ANTARTICA

Cool for more reasons than one, Antarctica appears to be a mass of extra terrestrial land placed in a neighborhood of pulsating life. A record holder for the highest, driest and the coldest continent on earth, its untouched avenues have intrigued explorers, researchers and tourists alike. Now, an increasing number of people want a glimpse of the little known forms of life that flourish in its compelling conditions.

Antarctica is not the easiest of places to travel to or the cheapest, but the greatest adventures are never planned on the cornerstones of luxury. So, do come here and explore the magic kingdom and be charmed by its beauty crafted in nothing but ice.

Best time to visit:

  1. If you’re keen on observing the marvels of polar wildlife coupled with majestic views of glaciers there’s nothing more welcoming than the summers of Antarctica.
  2. Summers set in during the first few days of November when traces of departing spring are still visible in the wildflowers.
  3. Come visit the region through this period and may just catch a glimpse of courting penguins and other aquatic birds. 
  4. Starting December, the heat intensifies resulting in lengthy days and excellent opportunities for photography.
  5. This is Antarctic’s hatching season and if you look closely at the shores, you can spot penguin chicks approaching the brink.
  6. The grand show comes to a mesmerizing finale in the months of February and March, when whales are easily sighted and waters become extremely conducive for sailing.

Min Days Required: 5 days

Places of Interest:

  1. Ushuaia
  2. South Georgia
  3. Shetland Islands
  4. The Falkland Islands
Climate:
  1. Antarctica- the land of extremes is the driest and coldest place on earth with a record lowest temperature of -89.2 °C.
  2. The continent is colder than the North Pole and receives only six months of daylight in a year during summers.
  3. The region experiences numerous windstorms and precipitation occurs in the form of snowfall and sometimes freezing water droplets as well.
  4. The average temperature in summer is close to -6 °C, while in winters it ranges between -30 to -60 °C.

Currency: Antartican Dollar

Things to carry:

  1. Brace yourself for frigid days and freezing nights. Packing for a polar trip is not less challenging than the expedition itself. Restrictions on the weight of baggage accompanied with the need to fit in all essentials will leave you scratching your head for viable ideas. Hence it’s advisable to set aside things that you may not need at all. 
  2. The secret to brave through harsh temperatures is to cover oneself with layers of clothing. Start with thermals and ski socks, followed by long sleeves, jumpers and a pair of gloves.
  3. The last step includes super warm cardigans, jackets and hoodies.
  4. As for accessories, a pair of UV shield sunglasses is mandatory.
  5. Also, don’t forget to pack a good sunscreen to avoid skin damage along with moisturizing lip balms and lotions to combat ruthless dry winds.

How to get there:

Air:

  1. Blanketed in snow, the continent of Antarctica was barely accessible via commercial services a few years ago. However, an increasing interest in the region led to the development of a flight service known as Air Cruise, which takes off from Punta Arenas in Chile. Air Cruise takes three hours to reach the aerodrome of King George Island, where cruise ships make arrangements for the upcoming journey through the continent.
  2. Besides this, the airport at Hobart in Australia caters to flights heading towards the Wilkins Aerodrome that serves as a gateway to the ice capped region. This facility is only open for scientists and researchers. 
  3. Flying to Antarctica offers passengers with some breathtaking aerial views of the polar region other than comforting those who’re vulnerable to sea sickness.
  4. Moreover, the trip saves on some precious time and allows you to fit in quite a few activities in your itinerary.