Before booking an Antarctica cruise, you might want to do a little research to know what is it exactly you are getting into. An Antarctica trip is quite unlike any other, so to assist you, here are the top four things to know before going on the cruise.
Cruises do not go to Antarctica year round since there are certain periods when the ice gets so thick, it’s impossible for anything to pass through to the ice. Travel season is November to March, but it’s December to February that is best since it can have daylight at up to 20 hours. This is also when the Penguin hatching begins. By February, you will also be able to witness different whales species feeding since krill is abundant.
To get on your cruise ship, know that most cruises depart from Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, located in Argentina. To get to the city, you must fly first to the capital Buenos Aires. From there, take another plane to Ushuaia. From there, your cruise begins.
Boredom will definitely be off the table during your cruise and with so many things to do, you might have to skip an activity or two just to catch your breath.
Every day, the program will be displayed on either a TV or several whiteboards. Listed on it are the day’s activities and lectures. These lectures are quite interesting and done by experts in their field. Mealtimes are around 7:30 AM for breakfast, 12:30 for lunch and 7:00 for dinner. If you plan on bringing your gadgets, then know that there is no cell service in Antarctica and onboard, the internet connection is rather slow. The ship will stop in one place for a day or two to permit you to enjoy outdoor activities, like the polar plunge, camping, photography and kayaking.
What to Expect on Antarctica
Antarctica is a wide, vast land and what you may see will depend on your chosen cruise. One thing will be constant though: the landscape. There are towering mountains, impressive icebergs, wide ice plains and sheer cliffs.
For the wildlife, there’s are numerous possible species for you to see. These include the Chinstrap Penguin, King Cormorants, Humpback Whale and Wilson’s Storm Petrel.
Bundle up, because it’s sure to be cold. Expect strong winds, especially along the coast where winds can reach up to 200 mph. During winter, temperatures can reach up to -70 degrees C and during the summer, as low as -35 degrees Celsius and as warm as 15 degrees Celsius. There’s also very little precipitation, with most of it as snow and just two inches annually.
A bit of research goes a long way, so do read up on your cruise before booking your ticket. And remember that not all activities listed on the website are available on all cruises or ships, so it would be best to check beforehand.