So, you want to go to Antarctica? Look no further! I went last year for Christmas and New Year’s and I will detail everything you need to know to start your journey.
Get EXCITED – this is a trip of a lifetime.
HOW COLD WAS IT?
You will travel during the summer months of Antarctica: November to March. The temperature is about: 32 degrees Fahrenheit, 0 degrees Celsius, 273.15 Kelvin. If you have ever been to Chicago or New York City in the winter – you will think, it’s not that cold. You will be dressed for the weather and some days will be warmer or colder than others.
WHERE DID YOU STAY?
There are no hotels in Antarctica. There are expedition stations for scientists that are regulated by countries around the world. So, technically there is lodging on land but tourists won’t have access to them and it is few and far in between. I traveled via cruise so my lodging was on the ship: twin category to myself. Depending on your expedition you may also sleep on a ship or in a tent camp.
WHAT DID YOU DO THERE?
I had the time of my life. I thought I would have a lot of downtime, but this was the most eventful trip yet. I saw THOUSANDS OF PENGUINS – even baby penguins. I danced the night away at the polar bear lounge to a live band (on the cruise). Antarctica was my first time kayaking. I was in awe of seeing humpback whales in the wild and gazing at icebergs taller than skyscrapers. I mailed postcards to my family from the penguin post office. I made friendships that will last a lifetime.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GO?
It depends. Do you want to fly there? Do you want to travel by ship? Are you traveling to the soul pole or do you just want to put your feet on the continent? Are you looking for a luxury experience with a spa on board or the most economical way to see the last frontier?
The average person pays about 6K-10K USD (United States Dollars) to travel via cruise liner. This includes international airfare, domestic airfare, hotel stay in Argentina/Chile/South Africa, clothing, souvenirs all meals and drinks for the entire trip.
Many factors will increase or decrease this budget. The 7 day cruise will be less than a 14 day cruise and if you decide to book your own room, that will be more expensive than sharing.
REALLY? I READ ON ANOTHER BLOG SOMEONE PAID $2,500
Yes, it’s true. If you are in the area before the ship takes off, they will mark down any empty cabins, so the ship sails full. However, this was true ten years ago. It is now 2016 and the cheapest cabins are sold out 6-8 months in advance. Antarctica has become more popular! Usually, the only availability left are the highest tier cabins.
Imagine a 20K cabin getting marked down to 10K – if this sounds appealing to you, that may be your best bet. Two people on my ship tried to go last minute and ended up paying 13K. Everyone has difference preferences. It’s possible to travel to Antarctica for less than 3K. There are fishing/shipment vessels that set sail but they don’t have the luxury amenities as the cruise lines.
HOW DO YOU GET THERE?
I flew from Atlanta to Buenos Aires, Argentina on Delta Airlines. From Buenos Aires I flew to the southern most city in the world, Ushuaia, on Aerolineas Argentinas. Ushuaia is a very small town and you will be walking distance from the hotel to the dock.
WHICH COMPANY DID YOU GO WITH?
I went with G Adventures. There are over 20+ companies you can travel with depending on your interests. I am particularly interested in traveling with White Desert. They embark from Cape Town, South Africa and travel to the South Pole!
Please let me know if you have more questions and I will answer them on the blog. Let me know if you plan on going to Antarctica or if you have already gone!!