Hearing the chorus of thousands of playful penguins, witnessing sky-blue icebergs collapsing into mirror-like shards and inhaling crisp, pure air are just some of the thrills that attract explorers to the White Continent. Whatever your reasons for visiting the region, these experiences in Antarctica will turn your vacation into a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Kayaking among icebergs in Antarctica

1. Kayak among icebergs

Embark on a memorable journey with Quark Expeditions’ Ocean Adventurer. Listen to the eerie pop, crackle and fizz of ice and the distant calls of seabirds, glimpse a graceful humpback, minke, or orca, and watch chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins waddling along the shore. For an extra thrill, kayak to sheltered bays to inhale the scent of saltwater and Antarctic flora, and watch seals basking on ice floes. Voyages typically take 11 days, with several landings to visit penguin rookeries, while a team keep you entertained onboard with talks on glaciology and historical expeditions in the region.

Camera practicing photography in Antarctica

2. Practise your photography skills with National Geographic

National Geographic Expeditions offers an unparalleled wildlife-focused experience aboard the National Geographic Explorer, thanks to a remotely operated vehicle that captures footage of the ocean floor. As well as observing the awe-inspiring sight of leopard seals basking in their natural habitat, you’ll hear the cacophony of whale blowholes. Breath in the scent of the briny ocean on an after-dinner Zodiac cruise to volcanic isles and pristine bays, or while away a few hours picking up tips from expert filmmakers and photographers Sisse Brimberg, Andrew Coleman, or Nick Cobbing.

3. Wake up inside a glass igloo

Named in honor of Ernest Shackleton’s 1912 expedition vessel, Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Endurance offers five-star comfort as you follow in the legendary explorer’s footsteps. Along the way you’ll encounter curious seals and gentoo penguins surrounded by the earthy scent of moss and lichen. Paddle a kayak through glassy waters, exploring coves inaccessible to larger vessels, and listen in awe as a symphony of glaciers crack in the otherwise silent air. Endurance guests can opt for a night in a glass igloo atop National Geographic Resolution, where you might glimpse moody skies, the curve of a whale’s backbone and millions of stars.

Paradise Bay Antarctica

4. Become a citizen scientist

Another ship named after a legend, Hurtigruten’s MS Maud takes its name from Roald Amundsen’s 1917 vessel. As the Art Deco-themed ship sets sail through Chile’s ice-choked fjords, you’ll encounter waterfalls cascading down cliffs. The region is home to 12 million penguins, and depending on the time of year you choose to visit, you may see thousands of fluffy chicks. The scent of krill-rich waters and the sound of creaking glaciers permeate the air as you observe elephant seals and Adélie penguins as you paddle in a kayak. Back on board, you can channel your inner scientist in the advanced Science Center and enjoy daily lectures in the lecture hall.

Port Stanley architecture in Antarctica

5. Delve into the Antarctic’s dramatic history

Built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy, Oceanwide Expeditions’ Plancius oozes history. Upon landing at Port Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, you’ll discover colorful, Victorian-era houses, English pubs and century-old clippers, as well as a museum about early settlements and the Falklands War. Of course, wildlife is always the main draw, so as you cruise around the South Orkney Islands and South Georgia, look for an albatross enjoying a catch, the splash of a seal plunging into frigid water, or note the unmistakable scent of guano from bustling penguin colonies.

With 90 per cent of the world’s ice in an area twice the size of Australia, the White Continent always exceeds expectations. So stop just talking about your dream experiences in Antarctica – and allow Travel Leaders 365 to book them for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *