Antarctica is a land of extremes: it is the coldest and driest continent on Earth and has the highest average elevation. As the fifth largest continent in the world, Antarctica is overlying the “South Pole“.Antarctica continent visitor must be brave through rough sea crossings aboard ice-strengthened vessels, but those who do are rewarded with amazing scenery and tremendous and unique wildlife.There are no countries in Antarctica.
South of the Antarctic Circle (at 66.5°S latitude). The Aurora called the Southern Lights in the Southern Hemisphere can be visible. The tallest mountain on the continent of Antarctica is called Vinson Massif(4897 meters (16,050 feet) above sea level) and there are some active volcanoes on the continent. You will also find wildlife such as several species of penguins and many other birds such as albatrosses and skuas. Seals and whales can be found in the ocean water surrounding Antarctica, as well as tons of small shrimp-like arthropods called krill that swim in large schools.
In the summer there may be as many as 4000 people in the Antarctic at scientific research stations including McMurdo Station on the shore of McMurdo Sound, Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station at the geographic South Pole, and Halley Research Station on an ice shelf in the Weddell Sea. The scientists visiting Antarctica are doing various types of research including studies of biology, geology, oceanography, astronomy, astrophysics, glaciology, climatology, and meteorology to better understand this part of our planet. Some of these people stay year-round at the research stations, even during winter when there is little or no daylight in this region.
There are countries in Antarctica.As per There is an agreement called Antarctica treaty between 45 countries that defines how Antarctica is to be shared as a place for scientific research. According to the treaty, no military from any country is allowed in Antarctica except to help with the scientific research. The treaty was first signed on December 1, 1959.
HOW TO VISIT ANTARCTICA
IAATO is a member organization founded in 1991 to advocate and promote the practice of safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic.
Commercial overflights to Antarctica continent are limited – a handful of operators offer flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Punta Arenas. These flights typically visit Antarctica and spend several hours flying over the ice
The most common method of visiting the Antarctic by cruise ship, The ships typically offer a couple of excursions to the Antarctica continent (usually the Antarctic Peninsula) or Antarctic islands (e.g., Deception Island, Aitcho Island) each day over the course of a week.When choosing a cruise ship travelers should be aware that under a 2009 agreement any vessel with more than 500 passengers is not allowed to land people on Antarctica.You’ll need warm clothing: boots, hoods, glove, water repellent pants, parka and warm underwear.Compared to the more popular cruise ships, a small yacht can be more work and significantly less comfortable, but typically allows more freedom and flexibility. For the right people, this can be a far more rewarding experience.
Many shipping companies are now offering Fly/Cruise options, which entails a one-way or round-trip flight from either Santiago or Punta Arenas to King George Island. These are often pricier than typical cruises that cross the Drake Passage both ways but cut 1-3 days off the total travel time.Last minute trips can be booked from last minute travel agencies in Ushuaia, Punta Arenas, Bluff and Hobart.
Each national base uses its own national language(s) but English is the communication medium between the different stations.
- Take a walk on the Antarctica Peninsula
- Whale watching in the southern ocean
- Take a glimpse at 20 million penguins
- See the Southern Lights—Aurora Australis