All activities and things to see in Antarctica are collected only in this section of the guide. The reason is the nature of the destination, in which there are no towns or parks to visit and the fact that the journey itself and all the activities you can do here have an adventurous soul, just for the fact that the journey cannot be determined on the timetables and routes basis but only and solely by weather conditions and ice.
The adventure-trip to the most pristine place on Earth (also thanks to very restrictive environmental protection conditions) will take place in the Antarctic Peninsula, the long strip of land that stretches for about 2,000 km towards South America, aboard a ship from expedition cruise.
To shorten the trip and to avoid the Drake Channel (see later why), which separates South America from Antarctica, some operators offer a charter flight and then the cruise. However, consider that airplanes are even more affected by atmospheric conditions, which could cause take-off to be cancelled or postponed. Moreover, the costs are higher.
Whatever you reach the Antarctic, here are the emotions you can experience:
Colony of emperor penguins, the tallest, largest and heaviest of all penguins
A little white seal camouflaged in the ice
One of the boats you might come across during the cruise
One of the many research stations on the continent
It is possible to spot whales during the trip
A taste of the sea while passing the Drake Channel
The helicopter overflight offers amazing views
In Antarctica there is no classic seasonal subdivision.
The continent is characterized by the socalled Kernlose winter, a cooling of temperatures in conjunction with the disappearance of the sun below the horizon which lasts from mid-March to mid-October. In this season, temperatures can reach -80 ° C. The earth record of -89.2 ° C was reached in Vostok in July 1983.
Summer runs from December to January and during this period the temperatures do not exceed -20 ° C and reach almost -70 ° C in August.
The months from the second half of October to November and from February to the first half of March are considered transition seasons.
Due to the low humidity of the continent, rainfall is almost absent, granting Antarctica the definition of desert.
Tourists cannot visit Antarctica during the winter; but in summer, in the areas of the Antarctic Peninsula and the sub-Antarctic islands, the average temperature ranges from -10 to 10 °C, with some drops of a few degrees below zero, with up to 20 hours of light. If we consider that this is also the period in which penguins hatch their eggs and feed their young, we can define it as the best time for a trip to Antarctica.
February and March are the last months of summer and it is the period in which you have the greatest chance of spotting whales or observing the molting of the adult penguins’ feathers that inhabit the coast.
For up-to-date and detailed information visit www.viaggiaresicuri.it
Language: there is no official language since it is not inhabited, so consider that English is spoken on the ships, and in some ships even in Spanish
Currency: there is no official currency, for purchases on the ship consider the country of origin of the ship. Bring a few US dollars for souvenir purchases if you get the chance
To get to the southernmost continent in the world, you’ll first need to tackle the Drake Canal. Depending on the sea conditions, it has been referred to as “Drake Shake” or “Drake Lake”. If you happen to cross it as a “Drake Shake” it is good to have seasickness medicines with you: pads, patches, bracelets or a combination of all of these.
Know that, before disembarking for each excursion, all your equipment, clothing you are wearing and whatever you bring with you, will be inspected by the ship’s personnel, vacuumed and brushed to eliminate any foreign bodies such as earth and seeds to protect the environment pristine Antarctica.
If you go to Port Lockroy or Vernadsky Station, bring US dollars to buy something from the gift shop or to send a postcard with a penguin stamp to friends and family back home.
For shore excursions, the necessary clothing is similar to that of a winter trip to the mountains.
We therefore recommend a series of layers of light clothing, so that the air is trapped and heated between the layers. High-tech synthetic fabrics are often better than wool or cotton.
On board the ship, clothing is informal and comfortable, layered and wear non-slip shoes to walk on the wet decks where you will run to spot whales, penguins and other wonders whenever the opportunity arises.
Ships usually prohibit any type of pointed, open, high-heeled shoe.