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Antarctic

ANTARCTICA TOURS & CRUISES

If you're keen on an Antarctic expedition you simply must book one of our Antarctica tours at Encounters Travel - our itineraries vary from relaxing Antarctica cruises to exciting polar expeditions, and more!

The Antarctic continent is one of the last truly untouched wildernesses left on the planet – this snowbound landmass has some of the most spectacular scenery to be found anywhere, with craggy cliffs and towering icebergs.

Our Antarctica tours will welcome you to an abundance of aquatic wildlife including whales and seals, along with large populations of penguins, albatross and other species such as petrels, prions, fulmars, and shear-waters.

The Antarctic has some of the most rugged and breath-taking scenery known to man and the journey there is an adventure in itself.

Highlights include the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands – here you’ll find some of the best wildlife viewing, including humpback, minke and killer whales, leopard seals, and unforgettable penguin colonies – making it the perfect Antarctica tour adventure!

Other highlights include Paradise Harbour, filled with icebergs, which is a great place to get ashore and visit one of the many scientific research stations. While the Lemaire Channel - known as 'Kodak Gap' for its unrivalled photographic potential - provides a perfect opportunity to watch for calving glaciers, one of the most amazing displays of nature on Earth.

At Encounters Travel, our Antarctica tours offer the option of a cruise ship – there are plenty to choose from depending on how long you wish to travel and what level of accommodation you require.

Cruise itineraries usually range from between twelve to twenty days and include at least four days travelling at sea.

Onboard historians and naturalists are always on hand to help bring alive the continent's rich history and unique wildlife.

Ships can range from the more basic converted research ships right up to luxury expedition cruise liners.

The majority of cruises depart from Ushuaia in Argentina; however other ports of embarkation are possible, including Hobart in Australia and several other ports in South Africa.

Our suggested Antarctica tour itineraries will give you a good taste of what's available and are based around specific cruise ships which we prefer to use.

If you have a preferred ship of your own, we can usually provide a competitive quote including all air and ground arrangements pre-and-post-cruise.

It is also possible to include some extra time either before or after your cruise to explore your country of embarkation – simply contact us for more information.

More information about Antarctica tours

Do you want to know more about Albania and its beauty? Or do you need accurate visa information?

Contact the Antarctica tourism board for more information.

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Group Departure Dates

2 Tours | From $5999 p/p

Duration:

12 Days

Country(ies):

Antarctic

Tour Type:

Small Group

Group size:

Min: 1 | Max: 60

Meals:

B- 11, L - 10, D - 11

Highlights:

Amazing Antarctic wildlife, Zodiak boat trips, shore excursions, kayaking, camping (in Antarctica only), snowshoe/hiking, (ski)mountaineerin...


   From

$5999(p/p)

Duration:

19 Days

Country(ies):

Antarctic

Tour Type:

Small Group

Group size:

Min: 1 | Max: 12

Meals:

B- 18, L - 17, D - 18

Highlights:

Remote Atlantic islands, amazing Antarctic wildlife, Zodiak boat trips, shore excursions, pristine wilderness landscapes


   From

$13235(p/p)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is it safe to visit the Antarctic?

The Antarctic is a safe destination to visit, but you can expect unpredictable weather and rough seas.

What is the official currency of the Antarctic?

There is no Antarctic currency, but if you do visit Port Lockroy in the Antarctic Peninsula, US dollars, pounds and euro are accepted. Your Visa and MasterCard transactions will be charged in US dollars.

When is the best time of the year to visit the Antarctic?

Late summer in the Antarctic, February and early March is the best time to see the whales. During January and December, you can enjoy 20 hours of sunlight each day, the days are warm, and penguins hatch eggs.

What should you wear in the Antarctic?

The weather conditions are extreme in the Antarctic, so pack layers and waterproof clothes to protect yourself from the wind, water and sub-zero temperatures.

What are the fitness/health requirements for going on a cruise in the Antarctic?

You do not need to be extremely fit, but you do need to be in good overall health. The cruise will be visiting remote areas, and you will not have easy access to modern medical facilities. The cruise or tour does not need to be physically demanding, and you can always opt out of onshore activities.

Do people in Antarctica speak English?

Yes, the most widely spoken languages are English and French. French is the official language in the Kerguelen, while German is official in New Swabia however, the most commonly spoken language on the continent is English.

Do you need vaccinations to go to Antarctica?

Knowing if you need a vaccine or not depends on where you are departing from, landing sites and where you will disembark at the end of your tour.

To be safe, we suggest visiting your local doctor to find out more about travel vaccines. Please note that some vaccines require it to be taken a few weeks in advance, so be sure to factor this in.

Where should we go to in Antarctica?

Antarctica may seem at first like a monotonous expanse of snow and ice, but don't let that fool you, it has much to offer - so you'll need to think about where to go in Antarctica before booking your trip.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Antarctic Archipelago
  2. Antarctic Penninsula
  3. Drake Passage
  4. Falkland Islands
  5. King George Inland

How many days in Antarctica is enough?

Antarctica is one of the only places in the world where you can't just book a flight and show up to explore on your own. You'll need a minimum of 10 days to get a real feel for the country - this is enough time to cover all its major highlights.

What is the best month to visit Antarctica?

The best time to visit Antarctica is during the summer period from November to March. This is when wildlife is most active and the days are at their longest. The most popular period to visit is from December to February when the weather is warmest.

TOUR REVIEWS

Encounters Travel did such a superb job in organizing this tour. I had never heard of them before going on the Maldives Magic tour, however now I will recommend them to friends/family and use them for my future planned trips.
Our tour is what made the trip that much more memorable. Rather than being plopped at a westernized resort, we were able to get a taste of how the locals live, eat and entertain themselves. We stayed in quaint guesthouses on the islands amongst the locals, ate authentic Maldivian cuisine (one day even with a Maldivian family who made us breakfast), and viewed a traditional dance/singing performance which was absolutely delightful. This was a trip of a lifetime that I will never forget.

Anthony has been a pleasure to work with and when he is not available, other members of the team respond in a timely manner. I have booked a total of 6 trips since December 2013 and plan to book more to fill my bucket list.

When a single women in her 50's, traveling from the US to Egypt, stumbles across a website offering a tour, and then they make her feel totaling comfortable about every step of the process, you know you've hit a homerun!

Conscientious in early communication; knowledgeable, humorous and caring tour guides; an exemplary itinerary that was well organized yet flexible; an overall extraordinary experience. I'd recommend them enthusiastically.

My experience with Encounters was excellent from start to finish. The Tour Guide, Sheriff, was the most passionate, enthusiastic and professional guide I have ever had on a tour and his love for Egypt really made me enjoy my time so much more.

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Antarctic Country Guide

Antarctic Country Guide Flag

Factfile


Time: GMT+8
Dial Code: +672
Area: 14 million km2
Elevation: The lowest point in the Antarctic is the Bentley Subglacial Trench, which reaches 2,555m below sea level (8382,546 ft.) | The highest point in the Antarctic is Mount Vinson, with an elevation of 4,897m (6,066 ft.)
Population: An average of 1,000 to 5,000 people resides at research stations during the year.
Capital: The Antarctic is a geographic entity, but not really a political entity, therefore it has no capital.
Government: The Antarctic is not a country: it has no government and no indigenous population.
Language: English, Russian

The Antarctic is the southernmost continent on the surface of the Earth. The continent encompasses the geographical South Pole and is in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle. The Southern Ocean also encircles Antarctica.

About 98% of the Antarctic is covered in thick ice, and it is the fifth-largest continent in the world. The continent is the coldest, windiest and driest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. The landscape is a desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm (8 in) along the coast and far less inland.

Throughout the year, an average of 1,000 to 5,000 people resides at research stations scattered across the continent. In 1959, 12 countries signed the Antarctic Treaty, and 38 have signed it since. This treaty forbids mineral mining, military activities, nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal.

There are several lakes and rivers in Antarctica. The longest river is the Onyx and the largest lake, Vostok, is one of the largest sub-glacial lakes in the world. The coastline of the Antarctic features ice formations. The continent is divided into two by the Transantarctic Mountains, located close to the neck between the Ross Sea and the Weddell Sea. This continent is the coldest in the world.

A collection of governments maintains permanently manned research stations on the continent. The number of people conducting scientific on the continent varies from summer to winter.

Highlights

  • Lemaire Channel - a picturesque strait off Antarctica, nicknamed 'Kodak Gap', and one of the top tourist destinations.
  • Petermann Island - a small, low island that is home to a colony of 3,000 gentoo penguins.
  • Paradise Harbour - a wide embankment filled with icebergs, glaciated mountains, colossal whale bones and gentoo penguins.
  • Antarctic Peninsula - the northernmost part of Antarctica, positioned at the base of the Southern Hemisphere.
  • South Shetland - 11 glaciated islands, north of the Antarctic Peninsula with various volcanoes.
  • Falklands Island - a remote South Atlantic archipelago of craggy landscape and a cliff-lined coast.
  • Orcadas Station - an Argentine scientific station, and one of the oldest stations in the Antarctic still in operation.
  • Ceremonial South Pole - the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth marked by a red-and-white-striped pole.

Tips

  • Pack some waterproof slip-resistant boots for when you walk on the islands.
  • Sickness medications are useful for the rough waters and crossing swells.
  • Respect the wildlife and avoid getting too close to the penguins or seals.
  • Bring good quality, protective sunglasses and sunscreen, as the sun's rays are harsh.
  • The Antarctic is surprisingly dry, and it is easy to get dehydrated - drink lots of water.
  • It is a good idea to bring plenty of memory cards for your camera.
  • Do not take souvenirs or collect biological or geological specimens, including bones and rocks.
  • Always follow the instructions and advice of your leaders, and don't stray from the group.

VIDEO FEATURE

Our video features aim to bring our adventure tours to life in a way that no photo can, giving you a great taste of the destination.

POSTS FROM OUR BLOG

Need some travel inspiration or looking for some handy travel tips? Our blog provides excellent insight into our travel destinations - from tour updates to country guides, packing lists to little known things to do, you'll find it all in our travel blog.

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