When is the best time to visit Antarctica? Seasonally, the summer in the southern hemisphere is the only time you can go there. Besides, the season for Antarctica trips is short. Ships can only run in the waters of Antarctica from late October in a good season until March.
The high season is December and January, and the wildlife is good through the end of February. What you want to see may only be at its peak for two weeks, so be sure to discuss your must-sees desires with your advisor. Wales and sea life are more visible at different times than breeding penguins, for example.
Most Antarctica voyages start in Ushuaia at the southern tip of Argentina. If you're starting in the U.S., you can first take a long-haul overnight flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina or Santiago, Chile and spend a night or two visiting another fun destination before continuing with a flight to Ushuaia. Once in Ushuaia, a ship will take you there!
When planning a trip of a lifetime, there's a lot to think about when traveling to Antarctica. The choices you make early on will be critical to how close the actual trip comes to matching your dream experience.
The first to consider is whether to fly to Antarctica over the Drake Passage or take a cruise? Either choice will still have you on a cruise ship to explore.
The next decision will be what cruise line fits your travel style? Not all Antarctica cruises are alike in quality of experience. Luckily, I have spent an extensive amount of time this year researching the best way to make this trip for several clients. It's essential to understand what experiences you want while in the polar destination.
Are you a stargazer, photographer, wildlife lover, or a real adventure traveler?
Depending on your answer, different cruise lines will offer the best experience for you. An expedition cruise to Antarctica is one of those once-in-a-lifetime adventures that takes a lot of planning. There are several variables between cruise lines that do this sailing as well. Some include only a short time on the seventh continent where you might only see the shore from the ship's rail. If setting foot on the continent is essential for you, let your travel advisor know, so you end up choosing the correct itinerary.
The second important step in planning is to select the most desirable cabins. At mid-ship, cabins provide the most stability in Antarctica's rough seas and sell out first. When investing in a trip of a lifetime, you don't want to settle, so book at least a year or more in advance is the best way to obtain the perfect cabin.
Others offer extensive adventure options, including kayaking, hiking, camping, and landing onshore after gliding around icebergs in your zodiac. The cruise line you sail on will determine if these options are available, and some are all-inclusive, while others charge for each excursion. For all these reasons, you need to be sure to discuss your expectations with your travel advisor to be sure the right cruise line is selected.
When traveling to Antarctica, it's essential to understand Antarctica cruise ships typically hold 50 to 150 passengers. The small numbers on board are to accommodate the limitations of only 100 people ashore at one time on the continent. On larger ships, you usually have to take turns going ashore and limit your exploring time.
Is visiting Antarctica worth it? Yes, absolutely! Antarctica should be on your bucket list, and if you plan your trip right, it will indeed be the trip of a lifetime. A trip to Antarctica is a dream worth working for, and this is one of the best times to make sure you have a pro on your side rather than plan your trip yourself. There's a lot to think about and consider when trying to plan a trip like this. Let me help you orchestrate your dream trip of a lifetime.