The bottom of the world, entirely encased by ice. It is featured in science and history books and nature documentaries. Because of these reasons, it may seem not easy to reach and abstract. Perhaps even impossible. But it is possible. People often respond to me the same way when I tell them what I do for a living: working on an expedition vessel that takes passengers from around the world to Antarctica.
It’s a common question for people who feel elated after learning how accessible Antarctica is. The answer might not seem immediately straightforward. Some may have heard about researchers who flew on military aircraft from New Zealand or enjoyed long sailing trips from South Africa and Australia. It is clear to travel to Antarctica. Fly to Buenos Aires in Argentina or Punta Arenas in Chile. Both cities have international airports that provide regular service to the rest of the world.
Most Antarctic voyages depart from Ushuaia, Argentina, a three-and-a-half-hour direct flight from Buenos Aires. The Port of Ushuaia embarks, disembarks, and disembarks expedition boats bound for the Southern Wilderness as seamlessly as any other harbor in the Virgin Islands or Alaska. Voyages departing Ushuaia (Argentina) reach Antarctica via sea. They will traverse the Drake Passage, a 600-mile (1 000 km) body of water that divides South America from Antarctica. The crossing takes up to one day at sea, depending on the weather conditions. This is an excellent opportunity to see iconic wildlife like the tremendous wandering albatross.
Travelers who wish to skip the Drake Passage can fly directly from Chile to Punta Arenas to an airstrip on an island close to Antarctic Peninsula. After arriving in Punta Arenas, travelers will board the expedition ship. They will then be meeting penguins or glaciers a few hours later. The best time to travel to do people live in antarctica is late spring through early fall. This is in the southern half of the hemisphere, between October and March. The season’s first voyages reach Antarctica at the end of October or early November when the sea ice has opened up enough for ships to enter the stunning glacial landscapes. Cruises are continuous from late autumn until the summer ends, when the Antarctic autumn starts to arrive around the middle of March.
There are many options for “itineraries” or sailing plans when looking at information about the Antarctic expedition. These itineraries don’t necessarily have to be concrete. They are guidelines that will guide the voyage’s direction and duration. You will find tours that take you directly to Antarctica and others that include South Georgia (Islas Malvinas) and the Falkland Islands sub-Antarctic region.
There are many ways to visit Antarctica. You can choose from an “express” trip that takes you to Antarctic Peninsula and returns in just eight days or an epic expedition to the sub-Antarctic island and the continent itself. You will drift into sleep in pure Antarctic silence. You’ll first notice the calm waters and nearby glaciers as you wake up. It is an unforgettable experience for Antarctic expeditions.