Antarctica is the world’s southernmost continent. This frozen, desolate landmass is home to some of the most incredible natural phenomena on earth. In fact, Antarctica features almost every type of climatic zone known to man. From lush green valleys to frozen, arid deserts and everything in between, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. So can you travel to Antarctica? Well, as long as you have around $10,000 available for airfare and materials to build an ice hut on-site, then yes! Arguably the most challenging part of any potential trip to Antarctica begins with asking that one question: How? Unfortunately, this phenomenal piece of real estate isn’t open for just anyone to visit. In fact, because of its remote location and status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (among other things), few people are able to make the journey there.
Can You Travel to Antarctica?
No, you cannot travel to Antarctica as it is a very remote and dangerous place. With freezing temperatures and strong winds, it is not suitable for comfortable visits. However, there are companies that organize tours of this amazing place.
Who Can Travel To Antarctica?
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you want to visit Antarctica, yet you’re unsure of your eligibility. No worries! There are a few factors that you’ll want to take into consideration to determine if this trip is right for you. First, keep in mind that Antarctica is not a tourist destination. Very few people have ever been there, and those who have are largely restricted to research stations, government sites, and a very small number of specially selected individuals. For this reason, the general population isn’t permitted to travel there. Because Antarctica is so remote and challenging to access, it makes it very difficult to accommodate tourists. With that in mind, you’ll want to take your financial situation into consideration. Though the exact cost of visiting Antarctica is highly variable, you can expect to pay anywhere from $4,000 to upwards of $30,000 for the privilege.
How To Travel To Antarctica
Traveling to Antarctica is a very big dream for many people. The continent is not only the coldest place on the planet but also home to some of the most endangered species of animals. If you want to travel to Antarctica, this article will help you in planning your trip.
1. Travel by Boat
The most popular way of traveling to Antarctica is by boat from Ushuaia, Argentina. The city has a good harbor and it does not take more than 20 hours to reach the Drake Passage. From there, you will sail for three days before reaching the Antarctic Peninsula. Of course, you will also need an expensive permit from Chile or Argentina if you want to enter their waters south of 60 degrees south latitude.
2. Travel by Air
You can also travel by plane which is faster than traveling by boat but it can be expensive and it may take more time compared with other ways of traveling because there are no direct flights into Antarctica and then out again. You have to make a stopover at one of the airports in Chile or Argentina first before flying into Antarctica and out again after that. It may take 15 hours or more just for this purpose!
3. Travel by Land
Traveling by land is also possible. You can travel to Antarctica from the USA, New Zealand, Australia, or South Africa. Some of these countries have their own stations in Antarctica and it may take more time to reach those stations compared with other means of traveling. It may take more than a month for you to get there if you travel on your own!
4. Travel by Ice Breaker
You can also choose this means of transportation to Antarctica but it is only available during the summer season from November to March when the sea ice is relatively thin and breakable by an ice breaker ship that can cut through the thick sea ice easily. If you want to travel during this time, it may not be expensive as well but you should book your trip early because most of the icebreaker ships are already booked up until next year!
5. Travel with a Cruise Ship
This is one of the cheapest ways to travel because cruise ships are built with large capacities and they can accommodate many passengers at once. The only disadvantage of choosing this way is that you will have limited options when it comes to activities on board because there are only so many things you can do on a cruise ship. The activities offered may be limited to entertainment and food. So it is still better to choose other ways when you have plenty of time and money!
Otherways To Experience Antarctica Without Actually Going There
The world’s most remote continent is also one of its most accessible. You can take a guided tour, see the penguins on a cruise ship, or visit Antarctica’s stunning glaciers on an overland journey. Here are some ways you can experience Antarctica without actually going there:
Visit Antarctica on a Cruise Ship
If you want to experience Antarctica at close quarters, but don’t feel like packing your own gear and spending several months traveling all the way there, then consider taking a cruise ship to Antarctica. The Antarctic Peninsula is accessible by cruise ship only during the summer season (November to March). During this time, cruise ships visit many of the region’s popular tourist attractions such as the Antarctic Peninsula Iceberg Watch and the Port Lockroy Visitor Centre. You can also spend some time exploring the region from aboard your ship as many ships offer shore excursions in addition to their regular itinerary. However, not all ships offer excursions when visiting this region; you might have to book them in advance or ask about them when you book your cruise. Plus, if you plan on traveling with a group of friends or family members then doing so by ship will be cheaper than flying commercial in the region.
Take a Helicopter Tour of Antarctica
If you’d like to see Antarctica from the air, then consider taking a helicopter tour of the continent. Like cruises, helicopters also visit many of the region’s popular tourist attractions including Port Lockroy and the Antarctic Peninsula Iceberg Watch. However, unlike cruises which are only available during the summer season (November to March), helicopters are available 24 hours a day during the winter season (May to October). You can also book a helicopter tour for an all-inclusive package where you can include additional activities such as landing at an iceberg or viewing penguins in their natural habitat. Plus, you can even learn about climate change in Antarctica from your pilot!
Visit Antarctica on an Overland Journey
If you want to experience Antarctica without having to worry about booking flights or taking cruise ships or helicopters, then consider traveling there on foot! Unlike other trips that require expensive plane tickets and/or costly land excursions such as helicopter tours, walking across Antarctica is completely free! You don’t even need any equipment such as tents or camping gear – just a good pair of boots and some warm clothes! There are several overland routes you can take to reach Antarctica, including the Trans-Antarctic Overland Track, the South Pole Traverse, and the Discovery Coast.
Visit Antarctica in a Yurt
If you’d like to visit Antarctica without having to worry about booking flights or taking cruises or helicopters, then consider visiting the continent in a yurt! Yurts are circular tents that are traditionally used by nomadic people such as Mongolian and Turkmen tribes. However, yurts can also be made from modern materials such as canvas and plastic; these yurts can be easily transported across large distances such as from Siberia to Alaska! Many tourists have traveled across Asia and North America in yurts; some even stayed there for years! However, these yurts are not cheap and require a lot of time to construct; expect your budget to be stretched when traveling in one of these unique structures. Some travelers have even built their own yurt by using recycled materials that they purchase from thrift stores.
Take a Snowmobile Tour of Antarctica
If you’d like to experience Antarctica without having to worry about booking flights or taking helicopters or cruise ships, then consider taking a snowmobile tour! Snowmobiles are all-terrain vehicles that are powered by a large motor and have four-wheel drive. They can be used on dry land or snow, which makes them an ideal vehicle for traveling across Antarctica. Some companies offer all-inclusive packages where you can include additional activities such as jumping from an iceberg or sleeping in a yurt!
If you’re ready to experience one of the world’s most extreme climates and some of its most exciting natural phenomena, then Antarctica is the place for you. However, you’ll need to be ready to make the financial commitment required to travel there. And if you’re someone who’s serious about visiting this frozen continent, you’ll need to start planning now!