Antarctica is the world’s least explored frontier and is an ideal destination for anyone wishing to take a break in an unspoiled region that offers breathtaking scenery and fascinating wildlife. The White Continent is synonymous with icebergs, whales, penguins and rare birds, meaning that photo opportunities are almost limitless. Better yet, the sunsets are among the most stunning on the planet.
You will struggle to find a better setting for an adventure than Antarctica. The continent is totally unlike any other and gives you the chance to walk in the footsteps of some of the most iconic explorers in history. Life in this frozen landscape is completely different from what you may have come to expect from your day-to-day life, which means you really will be able to take a break from the norm when you spend time in this most exceptional and isolated part of the world.
Here at WILDFOOT, we offer cruises to a number of fascinating destinations, including the Falklands, the Antarctic Peninsula, Ross Sea and the South-Atlantic islands. We can bring you the Antarctica trip that you’ve always wanted, offering guides that know the region inside out, whilst keeping you completely safe and introducing you to some of the most interesting species in the world. These include the Rockhopper, Adelie and maybe even Emperor penguins.
Reason 1: Penguins, Penguins & More Penguins
It’s a sighting that’s at the top of the list of almost everyone’s wish list and no Antarctica trip is really complete without them: penguins! They’re one of the main attractions of this far-away place, and with seventeen different species calling it home, you won’t be disappointed.
During your expedition, you’re most likely to come across the Adelie, Macaroni, Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins, and all have their own unique appearance and personalities. If you want some certainty of spotting these amusing birds, the best time to visit will be the warmer months between spring and autumn. During this time you’re guaranteed to spot the Adelies, who prefer to swim out to sea in winter. However, if your heart is set on a renowned Emperor Penguin sighting, you’ll have to book a special expedition during October and November, as these are the best months for observing the chicks.
Reason 2: Other Magnificent Birds
As well as penguins, you will also get the chance to see myriad shearwaters, skuas, petrels and many other seabirds. South Georgia offers the biggest concentration of birdlife in the world, including albatross and King Penguins, as well as the South Georgia Pipit. Whether you’re a self-confessed twitcher or simply enjoy watching the birdbath in the garden, your holiday won’t be complete without some bird watching.
We have a number of itineraries to choose from, but whichever route you’re taking, winged wildlife will be a highlight. As well as the others already mentioned, there are a total of 46 different bird species, including (but in no way limited to) albatrosses, herons, ducks, swans and many more.
Reason 3: Spectacular Marine Wildlife
No matter what you have planned on your Antarctica trip, there’s no doubt that the wildlife will blow you away. As well as the vast masses of ice that characterise the scenery, you’ll soon understand just how dominating the ocean can be. But this also means you’re in for a treat when it comes to marine wildlife.
Of course, you’ll have the chance to see dolphins and porpoises, but the headliners of this remote location are the whales. Magnificent and enigmatic, they capture the imagination (and viewfinder) of most of us. The best time for spotting these incredible creatures is during February and March when they tend to travel in large pods in preparation for their big migration to the North. While the mighty Blue Whale is rare to see, you should spot a few Orcas and Humpbacks on your Antarctica trip. If whale watching is a must-do on your adventure list, then check that your itinerary includes a visit to Wilhemina Bay, a place renowned for the number of whales it attracts.
Reason 4: Ice Camping Beneath the Stars
There’s nothing like camping under the stars to experience that feeling of adventure in the great outdoors. But camping on the snow, surrounded by great walls of white, is a once in a lifetime experience that you’ll never forget. It’s not for everyone, of course, and the environment is definitely more extreme than your standard campsite; but it’s the challenge and the majesty of the place that will make this an experience to remember.
Unique experiences you can expect from camping in this white wilderness include some of the best stargazing you can imagine – there’s no light pollution in this part of the world! You’ll also be able to get close and personal with the local bird life, and even have the chance to listen to nearby polar bears. But perhaps the best part of your camping experience might be the deepest sleep of your life surrounded by the snowy silence.
Reason 5: Adrenaline Boosting Activities
Our expeditions to the White Continent are synonymous with adventure. While exploring the place is a thrill in itself, there are plenty of activities for any adrenaline junkies to try out. One of the most popular excursions is kayaking. If you want to immerse yourself in the landscape, there’s no better way than kayaking.
You’ll be exploring the coastline, gliding past icebergs and even getting within spray distance of whales; it’s truly exhilarating. For those that want to dive deeper into the frozen habitat, scuba diving is also on offer. Experience the eerie sounds and sights of the underwater world as our experienced Master Divers guide you through corals and marine life.
If you prefer to stay on land, there are a number of thrilling activities to participate in. From snowshoeing to extreme skiing, mountaineering to camping – whatever gets your heart racing!
Reason 6: Historical Routes
Antarctica has been host to a fair few historical dramas. Battlefield enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to visit some of the key sites and monuments of the Falklands War – some of our cruises offer guided tours of these.
Follow in the footsteps of the explorer hero Ernest Shackleton whose epic journey in 1916 carved the path for many future expeditions to this breathtaking continent. You can pay homage to the great man with a visit to his grave in the abandoned South Georgia whale station of Grytvitken.
Reason 7: Breathtaking Landscapes
This part of the world is one of the last pristine places left to visit, and it’s a must-see for intrepid travellers. As well as wildlife and sea life, your Antarctica trip will give you the chance to witness natural landscapes that don’t exist anywhere else. Just imagine a vast ice-covered landscape with huge glaciers and the immense Transantarctic mountain range…
While the general surroundings are breathtaking, there are a few natural phenomena that are not to be missed on your expedition. These include the Amery Ice Shelf, which is a huge mass of floating ice, and the notorious Blood Falls, a five-storey high blood-red waterfall pouring out of the Taylor Glacier. The list of breathtaking landscapes goes on but you can be sure that it’s a photographer’s dream.
Reason 8: Sensational Photo Opportunities
Speaking of photography, if you’re a pro or even just want to practice your skills, there’s no other place like this. Nature is one of the greatest subjects of all time, and with its alien backdrop and unique wildlife, an Antarctica trip is a photographer’s dream. The opportunities for sensational images are endless; you have glaciers, extreme coastlines, volcanoes, imposing mountains and, of course, pristine white snow.
Before setting off, it’s worth getting a little familiar with your destination; let’s face it, for many, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime trip. You’re most likely to be travelling during the summer, which means endless sunlight and many opportunities to get the right shot. However, conditions aren’t easy and everything will be different to your usual surroundings. So when you arrive, play around with your kit a bit to find out what works best for you.
Reason 9: Luxury Expedition Vessels
This experience is all about adventuring into an extreme world, which means the transport will have to be up to the challenge. All of our expeditions take place on purpose-built vessels that are made to withstand all that the weather has to throw at it. But that doesn’t mean comfort is compromised. Passenger accommodation offers suites furnished with all the necessary comforts and amenities.
The Silver Explorer is one of these magnificent vessels that you might be travelling on. It’s been refurbished to convert it into a luxury ship, with comfort and service prioritised, as well as having an ice-strengthened hull. If you’re travelling with a scientific team, you might find yourself on the MV Ortelius, which is a scientific survey ship designed for polar sailing. As well as the usual comforts, it has a lecture room, observation lounge and even a helicopter pad for special excursions.
Reason 10: Opportunities for Amazing Side Trips
Depending on which itinerary you choose, you’ll have the opportunity for some incredible add-on trips to nearby destinations, such as South Georgia, Patagonia, Argentina and the Falkland Islands. Each has something unique to offer, and including an extra little trip is a great way to explore as much as possible while you’re in this part of the world.
From vibrant Buenos Aires you can include a flight to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego. As well as incredible views, you’ll earn boasting rights of having travelled to the southernmost tip of South America. If you want to pack more wildlife spotting into your expedition, you must include a visit to the Falkland Islands, which is a birder’s paradise.
A Life-Changing Experience
For many people, an Antarctica trip means fulfilling the dream of a lifetime. These expeditions can be the answer if you’re interested in taking a holiday with a difference that you will never forget. The temperature may be testing, but it’s well worth braving the elements, given the truly magical experience that only a journey to this part of the world can provide.
Get in Touch with Our Team
Get in touch with us today if you’re interested in seeing some of the world’s most talked-about wildlife and engaging in activities such as cross-country skiing, snorkelling, snowshoeing and ice-climbing, all against the most remarkable backdrop. We have the knowledge and experience needed to help you plan the perfect itinerary for your Antarctica trip.
All of our holidays include highlights such as wildlife sightings, options for extra excursions, and of course, incredible scenery. But we understand how important it is to ensure that this unique holiday is right for you, so we’ve created a variety of adventures for you to choose from.
Crossing the Circle
This once-of-a-kind expedition includes the thrill of crossing the Polar Circle (subject to conditions). You’ll travel through the heart of the peninsula’s pristine landscape of floating icebergs and encounter curious animal life. Spend time observing from the deck or enjoy a fun Zodiac ride to historic sites.
Also known as the ice factory, the Weddell Sea boasts a stunning west coast and there’s no better vessel to travel on than the famous Greg Mortimer, which has been ice-strengthened to ensure your journey is smooth. Witness huge ice shelves and explore the Peninsula on foot for an enthralling adventure.
Of all our Antarctica trips, this one is a true adventure. You’ll explore the rarely visited Bellingshausen Sea, Marguerite Bay and Alexander Head. Most of the excursion is spent beyond the Polar Circle, where you’ll find breathtaking wilderness and scenery.
For animal lovers, there’s no place like South Georgia. You can expect gobsmacking landscapes and incredible opportunities for animal sightings. Creatures you can expect to see include the magnificent wandering albatross, King penguins and the entertaining elephant seals.