The different ways to see Antarctica
Antarctica is a dream destination for countless adventurers. People have only been visiting for a couple hundred years since its probable first sighting in 1820, and the first confirmed landing didn’t occur until 1895. Today, there are far more comfortable ways to see the White Continent. How you go depends on your travel style.
Most people visit by ship, but there are many different vessels that travel to Antarctica. For the more adventurous, there are expedition ships that have simple accommodations but offer plenty of opportunities for exploration in zodiacs and kayaks, with more chances to see wildlife going about their daily routines. There are luxury ships with lavish suites and gourmet food. You can even travel to Antarctica by private jet and stay in a private camp on land in a heated pod.
It’s a bucket list destination for many people and has been very popular in an era of travel restrictions in more populated places, so it’s important to pick the type of trip that best suits you. If you’re used to the finer things in life, you might not be happy on an expedition ship even if you are surrounded by towering ice and frolicking penguins you’ve been longing to see. If your dream is to be roughing it out in the elements, you might feel cramped on a non-expedition cruise. That’s where having a trusted travel advisor is so valuable. Your advisor knows you, your likes and dislikes and works to match you with the best possible experience for your trip of a lifetime.
An important thing to note is that ships with more than 500 passengers are not allowed to make landings on the continent, and no more than 100 people are allowed on land at a time. So the smaller the ship, the less time you might spend waiting for your chance to step foot on the icy terrain. If you’re land-based, you have more time for things like 4x4 snow safaris and visits to the emperor penguin colony at Atka Bay. An expedition ship has the flexibility to alter the itinerary as conditions change and explore remote areas larger vessels can’t enter. A more luxurious ship will have more of the comforts of home in a distant land.
Whichever way you go, a journey to Antarctica is one you won’t forget. Going in the manner that suits your style will make it that much more of an incredible experience.