Adventure at the end of the world
massive ice shelves, resiliant wildlife and layer upon layer of white
There really is only one word to describe Antarctica: stunning. With enormous ice shelves, mountains, resilient fauna, and the frozen seas, there is no other place on earth that will demonstrate so definitively humanity’s insignificance and nature’s grandeur. Chile is proud to claim a sliver of the white continent, and Antarctic weather conditions even appear daily on Chile’s national weather forecast. A trip to Antarctica is sure to be one of the most unforgettable experiences in a lifetime. Most departures are from either Punta Arenas (Chile) or Ushuaia (Argentina) via small charter plane for a full day or overnight trip to visit with scientists, trek along massive plains of ice, and observe penguins, orca whales, sea lions who call Antarctica home.
Areas of the region that travelers explore either individually or together include:
- The Antarctic Peninsula
- The Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
- South Georgia
- Snow Hill Island
- South Pole
- Ross Sea
- Polar Circle
The travel season lasts from November to March. The weather during the Antartic summer season can be surprisingly mild with temperatures ranging from -2°C to 8°C (28°F to 46°F) but it is best to be ready for all conditions from frosty winter to mild spring-like days.
How to Arrive
Flight from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Ushuaia, Argentina: 3 hrs 35 mins
There are various ways to access the Antarctic region, including by air, but Ushuaia is the most common departure point.
Flight from Punta Arenas, Chile to King George Island: 2 hrs
Good to know
Language: English is the most spoken languages in Antarctica
Currency: There is no Antarctic currency. US dollars, pound sterling and Euro are accepted in Port Lockroy in the Antactic Peninsula, as are Visa and Mastercard (charges made in US dollars).
Visas/fees: Because of the Antarctic Treaty there are no visa requirements. If traveling through Chile or Argentina, arrangements need to be made accordingly.
How to visit Antarctica?
Sail the Drake Passage
Camp overnight on a glacier
Wildlife scouting, including humpback whales, penguins and seals
Ready to go? Here’s what to pack
It’s important to be prepared for a visit to one of the coldest and most remote places on earth. Unless you’re traveling for scientific research, odds are that you will be there during the austral summer months (December through early March), during which time temperatures average around 30°F. We encourage travelers to think about water and sun-proofing when packing. Wet camera equipment from a zodiac ride, for example, can be an issue. And with the thinning ozone layer and reflective ice and water, sun protection is a must.
- Jacket or parka. Think windproof and waterproof
- Waterproof outer layer to wear over thermal pants
- Waterproof boots
- Fleece and warm layers
- Base layers
- Relaxed clothes for indoors (on ship)
- High SPF sunscreen!
Travel tunes: Playlists for Antarctica
Tips from our Team
Bring a GoPro! It’s a great way to capture the adventure without spending too much time focused on camera settings.
Combine your time the Antarctic region with southern Patagonia, including Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego.
Where to stay: Overnight Recommendations
Ice Camp on Collins Glacier
The vibe: Excursion-ready at the end of the world
The location: Glacial fields on the mainland of Antarctica
Good for: Those willing to give up hotel luxury for an unforgettable adventure
Antarctica XXi offers three ships, Hebridean Sky, Ocean Nova and their newest Magellan Explorer.