Visiting Antarctica

Responsible travel to the White Continent

In this ever-shrinking world, where almost anywhere is just a plane ride from everywhere else, contemporary culture puts a special premium on the earth’s last true frontiers. Those few places where mother nature still reigns supreme and the “wilderness” takes its original, true meaning.

And among those few final frontiers, where else is as remote and untouched as Antarctica? While the rest of the planet teems with humanity, this vast, silent continent at the absolute ends of the earth has been virtually untouched by mankind. A frozen wilderness, but one that is home to a surprising amount of terrestrial and marine life.

About this guide

For centuries, Antarctic exploration has been limited to the hardiest of adventurers. Even today, most visitors to the continent are there in scientific and research capacities, with around one thousand intrepid souls spending the entire winter there, cut-off from the outside world.

But you don’t have to be an intrepid explorer or marine biologist to visit Antarctica, and there is ever-increasing demand for recreational travel to the White Continent. And where there’s consumer demand there is, inevitably, choice! You can cruise there aboard a luxury ship or on a re-fitted research vessel. You can depart from South America or Australia/New Zealand. You can even fly!

The variety of options and the range of trip logistics can make your head spin. That’s why we created this guide -- an introduction to the main trip types and, most importantly, how to visit the continent safely and responsibly.

Burgeoning tourism is the latest of many environmental challenges facing this pristine but vulnerable continent. Fortunately, diligent leadership by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) means that all member tour operators (and their passengers) are bound by strict rules that help protect the continent and its ecosystems.

As this guide explains, visiting Antarctica is a unique and special privilege. Do it right and you’ll become a lifelong ambassador for the continent. Tread lightly, learn from what you see, and spread the conservation message far and wide. Welcome to Antarctica!

  Authors Katie Coakley, Amanda Lynnes, Mikołaj Golachowski PhD, Professor Peter Convey
  Editors Matthew Barker
  Format PDF
  Number of Pages 69

This guide is presented by