Planning a trip to Antarctica takes a lot of guts and determination. Traveling to Antarctica, which is one of the world’s most remote regions, is prohibitively expensive. It’s well worth it, though, because of the breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife.
When it comes to visiting the Antarctic, it is a once in a lifetime experience; therefore, make sure you plan ahead of time by asking plenty of questions.
Ten things you should know about Antarctica before you go on a trip there.
Consult with a Polar expert rather than a travel agent when planning your trip.
You can easily become sidetracked when preparing for an Antarctic expedition and end up contacting the first travel agency you come across.
Obviously, this is something we do not recommend. Work with a travel agent who specializes in Antarctica when planning an Antarctica cruise, rather than going it alone. It is well worth the time and effort to locate a qualified polar specialist for those planning a trip to the North Pole.
Speaking with a polar expert is the most effective way to learn about Antarctica because they have personally visited the continent. Because of their extensive knowledge of the Arctic, they can tell you everything you need to know about each ship and island option that you are considering traveling to.
In order to plan the best vacation possible for you and your loved ones, you must have a great deal of inside information at your fingertips. Despite the fact that there are numerous ships and itineraries available, booking with an expert who is familiar with the region is essential.
The month in which you choose to travel is extremely important to consider.
The Antarctic cruise season takes place every year from the beginning of November until the end of March, depending on the year. Every month brings a new set of challenges. It follows that traveling during a particular season has a significant influence on what you see.
At the beginning of the season, you can see the most beautiful snow-covered landscapes, icebergs, and sea ice that the season has to offer. Late summer and early fall are ideal times to go whale-watching, with the latter being the most popular.
The best time to travel is determined by what you want to see and experience, and there is no right or wrong time to do so. Early and late season cruises are also less expensive than high-summer options in December and January, so it’s important to keep this in mind when planning your vacation schedule.
For more information, please see our page on the best time to visit Antarctica for a list of recommended itineraries.
When planning your budget, don’t just think about the cruise. Think about other things as well.
Many people who travel to Antarctica make the mistake of believing that the cost of the cruise will be the only expense they will incur during their journey.
Travelers embarking on Antarctica cruises typically depart from Ushuaia, which is located on the southernmost tip of South America. Flights to Ushuaia are rarely inexpensive, so you’ll need to budget for them ahead of time.
Apart from that, you’ll need to budget for one or two nights in a hotel before and after your cruise. Even if you decide to visit Patagonia, the trip will be an additional expense for you.
Despite the fact that most other amenities are included in the cost of a cruise, alcohol is not usually included. Clothing for cold weather and activities such as kayaking and camping may also be required to be taken into consideration.
Select a schedule that is most convenient for you.
Visitors to the Antarctic can choose from a wide variety of itineraries when they arrive. When it comes to deciding on a suitable itinerary for a trip, the advice of polar experts can be extremely beneficial.
South Georgia is a must-see on any trip to Antarctica, but if your budget and schedule allow it, we highly recommend that you spend the extra money to see it all. Many king penguins and elephant seals can be seen swimming along the beaches in this area.
The more time you spend on a trip, the more likely it is that you will see wildlife and have memorable interactions with it. The more time spent traveling, the more expensive it will be, which is a factor that many people take into account when planning their trip.
Here is where you can find the itineraries for our Antarctica cruises.
Choose the most appropriate ship for your requirements.
Every year, more than 40 ships embark on the journey to Antarctica. It can be difficult to choose which ship will best suit your needs and interests because there are so many different ships to choose from.
In terms of classification, a polar ship can be divided into three types: a research vessel, an expedition ship, and a luxurious vessel.
Because of their no-nonsense attitude, research vessels not only provide passengers with a genuine sense of adventure, but they also save passengers money and make them happy.
Expedition ships are the best mode of transportation for wildlife viewing and Antarctic exploration because they are specifically designed for polar travel. Despite the fact that they aren’t ostentatious, they have a utilitarian feel to them.
Passengers on luxury ships are treated to a level of luxury that is unmatched by passengers on other types of cruise ships. Keep in mind, however, that as a ship grows in size, the number of ports it can visit and navigate decreases.
Make your reservations as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Antarctica is only accessible by ship, and only a limited number of ships are permitted to sail there each year. Make your reservations as soon as possible to ensure that you don’t miss out on your preferred ship, cabin, or itinerary options.
The majority of people make their reservations at least a year in advance. You’ll have the opportunity to consider as many options as possible.
If you wait until the last minute to book, your options for cabin types and dates will be severely limited.
A small number of visitors simply show up in Ushuaia with no prior reservations in the hopes of snagging a last-minute spot on a cruise or expedition ship. The fact that you will have no say in which ship sails or where you go despite the fact that it is the least expensive option
Information on how to make a reservation for an Antarctic cruise can be found at the following link: Antarctic Cruise Reservations.
Instead of selling tours, we at Antarctica Guide provide free and unbiased information. Clicking on the Get a Quote button will take you to a page where you can request an accurate quote from one of our recommended specialists.
Learn about the extracurricular activities available.
Passengers on an Antarctic cruise have the option of participating in a wide range of extracurricular activities while on board. Kayaking, camping, skiing, and scuba diving are just a few of the activities that are available.
For each activity (with the exception of camping, which is often free), there will be an additional fee, and you must make reservations for each activity in advance. Kayaking spots are in high demand due to the popularity of the sport.
Getting involved in more specialized activities, such as scuba diving or skiing, requires research on the part of the traveler to determine which operator and itinerary is offering that particular activity.
If you are looking for an adventure-filled vacation, there is a good chance that the Antarctic Basecamp itinerary would be ideal for you.
For more information on Antarctic cruise activities, please see our Antarctic cruise activities page.
Forgetting about your travel insurance should be the very last thing on your list of things to do.
It is absolutely necessary to have travel insurance when planning a trip to the Antarctic. The weather can change quickly and dramatically in the southern United States. If your cruise is canceled or delayed, you’ll need to make sure you have adequate travel insurance to cover your expenses.
Ships will not allow you to board if you do not have adequate travel insurance coverage. Rescue costs in Antarctica are extremely high, and you’ll need to make sure you have adequate insurance to cover them.
Insuring for activities such as kayaking and scuba diving should be included in your travel insurance policy if possible, as these are frequently excluded from standard policies.
If you require additional information, please see our page on Antarctica travel insurance.
Take, for example, the Drake Passage.
In the world of navigation, the Drake Passage, which separates Antarctica from South America, is a well-known waterway. Everyone planning to travel by ship from the United States to Antarctica must do so through the Passage.
Unfortunately, today’s weather forecasts and navigation technology have advanced to such an extent that ships will be able to cross the passage at precisely the right time. In order to avoid seasickness, those who are prone to it may want to consider an express cruise that flies over the Drake Passage.
Before or after your cruise, take a tour of Patagonia.
Located in Patagonia, the Torres del Paine W Trek is one of the most famous hiking trails in the world. Patagonia itself is a spectacular destination in and of itself.
The majority of Antarctica cruises depart from Ushuaia, a port city in Patagonia’s southernmost region, which serves as the starting point for the journey.
In addition to being only a short drive from the city, Tierra del Fuego National Park is a fantastic location for hiking and canoeing amongst the park’s diverse wildlife.
Visiting Patagonia’s breathtaking wilderness and wildlife should definitely be considered as an extension of your Antarctica trip if you are planning to travel there.