Planning a trip to Antarctica is something a little different, it isn’t like any other location on earth and therefore planning a trip is a little different. However it does not need to be hard and it is important to know the follow tips before you
Getting to Antarctica is not going to be cheap, no matter the tour company you take and budget travel to the area is something that practically doesn’t exist. Some people, do however, take huge risks and just turn up to get last minute deals. This is not recommended and you may go home from Ushuaia disappointed. It is best to book in advance, especially since Antarctica is becoming more and more popular each year. This way you will get the holiday that you want, not the only option at the last minute.
Some questions you should ask your tour operator are:
- Is evacuation and emergency insurance included?
- Do they have access to waterproof equipment, either for hire or for use for free?
- Do they allow you to actually get off the cruise ship?
Whatever the question, ensure you ask before you book anything, because you want to be getting the best deal for what you are paying
When is the right time to go
The tourist season in Antarctica covers about 5 months, and these are the summer months of the Southern Hemisphere (November to March). This is the only possible time to go because at other times during the year it is extremely cold, dark and the pack ice thickens and freezes into sheets that almost no ship can break through. It is also important to note that later in the tourist season there are not only less people, but also less wildlife, as most have returned to a warmer place for the winter.
Other important things to note
- Mating season for penguins and other birds occurs in November
- In December and January, the chicks begin to hatch and are kept a close eye on by their parents
- In February and March the chicks come out for the first time and this is the best time to see them. During these months whale watching is also popular, because they are most visible during this time.
What to bring
Probably the most important things to bring are:
- Medication – stock up on your normal medication and also get some medication to combat nausea and seasickness, particularly if you know you may get this
- A good camera, with extra batteries and memory cards
- Binoculars – to see everything, especially if you like to watch birds, seals and whales
- Good quality outdoor clothing