A visit to Antarctica is not just a trip… It’s an expedition; a life changing journey. You are immersed in a wholly different world. Penguins by the thousands, elephant seals, icebergs, volcanoes, and thermal springs; this is nature at its most raw and majestic.
Within the barren and starkly beautiful landscapes of Antarctica, the word “ice” will take on a whole new meaning as you witness it in all its forms and colors. Ice floes, sheets, shelves, and bergs dominate the landscape in a surprising array of colors. You’ll see old ice and fast ice, grease ice and pancake ice, striated ice and fractured ice.
Over the past ten years or so, Antarctica has become such a popular destination for tourism that it threatens to impact the delicate ecosystem on the remote continent. In response to such concerns, the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators limits the number of passengers allowed ashore annually. Operators are also tasked with ensuring that visitors impact the wildlife and environment as little as possible.
Antarctica is not a destination for the timid traveler. The main attractions are ice, volcanoes, birds, snow, mountains, seven species of penguin, six species of seal, whales (humpback, southern right, and minke), and glaciers. You need a serious interest in nature and a tolerance for some level of discomfort to make this journey.
Getting to Antarctica is a by-sea adventure. Americans must go by cruise ship as US visitors are not allowed transport via research vessel. It’s a long but rewarding sailing and many of our preferred partners provide luxurious accommodations about their vessels.
To protect the integrity of Antarctica’s unique ecosystem, visitors are not allowed to approach wildlife too closely… If you stand very still, however, many penguins will often approach you.
DID YOU KNOW?
All 24 of the world’s time zones converge in Antarctica but it has no official time-zone of its own. Most ships keep their clocks set on the same time zone as their port of departure.