A shiny iceberg jutting out of the ocean with specks of ice floating alongside.
The majority of tourists who make the trek to the Antarctic Peninsula and offshore islands come aboard cruise liners and sleep in the comfort of their well-appointed cabins.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Antarctica

Join the Ranks of Intrepid Travelers

If you’re looking for an overnight stay on the globe’s most southerly land mass, you should be prepared to rough it – really rough it.

That’s not to say you can’t find quality accommodations elsewhere, though. The majority of tourists who make the trek to the Antarctic Peninsula and offshore islands come aboard cruise liners and sleep in the comfort of their well-appointed cabins. Since 1969, when Lars-Eric Linbald built a tour ship and loaded it with tourists, the area has slowly evolved into an intriguing locale sought out by intrepid travelers looking for excitement off the beaten path.

Some cruises have one specific goal in mind – to get to 66 degrees West, 33.7 degrees South. Only an elite group of people have ever been that far south.

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Polar Expeditions for Serious Cruisers

If taking a cruise doesn’t appeal to you, consider securing a berth on a research ship, many of which feature seminars on photography and the guidance of some of the best picture-takers around.

Naturally, those ships can visit only in the summer months when the ice breaks up – but global warming may change that rule. It is possible to fly to the continent, though, and land on ice airstrips at almost any time of the year.

Unless you visit the sites of early explorers, there’s not much for the history buff here. Antarctica’s attractions are much more physical – the craggy and often snow-covered terrain is still some of the most ruggedly beautiful in the world.

Although watching the wildlife – penguins, seals and whales call the area home – is the main draw here, real adventurers climb the mountains, cross-country ski the South Pole and even kayak or scuba-dive in the frigid waters along the shore. What kind of Antarctica adventure will you choose?

Staff Writer

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