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ANTARCTICA VACATIONS

The White Continent the furthest outpost of our planet vast, remote, forlorn, windy, bleak and frozen. Yet captivating, otherworldly, beautiful, silent and pristine…

An undiscovered land

INTRODUCTION TO ANTARCTICA

The White Continent the furthest outpost of our planet vast, remote, forlorn, windy, bleak and frozen. Yet captivating, otherworldly, beautiful, silent and pristine. One human for every 32,000 square miles. Since the late 1700’s it has drawn the bravest souls of humankind to navigate the ravages of inclement seas and later in 1895 tread upon the ultimate frozen wilderness. Today it still holds that appeal of the unadulterated simplicity of mother nature. Our Totally Latin America Antarctica vacations continually seek that ability to connect to places less traveled on our expeditions. We invite you in the footsteps of the great explorers.

DISCOVERY OF ANTARCTICA

Early explorers searched for a huge southern continent known as Tierra Australis Incognita (unknown southern land). From 1772 – 1775, British Explorer Captain James Cook spent three long years exploring the brutal icy seas of the southern oceans, before finally throwing in the towel and returning home in vain. Plentiful explorers followed Cook in the hunt for the hidden continent, but none were successful. During the early 19th century as global competition for territory and global dominance grew, interest sparked once again in finding the mysterious icy continent. On January 27, 1820, the Russian explorer Fabian von Bellingshausen made the first sighting of an ice shelf attached to what is now known as Queen Maud Land. Then, just three days later, on a separate exploration Edward Bransfield, a British Naval officer spotted the Antarctic peninsula. On February 09, 1821, more than a year after initial sightings, John Davis an American Explorer and sealer made landfall. Join the expedition and follow in the footsteps of the great explorers on one of our Antarctica vacations.

MODERN DAY ANTARCTICA

On 01 December 1959, the Antarctica Treaty was signed by Twelve member countries whose scientists had been operating in Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (01 July 1957 – 31 December 1958). Today, there are now fifty-four member countries. Antarctica is the only continent in the world without permanent residents. However, annually there are anywhere from 1,000 – 5,000 people residing there, depending on the season. Member parties of the Antarctica Treaty operate 70 or so permanent and temporary research stations. The largest research center is the US operated McMurdo Station. It is situated in the south of Ross Island, which is located within the boundaries of Ross Dependency, an area of Antarctica claimed by New Zealand. The station is like a small town and can accommodate 1,250 inhabitants. It features a fire house, residence halls, stores, and Antarctica’s only ATM. Ask an expert about which Antarctica vacations include the Ross Sea.

VISITING ANTARCTICA

Most Antarctica vacations will visit the continent aboard an expedition cruise ship. Cruises operate during the months of November – March, when the weather is milder. The choice of vessels is extensive and somewhat overwhelming with three-dozen plus ships licensed to operate touristic cruises in the Antarctic. With the exception of a few vessels, most cruise ships have a capacity of 100 – 300 guests. It is important to note that due to regulations in Antarctica, only 100 people at any one time are allowed to disembark the vessel. Cruise operators are well adept at managing large amounts of guests with guest rotations and shifts, but this maybe a consideration when choosing a vessel. Cruise ship levels vary greatly, from traditional ships with more moderate facilities to luxury state-of-the-art hybrid ships complete with helicopters. Length of cruises also vary greatly. Shorter, budget conscious trips start from around 10 days and typically navigate a round trip from Ushuaia to the Antarctic Peninsula. Longer more comprehensive and cruises last up to 30+ days. To explore South Georgia and the Falkland Islands in addition to the Antarctic Peninsula you’ll need around 18-20 days. Typical expedition activities include zodiac rides and short hikes, wildlife spotting and sea-kayaking opportunities for observing whales and penguins.

Book with confidence

With more than a decade of experience in planning and executing high quality Antarctica Vacations, we have satisfied the travel needs of thousands of discerning travelers. For your peace of mind, we are IATA TIDS approved and are members of ASTA (The American Society of Travel Agents). Read our recent testimonials or visit our TripAdvisor page to see what our clients say about us.  Book with confidence in the knowledge that you are in safe hands.

detailed map of Antarctica
Panoramic Ariel view of McMurdo Station, Ross Island - Antarctica

McMurdo Station, Ross Island – Antarctica

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Explore the white continent and start planning your next trip with the Antarctica Vacations experts. Let a specialist advisor help you create the perfect adventure.

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FEATURED ANTARCTICA VACATIONS

We had pierced the veneer of outside things. We had “suffered, starved, and triumphed, grovelled down yet grasped at glory, grown bigger in the bigness of the whole.” We had seen God in his splendours, heard the text that nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man.” (Ernest Shackleton- 1916).

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