My Trip to Antarctica: Traveling to All 7 Continents
My trip to Antarctica fulfilled a personal goal and dream of mine – reaching all seven continents. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places for work and pleasure throughout my life, but I had yet to explore Antarctica and South America.
I had to make it south, all the way south. Traveling to every edge of the earth has stretched the corners of my mind, and I knew the 7th continent would be no different. I was ready to take my trip to Antarctica.
Once I set my mind to it, I knew my friend Lisa would be the best companion for this epic journey across the globe. Lisa and I worked together in the military and civilian world, and she is also an avid traveler. Once we spoke about traveling together, we couldn’t get a trip to Antarctica out of our minds.
We saw Antarctica everywhere – in headlines of the newspaper, on Our Planet streamed by Netflix, everywhere. All these not-so-subliminal messages sealed the deal, and two weeks later, we booked our trip! Our trip to Antarctica would now fulfill two goals, hers and mine – seven continents for me and six continents for Lisa!
Planning My Trip to Antarctica
Traveling to South America and Antarctica would be the capstone of my international travel goals. To get started, though, I needed a plan. Traveling to Antarctica can be a long journey if you cross the Drake Passage – at least two days sailing each way. That wouldn’t work for us, but then I discovered I could take an Antarctic air-cruise.
We decided on the Antarctica Express air-cruise. With this type of trip, I could achieve my goal within my budget and timelines much easier than I first thought. For me, one of the essential things I wanted to see was the Antarctic wildlife. I booked my trip to Antarctica based on the best time to go to Antarctica to see baby penguins. These tiny creatures are astonishing as they defy one of the Earth´s harshest environments and survive.
Things I Loved About My Trip to Antarctica
I am a self-described ”nerd” by study and trade, and this was the perfect trip to relax and gain new knowledge. I work in technology, and the scientific aspects of the trip were exceptional. I was amazed by the Expedition Staff, who were knowledgeable about every facet of Antarctica. I learned so much about the wildlife I came to see.
A highlight during my trip was when I got within a couple of feet of a curious penguin, something that I will never forget. While I didn’t approach it, this inquisitive creature decided to come check me out. Utter excitement took over me.
Antarctica is as pristine as you would imagine. It was truly amazing to see Antarctic wildlife up close and personal. We were able to see a variety of seals, birds, whales, and penguins. I was also astounded at how the wildlife interacted with us. These were priceless memories that I was able to make on my Antarctic trip.
I’ll also say, riding on a Zodiac is unforgettable. Each day was different due to the environment – smooth, bumpy, windy, in-a-margarita-icy, and chilly way. We experienced it all.
My pictures cannot capture the absolute beauty of the surroundings, the grandeur, and vastness of the landscape, the variation of wildlife, nor the size of the ice shelves we saw. I was in awe and still am.
My Favorite Day – Exploring the Unknown
Fortunately, we received an extra day’s travel in our itinerary due to the weather and could make two additional landings as a part of our trip. My favorite day was visiting Elephant Point. This destination was an area that none of the expedition staff had visited previously.
It was a surreal moment to step foot on unexplored territory along with the team. To know we were possibly some of the only humans ever to set foot in this part of the world was amazing! In wonder, I said to myself, “I’m in untouched territories!”
I was surprised to learn that the Antarctic Tourism Treaty allows no more than 100 passengers to disembark for an excursion at any time. Due to the number of passengers on our ship, less than 100, everyone could set foot on the continent all at once and spend as much time as possible at any landing.
Other Antarctica cruise ships can have up to 500 passengers on board a vessel, which is not the same experience. I met a couple our first day in Chile, and they said they were on a ship with over 400 people. Their landings were only about 30 minutes in any location to allow everyone on board a chance to get off. Luckily, we did not have that experience with Antarctica21, and I am happy that we went with a small passenger ship.
My emotions ran the gamut during my trip to Antarctica. It still feels surreal to this day. I am so glad and grateful I did it and shared the journey with a friend. I will forever treasure this trip. It’s pretty challenging to explain to people who haven’t had the chance to see Antarctica, so I encourage everyone just to book their trip.
It’s no secret – there are several great polar cruise companies that offer expeditions to Antarctica these days. Which company is right for you?
Ready to Start Planning?
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.