Traveling to exotic places is something any wander luster would love to do. Antarctica is the most far-flung place on the planet, and many think it’s only for scientists researching the frigid, unique geography. In reality, Antarctica is a beautiful sparse land where ice is everywhere: on the horizon, on the ground, in the ocean, and in the mountains. Nevertheless, the beauty of this land is unspeakable. Few words can truly describe Antarctica. Below are some cost effective options to make witnessing this dreamland a reality.
Ways into Antarctica
Ushuaia is the point from which most of the cruise ships leave for Antarctica. The southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia backs onto the beautiful national park of Tierra del fuego in the North, and the Beagle Channel leading to Drake’s passage in the south.
On the 48hr crossing from Ushuaia to the Antarctic continent they educate everyone about the flora, fauna, geography, geology, and history of the region by the on-board lecturers. Evenings can be spent socializing with the captain and expedition staff.
Finding a cruise package is not difficult, but looking for one that is affordable is more of a challenge. Gap Adventures has prices range from $12399 to as low as $5499. The Drake Passage can get rough, and if seasickness is an issue there are flights to King George Island where you can then board the ship.
Traveling on a French resupply vessel is an option for travelers as well. They leave from Réunion, and the journey is about a month long. There is a limit of thirty tourist travelers & guides on each boat. You can stay at the French base Port-aux-Français and even hike with overnight stays in refuges. More information about traveling on a French supply vessel can be found at Mer et voyages. This is possibly the best value for those wanting more of a budget holiday. Keep in mind there are only a set amount of departure dates and times.
Laws state that tourist companies may only land 100 people at any one place at any one time on the continent. Now if, you travelled aboard the M/S Explorer or other small ships your entire party can land at once. This means that on-board a smaller ship you are guaranteed many more landings throughout your trip. The smaller the boat the better chance you have to see more parts of this lost continent.
The last option for an Antarctic vacation is to work your way, literally. Antarctica Online has several options that include pay as you go and get
paid to go. Keep in mind, it can be hard work with low pay, but for the determined and hard working this may be the cheapest option to explore the hidden world of Antarctica.
When to go
All cruises run during the austral summer. Tour season runs mid-November to the end of February; however, high season starts late December
until early February.
In the months of November to December, the pack ice is beginning to break up, and the captain will have some tricky routes to choose through the breaking ice. This time of year is courting season for the penguins in Antarctica. The seals can be seen on the ice and near the shores. Fur and elephant seals are fighting for their territory at this time.
December to January is Antarctica’s warmest month with good light and long days making brilliant photographic opportunities with optimal lighting conditions. Whales can be seen much more frequently, and the breaking ice means traveling south is much easier. Now is when the Antarctic chicks are hatching for photographs of a lifetime.
February means the end of the Antarctic summer and is the best time for whale sightings. The penguin chicks are fledglings at this time, and the Fur Seals are very common on the peninsula.
Taking a trip to Antarctica is surely a once in a lifetime opportunity. Do your homework, research the type of trip that is right for you, and make memories that will last forever. One of these days our travel club will plan an epic tour to Antarctica.