Antarctica – The White Wilderness, the White Continent or the White Giant! Antarctica should be on every travelers bucket list. It offers everything that any explorer wants in a travel destination; incredible scenery, unique wildlife and adventure.
Below are the 6 Best Things to do in Antarctica from Christina Schranz, our Antarctica travel expert.
Sign up for a historic and authentic cruise to Antarctica. I recommend the M/V Plancius Cruise. This is a 10 Day Antarctic Peninsula cruise. The Plancius ship was originally a research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy until Oceanwide Expeditions purchased it in 2004 & transformed it into a passenger cruise-ship. This is a small ship fit for 116 passengers. Although it isn’t you’re typical cruise ship, it is comfortable and perfect for any explorer! On the cruise you can listen to various lectures on Antarctica, whale watch on the outside decks or relax in your cabin.
2. Cross the Infamous Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage is almost a “right of passage” for anyone traveling to Antarctica. The Drake Passage is the stretch of ocean south of Cape Horn & north of the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. It is often considered one of the roughest passages in the world and nicknamed “the washing machine.” On the M/V Plancius Cruise you depart from Ushuaia – the southernmost city in the world – and it takes about 2 days to cross the passage. As the ship starts to roll with the motion of the swells & waves, passengers can be prone to sea-sickness. This is nothing that some dramamine tablets or a sea-sickness patche can’t fix.
3. Gentoo Penguins at Cuverville Island
Visiting Cuverville Island is one of the best things to do in Antarctica. Here you will see Gentoo Penguins and Brown Skuas. This is just one of many penguin colonies in Antarctica, but it is definitely a highlight. Cuverilla Island is a very small island with steep hills, making for a beautiful landscape.
4. Visit Vernadsky Station
If you’re cruise ship is lucky, the personnel of Vernadsky Station might extend an invitation to the passengers to visit their research base. Vernadsky Station was originally founded by the British in 1947, but was bought by Ukraine in 1996 for the price of 1 British Pound. It is currently staffed with 12 researchers from the National Antarctic Scientific Center of Ukraine. Make sure to visit the small post-office here and send a letter home to your family from Antarctica! Fun fact, this also has the southernmost bar in the world.
5. Wildlife in Mikkelsen Harbor
Spotting different wildlife is by far one of the best things to do in Antarctica. Make sure to spend a day in Mikkelsen Harbor. When you near the harbor you will need to take a small zodiac boat to shore. Spend the day roaming the island & looking for cute fur/weddell seals and gentoo penguins. The views here are simply breath-taking.
6. Antarctica Extension Trips
Antarctica is a great starting or ending point for any South America trip. Your Antarctica cruise will end in Ushuaia, which is the perfect connecting city in Argentina. From Ushuaia take a direct flight to The Lake District of Argentina, Bariloche. After enjoying pristine blue icebergs, you will be welcomed into a lovely alpine town surrounded by snow-capped Andean peaks and sapphire lakes.
Fun Facts about Antarctica:
- Antarctica’s tour season covers about 5 months (November – March) – spots fill up quickly so book in advance!
- Antarctica is Earth’s southernmost continent.
- Antarctica is nearly 98% solid ice.
- There are no polar bears in Antarctica (only in the Arctic).
- Antarctica is the largest desert in the world.
- Antarctica is home to the southern-most active volcano in the world – Mount Erebus.
Whether you want to book a trip to Antarctica because it is the last continent you have yet to visit, or you want to see penguins, whales or icebergs, Antarctica will not disappoint you. Explore the least explored place on the planet.
Ready to go? Call us & talk to one of our travel consultants & find out how to combine a cruise to Antarctica with other popular destinations!