If you are seeking the best adventure of your life, visiting Antarctica should be at the top of your bucket list. Award winning director of A Year on Ice, Anthony Powell described Antarctica during his interview at The Royal Gazette as breathtaking and described it as “It truly is the pristine wilderness left on the planet. The air is incredibly crisp and clean, skies are clear and free of light pollution, letting you see more stars than you can imagine.”
Antarctica is the southernmost continent on Earth, located in the southern hemisphere and surrounded by the Southern Ocean. It is the fifth largest continent in terms of area, covering about 14 million square kilometres. It is covered by ice and snow, with an average temperature of -60°C in the interior. Despite its harsh climate, Antarctica is home to a variety of wildlife, including penguins, seals, whales, and seabirds. It is also a popular destination for scientists conducting research in fields such as climate change, glaciology and biology. The continent is governed by the Antarctic Treaty System, an international treaty signed by 52 countries to protect the continent for peaceful and scientific purposes.
In the early 19th century was when Antarctica was discovered. The existence of the continent was first suggested by ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras in the 6th century BC, but it wasn’t until 1820 that the continent was officially discovered. On January 27th of that year, three ships from a British expedition, The “Biscoe”, “Terror” and “Erebus” became the first to sight the Antarctic mainland. Over the next several decades, other explorers from various countries, including the United States and Norway, made trips to the continent to explore and map its coastline. These early expeditions laid the foundation for future scientific research on the continent and established Antarctica as a valuable resource for knowledge and discovery.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to travel to Antarctica is during the southern hemisphere’s summer, from November to March which is the short expedition season. During this time, the temperatures range between 4°C and 8°C where the weather is considered warmer, the days are longer and the wildlife is more active. Additionally, this is when most tour operators offer trips to the continent and the only time it’s possible as the ice breaks up, allowing ships to pass.
Here are some of the reasons to convince you why you should consider visiting Antarctica:
Sense Of Discovery
Visiting Antarctica provides a feeling of being on the edge of the world, in a place that is remote, wild and largely untouched by human activity.
Chance To Observe The Unique Wildlife
Antarctica is home to a wide range of wildlife, including penguins (Adelie, Chinstrap, and Gentoo penguins), seals (Crabeater, Leopard and Fur seals), whales (Humpback, Minke and Orcas), and seabirds (Petrels, Albatross and Skuas). The wildlife in Antarctica is protected by international agreements and visitors must follow strict guidelines to minimise their impact on the environment and the animals.
Antarctica offers a breathtaking visual experience with its unique and stunning scenery such as the glaciers ice formation, rugged and dramatic coastline, vast plains of snowy landscapes, volcanic islands and impressive mountain ranges.
Antarctica offers opportunities for outdoor activities such as kayaking, camping and snowboarding.
Visitors can learn about the important scientific work being done on the continent and its impact on the world.
Travelling to Antarctica can be a test of resilience and you must be prepared for harsh weather conditions and limited resources. If you’re someone confident to withstand and up for this kind of challenge, this might be the perfect travel experience of a lifetime for you.
Places To Visit And Popular Destinations in Antarctica:
A volcanic caldera with hot springs and a shipwreck-lined beach. The island is located in South Shetland and is known for its geothermal activity. The area was also used as a whaling station in the early 20th century.
A scenic bay located on the Antarctic Peninsula coast and surrounded by towering peaks and glaciers.
Known for its stunning scenery, with glaciers, ice formations, and wildlife. The picturesque bay located on the Antarctic Peninsula coast is also a popular tourist destination and a base for scientific research. Visitors to Paradise Bay can take part in activities such as kayaking, snowshoeing, and wildlife viewing.
A narrow and scenic waterway surrounded by towering peaks. The channel is known for its scenic beauty and is often referred to as “Kodak Gap” due to its photogenic quality. The high cliffs of the channel and the surrounding mountains are covered in ice and snow, creating a breathtaking landscape.
Palmer Station is a US research station located on Anvers Island in the Antarctic Peninsula. It was established in 1965 and is one of three year-round US research stations in Antarctica. The station is operated by the US Antarctic Program and conducts scientific research in a variety of fields, including marine biology, ecology, and geology. Palmer Station has a capacity for about 46 people and is equipped with laboratory space, dive facilities, and a boat landing. The station is accessible only by boat and is a popular destination for scientists and support staff working in Antarctica.
Antarctica is a remote and difficult destination to reach, but here are some steps to help plan your trip:
- Choose a reputable travel company that specialises in Antarctic travel.
- Obtain necessary travel documents, such as a passport and visa.
- Decide on the type of trip you want: cruise, air tour, or land-based tour.
- Research and book travel insurance that covers medical evacuation.
- Prepare for extreme weather conditions, including purchasing appropriate gear.
- Familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations for visiting Antarctica.
- Pack necessary medications, food and supplies.
Describing Antarctica versus being actually there and experiencing its stunning beauty doesn’t encompass it all. How textbooks described it as we were learning about the continents doesn’t give it any justice at all. Antarctica is like no other experience anyone will ever have. You will be in the moment where other things would seem to fade and you will return from your trip feeling free and revived.
Allow the beauty of Antarctica to inspire you and witness the tranquillity and the power the forces of the natural world holds.
“If Antarctica were music it would be Mozart. Art, and it would be Michelangelo. Literature, and it would be Shakespeare. And yet it is something even greater; the only place on earth that is still as it should be. May we never tame it.” – Andrew Denton
Don’t miss out on this opportunity and witness the beauty of Antarctica in a day. Depart Perth Airport and be mesmerised aboard on a privately chartered aircraft with up to 4 hours over the white continent to see spectacular views over the area.