HOW DO I GET TO ANTARCTICA
Most travel is by sea on a cruise from the ports of Ushuaia (Argentina) or Punta Arenas (Chile) to the Antarctic Peninsula. Some travellers depart from Tasmania or New Zealand, voyaging across the Ross Sea. There are also options by air to temporary land-based camps.
WHICH ROUTE SHOULD I DO
For your first visit to Antarctica we would strongly recommend putting time aside and embarking on a circuit that includes the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. The first of these destinations break the journey at sea and offer sensational wildlife. The Falklands includes spectacular colonies of Southern Rockhopper Penguin and Black-browed Albatross and in terms of wildlife South Georgia rivals even the white continent itself. This is a 3 week trip. We do offer shorter “Antarctica express” trips for those who really don’t have the time.
WHAT TYPE OF BOAT SHOULD I GO ON
Ideally you want to be on a category 1 expedition vessel (13-200 passengers) – this gives you the comfort not afforded by small sailing vessels, but a broad range of possible landing sites (larger ships are more limited in their landing sites, and those with more than 500 passengers are not allowed to land at all).
WHY DON’T I NEED A VISA
Antarctica does not have a government and is not owned by any country, therefore no visa is required. However, it is managed through the Antarctic Treaty originally signed by 12 nations (now including 48). The treaty designates the entire continent as a “natural reserve devoted to peace and science”. Thankfully this means that there is a ban on military use, disposing of radioactive waste materials, and any kind of nuclear testing. Under the treaty, tourism is considered to be a legitimate activity. You might need a visa for the country you are embarking from – usually Argentina or Chile.
IS IT DANGEROUS
No, however the remote location, ice and unpredictable weather is a logistical challenge. That is why we only work with experienced and knowledgeable boats, who are able to provide the trip of a lifetime, whilst also keeping you safe and promoting environmentally responsible travel.