Despite remaining one of the most inhospitable places on earth, getting to Antarctica poses no problem at all. Numerous travel agencies offer plenty of choices for you to cross the continent off your bucket list.
In terms of size, Antarctica is about the size of Mexico and the United States combined. Only a small portion, however, is accessible to tourists.
How to get to Antarctica?
Now the question we have on our table is How to get to Antarctica? Let’s read along to find the answer. There are two ways to go to Antarctica–by air and sea. During the peak visitor season for the continent, almost everybody converges at Ushuaia port in Argentina. Most of the cruise ships embark from here. During the summer months, a cruise ship leaves here practically every day. It is the shortest route if you are going on a cruise ship. You can spot the first iceberg on the second day and dock by the fourth day.
Additionally, you can go by air via the Punta Arenas airport in Chile using a BAE 146-200 aircraft, which can seat 70 people. You will land at King George Island. The flight time is around two hours.
How many people visit Antarctica each year?
According to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, visitor arrivals continue to enjoy a spike since 2011. In 2018, 51,707 vacationers visited the region, with more than 80% (or nearly 42,000) opting to go on a cruise to get there. Around 3,400 chose to fly to Antarctica, particularly in the South Shetland Islands, then board local ships to their final destinations.
For comparison, in the 1990s, Antarctica only had around 5,000 travelers each year, while most of them were scientific expeditions and explorations.
If it’s a safer option for this much number of people to travel in a year, obviously you should be opting in for the experience.
How much does it cost to make the trip?
At the outset, you should know that getting to Antarctica is not easy. This also means that the cost of going there is not going to be inexpensive. At the very least, you can expect to shell out around $7,000 for the cruise. A cruise will take typically two weeks or three weeks, which, if you think about it, only amounts to just $300 per day.
It is common for some luxury cruises to cost around $20,000, as that means five-star accommodation and experience. However, there are special packages you can enjoy from Polar Holidays that will chop off thousands from the total expenses.
What is the best time to go to Antarctica?
The continent has a small window for visitors to explore. Experts recommend to visit from October to March, which is the summer season. November is the best time if you want to experience Antarctica as it is meant to be experienced. However, the conditions can also be harsh. Ironically, when the conditions are harshest, Antarctica shows off its true splendor. This is also the time when the Emperor penguins mate.
Can you go there by yourself?
Ultimately, no law prohibits solo explorers from making the trip to Antarctica on their own. But it is not recommended, especially if you are not an experienced explorer.