Originally published: 31 May 2013
Antarctica is a land of extremes. There is nowhere on earth quite like it – it’s a vast continent of ice, snow, glaciers and superlatives. The windiest, driest and coldest continent.
A trip to Antarctica is the best thing you could ever do travel wise. Here are 10 stone wall reasons to visit Antarctica:
1. No Offices
That’s right there are NO offices here in Antarctica so you can leave your paperwork, computers, fax machines and laptops behind. Give yourself a break and see life from a real window, not an office window. The views from the Antarctic office will by far outlive the views from some non descript skyscraper in New York, London or Hong Kong. This might be the tonic you need to escape your mundane life and get out and see the world.
2. The Wildlife
There is an amazing amount of wildlife to be found in Antarctica. You are never far away from a penguin – they are everywhere! Add to that the endless birds flying, the nesting cormorants, seals by the harbour and of course whales!
3. Escape the Tourists
There is nothing worse than going travelling or on holiday and seeing that a load of other tourists are visiting the exact same place as you, and in their thousands! Here you’ll not meet ANY other tourists other than those on your cruise, so you’ll have the freedom of the continent to yourself! Antarctica is the place where you are really going off the beaten track!
You’ve seen the Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina or the Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand. But those are just nothing compared with a land full of them!! Antarctica is full of glaciers – so many that they don’t even have to give them names – some collapse over time. They are spectacular.
5. Iceberg Cruising on Zodiacs
You’ll get the opportunity to go cruising round a harbour full of icebergs and floating icebergs. Antarctica cruises are full of absolutely breathtaking experiences. You just sit back and relax on a boat and get up close and personal to icebergs gleaming in the morning sun. A feast of blue and white for your eyes!
6. The Drake Passage
The Drake Passage that separates Argentina from Antarctica is the roughest stretch of water in the world and that is one of the reasons why I loved my visit to Antarctica. I love being at sea and spending two days getting there on a rocky boat will have you absolutely pumped and buzzing for the first landing. There is a load of things to do on board the boat. The best of which is to mingle with the crowds and get to know your travel buddies. You can also blag to people that you “survived the Drake”…twice.
There are a few bases and museums in Antarctica. My favourite was the British Base at Port Lockry which is now a fully functional museum – you can walk all around, buy some souvenirs in the shop and even post a postcard from the world’s southernmost post box! Read up on your history before you go.
8. The weather
Forget about sunning yourself on beaches – the Antarctic climate is clean, clear and refreshing. You’ll need to wrap up warm, but all that won’t matter as you hike up a hill in the middle of a blizzard without a care in the world. Get ready for lots of snow, lots of wind and even some awesome Antarctic sunsets. The weather helps make the experience what it is.
Take the plunge and go for a swim. You will most likely get this opportunity at Deception Island. The water is ice cold and you will freeze. The boys will be able to see your icy nipples and for the girls, you might not even see the men’s naughty parts as they have been frozen cold! Leave your embarrassments behind and get in there!! It’s cold but you’ll probably only be here once. You also get a certificate to say you went swimming in Antarctica!
You have to love the idea of sipping an ICE COLD beer on the world’s coldest continent. There is a bar at the Vernadsky Ukranian Station, as well as 2 bars on board the boat that you’ll be on. There’s also the option to bring your own. Have a tipple and celebrate reaching your seventh continent!
So that’s my 10 reasons to visit Antarctica – hope you feel inspired to get down there and see it for yourself. I wrote a post on how to get a cheap trip to Antarctica which is worth checking out but as a final thought – just do it! You’ll never forget the feeling of self satisfaction that you have stepped on Antarctic soil.Completely and utterly inspiring.
Jonny Blair is a global nomad and travel freak. His wanders have taken him unexpectedly to all seven continents and over 70 countries. He writes passionately on his travel blog Don’t Stop Living about his adventures and hopes to travel as long as he can and inspire others to do the same. Today Jonny is our guest blogger giving his 10 reasons to visit Antarctica. Like Don’t Stop Living on Facebook, subscribe to Don’t Stop Living videos on YouTube, StumbleUpon Don’t Stop Living and follow Don’t Stop Living on Twitter!