Tourism in Antarctica: how to travel to Antarctica

I have been lucky enough to take a Tourist trip to Antarctica and we can safely say that it has been by far the most incredible place I have ever visited.

And that I am born in Patagonia and I am quite used to seeing Penguins and Glaciers.

That said, it is not an easy trip to do, and above all it is not cheap, so if you are lucky enough to be able to embark on a trip to Antarctica, you will be one of the 40,000 people a year who visit this continent!

To get the most out of your trip you need to be well prepared, so be sure to read our detailed Antarctic Travel Guide.

Fun facts

Coin : There is no specific currency in Antarctica, so depending on the area you are visiting, they can accept US dollars, British pounds, and euros. It will depend on the ship that takes you to the Antarctic continent.

Capital : There is no official capital.

Idiom : Russian and English are the most widely spoken languages in Antarctica and on boats for tourist trips to Antarctica.

Population : 1,106 (non-permanent residents)

Area : 5,400,000 square kilometers

It is the coldest continent in the world, with winter temperatures dropping below -73 ° C (-100 ° F).

The lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth was in Antarctica, and it was a very mild -89.2 ° C (-128.6 ° F).

Anyway, calm or quiet, on your trip you can have a thermal sensation of -25 but Actual temperature will always be between -1 and -8 degrees below zero.

A cold but bearable temperature.

There are no permanent residents in Antarctica, only residents in transit (about 1,000), who are usually scientists or workers who live in different research stations spread throughout Antarctica.

Since Antarctica is located in the southern hemisphere, winter is from May to October, and summer is from November to April. Antarctica is actually a desert!

Antarctica contains 90% of the world’s fresh water!

The main means of transportation in the Antarctica is the ship , and you have two types of sightseeing cruises – luxury ships, or an expedition ship.

Larger ships can be comfortable and luxurious, but they also lack the character and sense of adventure expected of a place like Antarctica.

I have always traveled with the Antarpply Company, which assures you that the experiences will be carried out on a small expedition ship.

The Zodiacs (inflatable rubber boats)

Zodiacs are the most common way to navigate within Antarctica.

They are used to go from your boat to shore, or simply to explore around the beautiful seas.

You will be outside, which means you are exposed to the cold, so make sure you are wearing enough protective gear.

You will also need rubber boots to be able to disembark in the thing and it is generally because of the cold that you get.

Zodiacs (inflatable rubber boats)

So we especially recommend wearing fat socks.

Your Safety

While Antarctica truly delivers on the promise of untouched nature and rich wildlife, one must seriously prepare to be exposed to harsh weather and take precautions.

All tourist boats have qualified and experienced medical personnel on board, so you will be in good hands.

Rough sea climate

Crossing the Drake Passage, it can be an exhausting journey of almost 48 hours, there is the possibility that you will find a rough sea climate.

Don’t panic, expedition boats are designed to carry even the roughest seas, so even if you feel worried at times, the boats are absolutely prepared to cross any type of seas and storms.

If you are prone to dizziness, you can take strong medications to help pass the moment.

Walking on ice

The key to crossing the icy stretches of the continent is having good quality boots.

Sometimes travel companies will provide you with boots, but be sure to do your research before introducing yourself.

Your guide on the boat will give you some practical advice on how to walk through the ice sections.

Typically, those instructions consist of keeping a slow pace and short, confident steps that plant your feet.

Hard Weather

The main problem you will encounter in Antarctica is the harsh climate, so make sure you travel prepared.

It is necessary that you pack everything you need before arriving in Ushuaia, because the right clothes are the most important factor to have a good time or not.

Bring a layered coat, because the temperature can change quickly, and the last thing you want is to have a giant, warm coat when the sun is out.

A word of advice: if you are a skier, take your ski clothes … that will be enough.

Travel safety to Antarctica

It is important to know that your tour operator assesses all risks and manages the trip around perceived dangers. Safety is your number one priority.

Today they are able to predict icebergs, ice and unexposed hazards with forward-looking sonar and ice radars, and all ships have them in use.

Vaccines

All tour operators have a medical team on board for any possible health problems.

The vaccines in which you must be up to date are:

  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine
  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis Vaccine
  • Chickenpox vaccine
  • Polio vaccine
  • Flu shot (if needed)

The risk of acquiring any of these diseases comes from the fact that they spread easily from person to person, and you will be sharing the same space with people from many different parts of the world, which carries a greater risk of contracting a disease.

Assembling the suitcase

Make sure you pack everything you need for your travel to Antarctica is the most vital part of your travel preparations.

Some Antarctic travel companies provide you with a suitable waterproof jacket, pants and boots, but be sure to check with them.

The quickest and simplest advice I can give you is to wear ski clothes. If you are a skier you will know what I am talking about.

If not, here is a list of what I consider essential to put in your suitcase.

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof pants
  • Boots (with more grip)
  • Thermal underwear
  • Thermal socks x2
  • Merino wool socks x3
  • T-shirts x4
  • Long sleeve shirt x1
  • Hooded jumper x1
  • Down jacket x1
  • Wind / Rain Jacket x1
  • Glove liners x1 pair
  • Ski gloves x1 pair
  • Buff Scarf x2
  • Hat x1
  • Sunglasses x1

Miscellaneous items

  • Camera (here’s our list of the best travel cameras on the market)
  • Wide angle and zoom lens
  • Convenient tripod to pack and carry.
  • Spare batteries x4
  • SD memory cards x4
  • Waterproof cases for electronics
  • Binoculars (not essential, you can always borrow some on the bridge)

Tips for dressing

Wear layers when dressing! As if you were an onion …

In some moments when you are physically exerting yourself, you will start to feel a little warm, so then you should remove a cape. Later, when you feel cold again, put it back on – it is important to regulate body temperature.

Invest in your PHOTOGRAPHY equipment!

This is a trip that most people only take once in their life – surely you want to be sure to take memorable photos of this moment.

When you book your trip make sure that somewhere it says “set foot on the continent” because some ships to Antarctica do not allow passengers to leave the ship! Consider flying to Buenos Aires before connecting with Ushuaia. It can be cheaper and you can arrive a day or two early to explore Buenos Aires. A beautiful city.

Buy a good travel insurance policy! Antarctica is so isolated and unpredictable that your travel policy should always include an emergency evacuation fee!

In fact, they will control your travel insurance before boarding the ship, it is important that your travel insurance policy includes the evacuation from the Antarctic continent to Ushuaia, a transfer that can cost between 150,000 and 300.00 dollars.

Travel responsibly

Antarctica is one of the most incredible destinations in the world, the last frontier for tourism, and a place so remote that it is almost impossible to put your emotions into words the first time with your own eyes this dramatic terrain.

For most it remains the most elusive of the seven of the continents, and that reason alone is enough to make intrepid travelers yearn for the opportunity to visit.This continent has opened up for explorers, mountaineers and scientists in recent times and is seeing steady growth from what is now a budding and mature tourism industry.

In the last few decades, a number of expedition travel companies have started offering trips for ordinary people to visit. By signing up for a licensed Antarctic travel boat, passengers have the opportunity to travel to Antarctica, promising an experience they will never forget.

However, not all tour operators are the same.

Make sure you travel in small groups and follow all instructions from the ship’s crew to create the least possible impact on the Antarctic continent.

Study before traveling

Once you’ve made the decision to travel to Antarctica, do a little research on the environment, history, and wildlife before you leave home.

You don’t need to become a scholar on all things Antarctica, but having a little knowledge of what to expect there will allow you to further appreciate all that you will experience, and it will give you the motivation to want to protect the delicate ecosystem.

Read blogs, watch videos, and pick a few topics that particularly interest you to enhance your trip.

If you’ve chosen to travel to Antarctica with a responsible travel company like Antarpply, they actually already have a wide variety of experts on board to make daily presentations as well.

STUDY BEFORE YOU TRAVEL TO ANTARCTICA

By studying a bit and being responsible you can become an ambassador of sustainable tourism in Antarctica, and this could be the greatest legacy with which you leave the most remote place on earth.

Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints, and discover how to travel responsibly to Antarctica.

Good trip

Tourism in Antarctica

Tourists also visit this frozen wasteland during the summer to enjoy the incredible landscapes and its particular fauna. Currently there are about 30,000 tourists a year who travel from Ushuaia to Antarctica.

Antarctica is a continent dedicated to science. All the countries working in Antarctica carry out scientific research, in a surprising range that goes from physics to biology, from the vastness of space to the minute scale of microorganisms.

The activities are regulated by the Antarctic Treaty, which has been in operation since 1959 and is signed by all the countries that operate there. The Treaty reserves the continent for peaceful purposes, prohibiting all military and industrial activities.

Antarctica is a continent covered by an ice dome up to 4,800m deep, containing approximately 90% of the planet’s fresh water.

Eighteen countries operate science stations and bases throughout the year, on the mainland and surrounding islands. And during the summer about 10,000 scientists and maintenance and logistics personnel work there, but only 1,000 continue during the winter.

Tourists also visit this frozen wasteland during the summer to enjoy the incredible landscapes and its particular fauna. Currently there are about 30,000 tourists a year who travel from Ushuaia to Antarctica.

Antarctica is a continent dedicated to science. All the countries working in Antarctica carry out scientific research, in a surprising range that goes from physics to biology, from the vastness of space to the minute scale of microorganisms. The activities are regulated by the Antarctic Treaty, which has been in operation since 1959 and is signed by all the countries that operate there.

The Treaty reserves the continent for peaceful purposes, prohibiting all military and industrial activities.