This is a guest post from Cez and Agness from eTramping!
Many people agree that the World is getting smaller. Travel is becoming more convenient, people are going further than ever before. Those far-away places you dreamed of as a kid are much more realistic now. However, there are some places that remain very much a mystery, far out of reach of the realms of a realistic travel destination, and practically an alien concept.
One of those places is Antarctica, the underside of the globe, from which you have most likely heard celebrated stories of travellers reaching the South Pole in the most treacherous weather conditions. A place where Penguins and Seals live side-by-side amongst huge plains of ice. It’s a rather large continent, full of amazing explorative opportunities and excursions, even for travellers like you and we.
In fact, this article reflects our own research, as we are planning our own Antarctic expedition in 2018. We just wanted to share our findings.
Here are seven possibilities that we have considered, on how to get to Antarctica.
If time is of the essence but you can’t bear the thought of walking through all that snow and ice, try a fly-over. It is a simple and easy way to see the vastness of Antarctica from above, with some spectacular views of crisp, white mountains and cliffs.
You will most likely spot some penguins in the distance, and if you’re lucky, they will be waddling across the landscape with baby penguins in tow. Along this journey you will be warm, well-fed and safely back home by the end of the day.
This method of travel gives you a “best of both” scenario, and the safest route to Antarctica. Because of this, it is the most popular way to see the area. Basically, you avoid the dangers of Drake’s Passage, which hinders many boat trips with its horrendous conditions.
In fact, this is part of the journey you fly through, thus giving you a chance to see George Island, before landing upon it and taking a ship the rest of the way. The best part? You get the chance to see plenty of stunning landscapes and the local wildlife (mainly Penguins).
3# Fly Directly to Antarctica
Another option involving flying is to simply fly directly. This is not an easy option as there are not so many destinations offering this trip. Nevertheless, you’re in luck if you happen to be in Australia, Chile, South Africa or Argentina! Schedules do change throughout the year though, so make sure you are well-prepared, well in advance.
Also, these flights can cancel at any time depending on weather conditions on that day, to ensure the safety of all passengers.
There are plenty of adventure holiday packages available to mainland Antarctica, but also to King George Island. You may miss the exciting build-up arriving at this remote part of the world but at least you get there quickly. More
time to explore!
4# Float your way there – Large Ship
Depending on what you want to achieve from your time in this region, this may determine which ship you board. The larger ships are much more well-equipped and safe, and can ride the rough seas with efficiency and minimal stress- the closest to a typical cruise. However, they only allow a certain number of passengers onto shore at one time, therefore you may be limited to your movements and opportunities.
Don’t fret, the views from the ship itself will be amazing and the on-board activities will always keep you busy and interested. You might find that this is the cheapest option for an extended stay in the area, with lengths of cruise-times starting around 10 days.
5# Float your way there – Smaller Ship
Travelling via smaller ships are aimed at the more experienced traveller, with less home comforts on board but much more freedom. The sleeping units are smaller and the waves may be felt a little easier but this is what travelling to this part of the world should be like, right?!
Being limited to a maximum of one-hundred people on the shore at any one time, these cruises are perfect for those wanting to get up close and personal with the surrounding landscapes. Make sure you take a zoom lens with you for an once-in-a-lifetime shot of the wildlife furrowing through the snow in the distance!
Of course, this is for a select amount of people who are fully trained and able to steer a yacht across potentially dangerous seas- definitely not for the average tourist! However, there are a number of certified yachting companies that offer this opportunity (so you don’t have to fly your yacht down!) and will be more than happy at arranging this trip for you, depending on proven experience.
Because this is high risk, this will also incur high costs, but the experiences will be second to none.
7# Arrive via Re-Supply ship
Perhaps the most unorthodox option of all, the one option that will blow the minds of your friends and family back at home, is via a French Re-Supply ship.
The ship, named Marion Dufresne II, leaves from a spot directly north of Antarctica, the French island of Reunion, situated between Madagascar and Mauritius. Ok, so this might be an odd way to get to the southern continent, but just imagine the story you could tell! The round-trip takes about a month but you would have the chance to see so much once there.
Plus, the journey is peaceful with only a select number of tourists booked on each journey each time.
A few of these modes of transport are beyond those with a normal or realistic budget. Then again, this is the journey of a lifetime so paying premium prices for this type of trip will be worth it.
For us, our Antarctica goals will commence in 2018, but now is the time to confirm our plans to get there. The earlier the plans are set and paid for, the better. At present it is a toss-up between a Fly-Cruise and a large ship, but we will keep you updated.
We are Agness and Cez of eTramping, experienced travellers of the world, currently residing in China.
Over the years, our travel habits have changed and those further corners of the globe have been at the forefront of our mind.
Having travelled and lived abroad for six years now, we have gained some valuable life experiences, seen and done what many people would never have done in their lifetime, but always remained humble and thankful for the opportunities that have presented themselves.
We strive to inspire others to grow and learn as we have done, and to reach far and wide in their own quests to educate themselves on the beauty that this planet holds.