If you are planning to take an Antarctica tour, chances are you’re a pretty adventurous traveler. With its wild (and always cold) weather and little tourist infrastructure, Antarctica is by far the least visited continent on Earth. In fact, Antarctica is virtually uninhabited and has only recently been accessible by visitors other than explorers and scientists. Today, some 37,000 visitors travel to Antarctica every year.
Nonetheless, there are still plenty of great cruises and expeditions available for those who are brave enough to visit it — and it can be quite exciting to be one of the few people who ever get the chance to explore this ice-covered continent. Check out some of the things you should know before your trip to Antarctica.
- Catch a glimpse of wildlife in their natural habitat like the Emperor Penguins, whales and seals
- Experience the most extreme side of nature, visiting some corners of the Earth that are only accessible by special ice-strengthened boats
- Cross the infamous Drake Passage, or the Sea of Hoces - the world’s roughest sea (brace yourself if you are prone to get seasick)
- There are strict environmental guidelines that you must follow on your visit to Antarctica, and you cannot visit on your own. You will have to explore the region as part of a small group on a cruise ship, accompanied by a guide.
- Antarctica can only be visited during the continent’s short summer months, typically between November and March. Otherwise, the weather is too harsh.
- There are about 24 hours of sunlight in this part of the world, so be sure to pack sunscreen.
- Most trips to Antarctica depart from Argentina and run for multiple days. Expect to be gone for anywhere from 10 days to an entire month. This is a long adventure!