How to get to Antarctica

Cruises to Antarctica

Only the most interesting

Whoever has visited this icy continent at least once has made sure that such beauty cannot be found anywhere else. An artist can only dream of such a palette of colors. The sunsets are enchanting with some unearthly beauty: unusual colors are mixed, the tops of snowy mountains, icebergs are highlighted in gentle tones. It all looks like magic. The air is amazingly clean. Polar explorers joke that no bacillus lives here except humans.

Antarctica

The Antarctic island of Galindez is often visited by cruise ships and yachts. During the warm season, the number of tourists from different countries in this corner has already reached five thousand. Doesn't such an invasion of tourist people threaten the ecosystem and fauna of Antarctica? These issues are extremely topical and, among others, were discussed at the Consultative Meeting of the Parties to the Antarctic Treaty in June this year, where the results of the third in the history of the International Polar Year were summed up.

Why are travelers so interested in the corner of Antarctica?

The north of the Argentine archipelago is a very favorable place for the development of tourism. It is much warmer here than in continental Antarctica: frosts reach "only" - 44 degrees Celsius, and "civilization", Tierra del Fuego, is "a stone's throw" - some four days through the Drake Passage.

Further south, ice conditions make it difficult to organize regular tourist flights, and the Argentine Islands are quite convenient for yachts and small boats. In the British press they have long been called the "Antarctic Yacht Club": tourists rent sailboats and travel here with their families. Experienced yacht owners act as captains, and passengers themselves serve as sailors.

The polar explorers call these places “Antarctic Switzerland”. It even has its own Alps - a picturesque mountain range along the Graham Coast, which rises to an altitude of 2000 meters.

However, the most popular among tourists is Peterman Island. Every season it is visited by more than 9 thousand people (almost half of the tourists who arrive in Antarctica).

Half a kilometer from here, on the neighboring island of Winter, there is an outstanding historical landmark - Base F, built by British explorers in January 1947 on the site of the previous building erected for the wintering of the expedition members to Graham Land in 1935-1936 ... The base operated until 1954 as a geophysical observatory. Its main abode, Vorde-Hauz, consisting of residential and office premises, is designed for six people. In 1995, the House of Word, by order of the Queen of Great Britain, was added to the List of Historic Sites and Monuments of Antarctica. Now there is a museum, the caretakers of which are the staff of one of the research stations. Inspection of the exhibition gives an opportunity to feel the echoes of the era of heroic exploration.

The coldest, most inhospitable, most uninhabitable continent has recently been receiving more and more guests, including from Russia. Climbers successfully climb peaks that have never been touched by a human foot, scientists collect meteorites, extreme divers dive under the ice, daredevils make motor rallies across the permafrost continent. The details of their trip to Antarctica were shared by the Olimpic village team, which followed in the footsteps of the expedition of Lazarev and Bellingshausen.

Following the pioneers

A team of eight people, almost five thousand kilometers on a dinghy to the Bellingshausen Sea in Antarctica. So the next expedition decided to remind about the discovery of the sixth continent.

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Discovery of Antarctica

In 1819, the military sloops Vostok and Mirny set off on the first Antarctic expedition. The main task of the campaign is to prove the existence of the sixth continent. The expedition was headed by Russian navigators Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev. During the voyage "Vostok" and "Mirny" bypassed the Antarctic continent, discovered and marked on the map many new islands and lands, and collected a unique ethnographic collection.

When preparing the trip, the team turned to the Russian Geographical Society for support.

"This is a significant organization. I wanted to enlist the support of the leaders of a public organization that solves important state problems. It was an honor for us to receive a letter signed by Kotlyakov, to take the flag of the Russian Geographical Society with us," says the head of the expedition Dmitry Kuznetsov.

The expedition of the master of sports Dmitry Kuznetsov visited Antarctica for the first time, just as 200 years ago the participants of the Russian circumnavigation Bellingshausen and Lazarev came to its shores for the first time.

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The dream of the most inaccessible continent in the world excites the hearts of many travel lovers. This dream comes true for about 40 thousand people a year. Today we will tell you how to get to Antarctica.

The preferred travel time is from November to March, when the weather conditions on the mainland are least severe. At this time on the coast of Antarctica, as a rule, it is not colder than -10 ° С.

In the interior of the continent, it is better to visit in January or December, when the thermometer does not drop below -20 ° C.

Working in Antarctica

You don't have to be a millionaire to find yourself among the eternal ice: you can try to get a job at the station. Not only scientists can apply for participation in the expedition. People who will simplify the life of scientists on a harsh continent are also waiting here: for example, chefs, psychologists, electricians and plumbers.

A little less than fifty scientific stations are constantly operating on the territory of Antarctica. There are also almost four dozen seasonal ones.

The employee is not only transported to the place of work free of charge, but also provided with accommodation and meals. The wages are also consistent with the harsh living conditions.

In addition to having the necessary professional skills, the applicant must also have good health: the presence of many chronic diseases is incompatible with long-term living in a cold climate. Before signing the contract, you will need to go through a medical examination.

Participation in sporting events

Another way to see the southernmost continent of the world with your own eyes is to try your hand at the marathon or half marathon, which are held here every year. Participation in them will cost at least a million rubles per person, while the price will include delivery from Chile and back, accommodation, meals, as well as a photo for memory, a medal and other paraphernalia. The experience is quite interesting, but it requires the admission of a doctor and long-term serious preparation.

Tourist trip

The first tourists in Antarctica appeared in 1958. There were about five hundred of them.

Now agencies offer travelers a variety of programs: from exploring the coast from the side of a tourist boat to extreme routes for the most persistent and prepared. According to the rules of Antarctic tourism, more than a hundred passengers cannot be dropped off here at a time.

The craving for new experiences, to which the entire tourism business, by and large, owes its existence, was originally inherent in human nature. A direct confirmation of this is the fact that Antarctica, completely covered with a layer of ice about two kilometers, is visited by more than 40,000 travelers every year. And this despite the fact that even during the “conditional summer” there will not be even four thousand “inhabitants on this continent. ".

True, the love of comfort is also in a person's blood. Therefore, the overwhelming majority of "Antarctic" tourists prefer not to stomp across the glaciers on foot, and not even ride penguin sleds (there are no dogs there), but to defile along the uninhabited shores of this continent on warm and comfortable cruise ships, periodically making short excursions to " the big land. "

Who is traveling and why

Basically, tourists come to Antarctica to sail to the southernmost continent of the planet, explore scientific bases, snap gigabytes of unique photographs and take a trip on "Zodiacs" (special motor inflatable boats) to impressive natural attractions region. Every year more and more travelers make trips here for skiing or snowmobiling, trekking and even diving in the shelf seas adjacent to Antarctica. Diving under the ice of ice shelves or inland lakes of the mainland is considered especially exotic.

Climate

Surely, no one will be surprised by the message that Antarctica is the most severe region of the earth with low air temperatures, strong winds, snow storms and fogs. Average temperatures in the winter months (which in our northern hemisphere, of course, are summer) range from -60 to -70 ° C, summer - from -30 to -50 ° C. True, the climate on the coast is noticeably milder: in winter there is -8 to -35 ° C, in summer 0 ..- 5 ° C.

The Antarctic "summer" lasts from October to March, during this period navigation is possible there. The best month for travel is January, December and February are also quite favorable. Moreover, these months are ideal for whale watching.

Recommended clothing and safety

Here is the approximate minimum of clothing that tourists should definitely take with them on a trip: warm trekking shoes, light sports boots, two pairs of warm long trousers, T-shirts, a pair of windproof trousers (you can wear a ski suit). Also - two long-sleeved woolen sweaters (or a fleece jumper), warm shirts, a light windbreaker, one long winter down jacket (parka), a pair of thin winter gloves, a pair of thick (ski) gloves or warm mittens. To the pile - a scarf, fur earmuffs, a ski cap, sunglasses, ski goggles and rubber boots (better warmed). Contrary to popular belief, Antarctica is a completely safe place, you just need to go there knowing the weather conditions in advance. It is better to wear several layers of thin clothing, while it is very important that the legs, ankles, hands, wrists and head are covered. For this, clothes made of synthetic fabrics and shoes that do not allow heat to pass through are well suited.

In the summer in Antarctica there is strong ultraviolet radiation from the sun, so sunglasses with special lenses for all skin types are just as important as warm clothing.

Required documents

Antarctica has never been seized by any of the states, so no visa is needed to visit it. However, for all cruise programs, depending on the countries of departure and return of the cruise ship (usually Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Australia or New Zealand), tourists need to obtain visas for these countries. In some cases, it may be necessary to obtain a double entry visa - if the port of exit and arrival is the same, as well as visas of the countries that the ship visits on its way to Antarctica.

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How to prepare for your trip to Antarctica

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Majestic landscapes, dizzying wildlife and surreal remoteness lure fearless dreamers to Antarctica, the planet's last unspoiled frontier. This extreme destination can provoke a desire to plan your own itinerary, but it is best to trust the experts who will help you on this unique journey.

Due to its special environment, strict regulations and lack of tourist infrastructure on the continent's shores, most travelers visit Antarctica on expedition cruises that cover the mainland and its surrounding islands. Prepare for your trip with the help of the Polar Tour operator - they will take care of the planning, but the right equipment, physical fitness and mental readiness are up to you.

Rely on the instructor and equipment

Antarctic cruises have the benefits of organized pre- and post-voyage transportation and sometimes include optional excursions in Ushuaia, Argentina (where most Antarctic-related ships dock), as well as accommodation, in-flight meals and expedition equipment included in the price. Choose the appropriate equipment from the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (iaato. rg) to provide a safe and environmentally responsible service.

The more you know before you go, the better

Getting to know the history, geography and wildlife of Antarctica will not only provide inspiration before your trip, but will also help you appreciate the journey as you reflect on the stories of those early explorers who mapped the very waters that you you will swim. Antarctica exhibits wildlife in its entirety, so studying the life cycle and food chain of the continent's species will provide insight into the mesmerizing and sometimes curious behavior you will witness.

Experienced Tips

If you are unable to read before you leave, most ships have reference libraries and offer scholarly lectures on board. You may find yourself next to one of them in the dining room - choose your interlocutor, and you are guaranteed a first-class dinner conversation.

At least refreshing on the ice is good to know the difference between a glacier and an iceberg (the first is on land and the second is floating in the sea).

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