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Why Do People Visit Antarctica? 12 Reasons Why You Should Visit Antarctica!

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Can people visit Antarctica? Can anyone go to Antarctica? Can I go to Antarctica?

I’m sure this is a thought that crosses many people’s minds and I know it has crossed my mind in the past when I had no idea how to visit Antarctica, and, can people visit Antarctica actually?

In November though, after 2 years in the planning and 1 year behind the initial planned time (thanks pandemic!), I did visit Antarctica on an Antarctica cruise leaving Ushuaia, Argentina and hit my 7th continent!

Visiting Antarctica was such an amazing experience! The travel there through the Drake Passage was legendary, the sights and wildlife I saw were mind-blowing and the people I met onboard my Antarctica cruise were so nice!

In this post I want to answer the popular question – can we go to Antarctica? Round up some reasons to visit Antarctica, how you can actually do a vacation in Antarctica and tips for trips to Antarctica.

Can You Visit Antarctica?

Yes! And here’s why you should!

Can you visit Antarctica, Why do people visit Antarctica,
Keep reading for answers to – can you visit Antarctica?

I went to Antarctica onboard the Ocean Endeavour with Chimu Adventures and Intrepid Travel. I had such an amazing experience and I can’t rate the staff, ship and booking experience highly enough!

If you are thinking about going to Antarctica, fill in this quick Google form and Chimu Adventures who I booked my trip with will get back to you with a quote.

If budget is on your mind, Chimu can offer you a variety of dates and cruise options to help you get the best value trip to Antarctica cost!

Click here to get a quote for Antarctica in the quickest and easy way!

Intrepid and Chimu Adventures Ocean Endeavour ship, Can you visit Antarctica,
You could be on this ship in Antarctica soon!

1. Because… we CAN visit Antarctica.

Many people visit Antarctica for work purposes working in remote research stations there, but it IS possible to visit Antarctica as a tourist too!

I know Antarctica is so far away and to many people, it might not seem possible to visit Antarctica but when you are onboard a ship of 200 people which is only 1 group of about 10 groups that season ran by only 1 company from 10+ companies, you quickly realise… hey, a lot of people do travel to Antarctica!

people in Antarctica, Can you visit Antarctica,

2. Hitting the 7th Continent

Many people have a goal to visit all 7 continents but you can only do this by travelling to Antarctica and, when thinking about ‘why visit Antarctica?’ I would say this is one of the main reasons to visit Antarctica for many.

Going to Antarctica did enable me to hit my 7th and last continent, however, on my cruise I was surprised that it wasn’t everyone’s goal and some other people hadn’t yet been to other continents so don’t think this is the only reason to go to Antarctica!

Ellie with Antarctica flag, 7th continent, Can you visit Antarctica, Why do people visit Antarctica,
Celebrating stepping foot on my 7th Continent!

3. The Wildlife in Antarctica

Antarctica really is all about wildlife and definitely penguins which you’ll see a lot of!

Tourist spots in Antarctica have been designed to take guests close to wildlife whilst protecting the wildlife of course and you are bound to get up close to penguins, seals, whales and seabirds and experience them like you can’t anywhere else in the world!

Want to get started with your learning? Read these fun facts about penguins.

penguins and seals on snow in Antarctica, Can you visit Antarctica, Why do people visit Antarctica,
Penguins and Seals in one go! This was a good day!
Humpback Whale Tail in Antarctica, Can you visit Antarctica,
We saw some Humpback Whales too!
chin strap penguin on ice in Antarctica, Can you visit Antarctica,
Seeing this lone Chin Strap Penguin was also very memorable.

4. Ultimate Remote Getaway and Detox

Going to Antarctica isn’t exactly ‘getting off the grid’ and you will be surrounded by people on your cruise to Antarctica but, you will spend your trip travelling through the Drake Passage which is very remote, before reaching the Antarctic Peninsula which is even more remote.

So if you do want to get away from it all and have a digital detox from the internet, tv, social media etc, this is a good way to do it as you won’t have good connectivity on board at all!

I wouldn’t say it’s a detox in all ways though! One of the reasons to not visit Antarctica is if you want a body detox because it’s likely you’ll indulge in a lot of food on your cruise as the food is so good!

I went to Antarctica onboard the Ocean Endeavour with Chimu Adventures and Intrepid Travel. I had such a fantastic experience and can’t rate the staff, ship and booking experience highly enough!

If you are thinking about going to Antarctica, fill in this quick Google form and Chimu Adventures will get back to you with a quote.

If budget is on your mind, Chimu can offer you a variety of dates and cruise options to help you get the best value trip to Antarctica cost!

Click here to get a quote for Antarctica in the quickest and easy way!

Intrepid and Chimu Adventures Ocean Endeavour ship, Can you visit Antarctica,
You could be on this ship in Antarctica soon!

5. There’s a Variety of Cruise Types

Now to touch on ‘can anyone visit Antarctica?’, Well, aside from the financial part of travelling to Antarctica which I go into below, the best thing about trips to Antarctica is that there is a range of options to suit different people and abilities.

On my cruise with Chimu Adventures and Intrepid, everyone got the chance to get off the ship and take excursions on the small zodiac boats and go onto land but some of the older people on my ship decided not to get off and just enjoyed the views from the ship.

Other ships which can hold a few hundred+ people simply aren’t allowed to take guests off the ship because of the size of the ship which means all guests will watch from the window and out on deck.

To some, this might seem like a waste when visiting Antarctica but if you are older and/or have mobility issues or a disability, you probably don’t want to risk getting on and off the ship, and seeing the icebergs and mountains of the Antarctic Peninsular from the ship only is still very impressive and still means you’ve been to Antarctica!

Cruises to Antarctica are expensive, there’s no getting around that but, each cruise company differs slightly in their audience and what they offer. There are very luxurious Antarctica cruise ships and there are more basic ones and this will ultimately be seen in the price difference.

My roommate met some people travelling on a Nat Geo Antarctica Cruise which cost about 10x what ours did, which does seem crazy but if you have the money and that’s your passion.. why not!

The Ocean Endeavour ship with blue sky in Antarctica, Can you visit Antarctica,
I really recommend booking a trip on the Ocean Endeavour!

6. Worth the Money

A trip to Antarctica is expensive, there is no way of getting around that. The minimum trip length is about 10 days which I did because it takes 2 days to sail to Antarctica and back and that only leaves you with 3 days in the Antarctic Peninsular for sailing and excursions.

Other costs you have to factor in on top of the cruise cost are the costs of getting to the cruise start point. This will most likely be in Ushuaia in Southern Argentina and most people will have to fly into Buenos Aires first which is a pretty long flight from anywhere, and then take a 3-hour internal flight south and a night or two extra will be needed in Ushuaia to pad out your trip.

However! This is seriously a once-in-a-lifetime trip and everyone I met said it met their expectations and more and was totally worth the financial investment.

It’s a trip that many will save up for a few years which I think makes it even more special and makes us appreciate the whole experience even more too!

passengers on front of the ship in Antarctica, Can you visit Antarctica, Why do people visit Antarctica,

7. The Cruise Experience

If you haven’t been on a cruise before, what better way to do a cruise than to Antarctica?

The Antarctic cruise ships are different from huge cruise liners you’ve seen or might have been on. Antarctica cruises priority is to give you a smooth and comfortable trip but it’s ultimately to take you to one of the most remote places in the world, so as we found out, our plans changed a lot, the wifi didn’t always work, the pool wasn’t open because of the weather, and there weren’t as many amenities as other cruises I’ve been on, but the destination completely makes up for this!

After going on my first cruise with Princes Cruises the other year, I got a newfound appreciation for cruising and how easy it is, especially for people with mobility issues so the fact that a cruise can take you to Antarctica in such an easy way is amazing!

passengers on front of ship in Antarctica, Can you visit Antarctica, Why do people visit Antarctica,

8. You Can Go For Longer

My trip was 10 days in total with 4 days sailing, 3 days in the Antarctica Peninsular and days on either side of the trip. To be honest, after travelling to the end of the world in Argentina from the UK, it was a short time spent in Antarctica for all the travel I did.

If you think a few days in Antarctica is not enough, there are many more expeditions that are longer, spend longer in the Peninsular and visit nearby places like the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

These longer trips are of course much more expensive but it makes sense to spend longer there if you can and whilst you’re there!

Chimu Adventures whom I travelled to Antarctica with, offer a range of cruises and expedition lengths. Fill in this quick form and they will send you all the options so you can make the right decision.

gentoo penguins on snow in Antarctica, passengers on front of ship in Antarctica, Can you visit Antarctica, Why do people visit Antarctica,

9. It’s Not That Cold in Antarctica!

I know, shocker hey!

When I first started considering the idea of going to Antarctica, one of my first thoughts was how much stuff I’d need to buy to keep warm on this trip as well as paying for the trip.

I thought I’d need big industrial Arctic coats and boots and all sorts because surely Antarctica is freezing! But this isn’t the case at all!

I have a full post on what to pack for Antarctica here, but surprisingly, it’s not that cold in Antarctica.

Firstly, all cruises happen in late spring and summer, not in winter when Antarctica is indeed freezing, and frozen!

Secondly, the temperature onboard the ship is very comfortable so you’ll wear normal clothes most of the time, and when you do go outside you will be given the boots and coat you need from your tour company, and the temperature is around -1, 0, 1 which is about ski season temperatures.

You’ll need to wear baselayers but if you ski usually, or go hiking in winter, you’ll probably have most of this anyway or you can buy a few new bits that you’ll probably wear again.

What to wear in Antarctica, What to pack for Antarctica,
Ellie on end of Zodiac with pink lanyard, Ellie with hat, What to wear in Antarctica, What to pack for Antarctica,

10. Meet Amazing People

I remember someone saying that they went to Antarctica expecting to be surrounded by ego-minded people all wanting to tick off their 7th continent and ‘say they’ve been to every continent’ but in the end, the people they met were not that way at all. And I completely agree!

The people I met onboard my Antarctica cruise were ‘my kind of people’, it was so refreshing to meet new people who loved travel as much as I did, who wanted to hear my travel stories and told me there’s without us getting bored… like friends at home can!

Your cruise buddies become your family for 10 days and you spend pretty much every waking moment with them chilling on the ship to start with and then going out on once-in-a-lifetime trips so you really create a bond.

I also loved that our ship had such a range of people from different countries and different ages, and we all chatted with each other and were friendly and polite. If you saw someone on their own for dinner you asked them if they wanted to join you, just as many of us would travelling, and I really valued this from my experience visiting Antarctica.

group on Zodiac in Antarctica,What to wear in Antarctica, What to pack for Antarctica,

11. It’s an Educational Experience

Something I didn’t expect to get out of my cruise to Antarctica was to learn so much, which kind of sounds silly now when I think of all the new places and animals I saw and visited.

My cruise had an education program and if you are currently planning a trip to Antarctica I really recommend booking with a company that offers one too.

Firstly because, days at sea can get a bit boring and these talks really kept us entertained and engaged, and secondly, the staff who take you out on the zodiacs and onto shore are well trained in their friend and have such a passion for Antarctica that it’s such a shame to not learn from them and learn more about what you are seeing and where you are visiting.

I loved learning about the first Antarctic Explorers, the different types of Penguins, Whales and Seabirds, Icebergs, Whaling in Antarctica, what it’s like to work in Antarctica, and much more!

gentoo penguins on snow in Antarctica, Can you visit Antarctica,
We learnt a lot about these Gentoo Penguins which after seeing so many was really interesting!
iceberg in Antarctica, Can you visit Antarctica, Why do people visit Antarctica,

12. It’s a Once in a Lifetime and Feels Special!

Finally, this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip and honestly, it really feels like it. Going there feels so so special, travelling back from the Antarctic Peninsular with a head full of memories, a phone full of videos and photos which you are so lucky to have, and a heart full of gratitude really feels special, and looking back on the trip and telling people about it when you get home feels so special too!

After one trip to Antarctica, you will probably be desperate to go back, I know I am! But most people probably won’t and that’s ok.

You’ll know you’ve been to Antarctica, you’ve been to the most Southern place in the world, the frozen continent, and although a lot of people do go to Antarctica, not everyone does!

penguins on snow in Antarctica with ship in background, Can you visit Antarctica, Why do people visit Antarctica,

I hope this helps you work out – can you visit Antarctica and can I visit Antarctica?

I went to Antarctica onboard the Ocean Endeavour with Chimu Adventures and Intrepid Travel. I had such a fantastic experience and I can’t rate the staff, ship and booking experience highly enough!

If you are thinking about going to Antarctica, fill in this quick Google form and Chimu Adventures will get back to you with a quote.

If budget is on your mind, Chimu can offer you a variety of dates and cruise options to help you get the best value trip to Antarctica cost!

Click here to get a quote for Antarctica in the quickest and easy way!