Things to do in Antarctica

The Antarctic Peninsula is the most frequently visited part of the continent with boats departing from Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego in Argentina to here. From Ushuaia, it takes roughly 2 days to reach the Antarctic Peninsula. Voyages do leave from Hobart in Australia and from New Zealand, however there are a lot less trips departing from this region than from South America meaning it costs more and there is less choice of dates. Most boats set sail to Antarctica from November to March during the Antarctic summer.

Viewing the penguins in Port Lockroy is hands down the most popular tourist attraction in Antarctica. It’s one of the few places in the world where you can be at arm’s length from thousands of penguins. Here, you can walk among the massive colonies and if it’s the right time of year, you’re likely to come across little penguin chicks - from mid- to late December penguin chicks start to hatch on the Antarctic Peninsula, and in January you can watch the feeding frenzy. Need to send a postcard? Just wander over to the post office in Port Lockroy, perched among a massive penguin colony with picturesque icebergs in the distance. Just remember it will take 2 to 3 months for your postcard to arrive, but it’ll be worth the wait.

You should know that sailing to Antarctica isn't like travelling on a luxury cruise ship. The seas can be infamously wild and passengers are advised to keep one hand at the ready should the boat move suddenly. Lectures, screenings and workshops often take place onboard during the daytime while sailing to and around Antarctica and most ships will often have a library. Many guests choose to entertain themselves by bird and whale watching or spotting icebergs. In some of the safer locations in Antarctica, many tour operators offer kayaking and camping.

For more of the must-visit sites to see and things to do in Antarctica, read on.

South Shetland Islands

An archipelago of 20 islands, South Shetland Islands is famous for its huge amount of penguin rookeries plus the opportunity to spy other seabirds, seals and even humpback whales.

Deception Island

With slightly warmer waters than other locations in Antarctica, Deception Island is the spot to do a spot of skinny dipping or at least a polar plunge – if you dare!

South Pole

Getting to one of the most remote and challenging places in the world is a major accomplishment. Luckily, trekking to South Pole is no longer as arduous as it was for the explorers, but it is expensive.