Preparing for an Adventure in Antarctica

For many an Adventure in Antarctica is a trip of a lifetime, a bucket list experience that will be unforgettable in every way.  We are keeping it simple with our top two tips on how you can best prepare for visiting  the “coolest place on earth”.

Tip #1 Research the climate and wildlife before you go

Before travelling anywhere it’s a good idea to learn a little about the area. For Antarctica brush up on what kind of wildlife you can expect to see.  It would also be beneficial to understand an overview of the history, landmarks and geography of the area.

As one would expect,  the Antarctic climate is below freezing, but don’t worry, preparing for the cold isn’t too difficult. Most tour operators such as One Ocean Expeditions provide you with almost everything you need, from a super warm waterproof jacket and pants to rubber boots to wear on the ice. We’ve also put together some helpful tips on what to wear and take to Antarctica. Check out our “Packing for Antarctica” blog.

Learning about the incredible wildlife of this magnificent continent provides you with extra insight into some of the peculiar behaviours you may get to witness whilst on the ice. As well as researching pre voyage information on the climate and wildlife, expanding your knowledge on Antarctica’s history will also help.  With many of the landmarks and research stations named after Antarctic explorers, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with who they are before heading off.  You will regularly hear your crew members referencing the explorers during presentations and discussions.    If you know who they are and what they did, you will have a fuller appreciation and understanding of their ground breaking explorations.

If you don’t have time to do some research before you go, most ships do offer feature an extensive library.  Most ships also provide on board lectures presented by scientists delivering great insights into all of the above.

Tip #2 Be sure to do some Physical preparation

Unlike climbing a mountain, traveling to Antarctica doesn’t require extensive training and physical preparation. Being reasonably fit and mobile does give you an upper hand when taking on those rough waters. The Drake Passage, a convergence of three oceans, the Pacific, Southern and Atlantic, creates harsh currents and temperatures that left early explorers barely surviving. However, ships today are much more sturdy as well as being designed to withstand harsher conditions.  All you’ll need to do is just brace yourself for a somewhat rocky ride.

When the ship starts to shift as you wander from deck to deck, good balance and leg strength well keep you on your feet. Additionally, when walking around, always keep one hand on a handrail, its better to be safe than sorry.

After the Drake Passage, waters are fairly calm and you’ll be heading out on excursions on the Zodiacs. These inflatable boats require coordination and balance, as well as some core strength to stay upright and stable whilst whizzing around large icebergs.

Depending on your operator, you may have the option to engage in excursions like kayaking, snow camping, paddle boarding and mountaineering.  With this in mind, ensuring that you are in good physical condition has its advantages.

Extra Tips

  • There may be Wi-Fi on-board, but it’s usually expensive. Prepare to perhaps switch off for a week or two?
  • You’re going to be around the same people almost 24 hours a day so be prepared to make some new friends
  • Don’t over pack. There are strict weight limits and the cabins aren’t that spacious.
  • Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and of course your camera!
  • For more insights to Antarctic Cruising, read about our Corporate and Leisure Specialist Jo-Ellens experience

Overall, there isn’t too much to do to prepare for an Antarctic Adventure. However doing the above will certainly make for a more enjoyable trip.  Finally, once you are ready to set sail, be prepared for the adventure of a lifetime!

References: Thank you Lonely Planet

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