Although traveling to different countries and road trips have their perks, checking off the almost-impossible places on your adventure bucket list is an experience unlike any other. A trip to Antarctica is that place for many people, and this 2023 it’s time to check that off your list. Learn the basics for your “White Continent” trip with this Project Bold Life guide!
Traveling to Antarctica
Traveling to the White Continent is a long and arduous mission. It also takes more preparation and finances than a usual foreign vacation. In addition to preparing physically, you should consider which part of the continent you’d like to visit and how you want to reach Antarctica. Travelers to Antarctica can travel by ship or plane.
Traveling by Ship or Yacht
The most common and economical way to travel to Antarctica is by boat. It could be through expedition ships, cruise ships, or private yachts. Most, if not all, ship traveling to the White Continent starts at the bottom of South America, either in Ushuaia, Argentina, or Punta Arenas, Chile.
Although some airlines today offer more affordable flights bound for Antarctica, many travelers still travel by ship or rented yachts for numerous reasons. One notable reason is that many reputable tour operators offer passenger trips to the White Continent, making them more accessible than flying.
In addition, ships and yachts are the most eco-friendly option to reach Antarctica. Because of its lack of political claims, the continent holds zero land infrastructure, like airports, that airplanes need. Boats are more advantageous as they allow travelers more convenient access and visitation to any destination.
Another perk of sailing to Antarctica is their departure dates. Unlike air travel, boat owners offer more dates throughout the year. Planes often limit their departures from December to February because the weather is preferable for flying.
Traveling by Airplane
In recent years, flying to Antarctica is increasing in popularity due to its comfort and faster travel time. Most air routes for planes bound for Antarctica start at Punta Arenas in Chile and end at King George Island, the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula. From there, you can embark on a ship to further explore the continent.
The most notable benefit of flying to Antarctica is avoiding the famous Drake Passage. In doing so, it cuts down a substantial travel time. In addition, it’s more comfortable.
The downside of flying is the limited departure dates. No commercial airports exist in Antarctica, which means travelers depend on private air travel. The only way flying is possible is by booking through a tour operator.
Due to this, the flights are more expensive, and the flying season is short because of the weather. Private planes only start in December and last until February. In addition, most tour operators offering air travel come from Cape Town, South Africa, and New Zealand.
Best Time to Visit Antarctica
Unlike other foreign trips, tours specify a limited time to visit Antarctica, specifically from November to April. Many experienced Antarctic adventurers have mixed opinions on which month is best for people to tour the white continent.
Some people prefer traveling to Antarctica during November because they can see the place in its most natural state. The long, freezing winter ensures that fresh blankets of snow cover the landscape, making it look clean and other-worldly.
The agreed peak season is from December to February. The temperatures are at their highest, and travelers can explore more areas because the continent gets up to 20 hours of daylight. Whales are also arriving while more baby penguins waddle on the icy lands.
Places to Visit in Antarctica
Antarctica has one of the most beautiful icy landscapes worldwide to its minimal human impact and contact for thousands of years. Due to this millennia-worth isolation, travelers can enjoy snowy scenic views and undisturbed wildlife. Here are some places you can check out while visiting the White Continent.
The Lemaire Channel
The Lemaire Channel is a narrow passage located on the Antarctic Peninsula. The scenery it offers- while you navigate through the channel- is unlike any other. Both sides of the course have towering peaks of ice, tumbling glaciers, and crystal-clear icebergs.
Marine wildlife lovers can also enjoy passing through Lemaire as it provides the perfect place for spotting different marine animals, like seals and whales. Despite the cold, the Lemaire Channel is one of the must-see areas in Antarctica.
Deception Island is a notable highlight of any Antarctic travel. The area offers a breathtaking landscape, even with the old whaling station erected years earlier. The origin behind Deception Island’s name is because of the true nature of the place.
Although it looks like an island, Deception Island is a caldera of an active volcano. Due to this, the waters are warmer, making it possible for travelers to enjoy a polar plunge.
South Shetland Islands
The South Shetland Islands are a small group of islands in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula. Due to their location, they’re the most visited place on the continent. In addition, the South Shetland Islands hosts a considerable population of elephant seals and penguins.
The Ultimate Antarctica Travel Guide for Bold Travelers in 2023
Visiting Antarctica is the ultimate bucket list for adventurers of any age. Recently, more people have ventured out to the White Continent for a unique holiday. Although trips to the Antarctic are more accessible nowadays, interested travelers must have a basic grasp on what to expect when spending their vacation touring Antarctica. This bold life guide for visiting Antarctica in 2023 can help people prepare for their trip better.
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