The Antarctic represents one of the last great pristine wildernesses left on earth. It’s a clean and quiet haven for people who are looking to get away from the hectic pace of their everyday lives. But what about things to do in Antarctica?
That being said, what can you get up to in the Antarctic? In Europe you have the churches and museums, in America you can hike in the National Parks and in Australia you can lounge on the beach. But in the South Pole…? What are the things to do in Antarctica? Don’t worry, we’ve got you sorted. Here are 9 suggestions for things to do in the bottom of the world.
1. Go penguin spotting
Penguins are one of the most unique features of the Antarctic region. If it’s penguins in general that you want to see then we suggest you hit up the Antarctic Peninsula or mainland during the middle of the southern summer season, which is also the penguin breeding season. You’ll be treated to the sights, sounds and smells of millions of penguins crowding together on the continent’s shores.
However if you’re hankering for a specific breed of penguin then you’re going to have to do a little more research before booking your Antarctic cruise, as certain species are only found in certain locations.
2. Learn about Antarctic exploration at Port Lockroy Museum
The South Pole was the destination at the heart of the Heroic Age of Exploration, and as such had its fair share of early 20th century visitors. The Port Lockroy museum gives visitors a glimpse into the life of explorers such as Shackleton and Scott, and the conditions they endured.
Port Lockroy itself was the site of a historic British research centre, and today boasts a working post office where you can be the envy of all your friends by posting a letter home.
3. Take a polar plunge
Strip off the multiple layers of clothing it took you 20 minutes to pull on and dive into a polar plunge. Although unlike other areas, you aren’t under threat of being eaten by a polar bear.
Bonus hint: If you take the plunge in Deception Bay the waters will be a bit warmer than elsewhere thanks to a nearby active volcano or two.
4. Cruise the iceberg alleys
Antarctica is the biggest iceberg-generating location on the planet. Hop in a Zodiac (a rubber outboard-engine boat) or kayak, and steer yourself up close to these beautiful natural blue-and-white works of art. If you’re lucky you’ll get to visit with offshore penguins and sun-basking seals. And if you’re really lucky you might even spot a whale or two.
5. Camp out under the Antarctic skies
Some plucky Antarctic cruise lines are now offering you the chance to spend a night or two camping out on the continent’s shores. They’ll usually provide you with tents and sleeping bags, while you provide the gumption. And if the solar system is feeling especially generous you’ll be treated to one of the most awe-inspiring sights nature has to offer – the Aurora Australis.
6. Grab a cocktail at Vernadsky Station
The Antarctic is home to all sorts of scientific research stations. One of these science labs is Vernadsky Station, run by the Ukranians since 1996. They will, on occasion, offer some lucky cruise-goers the chance to have a drink at the world’s southernmost operating bar.
7. Explore the whaling past
If you’re in the mood for a little more history, you might consider a stop at Deception Island. Here you’ll find the remains of one of the region’s major whaling stations, including abandoned boilers and whale bones.
8. Cruise the Lemaire Channel
If you’re looking to load up your camera with stunning landscapes, then set sail for the Lemaire Channel. In a land made up of fantastic natural beauty, Lemaire still stands out with its multitude of mountainous charms.
9. Whale watch
The Antarctic sticks out as a whale watcher’s Nirvana for a surprising reason – its icy oceans are teeming with life. Antarctic cruises pass through waters that are chock full of the critters at the bottom of the food chain – krill. Their multitudes attract all sorts of sea life, including our gentle giant mammal cousins of the seas.
And there you have it – nine unique ways to make the most of your Antartica holiday. Which one do you want to try the most?