How To Visit Antarctica

A Quick Guide to Visiting Antarctica

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

If you are asking yourself how to visit Antarctica, you’ve arrived at the right place. Read through some of the most common questions we get when planning a visit to Antarctica. 

How much vacation time do I need for Antarctica?
First, figure out how much time you have to get to the 7th continent. There are a few ways of getting there, but at least plan for two full weeks away and time in your arrival destinations, like Punta Arenas, Chile. It takes at least a full day of travel to get to Santiago, Chile, and then another four and half hour flight to get to Punta Arenas, the gateway to our air-cruise Antarctica expeditions. 

When is the best time to go to Antarctica?
The Antarctic travel season is during the Austral Summer, starting in November to the end of February. The most popular time to travel is during December and January, and it’s essential to book your trip in advance to get the dates you want. The other months often offer Antarctica wildlife and weather surprises, so you should consider traveling then as well. There is no wrong time to visit Antarctica; read here for a full overview on when to visit. 

What is the right kind of Antarctica expedition for me?
There’s a lot to choose from when thinking about how to visit Antarctica. What kind of trip you want to take, when you want to go to Antarctica, and how to get there. If you’re short on vacation days or want to skip over the infamous Drake Passage, we suggest taking one of our Antarctica air-cruises. An air-cruise allows you to save on time getting to Antarctica with a short and comfortable flight of 2 hours. With this flight you also don’t have to worry about rough sea crossings.

We offer four types of air-cruises, each offering you a something different for your Antarctica trip.

What should I expect in terms of the cost of Antarctic travel?
Finding the right expedition to Antarctica also means looking into the value of your trip. Antarctica is one of the most remote travel destinations in the world. Getting there is an investment of time, energy, and, of course, money. Different companies have different models, but we believe that cruising Antarctica on a small ship packs a lot of value. 

  1. Guest to Guide Ratio: Antarctica expedition guides are some of the most exciting people around. We have 12 per departure. Imagine spending your time in Antarctica with an expert in glaciers, snowshoeing with someone who has climbed Everest, or an Oceanographer who knows the secrets of migrating whales; that’s the crew who will travel with you.  
  2. No Waiting in Line: The rules for landing in Antarctica only allow 100 people to disembark at once. Having a ship with only 75 guests on it means you don’t wait in a group to set foot on land; you just put your boots on and get outside. 
  3. Flexibility:  Antarctica is one place where you are totally at the whims of mother nature; that is part of the adventure. For Antarctica21, operating on a small scale affords us more flexibility, which is an operational advantage. For example, if there is inclement weather, we can react faster and move to a different daily plan quicker by being small. 

How do I prepare for Antarctica?
Traveling to Antarctica also means planning your travel way ahead of time. International flights, visas, travel insurance – it’s all a part of the planning process. You will need clothing similar to ski gear and to think about how to pack light. If you are taking an air-cruise as there is a weight limit for baggage (including hand luggage) of 20 kg (44 Lb.). During the austral summer, the Antarctic Peninsula’s average temperature, where most Antarctica cruises sail, is about 0º C (32º F). But it may feel lower because of the wind chill factor. For more planning advice read our travel tips page here. Also, one of the best things you can do to prepare for Antarctica is to read the IAATO’s guidelines for visiting Antarctica. Find them here

Do you have more questions about how to travel to Antarctica? Let us know, and we will be happy to help you! 

Sandra Walser in Antarctica, with Ocean Nova in the background

Weddell seal in Antarctica, photo by Pelin







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Antarctica is like no other place on earth, and we would love to welcome you there. Complete this short form to receive a customized quote from our team and start planning your Antarctic fly-cruise adventure today.