Anywhere else on the earth can’t be more special than the Antarctic. It is the last pure land on this planet, which retains pristine natural sceneries and unique polar wildlife. Penguins, seals, and whales are the only host of this continent.
Taking an adventure ship to a floating celeste iceberg, enjoying the sunset of this white fantasy on the deck, chasing humpback whales on a Zodiac cruise, and contacting penguins intimately. You will have a chance to hike or ski on this white continent, camping under the sky of a polar day, and leap into the sea to merge with this nature. Here is the end of the world and the ultimate destination of travel.
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In the winter of 2019, I participated in the Three Antarctica Islands expedition led by Mr. Zhang. We went to Antarctica by way of South America and experienced an unprecedented polar journey. Adorable penguins, seals, sea whales and albatross were close at hand. Majestic towering icebergs, invincible 360-degree glaciers, perfect midnight sunsets, and the sheer beauty of Paradise Bay. Every single landscape is unique and unduplicated. The shock and memories in this journey will last a lifetime. Thanks to Maple Explorer for the professional arrangement and services.
— Cindy Mah, Vancouver Canada
The Antarctic region, which is earth's southernmost and coldest continent. The continent where the South Pole is located and the surrounding islands belong to the Antarctic region.
Geographically, the Antarctic circle is used as the Antarctic boundary, which means the area south of latitude 66°24 'south. In terms of climate and biological distribution, the area south of the Antarctic convergence zone, including the continents and oceans, is known as the Antarctic region broadly.
Although Britain, Chile, Argentina and other countries have a desire to claim Antarctica, it is internationally recognized that Antarctica does not belong to any country. In 1959, the Antarctic Treaty System was opened for signature by 12 countries. As of 2019, the treaty has 54 parties. The treaty stipulates that Antarctica cannot be used for military, mining, nuclear testing or nuclear waste dumping, but only for peaceful purposes and to promote international scientific cooperation.
Antarctica is the coldest continent on earth, and scientists have measured the lowest temperature on the earth here during winter. But the time to visit Antarctica is during the summer, the main destination is the Antarctic Peninsula. In the Antarctic Peninsula, the average summer temperature is above zero, sometimes reaching 5 degrees Celsius or even above 10 degrees Celsius, which makes it quite comfortable for outdoor activities such as landing and kayaking. You can spend a lot of time on deck in short sleeves on a sunny day. It's much warmer than you think.
Most Antarctic voyages take place in the unfrequented polar regions, but modern vessels are well equipped. Crews and staff have professional knowledge of the polar region and experience. At the same time, a large number of vessels operating in the same area and there are scientific research stations nearby during the summer. As a result, the risk of travel in Antarctica is very low.
You do not to be an athlete fit to visit Antarctica. Activities you do during the trip will not consume a lot of energy. However, you must be in good general health and able to walk several hours per day. If you desire to participate in extra hiking and kayaking activities, they might be physically demanding.
Different cruise operators have different age requirements for Antarctic travel, with some requiring more than six years old, others requiring the minimum age is eight. For the elderly, it is often necessary to follow the doctor's advice. Generally speaking, people under the age of 80 who are in good health should be able to take a trip to Antarctica.
The most common way to get to Antarctica is by ship, which is usually a small expedition cruise carrying less than 200 passengers. Large cruise ships also have Antarctic routes. Most ships sail from Ushuaia, Argentina's southernmost city, across the Drake Passage to and from the Antarctic Peninsula. While there are others departing from Punta Arenas, Chile. If time is limited or you are afraid of seasickness, you can choose to fly across the Drake Passage and board the ship at King George Island to begin your journey.
If you like a real adventure, you can go to the South Pole on a sailboat. In addition, there are expedition ships starting from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. If you choose to visit the South Pole, you need to fly there.
In order to protect the environment of the Antarctic region, IAATO has strict regulations on the landing site of the Antarctic: visitors can only land on the prescribed landing sites. No more than 100 people land at a time; Each landing site has a maximum number of people per year; Ships with more than 500 people can't land in any place.
Landing and kayaking are the most iconic activities in Antarctic expeditions. Only you landing on the continent means you have been to Antarctica. Therefore, an expedition ship carrying less than 200 people is the best choice, because 200 ships can arrange half of the people on the landing, the other half on the boat cruise, making the most of the travel time in the Antarctic. The inability of larger ships to land, or long waiting times for landing will affect your travel experience.
The expedition crew is also an important factor to consider. The best expedition crew are experts in their own field, they are knowledgeable about wildlife activities, and will share and communicate with visitors on board. Travelling with them, the experience of cruising and landing is completely different.
Since no country owns Antarctica, no visa is required to visit there. However, you need to take the expedition cruise through a third country. Thus a visa is required by transit countries, such as Argentina and Chile.
Crossing the stormy Drake Passage is a part of the journey to Antarctica. It is a lifetime experience. Discuss this with your doctor before you embark upon your trip and ask them to prescribe an effective seasickness medicine for you. The ship's doctor will also help with seasickness. For those who are particularly afraid of seasickness, there is also the option of flying over the Drake Passage.
Most trips to Antarctica take place in the summer. The Antarctic travel season usually begins in late October and ends in late March of the following year. The most popular period is December-February, but different times of the year offer different views which are all well worth visiting.
November: As the ice melts, penguins on the northside of the Antarctic peninsula start mating, and in some places, by the end of the month they start laying eggs. In many places, the sea ice had not yet melted, so there were many inaccessible places, and whales of all kinds had not arrived in large numbers. But this is the time of year when Antarctica is pristine, with its most spectacular ice world. This is time to film penguins courting and mating, and the picture background is extremely pure.
Early December to February: As the weather warms up and the sea ice melts, chicks begin to hatch and whales begin to hunt in Antarctic waters.
Antarctica has the longest daytime and the temperatures are the highest during this time. There are more landing spots to choose from. In late January and February, it is possible to cross the Antarctic Circle to land further south.
Late February to March: Although the weather turns cold, wildlife activity remains active and the landing sites are not frozen. It's the best whale-watching season, and you can watch baby penguins grow and moult.
Classic Antarctic activities include landings and Zodiac cruisings. The main purpose of the landing activity is to visit penguin habitats, scientific stations and some magnificent natural sights. The main purpose of Zodiac cruising is whale watching, to observe icebergs, penguins and seals in the water. If weather conditions permit, expedition cruises usually arrange a polar dive.
Some of the new ships also offer helicopter Tours, helicopter treks and other activities. There are also a number of activities that are optional for those who need an in-depth experience, including polar camping, polar skiing, polar mountaineering, kayaking, polar diving, etc. During the South Pole tour, visitors can also experience the last kilometer of cycling, hiking and skiing to the South Pole.
Firstly, clothing choice in Antarctica will be based on three keywords: wind resistance, water-resistance and warmth. Next, follow the layering guide to prepare your clothing, which provides reliable weather protection and ensures freedom of movement in outdoor activities.
The inner layer (base layer) refers to worn next-to-skin clothes, the function is to provide warmth and move moisture away from your skin to keep you dry. Wool and synthetic materials clothes are good choices. Mid-layer: warm layer, down jacket insulation and fleece, are good choices. The more layers you wear, the warmer you'll be. Outer layer: The Outer layer is mainly used for water and wind protection, so a professional Shell jacket is essential for Antarctic travel. Finally, accessories can be added according to personal habits, such as face masks, gloves, hats and sunglasses.
Telephoto lenses are the mainstay of Antarctic photography, and a telephoto lens is essential for capturing clear wildlife poses. For whales and penguins, 400mm or more telephoto lenses are recommended. For scenery photography, we recommend choosing a 24-70mm zoom lens. If you are a general tourist, you can choose to carry an 18-200mm zoom lens, which is convenient and easy to use. If you need to shoot a video, you can carry a tripod to get a steady picture. Considering carrying a GoPro is a good option, which can quickly help you to record surprising moments.
Maple Explorer is a company founded in Vancouver in 2015 that focuses on deep travel in the polar regions. We are committed to enabling more people to personally reach the Antarctic, Arctic and Tibetan Plateau to explore the magnificent beauty and cultural features of these unique regions on earth.
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Maple Explorer was established in Vancouver in 2015 with a focus on providing comprehensive travel experiences in the polar regions. We are dedicated to facilitating greater access to the wonders of the Antarctic, the Arctic, and the Tibetan Plateau, allowing people to discover the stunning beauty and cultural richness of these extraordinary places on our planet.
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