Why to visit Antartica

If you ever wanted to visit Antartica you should know several things about this magnificent continent.

Antarctica, the southernmost continent and site of the South Pole, is a virtually uninhabited, ice-covered landmass. Most cruises to the continent visit the Antarctic Peninsula, which stretches toward South America. It’s known for the Lemaire Channel and Paradise Harbor, striking, iceberg-flanked passageways, and Port Lockroy, a former British research station turned museum. The peninsula’s isolated terrain also shelters rich wildlife, including many penguins.
Snow Hill Island, in the Weddell Sea, is home to emperor penguins, while Petermann and Cuverville islands harbor gentoo penguins. The South Shetlands archipelago, above the peninsula, is famed for Deception Island’s hot springs and Livingstone Island’s rocky beach, Hannah Point. Off the mainland, the U.S. encampment McMurdo Station on Ross Island lies near the volcano Mount Erebus. Ross Island is also the site of Scott’s Discovery Hut, a preserved base dating to a historic 1902 expedition. The South Pole, earth’s southernmost point, marks the continent’s center.

When to travel to Antartica

Accordingly to responsibletravel.com:

Visiting Antarctica in Januaryis a pretty good idea especially if you’re intending to see penguin chicks and seal pups in relatively warm temperatures. We’re talking just above freezing here.

February is also one of the warmest months in Antarctica with every chance of spotting whales and also offering a small window of opportunity to cross the Antarctic Circle.

Whales are still plentiful in March; however, temperatures will be returning to their normal below freezing levels, with treacherous winds and endless nights culminating in the ‘no go’ months of April, May, June, July, August and September.

Late October and November are still exceedingly cold although they do present the best chance of getting up close to some of Antarctica’s largest icebergs as well as breeding elephant seals.

As December dawns, Antarctica starts to see an upturn in temperatures, with an untouched quality promising some stunning scenes bathed in permanent sunlight.

December is considered the best time of year to visit Antarctica and is therefore the most popular – so book early to plant your pick in the ice.

What to visit in Antartica

Antartica
Antartica by Mathieu Perrier
McMurdo Station, Antarctica
McMurdo Station, Antarctica by Bryan Goff
Antartica
Antartica by James Eades