How To Get To Antarctica

Lake Fryxell in Victoria Land, Antarctica.

There are many destinations in the world and it depends on what each particular traveler wants and feels like visiting. There are the popular and usual destinations, there are exotic and unusual destinations and then there are also some that most people usually dream about, those once in a lifetime adventures that can change our life. One of these places for me is the frozen Antarctica, the land of ice and penguins, a magnificent and unforgettable destination. I have always wanted to go there, and it is definitely on my bucket list. My biggest question was how much it was going to cost and how long it would take to get there. Here are some of the information I found about how to get to Antarctica.

Penguins on ice floe
Group of penguins diving from an ice floe in Hope Bay on the Antarctic Peninsula. Photo: Angell Williams

While most people do not even dare to dream on visiting the South Pole, truth is that it is not as hard to travel to Antarctica as it might seem. Of course, it takes much preparing and there are many things to consider, including a pretty hefty budget, but those that really wish to adventure there can do so. First of all, there are several ways a tourist can get to Antarctica, the usual way being by ship from a port of South America or Australia. The best known points of departure include the biggest ports of Argentina, Chile, South America, New Zealand or Australia. All the tour operators offering journeys to Antarctica (ca 80) are part of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. Sea voyages usually take the longest, with most tours taking from 1-2 weeks and beyond. The best option would be to choose smaller vessels, although the big ones are more comfortable, as the smaller ones can get to more places and allow a more in-depth experience. There are other ways to visit this destination, with air travel also being possible, from fly over trips to even fly and cruise combinations.

Going by boat is by far the cheapest and best way to visit.
Going by boat is by far the cheapest and best way to visit. Photo: Liam Quinn

There are many companies that offer this amazing journey as the highlight of their offer, the most important being Abercrombie & Kent, Aurora Expeditions, G AdventuresHeritage Expeditions, Intrepid Travel, Oceanwide Expeditions among others. Moreover, there are also famous tour operators from Europe, USA and the whole world that act as intermediaries and anyone can book one of these expeditions from most countries. One of the most important aspects to consider is the budget, as traveling to Antarctica tends to be pretty expensive, usually from $5,000 and up for each person, without considering the journey to a port of departure. The more luxurious Abercrombie & Kent’s cheapest antarctic tickets start out at about $12,000 for a 12 night cruise. You can also find cheaper alternatives by looking for sales and last minute deals with different tour operators if you have the time to wait. In those cases you could get as low as $2,500. There is also a cost for the travel insurance you need, in case of medevacs. If this is not a problem, travelers should also consider preparing very well their journey, from the itinerary to the necessary equipment and other health issues that should be well researched. In the end, this is most likely an unforgettable adventure and an incredible experience for anyone.

When to go

Antarctica is only reachable during the austral summer season, ranging from November to March. During this time the temperature reaches ca. 14°C (57°F) with 24 hours of daylight. In the wintertime the temperature goes as low as -40°C/F with complete darkness.

Finally, here is a video showing what it is like to go on a tour with the operator Adventure Life onboard the ship Plancius:

Hope this has given you some inspiration, whether you go there or not. Please leave a comment down below to let us know what you thought or if we missed any useful information!


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