Antarctica Travel Guide

Map of Antarctica

Overview

Capital City: No Capital
Language Spoken: The most commonly spoken language of Antarctica is Russian.
Climate: Antarctica is earth's southernmost, least-traveled to, and coldest continent. This continent has recorded temperatures as low as -120°F/-88°C but typically averages around -81°F/-63°C.
Safety Rating: 5/10 - Antarctica can be very dangerous. You're literally going to be in frigid conditions which puts you at risk for frostbite. Sun burn is also a big danger as the sun is very strong in Antarctica with the reflection from the snow. On top of some of the natural dangers, the medical resources are limited due to the remoteness of this continent as well.
Transportation: Boats, kayaks, cars (very limited) and planes.
Currency: Antarctica does not have its own currency. If you do decide to visit Port Lockroy in the Antarctic Peninsula, U.S. dollars, Pound Sterling, and Euros are accepted. Visa and MasterCard cards are also accepted.
Expensiveness: 10/10 - There are a few different ways to get to Antarctica and your cost is going to depend on which way that you choose to travel. If you choose to travel by boat, which is typically a venture anywhere between 10 days and 3 weeks, you're looking at anywhere between $5,000 to upwards of $15,000. If you're planning a fly over, this will cost you between $1,000 and $8,000. If you're planning a fly and cruise, this can cost you somewhere between $10,000 and upwards of $15,000. Regardless of the way that you choose to travel, expect it to be rather expensive to get there and back.
Cost of Exit/Entry: None
Visa Required: There is no immigration and border control in Antarctica and you don't need a visa to visit.
Vaccinations Required: There are no requirements but it is recommended that you're up to date on your standard vaccinations, including the influenza vaccination.

An iceberg in the ocean of Antarctica Deception Island: This popular tourist destination is one of the safest harbours in Antarctica. It is the caldera to an active volcano as well that caused some damage to a research center in the 1960s. One of the coolest parts about the island is that you can take a dip in one of the volcanic hot springs.

A penguin in Antarctica King George Island: This is one of the biggest islands off the coast of Antarctica. It is also home to the annual half-marathon that takes place on this continent.

Things To Do

A hot spring Swim in the Deception Island Hot Springs: Deception Island is home to an active volcano and is one of the safest harbours of Antarctica. One of the main draws to this island are the volcanic hot springs that you can take a dip in.

A kayak navigating through chunks of ice Take a Kayaking Adventure: This is an excellent way to quietly explore the area and see some of the amazing landscapes/wildlife that it holds.

A boy jumping into the water Do the Polar Plunge: You can safely take a dip in the frigid Antarctica waters! There are companies that allow you to jump into the water as you're harnessed in so that they can safely pull you back in. Then you typically warm up with a towel and a dip in a hot tub.

A tent in the middle of a snowy landscape Camp Out: You can't go to the bathroom on, eat, or drink on Antarctica but you can camp! While it won't be comfortable and it will be cold, very few people have ever done it and you'll feel pretty proud to join that list once you do.

A pair of running shoes Run a Half Marathon: Have you ever wanted to run a half marathon? Yeah, me neither. However I might change my mind if it would mean that I could run one in a really awesome spot like Antarctica. This half a marathon has been run annually since 1995 and costs about $300 per participant. More information on this can be found here.

Tips

  • The best time to visit is in the summer when the daylight is extended and the weather is warmer.
  • You can see Antartica in one of two ways. One would be a flight that takes you over the continent that departs from Australia. The other would be a cruise or a boat. Both are fairly expensive so be sure to save up!
  • Bring some thin gloves along with you as it is easier to take pictures with them.
  • Bring a bunch of warm socks and get a larger boot size as you will be wearing multiple pairs.
  • Camera batteries will die a bit faster due to the cold weather so pack/prepare accordingly.
  • If you go by boat, have some sea-sickness medication packed as it will get rough at times.

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