Antarctica for most people, is the ultimate destination, final frontier and a trip of a lifetime.
Best time of year to go?
The southern hemisphere summer is the only time tours operate to Antarctica.
The season generally runs from November to early March with the best month/ most consistent weather being January (or so I’ve been told!).
Which company to travel with?
I travelled with G Adventures and found them to be fantastic. The best part about booking with G Adventures is that they run their own expedition ship, meaning you won’t book with one company and end up on another companies ship. The other advantage of travelling with G Adventures is that they offer a lifetime deposit – so if you need to cancel for some reason you don’t lose your deposit, it is just held by them until a future date when you can use it on any of their trips. I had initially booked the trip to Antarctica 3 years prior but needed to cancel and was able to use the deposit to book this trip.
When is the best time to book?
Depending on how flexible you can be with your travel arrangements will determine how early you need to book. I personally booked 12 months in advance as the kayaking and camping optional extras were a must do for me. These optional extras are limited in numbers – kayaking 20 persons, camping 60 persons on each voyage.
If you plan on travelling alone and are after a quad room, you will need to book early. These fill more than 12 months in advance.
If your travel dates are flexible then it may be possible for you to pick up a last minute bargain as the operator attempts to make sure all beds are filled. Sign up for G Adventures emails as they often offer discounts on particular trips and specific dates.
How much does it cost?
The cost varies depending on when you purchase, what date you wish to travel and which room type you opt for. I choose a twin room on Deck 3 which cost AUD $10,999 per person for a 10 day trip.
What about sea sickness?
Even if you don’t generally get seasick, I think it would be advisable to take some preventative medication. Of course, make sure you see your doctor to discuss the best option for you.
The most common medications are Dramamine (US), Avomine (Australia) or the patches (US). All the seasickness meds seem to come with some sort of side effects whether it be drowsiness or dry mouth. This to me is a small price to pay to avoid seasickness.
If you do get ill on board or forget your medication, there is an onboard doctor who will be able to assist. However in this case, prevention is better than a cure.
If there is one thing I should not miss?
Without question you should choose the optional extra of kayaking if available. This comes with an extra cost of AUD $999 (at the time of my trip) but in my opinion is well worth the additional cost. See my post on why you should kayak in Antarctica.
Are you planning a trip to Antarctica? Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.