There are very few things in this world that can overwhelm your senses like a visit to the frozen frontier; although Antarctica may seem cold and unwelcoming, it’s actually one of the most interesting and strikingly beautiful places on planet Earth.
An expedition to Antarctica was once an arduous journey, reserved for only the most adventurous explorers, though today anyboy can join a cruise and experience the continent in luxury and comfort.
That said, the cost and logistics mean that most people expect to plan the Antarctic cruise only once in their lifetime, so it’s important as a first timer to know what to expect … and perhaps, more importantly, what not to forget!
There are few places left in the world that you can truly call pristine, but that’s just what our Polar Regions offer. They are surprisingly havens for wildlife, and a range of small group tours journey to remote destinations like Greenland and Spitsbergen in the north as well as Antarctica in the south.
Whether you’ve always wanted to witness a vivid aurora or be bathed in 24 hours of sunshine, the world’s Polar Regions offer adventures unlike any other. From walruses and polar bears in the north to elephant seals and penguins in the south, our Polar Regions abound with rare and endangered wildlife.
In addition to witnessing almost unimaginable landscapes and wildlife, there are many epic activities on offer including dog sledding, hiking on ice sheets, mountain biking in Greenland, and kayaking or taking a polar plunge in the icy waters off Antarctica.
So grab your parka because Quark Expeditions, the leader in polar adventures, is ready to help you choose from some of the top Polar Region bucket list adventures.
Traveling is a fun and exhilarating activity, however if you’re not prepared for the weather, you might find that you’ve effectively ruined your trip.
The weather is the single factor most likely to positively or negatively affect your travels, though it’s also one of the things most travelers take for granted, and people quite often find themselves caught off guard.
Checking the weather forecast for your destination before you leave is essential to ensuring you are packing appropriate clothes, and you shouldn’t make assumptions as to what you believe the weather is going to be.
I mean it’s always going to be warm in Australia right?
If you’re traveling during winter, or to destinations that experience extremely cold weather conditions, make sure you have the following items of clothing with you.
Although Antarctica may seem like a cold, sparse and unwelcoming continent to the uninitiated, it is actually one of the most diverse, interesting and strikingly beautiful places on planet Earth.
From its thriving wildlife and breath-taking scenery, through to its status as an adventure playground for those fond of snowmobiles and sledges, the most southern continent offers a different kind of experience for each type of traveller.
And with more opportunities to get to there than ever before, here are just a few reasons why this should be the year you visit Antarctica.
There’s travel and then there’s exploration.
Exploring a destination goes well beyond hitting the top attractions and sharing a few selfies on social media. Explorers travel in order to truly learn about destinations and to then share their importance with the world. An explorer looks to protect and give back to the places they experience, not take from or leave a negative impact.
To be human is to want to explore, it’s in our blood. And nearly all of us dream of following in the footsteps of the world’s great explorers. While many of the world’s greatest expeditions are suited to the small minority who are willing to sacrifice their lives for the expedition, there is one incredible expedition that anyone can experience without having to subject themself to brutal conditions.
Antarctica remains one of the least explored and largely untouched regions of the world. But these days it is also one of the very rare expeditions that you can experience in luxury.
The women in our group had started calling me shoulders – not necessarily because there was anything spectacular about mine, but because they could see them. Which was a novel concept when we were hiking across a continent covered in ice.
In fact, Antarctica is the coldest, windiest and driest continent on earth, and summer temperatures average just above freezing. So stripping off my carefully planned out layers wasn’t something I expected, or originally had in mind.
But the sun was beating down, and I was ridiculously overdressed. I had even started sweating! So there I was, hiking across a glacier, with bare shoulders, now recommending that every traveler to Antarctica packs sunblock. Because the biggest killer in Antarctica is the reflection off the ice.
If you’re looking for a trip outside of the ordinary tourist traps, you should definitely consider giving Antarctica a try. Despite the growing popularity of Antarctica cruises, it’s still a sparsely visited region and offers some of the most pristine stretches of untouched land left for people to explore.
Since Antarctica is so remote, it’s going to require a little more planning on your part to make sure you get the most bang for your exploration buck. After all, it’s not like you can just hop on a flight or train to squeeze in an extra activity or two that you missed the first time around.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some steps you can take to make sure you get as much adventuring awesomeness out of your Antarctic trip as you can.
Our trip to Antarctica was bittersweet. We were experiencing the most epic adventure of a lifetime – exploring the most isolated and remote continent on earth, though acutely aware that no trip in the future would ever compare.
I’ve grappled for the past few weeks with how to put the experience into words. Because even though the continent pulls rave reviews, the experience is still undersold. One of the rare destinations which actually exceeds and surpasses the hype.
And I’ll admit, I was apprehensive of traveling to Antarctica. Extraordinarily excited, sure, but I’ve traveled enough to know that you can ruin a destination by building it up in your mind. And the pedestal I’d built for Antarctica was exceptionally high. But we needn’t have been scared. Because the reality of Antarctica didn’t crush the dream – it blew it out of the water.
There are many, many reasons you should purchase health insurance when traveling abroad, the most obvious being to protect yourself in the case of an emergency, though some countries are beginning to require health coverage as a mandatory condition of entry, meaning travelers no longer have the choice to travel without a plan.
Expat hubs around the world are beginning to require mandatory health insurance before issuing a visa, and more and more countries are deciding to refuse entry without it. Many travelers don’t realize that without the correct insurance, they could be turned away from the destination they are visiting before they make it past airport arrivals.
The following countries are among those jumping on the trend of making health insurance mandatory for those wishing to travel or live overseas.
100 years ago no more than a handful of people had journeyed to Antarctica, however today around 30,000 travelers visit each year. And we’re ridiculously excited to announce that next year, we will be too!
Antarctica remains one of the most unique destinations on earth, and expeditions are available to the average person seeking an exceptional experience. We’re looking forward to spectacular glacial lagoons, dramatic icebergs, breaching whales and deep-diving seals. To stepping out of our boat for hikes through ice fields, kayaking adventures, and camping overnight on the most remote continent in the world!
Being Australia’s most diverse Antarctic operator, we’re booked for February 2017 with Chimu Adventures. We’ll be traveling on their Pure Antarctica cruise; here’s a sneak peak at some of the stories, photos and videos you can look forward to!!
Have you ever wondered what people actually do on an Antarctica tour? Sure, the scenery is awe-inspiring and the weather is cold, but what more does this continent have in store for the intrepid traveller?
Actually, Antarctica is a treasure trove of untapped potential, especially for adventure seekers. Here we take a look at some of the ‘cool’ things to get up to while exploring the south pole.
This job made me realize that the world was much smaller and more accessible than I ever knew. Holland America took me all over the Caribbean, around both the Mediterranean and Baltic seas, to Egypt, Greenland, Russia, and everywhere in between! I even managed to travel on my own in between contracts, requesting extensions on flights that were already paid for by Holland America.
Eventually, despite the lure of new places and having made so many great friends, I knew I couldn’t keep doing this forever. Youth staff on a cruise ship was a young person’s job and I was ready to focus on starting a photography career. With this goal in mind, I decided to end my career in cruising, a task that is easier said than done. Ask any former crew member and they will agree!
It was once I stopped, of course, that an irresistible opportunity practically fell in my lap. It was another contract, though this one was different. It would last 6 months, taking me from South America to the Mediterranean, by way of Antarctica!
Traveling to Antarctica is a once in a life-time opportunity, and one which tops the bucket lists of many travelers…including us! And, with Spectacular glacial lagoons, dramatic icebergs, vast areas of remote wilderness, breaching whales and deep-diving seals, it’s not hard to see why.
Antarctica really is the final frontier! Here are 5 tips for when you organize your trip.
Before you visit Antarctica you have an idea of what it might be like. It might be cold there. The landscape is likely to be white. You might see penguins. There’s a high probability that you might see snow. It can get windy. You might even get sea sick.
Well forget all that, the only way to find out is to head there for yourself and see what the white continent is really like! So I did.