Antarctica Travel Guide
This is a truly amazing place to travel to and it's the driest, coldest and most unpopulated place on earth!
For those of us with good sea legs there can be no more an awe inspiring trip than to our only wilderness continent, where but a few hundred scientists hang out to study the rocky ice-scapes.
Penguins and other more flighty birds, seals and whales, and some more primitive marine creatures will be your only company in Antarctica, except for the travellers on the vessel you take to get there, so be prepared for pristine ice-scapes with sub zero wildness on the coolest continent on Earth!
When To Travel
The severe winter here limits tourism to the summer season which runs from November to March. November-December is best for Penguin courtship; December-January is best for temperature, night time sky, and baby animals; February-March is best for whale watching.
Antarctica Regions Guide
With no significant current buildings to speak of and little history of them either, discussing the attractions on this huge frozen lump of rock, is a little limited (relatively speaking).
Logistics dictate however that certain places all of which are on the coast or smaller islands off of it, are likely to be on the tour itineraries of various cruises, and it is these we shall look at.
Note that Antarctica is the only continent in the world that no one actually owns, though many countries make claims. For the time being it is agreed that these claims are not substantiated.
North Antarctica and The Antarctic Peninsula
The part of the continent that reaches out through the Southern Ocean towards the most southerly part of South America (Argentina and Chile), is the most visited part, and fortunately it is also quite spectacular.
- Deception Island
This volcanic island blew its top and the resulting caldera (crater) subsequently filled with seawater, providing a safe haven for seafarers ever since (except when it erupts!)... more about Deception Island
- Enterprise Island
The island is well known for its historic ship wreck, ice burg's and superb scenery... more about Enterprise Island
- Lemaire Channel
This strait otherwise known as 'Kodak Gap' due to its photogenic nature, runs between the mainland of the Antarctic Peninsula, and Booth Island, often used to access Petermann Island and its penguin colony... more about the Lemaire Channel
- Petermann Island
Peterman Island is well known for its abundant Adelie and Gentoo penguin colonies.... more about Petermann Island
- Paradise Harbour
Favorite stop off for excursions in smaller vessels such as kayak canoes and zodiac inflatable craft... more about Paradise Harbour
- Weddell Sea
Between the Antarctic Peninsula to the west and Coast Land to the east, is the Weddell Sea and the second largest Antarctic ice shelf... more about the Weddell Sea
South Antarctica and The East Antarctic
It is along this unique stretch of coastline that you will be able to observe spectacular wildlife and dramatic scenery while also having the opportunity to step back in time visiting the unique expedition huts from the great age of antarctic exploration.
- Ross Sea
The Ross Sea is named after the explorer James Clark Ross and is a vast area containing the formidable Ross Sea Ice Shelf and Ross Island. The island was used as the base for many early explorers and still contains the remains of early huts used by Scott and Shackleton, the area is now also home to two research facilities and amongst other wildlife several vast penguin rookeries... more about the Ross Sea
- Cape Evans
Cape Evans contains the historic and well preserved Terra Nova Hut that was used by Scott during his expeditions... more about Cape Evans
- Cape Royds
Cape Royds contains the remarkably well preserved hut that Shackleton used during his expedition, the area is also very popular with Adelie Penguins... more about Cape Royds
- Cape Adare
The hut used by Borchgrevink is located here at Cape Adare and is surrounded by some formidable volcanic hills. The area is another popular location for viewing incredible numbers of Adelie Penguins which altogether provide a very inspiring picture... more about Cape Adare
- McMurdo Dry Valleys
An incredibly unique area that is free from snow and ice cover and subjected to strong winds, freezing temperatures and seriously low humidity... more about McMurdo Dry Valleys
Ross Island contains four volcanos Mount Erebus, Bird, Terra Nova and Terror, with only Mount Erebus remaining active.
Specialist Travel Guide
This is a very intense place, with two things which make it rather remarkable... the animals, and the climate.
- Antarctica Animals
Penguins and seals are the big animal attraction down south, but there are also many other sea birds surviving here, as well as whales.
There are millions of penguins living on and around Antarctica, and populations of these funny looking birds stretch as far north as the Equator. Of the seventeen species of penguin in the world, the four that live in the Antarctic are the Adelie, Chinstrap, Emperor and Gentoo penguins.
- Other Sea Birds
Other seabirds to visit the antarctic and its many islands are Albatross, Gulls, Shearwaters, Petrels, Cormorants and Terns.
The six species that live in Antarctic are the Crabeater, Fur, Leopard, Ross, Southern Elephant, and Weddell seals.
There are eight species of whale found in the antarctic waters and they include Orca, Sperm, Sei, Humpback, Minke, Blue, Fin and Right Whales.
The only air strips on the continent are basically for the scientists, so anyone else gets there by sea. Indeed, anything a traveller is likely to want to look at is living next to the sea, or falling into it!
Antarctic cruises typically sail from South America to the Antarctic Peninsula, or from New Zealand or Australia to the Ross Sea and East Antarctic due to the obvious distance logistics... more about Antarctica Cruises