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Antarctic

ANTARCTICA TOURS & CRUISES

The Antarctic continent is one of the last truly untouched wildernesses left in the World. This snowbound landmass has some of the most spectacular scenery to be found anywhere, with craggy cliffs and massive icebergs. It is also home 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 shearwaters.

The Antarctic has some of the most rugged and breathtaking scenery known to man and the journey there is an adventure in itself. Highlights include the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands, where you will find some of the best wildlife viewing, including humpback, minke and killer whales, leopard seals, and various species of penguin. Paradise Harbour, filled with icebergs, 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.

Travel to the White Continent means boarding 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 had 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 a number of other ports in South Africa.

Our suggested Antarctic holiday 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, just ask us about this when you make your enquiry.

TOP Antarctic TRAVEL DEALS & UPCOMING TOURS

Tour Name Tour Type Days Start Date Price

Small Group Antarctic TOURS

TAILOR-MADE Antarctic TOURS

Map

Our tailor-made tours seek to create a personalised experience – one that is completely exclusive to you. By taking all your interests and requests into consideration, we design an itinerary that ticks off your specific boxes. If you are after adventurous exploration, cultural immersion, a relaxing escape or a balanced blend of everything, we can make it happen.

A highlight of our tailor-made tours is that the itinerary is flexible and incorporates plenty of free time – so you can do some exploring on your own. Our local, friendly guides, experts in their country’s history and culture, will be happy to adjust the activities or your schedule as you travel.

If you are a group of friends, a large family or a company, our tailor-made tours are an ideal, stress-free option. You can even select your own hotels or make use of our recommended accommodation. We have a varied selection of sample holiday itineraries to choose from, either as they stand or as a base for inspiration.

TOUR REVIEWS

Took care of every single detail from prior to our arrival in Cario until we we're dropped of at the airport a week later. Our hotels, tours, meals, and tour group we're all wonderful. Our tour guide was wonderful!
The price was great and the people wonderful!

There was a lot of communication from the beginning. The encounters staff was very responsive and the tour guide was great and very accommodating. Encounters was also able to help me with last minute changes to my itinerary while I was on the trip.

I was pleased and impressed with the experience in booking and obtain all necessary documents in a timely manner. I am looking forward to my tour and hope the ground experience it just as good. This trip is my dream/bucket list trip.

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.

Excellent from the initial planning to every step along the way on the trip! Worry free in every way! Islam, Hussein and Mahmoud were the greatest! Please check out my review on Trip Advisor! FIve stars from this girl!
Excellent

ratings

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 Antartic?

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.

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.

https://ucarecdn.com/371e1b76-4214-44ca-88bf-9aa5616277ec/ By: Martin Hosie 2016-02-11 21:00:00

Antarctica – what to take?

In Arctic

These notes will give you a brief idea of how to prepare for, and what you may encounter on your voyage. We stress that this is an “expedition” style cruise.

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https://ucarecdn.com/371e1b76-4214-44ca-88bf-9aa5616277ec/ By: Martin Hosie 2016-02-11 21:00:00

Wildlife of Antarctica

In Arctic

The Antarctic continent is surrounded by a boundless and inhospitable ocean, which in itself takes several days to cross by ship.

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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.
Governemnt: 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.