How Do You Actually Get to Antarctica?
I’m traveling to Antarctica next month to take on my 7th continent adventure. One of the first questions I typically get is – “How do you actually get there!?” As with any adventure there are a variety of paths to follow; you can take cruises to Antarctica from Argentina, Chile, Australia, or New Zealand. This is the course that I have chosen to take to Antarctica from my home base in New York City in November 2016.
Fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina
There are no flights directly to Ushuaia (where I’ll embark on my Antarctic voyage) from New York City, so I’ll be flying out of JFK to Buenos Aires, Argentina. (I also added in a 7-hour layover in Panama on the way there to tour the Panama Canal; day long layovers in between long flights are a great way to explore extra countries while you’re on a trip.) It takes a total of 11 hours to fly to Buenos Aires.
Fly to Ushuaia, Argentina
Once I arrive to the Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport (EZE), I’ll take an hour long cab ride to the Jorge Newbery Airfield International (AEP) Airport in Buenos Aires, which serves as their main domestic hub. From AEP, I will fly 3.5 hours to Ushuaia which is the capital of Tierra del Fuego. Commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia is a breathtaking city located on the Beagle Channel and surrounded by the Martial Mountain range.
Embark on Expedition
I’ll have 2 days to explore Ushuaia for 2 reasons: because I want time to experience the beautiful city and mountains, and also because I’m giving myself extra time to arrive in case of travel delays so that I do not miss my voyage embarking. There are many different options of cruises to Antarctica to choose from, and you can tailor it to your budget and adventure levels. I have chosen a basecamp adventure cruise with Oceanwide Expeditions because all of the basecamp activities are included in the cruise cost; and I am definitely going to Antarctica for the adventure! We’ll embark in the afternoon, and sail through the scenic Beagle Channel during our first evening on the voyage.
Voyage to Antarctica
For 2 days we will be en route to the Antarctic Peninsula where we will cross the Antarctic Convergence and sail across the Drake Passage. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) flows through the Drake Passage, and is the ocean current that flows around Antarctica where cold Antarctic waters meet the warmer waters of the subantarctic. This means you can face up to 40 foot swells crossing the Drake Passage, making it a travel adventure in itself. After a couple days at sea, near the Antarctic South Shetland Islands, we will begin to spot our first icebergs.
We will sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. The 5 days of Antarctica adventures begin when we sail to the Neumayer Channel, where the ship will be positioned for basecamp activities. The protected waters around Wiencke Island provide great opportunities to scout the region on foot, and by zodiac and kayak trips. Then we’ll sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel where we can find Adélie Penguins, Blue-eyed Shags, and even encounter Humpback Whales and Minke Whales. At Neko Harbour we will have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent again, in the magnificent glacial landscape, where we may climb up on higher grounds of the glacier and spend the night camping ashore at Neko before we journey back from the bottom of the world.
A passionate traveler, Stephanie has explored 27 countries across 6 continents and will be going on an Antarctica Basecamp Cruise to her 7th continent this November 2016 with Oceanwide Expeditions. Use her giftcode STEPH500GIFT for $500 off your next Basecamp Antarctica adventure (offer ends 31-01-2017).