It’s fair to say that Antarctica probably isn’t at the top of most people’s lists of places they’d like to visit. It’s cold, remote and there’s not a luxury hotel in site. There are no interesting buildings to look at, no tropical jungles to explore and no sandy beaches to relax on. So what’s the point in this article, you might be asking? Well, what Antarctica lacks in traditional holiday appeal, it more than makes up for. The continent boasts wonderful wildlife, stunning landscapes and colossal icebergs. Plus, you’ll join a very short list of travellers who can say they’ve visited the seventh continent. In this article, we’ll list five reasons why you should visit Antarctica on one of our expedition cruises.
#1 Antarctica is home to an array of incredible wildlife
If you visit Antarctica, you’re sure to encounter all sorts of incredible wildlife. Think gorgeous king penguins, elegant orcas, lumbering elephant seals and majestic blue whales. As the continent least spoiled by human beings, Antarctica has some of the last pristine ecosystems you’ll find anywhere. And the wildlife generally hasn’t learned to be afraid of humans, as so many other species have. This means you can wander amongst penguin colonies on South Georgia, keeping a respectful distance but getting up close with these amazing animals. There are only about 30 human inhabitants on the island, meaning they are far outnumbered by the more than 5 million penguins.
Back aboard your Antarctic cruiser, you’re far more likely to spot great whales than during whale watching trips in other parts of the world. This is because large numbers of humpbacks, fin whales and blue whales travel here to feast on abundant krill. A true wildlife lover simply has to visit Antarctica!
#2 The scenery is stunning
This is another of the main reasons to visit Antarctica. Put simply, the scenery around Antarctica can be matched nowhere else on Earth, except perhaps at the other end of the planet, in the Arctic. Your sturdy Antarctic expedition cruise ship will navigate past colossal floating icebergs, as you trace the routes of some of history’s finest explorers. At the Antarctic Peninsula itself, you’ll cruise up close to grumbling glaciers, jagged mountains, and cliffs. You may even get to visit some of the remote scientific bases where today’s explorers conduct important research on climate change and more. All the while, you’ll still be seeing the iconic wildlife which we’ve already discussed. Orcas hunting seals close to the shore. Colonies of gentoo and chinstrap penguins leaping from icebergs into the sea. And and the slap of a humpback whale’s fluke (tail) as it dives beneath the surface.
Although your expedition will be based on a larger Antarctic cruiser, you’ll spend much of your time in smaller vessels. This enables you to get between bergs and closer to the wildlife. You’ll also be ferried to shore in these motorboats, in order to explore parts of the Antarctic continent on foot.
#3 You’ll become part of history
There’s no greater feeling than standing in front of iconic landmarks such as the Taj Mahal in India, or the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza. Ticking another site off your bucket list, experiencing new cultures, and learning the history of a different civilization. But have you ever wondered how many other people have seen the Taj Mahal?
This is what sets Antarctica apart. How many of your friends and family can say they’ve set foot on the continent? If you visit Antarctica, you are helping to create history. You’ll be joining a small, exclusive club of people who have been here. You, your tour group, and your ship crew are likely to be the only people for hundreds of miles in each direction, apart from perhaps a handful of scientists. How often can you say that? Antarctica is so remote and unlike anywhere else, and this is what helps to make it so special.
#4 Photographers will have a field day
Whether you’re a professional photographer looking to take some snaps for your business, or you simply want to fill up the family photo albums with exciting memories, Antarctica offers endless photography opportunities. From the curious wildlife undaunted by humans, to the impressive icy scenery, you’ll be able to take some absolutely incredible photographs to show the folks back home.
#5 There’s a total solar eclipse in December 2021
If we’ve managed to convince you that Antarctica should be on your bucket list, you may now be wondering when the best time to visit is. Well, on the 4 December 2021, a total solar eclipse will descend over the South Orkney Islands. We are offering two dedicated Antarctica expedition cruises to coincide with this event. Both of these tours also explore regions such as the Falklands Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula. On eclipse day, our ships will be lined up along the central axis of the eclipse, allowing you to get the best possible view of this once in a lifetime event. There will be expert astrologers onboard to talk you through the experience as you are plunged into total darkness for approximately two minutes.
You can find out more about both of these incredible trips on our Solar Eclipse web page. This is a fantastic opportunity to make the most special of trips even more special.
Antarctica isn’t for everyone. You need to be reasonably fit, tolerant of the cold and prepared to spend two weeks or more away from the civilization you’re so used to. There’s no local McDonalds to pop into if you don’t fancy the onboard meals! But in return you get the adventure of a lifetime. You’ll visit a land unspoiled by humans, where wilderness still exists, and dramatic natural landscapes dominate. Throw in a total solar eclipse later in 2021 and you have all the ingredients for a true adventure.
If you’d like more information about our Antarctic cruises and expeditions, or you’d like to visit Antarctica, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.