I have just returned from leading a group on my fourth trip to Antarctica – There are two main ways to visit this incredible continent:
Firstly, and more commonly, leaving from Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, South America and heading South across the Drake passage to the Antarctic Peninsular.
If going direct, this involves a 36 hour day crossing of the famous Drake Passage, and then you will have various stops at points around the peninsular – all landings are subject to weather and pack-ice permitting. Some itineraries also include stops at the sub Antarctic Islands of The Falklands and South Georgia. This of course takes several days longer, but I highly recommend it, as I really feel is an essential part of the whole Antarctic experience, as they are home to the amazing breeding colonies of most of the penguin species and the seabirds. ( Just imagine standing on a beach with half a million King Penguins for example!
Secondly, the most remote trip is from Australia and or New Zealand, and goes all the way to the Ross Sea – the furthest point south that you can go on earth by sea – and that is a 23 day return trip. I will never forget that journey as it was the most spiritual and stimulating trip I have ever done! In addition to the amazing wildlife, one is surrounded by the history of those brave explorers of 100 years ago. Depending again on the ice conditions, you can visit the original huts of Shackleton and Scott, which have survived the elements and are left exactly as they were when they walked out of the door to trek to the South Pole. However, as of 2018, very few commercial operators are offering this routing at the moment due to ever increasing summer pack-ice making scheduling so difficult.
The Season is short – generally from late November to early February – which of course is the Polar summer. This makes it reasonably warm on many of the days, with daytime temps ranging from 30 – 40 deg F in the sunshine, without the wind blowing!
It is possible to fly in and avoid the Drake passage, but weather conditions don’t always make this a consistent alternative.
There are other options, depending on the weather, such as flights for an overnight of camping near the South Pole and day-trips. But, in my opinion, this trip of a lifetime should really be done by boat – which these days vary from 5-star luxury to fairly basic converted Russian Ice-breakers.
Give us a call to discuss the options.
View the itinerary of the trip that I just lead to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands – following in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton, in February 2020:
Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands
Contact us to begin a journey: +1 435-649-4655 or firstname.lastname@example.org