Because the continent is both the coldest and driest place on earth, there was a time when it was mostly visited by scientists. Now there are opportunities for anyone to travel there. By doing so, you could get up close to wildlife and majestic scenery that would otherwise be impossible to enjoy outside of viewing photographs in a travel guide. If you are ready to answer the call of wanderlust and see what Antarctica has to offer, keep reading and get informed before you embark on what promises to be an incredible and memorable experience.
There are about 80 companies that specialize in non-research travel to Antarctica. Choosing between them will be much easier after deciding your preferred method of transportation. Sea cruises are the most popular way to travel, and many expeditions will take you on routes where animals such as penguins are known to spend time while also letting you marvel at towering ice formations. Some tour operators also offer journeys to Antarctica by air.
Keep in mind there are some times of the year where temperatures are cold enough to make Antarctica inaccessible to tourists. The waters are generally frozen and impassible during all months of the year except those that occur during the austral summer season, or November through March.
Since Antarctica does not have a tourism board, don`t expect to be greeted with brand name establishments and comfy hotels. However, that starkness has been precisely what entices people to plan trips to the region. Also, don`t come on your journey hoping to see polar bears, since they only live in the North Pole. Land mammals, amphibians and reptiles also are not native to Antarctica.
During the continent`s summer season, you`ll enjoy 24 hours of daylight. That makes conditions excellent for admiring the animals that thrive in Antarctica. Besides the famous penguins, you might get a close look at a pod of baleen whales, such as humpback whales, right whales or minke whales. In rare ice-free areas, be on the lookout for species of moss and fungi.
Known as a prime spot for swimming, Deception Bay is actually part of a volcanic crater. That means the water is often warmer than you might expect. The site is also home to the Chin Strap Penguin Colony, so you could have some company after venturing into the water.
The Antarctic Exploration Museum and Post Office is located at Port Lockroy, a site that was once the base of a British military mission, this attraction has been fully restored. It caters to tourists who want to learn more about life in Antarctica and some of the scientific expeditions that have taken place there. Visit the site`s post office to send postcards to friends back home.
Although visiting Antarctica can be costlier than excursions to other places, many people find the expenses more than worthwhile.