Nearly twice the size of Australia and almost entirely covered by ice, Antarctica has a rugged, awe-inspiring beauty. If you book a holiday to this frozen continent in the Southern Ocean, you can rest assured you’ll make memories that last a lifetime. To really get the most from your experiences it’s important to do some careful planning. With this in mind, here are three activities you need to know about when you’re arranging your itinerary.
1. Emperor Penguins – Weddell Sea Coast
Standing at an impressive 45 inches tall, emperor penguins are the largest of the penguin species and they’re also among the most striking. With a shock of yellow around their collars, these flightless birds have been fascinating Antarctic explorers for over a century. Seeing these creatures on screen is impressive enough, but actually getting to spend time with them in the wild is truly unforgettable. You can do precisely this if you arrange a visit to the Weddell Coast. The easiest way to plan an experience like this is to enlist the help of a bespoke holiday specialist. For example, The Explorations Company arranges adventures to this coastal stretch, providing flights and a field camp in the midst of the penguins and their chicks. Bear in mind that the best time to make this journey is from late November to early December as this is when weather and light conditions are most favourable.
2. The Antartic Swimmers Club
When you think about a Polar vacation, taking a dip in the sea probably isn’t the first activity that springs to mind. However, if you know what you’re doing, you can enjoy a refreshing dip in these southerly waters. The crescent-shaped Deception Island, which is the summit of a sunken volcano, offers the perfect opportunity to join the Antarctic Swimmers Club. There is still geothermal activity in the waters that lie beneath the sand here, so if you’re feeling brave, you can have a warm bath dug out of sand and filled with volcanic waters before taking a brief, invigorating dip in the ocean. Special packages are available that guide you through the experience and ensure you can warm up afterwards on a boat with a yummy cup of hot chocolate.
3. Cross-Country Skiing
What better way to experience the icy terrain than to test your skills cross country skiing? If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can arrange to fly by ski aircraft to a location close to the South Pole. Starting from around 60 nautical miles from this point, you’ll follow in the footsteps of some of the most intrepid explorers ever known, hauling supplies alongside fellow travellers and experienced expedition leaders and camping en route until you reach the most southerly part of the planet. Pretty cool, right?