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What to do in Antarctica?

A trip to Antarctica is certainly a trip of a lifetime, not only it is considered a final-frontier for many, but the White Continent has plenty of exciting once-in-a-lifetime activities to do.

Take a zodiac cruise

A zodiac is a small boat carrying roughly 8-12 passengers touring the inside passageways of Antarctica led by expert guides. Observe the enormity of the strange-shaped icebergs or see seals swimming from a zodiac cruise. Depending on your ship, most Antarctic expeditions will offer zodiac tours with some offering two zodiac cruises per day.

Take a zodiac cruise in Antarctica

Photo credit: Tom Mitchell & Acacia Johnson, Quark Expeditions

Brave a Polar plunge in Antarctica

For the thrill seekers and the courageous heart, jumping into the icy Antarctic waters (also known as the ‘Polar Plunge’) is the ultimate challenge. Despite the near-freezing temperatures, a Polar Plunge is certainly a tick off the Antarctic bucket list and a worthy tale to tell when you return home.

Polar plunge off the ship in Antarctica

Photo credit: Acacia Johnson, Quark Expeditions

Go swimming

If jumping in Antarctic water isn’t for you, consider the ‘other’ Polar Plunge. Why not run in and go swimming in many of Antarctica’s bays. A popular swimming spot is Deception Bay which is a naturally sheltered harbour, a large caldera inside an active volcano. In addition to its sheltered harbour, the water is generally warmer here making it a prime spot for swimming.

Swimming in Antarctica

Photo credit: Ira Meyer, One Ocean Expeditions

Go kayaking

If you are an experienced kayaker consider going kayaking. Quietly float past leopard seals on ice floes or navigating around huge icebergs is truly exciting. Kayaking is a thrilling way to explore hidden icebergs or get up close marine animals that you may encounter.

Photo credit: Nicky Souness, Quark Expeditions

Camp underneath the skies

Go camping and get a taste of what the early explorers endured paving the way for Antarctic expeditions today. Few have stepped foot on the White Continent and even fewer have said they have camped on it. It may not be the most comfortable bed but it is certainly a ‘must-do’ if given an opportunity to do it.

Photo credit: Peter Collie, One Ocean Expeditions

Polar diving

Although not well-known, polar diving in Antarctica is exhilarating as you explore uncharted territory in one of the most remote diving spots in the world. In addition to observing the abundant marine life, see the spectacular ice structures below and the mesmerising light reflecting from the surface. Being a certified scuba diver is mandatory for this activity.

Photo credit: Ivo Madder, Oceanwide Expeditions

Send a postcard from Port Lockroy

Believe or not there is actually post office in Antarctica! Sending a letter from the southernmost post office in the world is definitely a novelty. Don’t be surprised if your postcard takes 2-3 months to arrive!

Cross the Drake Passage

You can boast about crossing one of the most treacherous passageways in the world! The Drake ‘Shake’ is said to churn many stomachs even to the seasoned sailor. Many would consider crossing the Drake Passage a rite-of-passage and crossing it is certainly an achievement.

Walk among penguins

Be in arm’s length from thousands of penguins. Walk among them and watch them go about their daily lives. Watch the magic unfold when you sit still and let the curious creatures approach you. Many are known to walk on your legs or pick at your coat!

Photo credit: Ira Meyer, One Ocean Expeditions

Visit a research station

Touring a research station will give you a first-hand experience of what it’s like living in one of the world’s harshest and isolated environments. Furthermore, you will see a behind-the-scenes look at the valuable work and research conducted at these bases.

Photo credit: David Merron, Quark Expeditions

 

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