It is one of the most exciting trips you will ever take.It’s truly spectacular, even though it is expensive.A trip to Antarctica is something that you and your travelling companions will never forget.Traveling there is unlike any other place.There are many possibilities for explorers who want to see the beauty of the frozen continent.You can have a trip of a lifetime if you want to take a few weeks exploring on a ship, or fly over it in a day.
Step 1: There is a cruise ship.
A cruise ship is the most common way to travel to Antarctica.These trips are usually between 10 days and 3 weeks long.Depending on where you are going, you can take different routes to the Peninsula.The cruises give you access to everything on the ship, and you can see the wildlife close-up for an extended period of time.Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands is one of the places where most voyages leave from.
Step 2: Decide if you want to travel on a larger ship or a smaller ship.
There are a variety of ship sizes that you can travel on, ranging from around 45 passengers total at the smaller end to around 280 passengers in the larger end.Both have advantages and disadvantages.The bigger the ship, the more comfortable and well-equipped it will be, but the less time you will get to see things up- close.In high seas, larger ships are the most comfortable but the strict guidelines on how many people can visit the shore will limit your opportunities for shore visits.Smaller ships have more time on shore.Tourist guidelines limit landings of tour groups to 100 people.The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) is a good place to consult when planning a cruise.They support travel to Antarctica that is friendly to the environment.For a ten day trip, expect to pay at least $4500, whereas for the longer trips it could be from $12,750 to $16,000.
Step 3: A yacht will take you to the South Pole.
It is possible to reach the southernmost point of the world by yacht, but it is not commonplace.There are a number of yachting companies that are approved by the IAATO and can be reached.The very brave and adventurous boats leave from Ushuaia or Stanley.The conditions are more dangerous for the smaller ships.This option costs more than $1,000 a day for each traveller.
Step 4: The ship is a French re-supply ship.
A left-field option is to travel on a French re-supply vessel as a tourist.The round-trip from Réunion is around a month.You have to contact French tourist agencies for up-to-date information on departure schedules, availability and prices because the number of tourists allowed aboard is limited.The prices start at $8,000 for a month.
Step 5: Take a ride.
It’s probably the most straight-forward way to see Antarctica.You can see the great white landscape from the comfort of a plane if you book a sightseeing flight over it.Taking a sightseeing flight is a good option for day-trippers who want to spend a few hours over Antarctica and get back the same day.You can enjoy the views while listening to experts talk on the plane.You can only take these flights from Australia.If you want to do this, you need to plan ahead.If you want to see the wildlife up close, this is not the place for you.The cost of tickets can range from $1,000 to $8,000.
Step 6: You can get a flight that lands in the South Pole.
There are a number of companies that offer this service, leaving from a variety of places.Depending on the rest of your trip, you can either travel from Australia, Chile, South Africa or Argentina.It is less frequent and less predictable to fly to Antarctica than it is to ordinary flights.Some adventure holiday companies have deals that include skiing, camping and climbing.You can fly to King George Island and stay overnight at a camp there for tourists.
Step 7: Look at fly-cruise options.
You can get a close-up view of the landscape and wildlife with a fly-cruise package, which cuts down on the time spent on a ship.You can fly to King George Island and then take a ship to the area.If you want to see the ice and wildlife up close, this could be a good option.It won’t be any cheaper.For a two-week trip, you can expect to pay between $10,000 and $14,000.
Step 8: You should remember that bad weather can ruin your plans.
Weather and other safety issues can cause flights to be canceled.Extreme conditions on the bottom of the world make this a more frequent occurrence.The best way to assess flight options is to read guidebooks written specifically for Antarctica, or check specialist websites, as the details change yearly depending on availability and interest.
Step 9: The right time to visit is now.
The tour season in the Southern Hemisphere runs from November to March.The pack ice is frozen out a long way all other times of the year.While there will be less people around later in the season, a lot of the wildlife will already have left and headed out to sea.During November, the pack ice starts to break up and it’s mating season for the penguins and other birds.During December and January, the penguins hatch and are fed.The adult penguins are easy to spot during February and March.
Step 10: There will be a large hole in your budget.
Budget travel is not an option unless you are hired to work hard.At a minimum, you will be facing at least US$5,000 and that is for the bare necessities and not necessarily the best seating or opportunities.Cheap last minute deals with cruise ships can be found in places like Ushuaia in Argentina.You need to be flexible and able to leave at a moment’s notice.If it works, you could save a lot of money.You can join a government expedition to Antarctica if you don’t want to visit as a tourist.You will need suitable technical, scientific, medical, or other relevant skills for this.To be considered for government employment, you must have a suitable background.It is possible to travel as part of a crew.Some people get asked to come along as journalists, photographers, artists, etc., and their trip is covered by whoever invited or sent them along.This will depend on your skills.
Step 11: Understand the issues of health and safety.
The environment in the southern part of the world is dangerous.It is always cold even in the summer when highs range from 41–56 F (5–13C) along the coast.In the very dry environment, there are dangers such as crevasses on ice fields and glaciers that need to be handled with care.Pick out the gear and clothing you need.Excellent waterproof clothing is what you will need.If you don’t have things to hire, your cruise ship might not be a good fit.Medical treatment will be basic and spread thin among all your passengers if you are not fit and in good health.If you need to bring medication with you, your doctor should give you a detailed description in a letter.
Step 12: The environment of the Antarctic is fragile.
There has been little change in the environment apart from expeditions, bases, and some tourists.There is no long-term negative interaction between humans and wildlife.Ensuring that tourism doesn’t have a negative impact on the pristine nature of Antarctica is important.The Visitor Guidelines that regulate visitors’ actions at Antarctica are part of your preparation for the visit.Don’t go too near wildlife and not do anything to disturb wildlife are some of the basics to keep in mind.Don’t litter.All human-built structures have historical value and many have heritage listings.Don’t engrave anything into rocks or other land features.Take photos and not anything else.All eggs, shells, plants, rocks, fossils and soil should be left where they are.
Step 13: Enjoy your trip.
People who take this trip can never forget or stop talking about it.If you love pristine beauty, amazing sights, incredible wildlife opportunities, and you don’t mind a bit of cold, this might be the perfect trip for you.