Seeing Antarctica is a bucket-list destination for many travelers. Here are some of the best ways to explore Antarctica in luxury.
Completely encased in ice, Antarctica is a remote wilderness featured on numerous documentaries that only a few are privileged to visit. Antarctica might seem hard to reach, but many companies now offer adventurous travelers a chance to explore this remote continent. Sure, it does come with a hefty price tag, especially if you choose to travel in luxury, but if you’re willing to splurge, it will be one of the best investments you’ll make.
If you’re willing to spend your hard-earned money on an adventure of a lifetime, here are some of the best ways to explore Antarctica in luxury.
Take a Private Jet to Get Up Close to Emperor Penguins
One of the main reasons people go to Antarctica is to discover its fascinating wildlife, especially the quirky emperor penguins. They are the largest among the penguin species and are arguably the cutest. While most visitors would take a cruise to visit places home to emperor penguins, those who want a more luxurious way to see them can hire a private jet, allowing them to get up close to these cute species.
The private jet will fly you to Snow Hill Island, the most popular destination for visitors wanting to see emperor penguins in the wild. Nestled in the Weddell Sea, Snow Hill Island sits along the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, home to a colony of 8,000 emperor penguins. Given the island’s remote and ice-choked location, going on a private jet is the best option.
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You can see Emperor Penguins in Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Photo by Michel VIARD via iStock by Getty Images
Another place to see Emperor Penguins in the wild is Gould Bay. It’s nestled on frozen sea ice along the Weddell Sea across the Ronne Ice Shelf. Your private jet can fly you into the area, and you’ll have the option to spend the night there since it has the only Antarctic tourist camp pitched on sea ice. It’s worth it if you want to wake up surrounded by ice and adorable penguins.
Cruise the Drake Passage
Sailing across the Drake Passage is on the bucket list of many adventurous travelers. Stretching from South America’s southernmost tip of Cape Horn towards the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, its locations serve as the shortest route to the Antarctic Peninsula. However, the Drake Passage’s famously choppy waters make passing through it downright exciting.
The convergence of oceans and temperatures makes the water along the Drake Passage so lively, with cyclones forming in the warm Pacific sweeping through the passage underneath the cape. Seeing the giant waves from the deck of your cruise is a thrilling experience. But there’s nothing to worry about. Today’s expedition cruise ships to Antarctica have advanced technology that makes navigating the rough waters safer.
Cruising the Drake Passage on an expedition ship. Photo by Gerald Corsi via iStock by Getty Images
The water along the Drake Passage is far from stagnant, given its strong current, traveling at 125 to 200 million cubic yards per second, equivalent to 600 times the amount of water in the Amazon River!
Passing along the notorious waters is guaranteed to be an adventure since there’s no particular time of the year when the water remains calm.
Take an Antarctic Basecamp Cruise
Taking an Antarctica basecamp cruise is one of the most epic ways to explore the White Continent. Aside from discovering some of the world’s most fascinating landscapes, you will participate in fun activities like hiking, kayaking, mountaineering, camping, snowshoeing, and more!
With the increasing popularity of Antarctica cruises, you’ll now find many different types of cruises, and basecamp Antarctica cruises are just one of them. So, what exactly is an Antarctica Basecamp Cruise? It’s a cruise with filled with fun and exploration. You will not only sail through icy waters. Plenty of fun activities are involved, from hiking to snowshoeing over snowy landscapes or ascending to snowy peaks to witness the most panoramic views of the Antarctic Peninsula.
One of the most popular activities on an Antarctica Basecamp Cruise is kayaking to remote areas the cruise ship cannot access. Or perhaps you want to sleep under the Antarctic skies in a camp. Of course, all these activities will include exciting wildlife encounters where you get close to penguins, seals, whales, and more!
Kayak Around the Glaciers
Kayaking is one of the most fascinating things to do on your visit to Antarctica. The remote continent is wild and breathtaking, and there’s no better way to discover its incredibly stunning views than as close to the water as possible.
If you book a kayaking adventure in Antarctica, you will be part of a small team as you paddle together in the icy waters. Note that they will only offer kayaking excursions if the conditions allow.
You can head out on small-group kayak tours when you travel to Antarctica. Photo by bpperry via iStock by Getty Images
Kayaking in Antarctica allows you to discover the continent from a unique perspective. Your expert guide will share insights into the places you will see. In most cases, you will set off a little earlier, paddle for up to three hours to the landing site, and explore before returning to your cruise.
Take an Expert Guided Snowshoeing Expedition
Snowshoeing in Antarctica is an exciting way to see more of this remote continent, not to mention a great workout. It is suitable for anyone with a good level of fitness, including those with no prior experience. While snowshoeing expeditions are available throughout the Antarctic season, the best time to enjoy this activity is between November and December.
Snowshoeing is a team activity led by a skilled guide. You will take a ferry to the shore, where you will start your excursion. Most snowshoeing expeditions in Antarctica take 2 to 3 hours, but it will sometimes depend on the participants’ overall fitness level.
Antarctica’s mountainous topography limits the chance of taking longer hikes. Some of the most popular places for snowshoeing are Orne Harbour and Deception Island. South Georgia is also a popular place, offering excellent snowshoeing opportunities.
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Your Trip to Explore Antarctica in Luxury
While a trip to Antarctica is not cheap, it can be the trip of a lifetime. You can kick up your adventures when you book a luxury trip, incorporating some individualized experiences. We would love to hear about your Antarctica trip, so comment below and share your experiences. We invite you to check out Wander With Wonder for more excellent adventure travel options.
The Best Ways to Explore Antarctica in Luxury