how to visit antarctica

Want To Visit Antarctica? 7 Things You Need To Know

Antarctica is the ultimate bucket list destination: remote, mysterious, and reserved for only the most adventurous travellers. Do you want to visit Antarctica? We can see why. Earth’s southernmost continent, Antarctica is a once-in-a-lifetime destination. Nowhere else can compare with the extreme remoteness of this snowy place.

It’s not an easy trip to make, but you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the white wilderness, icy sea kayaking and whale sightings.

There’s some things you need to know before jetting off into the wilderness. This is a trip you really need to prepare for…

How to visit Antarctica and other need-to-know facts

visit Antarctica, Antarctica cruise, Antarctica tours, trip to Antarctica

1. Can you visit Antarctica?

Yes! There’s quite a few Antarctica tours you can join. Whether you are interested in penguin colonies, bird watching or want some luxury (it’s possible), there’s a tour for you.

Visiting Antarctica is easier than ever.  All you need to do is reach Buenos Aires, Argentina or Punta Arenas, Chile, and travel from there. Most Antarctic voyages leave from Ushuaia, Argentina, a three-and-a-half-hour direct flight from Buenos Aires.

2. How much does it cost to go to the Antarctic?

We’re not going to lie… It’s pricey. But it’s worth saving up for. It all depends on the size of the cruise you choose, as well as the amenties on board. Expect to pay upwards of $6,000 for a standard cruise.

Longer and more exclusive cruises can cost upwards of $20,000. Note that’s it’s best to travel on a smaller cruise with less than 100 passengers as you will have more opportunity to go onshore. This is because tourist guidelines limit landings of tour groups to 100 people

Budget at least $1500 for flights, more if travelling from Europe.

3. How long does a trip to Antarctica take?

It depends first of all on how long your flight to Ushuaia takes. Then, cruise ship journeys usually last from 10 days to three weeks long. Your cruise ship will take about three days to pass through the notoriously rough Drakes Passage.

If you want to avoid this, consider a fly-cruise. You can fly to King George Island, and then get aboard a ship which will take you around the area.

how to visit antarctica

4. When is the best time of year to visit?

The best time to visit Antarctica is from late spring to early fall, which in the southern hemisphere is from October to March. This is when the sea ice opens up just enough to allow ships to enter.

5. What is there do and see when I’m there?

SO much! Visit Deception Island, with its massive penguin colony, plus hot glacier springs that you can dip into to heat yourself up in the biting Arctic cold.

Boast that you’ve run around the world after circling the South pole. Spot humpback whales and visit the only bar at Vernadsky Research Base.

6. Do I need a visa to visit Antarctica?

No, you do not need a visa. You will however, need a permit. Most cruise ships will usually do this for you, but if you are planning a private expedition you will need to obtain a permit yourself.

When boarding a cruise ship or plane to Antarctica, you will need to present a valid passport.

7. How do I visit Antarctica sustainably?

Make sure your Antarctica cruise operator is a member of The International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) who ensure cruise operators stick to strict standards to protect the Antarctica environment.

Silversea Cruises is a great option, with carbon-footprint reducing technology on its ships and the crews include more than a dozen biologists, zoologists, and conservationists who make sure the region is protected.

Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

View stories