The continent of Antarctica, remote and beautiful, is unlike any other place on earth. There are no native people or resident government, and little economic activity. However, there is stunning scenery provided by 14 million square miles of frozen wilderness, including vast snow fields, pure white peaks and blue-tinted icebergs rising from a dark blue sea. There is also a glorious abundance of penguins, seals, whales and other wildlife rarely seen outside a zoo.
To cruise to Antarctica, it helps to be equipped with a love of nature and a sense of adventure. If you would like to visit to this strange and beautiful place, here are some things you should know
At the height of the Antarctic cruise season, there can be more than 20 hours of daylight each day. Temperatures may rise as high as 50 degrees Fahrenheit, though night-time temperatures often dip near zero.
Most cruises to the Antarctic take place during the Antarctic summer, from November to March. The ice pack that surrounds the continent in winter recedes during these months, making exploration of the shoreline a bit easier. Still, cruise ships are at the mercy of the very changeable weather. Sudden squalls can cause a ship to forgo a planned landing. The potential for extreme weather is simply a part of the unique Antarctic experience.
If you cruise from mid-December through January, you may see penguin chicks emerging from their eggs or seal pups at play. Whale sightings are usually at their best during February and March.
Ships of a variety of sizes sail to Antarctica, but in general the smaller ships are better able to navigate close to shore. Some ships sail the waters around Antarctica, taking in the scenery but not making any landings. Others make landings at various science stations, giving guests a chance to walk on the Antarctic ice.
All of the ships that visit Antarctica are built especially to handle icy conditions. While the ships are sturdy and comfortable and have space to socialize, you’re not likely to find glittery nightclubs or elegant casinos. Instead, Antarctic experts will be on board to provide information about various aspects of the continent’s fascinating history and environment.
A cruise to Antarctica definitely offers the excitement of visiting a special place where not many have gone before. If a cruise to the end of the earth appeals to your sense of adventure, talk with Cruise Buzz from Cruise Holidays of Mission Viejo.