I love Antarctica and I want to go back and Antarctica travel is definitely something that I continue to dream about each day and is an experience that I will fondly remember for the rest of my life. This is a place that every person with the means should visit at least once in their life, because it is unlike anything you will ever see again in your life, but planning to go here needs to be well thought out and here are some things to think about to bring your Antarctica travel dream alive.
Firstly, getting to this amazing place is not going to be something that you can do on a budget like other travel destinations in the world. You could turn up and try and find a last minute deal, but this is extremely risky and for most people this means traveling halfway across the world without any guarantee. I personally would not recommend this, but it certainly has been done. I think that the budgeting should be thought out very carefully, as this is something that you will most likely only experience once in your entire life and you want to get it right.
I think the best way to make your budget and your expectations work is to speak to prospective tour operators and ask the right questions. I think the biggest thing for me was being able to leave the cruise ship, as some tour operators don’t actually allow you to do so! I would highly recommend writing down your expectations and then seeking out a tour operator that can fulfil these. For the trip of a lifetime you need to be doing the research of a lifetime!
When to visit
This is a pretty straight forward question to answer because for most of the year Antarctica is simply covered with darkness, which would make a tourist visit impossible. On top of this the ice becomes extremely thick during the colder months and cruise ships cannot navigate Antarctic waters due to this. Therefore it is only possible to visit during the summer months from November to March. I think the middle of the tourist season is a good time to go, because this is when you will get the most benefits in terms of seeing the unique wildlife and the best chance of more favourable weather. Later in the season the weather can get much colder and the various animals begin to seek a warmer place for the winter.
Some other tips
I would invest in some good quality clothing, because this can be the difference between a pleasant trip and a very unpleasant one. A good camera is also very important, because you will be taking photos that you will not be able to replicate anywhere else in the world! Binoculars are also a must have, so that you don’t miss out on seeing things that are far away. I was lucky enough to see seals resting on the ice and many whales, which would not have been possible otherwise.