Referred to as “the world’s last great wilderness,” Antarctica is a place that could be both dangerous and so magnificent at the same time. There are no permanent settlers here, mainly for the reason that it is extremely cold, and it’s not really possible for anyone to survive for long periods of time.
So what’s in store for people who wish to experience the earth’s southernmost continent? It seems like a pipe dream for people who are not scientists that have some studying and discovering to do there, but it is possible. It could be very expensive, yes, but since it cannot be paralleled by any other place in the world, the trip will be definitely worth it.
This place has the best wildlife you will ever see—the penguins, seals, albatrosses in the midst of snow-capped mountains and icebergs; the weddell seals, and chinstrap, Adelie, and emperor penguins. In order to get a great view of polar animals, one must take a helicopter ride. If you decide to indulge in thermal waters, it is possible in Deception Island. Kayaking on the icebergs, trips to catch great views of the Ross Ice Shelf and Mount Erebus, and seeing the clear and vast night skies are also possible.
As mentioned, getting on a cruise ship to this place could be a bit pricey, but the views you will get are certainly breathtaking, so rest assured you will surely get your money’s worth. Sea tourism in Antarctica started in the 1960s, and sightseeing flights (airliners from Australia and New Zealand) started in the 1970s. Today, cruises with the most spectacular view are possible by departing from Ushuaia in Argentina or Punta Arenas in Chile.
Although tourism on the place itself will not be the same as the usual trips we can do today, the place has a bright future for tourism. These days, cruise trips are allowed, and thousands of scientists (like oceanographers. biologists, glaciologists, and astronomers) from different countries conduct their experiments here. There have been some debates on the effect of tourism on the environment, so now experts continue with studying on how to make Antarctica a place that will do advantages to visitors without sacrificing its natural state. The McMurdo station, research center and the largest community in Antarctica (a United States Antarctic facility) can more than 1,000 researchers, scientists, and visitors.
Sending postcards to family and friends back home is one of the things done by many travelers. Here, despite the absence of a variety of establishments, there is a post office (the only one in the whole of Antarctica) at Port Lockroy, a museum exhibiting the early years of Antarctic exploration. Surely nothing can spell travel street cred by sending a postcard from the coldest place on earth, the lowest (naturally-occurring) temperature that’s ever been recorded.
There is simply nothing like this place, and visiting it will only bear great memories that you will certainly not see anywhere else. Visiting this southernmost continent will nothing be short of breathtaking.