A guide to Antarctic trips offered in 2020-21
In Antarctica, access to most of the shoreline is obstructed by tidewater glaciers. Ice-free landing sites are highly prized by tourists and animals alike. While guidelines are in place to prevent you from encountering people from other ships while ashore, it's likely you will be sharing your landing sites with an abundance of animals! It's also likely that explorers from the Age of Discovery had previously set foot where you will be standing. When enjoying a landing in the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands or South Georgia, watch for these special features of the unique Southern Ocean environment.
Frank S. Todd (1942-2016), world-renowned ornithologist and penguin expert, famously said, “If God took a vacation, it would be to South Georgia.” This subantarctic island is known throughout the world—and perhaps beyond—as one of our planet’s greatest locations for wildlife viewing. But South Georgia is a worthy Antarctic cruise destination for other reasons too. Read on to learn about the special attractions and things to do on a trip to South Georgia.
The Best Time To Take A Trip To Antarctica
Antarctica is a dream adventure travel destination, but much of the continent’s appeal lies in the time you visit and what you want to see.
If you've never been to Antarctica, it might be hard to imagine the continent experiencing seasons, but it does, and each new season brings different highlights.
However, you won’t be disappointed if your travel schedule is confined to a particular month or season, as Antarctica is a bucket-list destination that never disappoints.
This guide will help you choose the best times to visit Antarctica so you can experience all of the adventures you’ve been dreaming about.
It’s easy to forget that summer isn’t during June, July, and August in every part of the world. In Antarctica, January is the heart of the austral summer, and that means more than 20 hours of daylight per day. Thus, more time for outdoor exploration each day, as well as more time to admire the penguin chicks and seals, which are abundant during this month.
February is a bit later in the summer season, which means much of the pack ice has been melted by the strong summer sun, making adventures across the Antarctic Circle possible. Penguin youngsters are still abundant, and whales are often seen more frequently in the waters of Antarctica.
March brings the warmest months of the year to a close as temperatures drop below freezing. However, fur seals are playful, penguin chicks are present and molting, and this (late February and March) is often a good time to see and snap photos of whales breaching the Antarctic waters.
Antarctica is a fascinating, mysterious place. Discovered less than 200 years ago by Charles Wilkes, our southernmost continent is still revealing its secrets to us today.
here's still a lot of things we don't know about Antarctica. The last discovered and least explored continent of Antarctica holds many mysteries, but the things early explorers and modern-day scientists have discovered are quite amazing.
From alien-finding bacteria to animals tapping into the Earth's magnetic field, here are 10 of the top scientific discoveries in Antarctica.
Earlier this year scientists discovered five new fossil forests on the planet's southern-most continent. The discovery nearly doubled the amount of fossil forests scientists had believed to exist on what is now the world's largest desert. Fossils were of hardy plants that lived sometime around 300 to 200 million years ago.
A 2017 study from the International Journal of Science revealed the desert soils of Antarctica harbor rich microbial life that can live with very little sun, no geothermal energy, and limited nutrients. The study says that "although more extensive sampling is required to verify whether this process is widespread in terrestrial Antarctica and other oligotrophic habitats, our results provide new understanding of the minimal nutritional requirements for life and open the possibility that atmospheric gases support life on other planets."
Scientists using satellite technology to monitor the continent spotted a hole the size of Maine in 2017, the largest found on Antarctica since the 1970s. Known as a polynya, the hole was about 30,000 square miles.
In 2014, the National Science Foundation announced that scientists discovered Weddell seals may have a sixth sense! "Weddell seals have biological adaptations that allow them to dive deep--as much as of hundreds of meters--while hunting, but also an uncanny ability to find the breathing holes they need on the surface of the ice..by using the Earth's magnetic field as a natural GPS."
Using a Krypton-dating technology, scientists confirmed the age of an Antarctic ice sample. The result: 120,000 year-old ice. The discovery of the ice's age allows scientists to explore Earth's climate much farther back into history and potentially lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms that cause the planet to shift into and out of ice ages.