctica requires commitment, patience and time. Life changing adventures await, such as; climbing Mount Vinson (the highest peak in Antarctica), flying to the South Pole (or skiing the last degree to the Pole and flying out), climbing remote peaks via a small yacht, or helicoptering to remote Emperor Penguin Colonies.
Combining adventure, inspiration and reward is what Antarctica is all about – the same ethos of the explorers from early last century. Visiting the historic huts in the Ross Sea of Shackleton, Scott and Borchgrevink brings into focus how these expeditions survived in the harsh polar environment. Getting to these historic huts, along with nearby research bases (and bases across Antarctica) contrasts how humans past and present have studied the vast Antarctic Continent for the benefit of science and exploration. An adventure expedition to these places is truly a trip to never forget.
The main gateways to reach Antarctica are normally via Ushuaia, Argentina or Stanley in the Falkland Islands. Less common departures occur from Invercargill, New Zealand; Cape Town, South Africa; Hobart, Australia; or Punta Arenas, Chile. Visitors to Antarctica can choose to fly (to specific airfields such as Union Glacier, or King George Island) or go via expedition cruise ship. A minimum of 10 days is required to really get a good ‘feel’ for Antarctica, whilst longer trips of 22-34 days allow for in-depth discovery or a complete expedition achieving a major goal.