Antarctica is certainly my favourite travel destination and once you have been there it really isn’t hard to see why. From thinking about my Antarctica packing list to making the journey across the Drake Passage, it was all so enjoyable to me and it was unlike any holiday in every way. Here is my little guide to Antarctica and how to navigate it.
How I got there
Most people take cruise ships to Antarctica and the vast majority of these are leaving from Ushuaia in the southernmost part of Argentina. This is where I took a cruise ship and it was a great experience from start to finish. It is also possible to go from Chile also, but I have heard that this is not as good an experience as going from Argentina.
What to take
What I am listing here may seem like commonsense, but the reality is that a lot of tour operators I spoke to said that many people were totally underprepared for Antarctica and it tended to dampen the experience for them. Luckily, I was prepared and this only added to how I viewed my trip. Here are a few things to take with you:
- A waterproof backpack – this is great for hiking and protecting things that you are taking with you. I found this great when I did some zodiac tours, especially because you really are much closer to the water and ice and you may get a little wet
- A camera and binoculars – It seemed to me that a lot of people had cameras, but not so many had binoculars. These are a must, especially if you don’t want to miss out on all the wildlife around. More often than not, it isn’t possible to get close to everything and binoculars were a real lifesaver for me
- Layer, layers and layers – Having good clothing was probably the single best investment I made for the entire trip. I had a lot of thinner layers that I easily took off, when the weather was too warm. This is much better than a huge jacket that you will continually put on and take off because you are constantly becoming cold and warm.
If you are unsure you can ask your tour operator about what they recommend you take.
I already talked a little bit about zodiac tours and this was certainly a highlight for me. There really is nothing better than weaving in and out of all the icebergs and getting to sea level to experience the nature. This was also a great place to get a bit closer to seals and many types of birds, which I absolutely loved.
I also really enjoyed visiting many penguin colonies and even getting to interact with some of the more curious penguins that would wander over to the group and see what they were doing. Many seemed fascinated by our camera equipment!