Living in 4 countries and visiting 6 could not have been the better in 2010. I ended it with a bang and now officially have a memory that roughly 37,000 had last year, visiting Antarctica. It was truly amazing and trying to describe the beauty of this place would be unjust. There are places left empty and baron and others bursting with life. This was the itinerary for the 10 day cruise that most of you are looking to take (you can find out how to find a cheap last minute cruise to Antarctica here.) Not everyone has the same experiences since the weather is 100% unpredictable.
Only one of these landings is the actual Antarctic continent. There are places to swim (yes I did it) and when you have jackets on the size of your mattress you get warm very easily. In the summer it doesn’t get as cold as everyone thinks and many times I was walking around without a jacket. One very important thing to plan for is the sun. Generally not something you would think about in the Antarctic, I used SPF 50 and still got burned. The ozone is much thinner in this part of the world and all the glaciers and ice reflect the sun’s rays on you 24/7.
Most of the times you are able to land between 4-7 times with at least one landing being the actual continent. The Drake Passage will be another one of your tourist attractions with the main highlight being the ceiling above your bunk. These waters can be quite treacherous and just weeks before I left on my voyage a ship lost all engine power due to wild seas, see video here. Since many cruise companies try to get you on land as much as possible be prepared to wake up very early in the morning. A typical day will be: 7.30am breakfast, landing, lunch, nap, landing, nap, dinner.
Since everyone is so interested in Penguins the best time to see them would be in January when the actual Penguin chicks are hatching or are already hatched. Global warming has caused a reverse reaction in parts of Antarctica causing it to snow later in the year which means the Penguins lay their eggs later and the chicks hatch later as well. Everyone typically says December is the best time of the year to go but January is now the best. The highlight of the trip was when I was surrounded by a Penguin colony. They not only tried to peck my face but jumped on my back! My mini Antarctic Cruise review is complete posting pictures and video soon!
Happy New Year