Planning To Visit Exquisite Antarctica? Read Our List Of The 10 Best Things To Do In Antarctica During Your Expedition Cruise Ship To The World’s Southernmost Continent!
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Taking a spectacular cruise to Antarctica is certainly reason enough to get crazy excited but wait until you discover all the fabulous things you can do once you get there! From exploratory outings in inflatable boats to kayaking among imposing glaciers, waddling with penguins and even mailing yourself a postcard from the end of the world: the best things to do on Antarctica cruises combine to create the single most unforgettable adventure of your life.
A destination that’s tailor-made for adventure-seekers and nature lovers, Antarctica offers a multitude of totally unique travel experiences, all of which you’ll want to savour.
Ready or not…Antarctica beckons!
1. Cross the Drake Passage…and hang on!
A testament to the fact that the excitement of Antarctica tours start way before you even get there, the crossing of the famously dreaded yet spellbinding Drake Passage is arguably the first momentous ‘activity’ on your must-do list. Yes, you could always whimp out and choose to fly to a sub-Antarctic island and join a cruise from there (thus skipping the passage) but if you’re game for the adventure of a lifetime, or at least the sheer promise of one, then a Drake Passage crossing shouldn’t be missed. As strong ocean currents pass through this relatively narrow channel, between the southern tip of South America and Antarctica, colossal swells can form, giving Antarctica cruise passengers the literal ‘ride of a lifetime’. Having said that, days of complete calm and peaceful voyage are also common. The most notorious sea passage on our planet has the pesky habit of being completely unpredictable and whether or not you experience a Drake Lake or Drake Shake will be completely up to the weather gods to decide. Modern Antarctic ships and up-to-date satellite weather monitoring still ensure your Drake Passage is safe and sound, although you may want to keep those dry biscuits close at hand and look out to the horizon nonetheless.
2. Say yes to every Zodiac outing
Antarctica Cruises offer daily Zodiac outings once land is reached and if you want to get the most out of your tripyou’d be well advised to say a big loud ‘YES!’ to each and every one. Used to explore smaller coves and make landfall, Zodiac outings are the primary reason why a certain level of fitness (or at least agility) is highly recommended for small ship cruising in Antarctica. Getting in and out requires a little finesse yet the rewards of these outings cannot be overstated. Zodiac excursions allow you to explore the land on foot, get closer to the wildlife and take sensational photos of your cruise ship to boot.
3. Go kayaking among icebergs
Visiting Antarctica on a cruise ship quickly becomes about soaking up the startling views from different perspective and kayaking is among the most popular ‘perspective’ of all. In calm waters on protected bays, you can glide alongside icebergs and wildlife, getting awe-inspiring views of some of the most imposing ice mountains of all. Safe, gentle and incredible rewarding, a kayak outing in Antarctica is (you guessed it) absolutely unmissable.
4. Take a Polar Plunge
You, in your bathers, plunging in the freezing Antarctic waters. As nuts and as unforgettable as all that sounds. Guides will be right by your side with a camera, a blanket and warm drink at hand, and you will be the envy of all your friends once they learn of your crazy dip in Antarctica. This is about the coolest thing you can do in Antarctica. Ahem…
5. Go camping for a night
Camping in Antarctica may seem like a really cool idea at first and many say yes at first thought but once they get there and realize that they can’t pee or eat on land (and probably won’t get much sleep due to the cold and the snoring sea lions) will rethink this truly stellar little option. But don’t. Not many people are courageous enough to brave a night of camping in Antarctica but if once-in-a-lifetime experiences are what you dream for your Antarctica cruise adventure, then spending a night under a blanket of a gazillion stars is, hands down, the very best thing you could do.
6. Explore the historical sites of Eastern Antarctica
Antarctica Cruises which sail directly from New Zealand are in a league of their own, offering you the chance to journey to the eastern side of the peninsula and retrace the steps of celebrated pioneers like Mawson and Shackleton. On cruises from Hobart or Invercargill, you’ll visit lesser-known yet equally enchanting Antarctic islands and although you won’t see as much wildlife as you would visiting the northern shores, you will have an immersive historical experience, visiting the top sites of Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. These longer cruises are ideal for sailing aficionados and anyone who’s entranced by the historical aspect of Antarctic explorations. See the different cruise options here.
7. Visit the world’s most southern post office
The Penguin Post Office on Wienke Island is one of the most unusual man-made sights you can visit in Antarctica and, since the island is home to a research base and a museum, you can tick off a few items on your must-do list in one swift swoop. Send yourself a postcard from the end of the world and relive the excitement of your day out in Antarctica when you get home.
8. Chill out with penguins
Although we’d be the first to state that there’s so much more to Antarctica than penguins, it is also true that hanging out with the little (and not so little) fellas in tuxedos is about as good as it gets on an Antarctica cruise. It’s the bee’s knees! Luckily, penguin encounters are just about guaranteed no matter which cruise you choose or what month you choose to visit, with millions of penguins – of six different breeds – calling this place home in the summer months. You’ll be advised to keep a fair distance from the wildlife when you visit Antarctica, and you’d do well to listen, yet it seems the penguins didn’t get the memo, so close encounters are incredibly common.
9. Take 1,000 photographs (yes...yes you will)
Antarctica is one of those places that will turn the most camera-adverse traveller into a National Geographic photographer. The grandiose landscapes and spellbinding scenery simply have that kind of an effect on people. So pack plenty of spare batteries and memory cards for your camera and get ready to flood your memory bank with thousands of photos of breathtaking icebergs, penguins, whales, blinding white horizons and kayak outings. Your photographic cache is bound to make a superlative travel memory for many years to come.
Or until you return to Antarctica on a second voyage.
10. Watch out for whales (literally)
Whale watching on Antarctica cruises rates as one of the most memorable activities of all, one that you can indulge at any time of day or night. You just never know when a pod of minke, blue, humpbacks or orcas may decide to keep you company awhile!
With countless wildlife encounters and a multitude of unique and fun things to see and do, Antarctica cruises offer a multi-dimensional experience to what is the most remote and unforgiving place on earth. Keen to know more? Then visit our Antarctica Tours page, learn what to pack, when to go, what kind of insurance you need and how much you should budget for a trip, and contact us for more details.
Check out our Antarctica Cruise