How do I travel to Antarctica?
It’s quite often the first question I am asked after visiting all seven continents. To most, Antarctica is only a place of scientific research and for famous historical adventurers. However, there is a way to now visit Antarctica and has been for quite some time, but the problem was never logistics, it was the price. With tourism growing in this remote corner of the world, more and more opportunities for everyone to experience Antarctica are beginning to open up! Antarctica is just as addictive as it is incredible to visit. So put your polar boots and parka on and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime to the most remote continent on the planet, Antarctica!
Is it Possible to Go to Antarctica?
Simply put, Yes!
It is not only possible to visit the coldest place on earth, but it’s becoming more accessible than ever before! In the past, traveling to Antarctica was very limited due to international regulations limiting access to tourism. Now, IAATO (International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators) is creating strict methods that allow tour operators access to many areas of the continent.
Visiting Antarctica is still strict but this is a good thing as it keeps the impact of tourism to a minimum.
Now you can join an expedition like Poseidon Expeditions which is approved by IAATO. This will allow you to experience Antarctica just like the adventurers of the past!
Aside from one of these tours however, you basically need to be a scientist to go visit. It is however illegal to visit Antarctica on your own, in order to visit independently i suggest you contact IAATO to start.
How Do You Travel to Antarctica?
Like I said above the best way to visit Antarctica the Southern Most Continent is through a tour expedition. I know that you are thinking “I don’t want to join a touristy tour”. While it is called a “tour”, tourism to Antarctica is very special, hence the name “Expedition”.
When you join an expedition, you will have to firstly go through mandatory training on board of your expedition ship. This training designed by IAATO will give you the understanding of why it is so important and how to protect this fragile environment. After all, Antarctica is the only place on earth that has never been affected by humans!
After your training you will be provided special equipment and clothing in order to make sure you being on the continent has absolute minimal impact. This is why it’s called an expedition and not just a tour!
Here is a video from Poseidon Expedition on how to dress for Antarctica.
Who Owns Antarctica?
You might be wondering who owns or runs Antarctica?
This is quite possibly the coolest fact about Antarctica that the answer is no one!
That right, Antarctica belongs to the full time residents that call it home, the penguins, seals, birds and all the animals of this amazing continent.
This became possible after the race to claim Antarctica was halted and decided by the international community that no country can ever claim ownership of the continent. This doesn’t mean nobody is here, however. Twelve countries have built stations here, all of which are designated for science only!
Where in Antarctica Can you Visit?
Thankfully, this is the most controlled part of travel in Antarctica. Expedition companies are only allowed to visit where IAATO decides. Companies must book with IAATO where and when they will be at each location.
The number of visitors is also regulated and even the amount of time you spend there!
Now, this might seem a bit over the top, but it’s all put in place to protect the wildlife here and that is why Antarctica is the most special place on earth to visit!
If you open a map of Antarctica, chances are the majority of where you can visit will be centered around the Antarctic Peninsula, Shetland Islands, and South Georgia. Every year more landing sites and regions are opening as IAATO’s strict control is allowing tourism to flourish in a positive way.
How Expensive is it to Visit Antarctica?
Is Antarctica expensive to visit?
This is the biggest hurdle for many travellers but it’s getting better!
I traveled with Poseidon Expeditions to Antarctica. Poseidon is taking the next step in making travel to Antarctica affordable for everyone!
This is done by cabin sharing. Cabins aboard Poseidon’s M/V Sea Spirit have up to three beds and if you book as a single person, you can share the costs with two others bringing the price much lower!
The price varies depending on duration and where you are going but i strongly encourage you to check out Poseidon’s Tours HERE and see for yourself!
I cannot stress enough my absolute love for this expedition company.
My biggest reason why I loved my trip with Poseidon was the size of the boat. The M/V Sea Spirit only holds about a hundred guests, meaning there are very few restrictions to zodiac landings and sites! This gives you the most time possible being off the ship and on the continent of Antarctica.
The staff aboard Poseidon’s Expedition were exceptional. Many have worked in Antarctica as researchers, adventurers or are just simply obsessed with the continent as I am!
Their extensive knowledge of the continent’s wildlife, history, and ecology will make you leave Antarctica feeling as if you are now a scientist of the South Pole!
Life on Board an Antarctica Expedition
Remember, travel to Antarctica is an expedition, not a tour, but this doesn’t mean it isn’t comfortable!
The ship I was on with Poseidon had everything a modern cruise ship has and even more! More importantly, life aboard the Antarctica Expedition is quite social and engaging.
This is because there are not so many guests, you will get to know everyone including all those who make the ship work from day to day. This personal experience makes the adventure to Antarctica a lot more special. By the end you will have an understanding of how the entire ship works!
Joining the M/V Sea Spirit with Poseidon Expeditions has quite possibly been one of my favorite adventures to date!