Antarctica is our 5th largest continent on earth & ironically the least populated- with a population of zero! However during the “summer” months November to February only around 20,000 tourists will be able to land on this truly amazing & unique place on earth. This continent is 58 times bigger than the UK & the Ross Ice Shelf on its own is bigger than France. Really interesting is that this continent has no countries & no portions of it are owned by any country. Incredible statistics & facts about a truly incredible place.
Visitors can expect to have 24 hours daylight, see a huge variety of wildlife & see the most stunning ice bergs & glaciers. As the season to visit is so short early booking is strongly advised.. Visiting Antarctica is an expedition, a trip of a lifetime & certainly unforgettable.
Antarctica infamously has 6 months of darkness (winter) & 6 months of daylight (summer) with the lowest recorded temperature on earth -89.2˚C.
The only time to visit is from November to February which are the summer months and the temperatures are a pleasant 0˚C to 5˚C. In the wind, for the zodiac cruises & transfers, it can feel colder due to the wind factor.
Ironically Antarctica is the driest place on earth, it has approximately the same amount of precipitations as the Sahara desert! The reason there is so much ice & snow is that it simply does not melt.
There are only 2 options – By FLIGHT a 2 hour flight from Southern Chile to King George Island to then join the ship for the cruise for 6 days, returning to Chile by plane again. Or by SAILING with the ship from Ushuaia in Argentina to & from Antarctica - This takes 2 days sailing each way & means passing the notorious Drakes Passage twice.
During the Antarctic cruise visitors sleep & eat on board & have on average 2 excursions per day. The ships zodiac boats will take up to 12 passengers from the ship to shore & also there should be zodiac excursions to see the ice bergs.
There are not many animals that can withstand the harsh weather of Antarctica. As a result, there are no land based mammals in Antarctica. You can expect to see a variety of whales that reside in the oceans surrounding Antarctica, species include Killer whales, humpback whales, Minke Whales, Orca’s, Fin Whales & sperm whales.
The most famous wildlife species in Antarctica are the penguins, with common species being Adelie, Gentoo, Chinstrap, and Macaroni. There is a large seal population in the Antarctic waters, which include Weddell Seals, Leopard Seals, Crabeater Seals & Southern Elephant Seals. Several kinds of albatross are found in Antarctica as well as many petrels.
Over 98% of Antarctica is covered in ice. This ice at it thickest reaches 5km in depth & comprises almost 70% of the earths fresh water. The glaciers are giant rivers of ice that flow slowly towards the sea. Once the blocks of ice tumble into the sea, spectacular ice bergs form which provide photographers with exceptional opportunities to catch the unique colours the oxygenated ice produces.
The average altitude of the Continent is 2,300m, which is remarkably high compared to other continents. Due to the unique environment, Antarctica provides spectacular landscapes and is a natural phenomenon.