The first time you probably heard about the continent was from doing an Antarctica school project, but you probably never imagined that you would actually go there. Having been there myself, I can honestly tell you that it is a truly incredible place that you are not likely to forget anytime soon. So here is my guide to visiting the most beautiful continent on earth
Getting to Antarctica is usually from Chile or more commonly Ushuaia in southern Argentina and you can take a cruise ship from these places. This is the only good way to get there as a tourist.
The best thing about Antarctica is that no country in the world has a claim to Antarctica under the Antarctic Treaty. This means that it is free for everybody to visit and you don’t need to go through any form of border control to get there.
When should you go
There really isn’t any debate about when the best time is to go, but a few things will depend on you. The main tourist season runs from November to March, after this time the temperatures are extremely cold and no tours will run during this time. This is because the ice becomes thick and there is very little sunlight, so it would not be a pleasant experience to visit anyway. The temperature in the summer can range from quite cold (-10 degrees Celsius) to very pleasant (15 degrees Celsius).
Another huge factor when deciding to go is the activity of the local wildlife and for many people this means birds and whales. During November it is the mating season for the penguins and other birds and in December you will be able to see the baby birds. In December it is the perfect time to go whale watching. For me as an animal lover I would recommend going in late November, to get the best of both worlds.
Bringing the best equipment that you can afford in terms of clothing and footwear is crucial, especially because the weather is some of the harshest on the entire planet. Most tour groups will offer a packing list, especially because tourists are constantly going to Antarctica heavily under prepared for the potential risks. If you can’t get a hold of this equipment or you can’t carry it, then it pays to make sure that your tour will provide you with the appropriate clothing like rubber boots and waterproof outerwear.
Sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat are also a must when travelling to Antarctica. This is especially the case because of the high exposure to the sun and the excessively thin ozone layer that means that the sun is much harsher than in Europe, for example.