Top 10 Polar Exploration Vacations in Antarctica
The body of water that separates Antarctica from South America, Australia and New Zealand is full of islands and adventure experiences. Every day brings new insights into the lives of whales, seals and birds, glaciology and the history of Antarctic exploration. Ice camping, sea kayaking, ice climbing, cross country skiing, ice diving, sailing, photography and kayaking are just some of the adventures you can undertake on route.
- Diving, Antarctic Peninsula
Extend your diving experience by exploring the icebergs and penguins from a different angle. Negotiate the icy waters and discover the secrets of Antarctica below the surface. Dive near fast ice and around grounded icebergs or even explore shipwrecks.
- Climbing and trekking, Antarctica Peninsula
The mountainous landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula’s west coast offers plenty of opportunities for ice climbing and alpine ascents. Grounded icebergs provide unique challenges and almost everywhere you go will be a world first. When you get breathless stop to watch the whales go by.
- Sea Kayaking, Antarctica Peninsula
Explore the stunning bays and wildlife breeding grounds along the Peninsula.
- Ross Sea Region
Push through the pack ice south of New Zealand and the remote wilds of the Ross Sea following the voyage of James Clark Ross who first made it through here in 1841. This is the path explorers used to gain access to the continent and often called the Gateway to Antarctica. The ultimate goal beyond the massive icebergs of Ross Ice Shelf is Cape Adare, the first confirmed landing on the Antarctica mainland in 1895.
- Bay of Whales
Visit the place Amunsden used as a base in his 1911 push to the South Pole. This natural ice harbor is the closest area to the South Pole accessible by ship. It was also used because it was rich in animal life and the seals and penguins were a source of meat for the men. Today the wildlife still abounds.
- Ross Ice Shelf
This is the largest ice shelf of Antarctica, roughly about the size of Spain, and hundreds of feet thick. Watch out for the massive icebergs that calve from the ice shelf. Journey further to the expedition huts of Scott and Shackleton to learn more of the history of Antarctic exploration.
- South Orkney Islands
This group of islands are actually linked to the Antarctic Peninsula by massive sub-marine mountains. They are uninhabited but huge breeding grounds of Weddell seals more than make up for the lack of humans. Coronation Island is known for its nesting penguins and there’s an Argentinean meteorological station on Laurie Island. Look out for the punky Macaroni penguins and the largest bird in the world, the wandering albatross with it’s 10 foot wing span.
- Mawson’s Hut, Commonwealth Bay
Discover Australia’s contributions to Antarctica’s history at the group of historical buildings associated with the 1911-1914 Australian Antarctic Expedition. Located on Cape Denison, the site is recorded as the windiest place on Earth at sea level and conservations fear the 37 mph winds could blow the hut away.
- South Sandwich Islands
One of the most remote and inhospitable archipelagos, these mostly active volcanic islands are permanently covered with ice and snow in the high elevations. In fact 80 per cent of the islands are said to be covered in glaciers. They are also surrounded by sea ice for at least half the year.
- Kiting expedition, South Pole
Begin at the Geographic South Pole and travel 690 miles across the vastness of the Antarctica to Hercules Inlet on the edge of the Ronne Ice Shelf.