Why travel to Antarctica?
The world’s ‘7th continent’ is the ultimate in wilderness destinations! An almost un-navigable region, requiring specially strengthened vessels, a visit to Antarctica offers even the more intrepid amongst us an adventure of a lifetime.
Follow in the footsteps of only a handful of explorers. Navigate through icebergs and glaciers to discover sights rarely seen by the human eye. Cross the infamous Drake Passage, explore the ice-berg filled bays by kayak and witness the migrating blue whales up close. Expect an adventure of EPIC proportions!
The majority of Antarctica expeditions will depart from Ushuaia or the Falkland Islands, before heading south to the peninsular and South Georgia. Once departed from the port, the majority your time will be spent onboard the ship. Landing vessels or zodiac boats are used to get you into smaller docking areas, allowing you to explore on foot. There are various itineraries available, with different routes, comfort and cost. Speak to one of our experienced Travel and Experience Consultants to find the right one for you.
Click on the orange circles to read more information about the location and its highlights.
An 800-mile stretch of ice-covered, mountainous land stretching from Antarctica towards the tip of South America. A spectacular range of jagged peaks and slicing glaciers leading to the ‘true Antarctica’.
The British Antarctic Survey base, reached through the awe-inspiring cliffs of the Neumayer Channel. Complete with its own museum and post office – this is one of the most visited locations on the Antarctic Peninsula.
This infamous stretch of water stretches between the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica and South America’s Cape Horn. Invoking feelings of both fear and accomplishment, Drake Passage is stomach-churning, yet unforgettable experience. Be prepared to take everything the sea has to throw at you, and you won’t be disappointed. Often considered as a rite of passage for Antarctic voyagers who long to feel the ‘Drake Shake’. Don’t despair … you can always fly there if you don’t fancy the thrills and spills of the Passage.
Imagine an island so far off the beaten track, that you have a wealth of wildlife, dramatic landscapes and fascinating shorelines all to yourself! Made up of over 700 islands, off the coast of South America the Falklands reportedly have more penguins than people! Sample unique local hospitality, ramble countless hiking routes and learn all about its intriguing history. This rugged gem will blow your mind!
Named after King George III, this island is the largest of the South Shetland Islands, off the coast of Antarctica. Home to a number of research outposts, this island is in fact home to the only hotel on the entire continent. Whilst no single country can claim ownership of King George Island, it is home to research bases from Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, China, Russia, South Korea and Poland! Quite the international Island really! Not to mention, the Antarctica ‘capital’ of leisure highlights such as concerts, entertainment and even a marathon!
Desolate, yet jaw-dropping! A British Overseas territory found in the remote South Sandwich Islands. The final resting place of the explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, whilst moored at King Edward Cove, South Georgia is today home to some albatross, barking seals even an active volcano!
November to March – Cruises take place between these months, with the most popular sailings between mid-December and mid-February due to warmer and lighter conditions. The most common time for whale sightings is between February and March.
Temperature and Rainfall
Click a location to view temp and rainfall for that area
- Antarctic Peninsula
- Falkland Islands
- Camping in Antarctica
- Why not spend an epic night out on the Antarctic ice for the ultimate polar experience under the stars!
- Sea Kayaking
- Paddle out in the icy waters in search of wildlife amongst the iceberg wilderness. Pure, isolated bliss!
- Sail Drake Passage
- Not for the feint hearted, but a real ‘rite of passage’ for those intrepid explorers amongst you.
- Local Dishes
- There are not many options for this we're afraid. Antarctica doesn't really have a local cuisine so you will be eating international dishes prepared on your ship.
- Eat More!
- Your body will burn more calories due to the extreme weather conditions so we recommend increasing your daily calorie intake.
- Falklands 'Smoko'
- If you stop at the Falkland Islands be sure to try this tradition. It is a special treat for visitors with cakes and cookies piled high!
The Polar regions are perhaps the most vulnerable environments on the whole of the planet. The pristine white icecaps, bergs and freezing waters are instantly recognisable from David Attenborough documentaries, raising the public consciousness of the environmental risks they face each and every day.
As the only continent without an active government, it falls to international countries, charities and environmentally conscious spokespeople to raise awareness and take action to protect this vulnerable beauty.
The need to act responsibly in Antarctica is perhaps more evident than in any other destination. Anything that you do or leave behind, will leave a mark of the landscape that could have a significant impact for years to come.
Should we visit Antarctica at all? – Air travel and the tourist industry in general will always leave a carbon footprint. However, often there are considerable benefits of tourism that can offset the environmental impact, for example through enhancing local economies, supporting community development and raising cultural awareness.
Travelling to Antarctica however is less clear and there has been considerable debate about whether there are any ‘benefits’ of tourism on this region at all. Perhaps the benefits lie in how it affects the consciousness of the people who visit there? To witness such a beautiful, pristine, un-polluted region of the world can only inspire a true commitment to protecting it forever.
Protecting Antarctica – The International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators was founded in 1991 by a number of private Tour Operators. This Association recognises the impact of tourism, and promotes high standards of travel through their published guidelines. Their actions include limiting the number of passengers on shore and approved distances for viewing wildlife. For more information please see www.iaato.org
- Capital city No capital!
- Currency US dollar (unofficial)
- Language No official language
- Time difference GMT-3
- Flight time 23 hours
- Best time to visit Nov-Mar
- Fly & Cruise – South Georgia in Depth
Polar wildlife, spectacular scenery and historically significant sites from early explorations to the Antarctic region.
- Explore South Georgia, with its remarkable history and spectacular wildlife
- Incredible wildlife viewing including seabirds, penguins, and seals
- Fly between Punta Arenas and Stanley, Falkland Islands
- Antarctic Explorer
Towering blue icebergs, vast penguin colonies, whales, seals and glaciers right in the heart of the peninsula
- Explore the remarkable Antarctic Peninsula
- Incredible wildlife viewing including seabirds, penguins, seals and whales
- Travel on a small expedition vessel
- Fly & Cruise: Antarctica-in-Depth (Extended Peninsula Voyage)(Cruise South)
Maximise time exploring Antarctica on this unique expedition
- Fantastic glaciated scenery of the Antarctic Peninsula and Gerlache coastline
- Outstanding wildlife observation on shore, Zodiac cruising and from the ship
- Visits to historic sites and science stations
- South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula: Penguin Safari
Enjoy all of the highlights of South Georgia and the Antarctic peninsula
- Experience the quintessential wildlife experience of the “Galapagos of the Poles”
- Visit South Georgia’s King penguin rookeries – the largest in the world
- Reflect at the resting place of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton