What is the Best Way to See Antarctica?

If you’re seeking a trip of a lifetime with unique scenery, extraordinary wildlife and geological findings, then Antarctica is the place for you. A visit here will provide you with an unmatched experience to see this special part of the world. 

Also known as the ‘White Continent’, Antarctica is full of icy landscapes, snow-capped peaks, mighty glaciers and freezing waters. There are so many places to explore here, you will find yourself needing more time just to see it all. A true bucket list destination, Antarctica should be experienced at least once in your lifetime. 

If you’re planning a trip to Antarctica, you’re likely wondering how to get there and the best way to see all it has to offer. We have all the information you need to help you plan your trip here with ease. Keep reading to learn more about this fascinating part of our planet, alongside some useful information for your adventure. 

The Best Time to Visit Antarctica

Before booking your trip to Antarctica, you’re probably wondering about the best time to visit. The weather is cold year-round here, allowing the wildlife and landscapes to thrive. Below is a little more information on the climate, alongside what to expect throughout the seasons. 

Weather in Antarctica 

During the summer months (October to February), the weather can reach highs of 10°C. Whereas winter (March to October), is much colder with temperatures falling below -20°C. 

Due to Antarctica’s harsh weather conditions, the tourist season lasts from November to March. This is considered the summer season, although don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll be lounging in the sun because it’s still very cold during this time. 

Throughout winter, the days are dark and the climate is freezing! There are usually harsh winds and heavy snow during this time. With this in mind, tourists don’t visit Antarctica during these months, as the weather can make it difficult to explore this beautiful continent.


Wildlife in Antarctica

If you’re visiting Antarctica to make the most out of its wildlife offering, then you’re in luck because there’s plenty to see! Late December or early January is the best time to go here to catch glimpses of penguins. You will find them gathered in their colonies or diving in and out of the water as they catch their dinner. This provides a truly authentic experience and the perfect way to see how incredible this destination is. 

For those seeking the best time to visit Antarctica to see whales, you will want to visit anytime between February and March. These beautiful giants are at their peak numbers in these months. This is also a great time to catch a glimpse of them up and close as they tend to be pretty curious during this time! 

There are many other excellent winter activities to take advantage of in Antarctica. Whether you plan on hiking, skiing, camping, diving or snowshoeing, you will find something for all in this stunning continent. 

How to Get to Antarctica

The next thing to consider for your trip to Antarctica is how to get there. The best way to travel is by either ship or plane from South America. Its remote location makes it one of the last places on the planet where you can truly escape the hustle and bustle. With that in mind, it’s not as easy to access in comparison to other popular tourist destinations. 

Its secluded site once made it one of the riskiest places to travel with dry, windy weather and rough waters, this wasn’t a trip for the faint-hearted! With the development of transportation over the last 20 years, you can now visit this wonderful continent with ease. 

You won’t get mobile phone service, ATMs or shopping malls in Antarctica, allowing for the perfect time to immerse yourself in nature and disconnect. Many compare this beautiful continent to a snow-covered desert, as it is unlike anywhere else in the world. 

Flying to Antarctica

For those hoping to catch a glimpse of the vast terrains of Antarctica from a birds-eye view, flying is a great option. There are no airports here, but you can fly in by makeshift landing strips that must be arranged beforehand. 

Usually, tourists fly to Antarctica when travelling to the South Pole. As there are no commercial flights, this means that your only way of flying here is by private plane. However, it is uncommon for people to do this due to the lack of airport facilities and prior planning that is needed. 

As Antarctica is renowned for its unpredictable weather, these flights are also often delayed, so flexibility is key. This is also one of the most expensive ways to travel to this secluded part of the world. Although, it is a great way to access Antarctica for those looking for an adventure of a lifetime, or just to try something that very few have done before. 

Cruising in Antarctica

One of the most frequented journeys to Antarctica is by boat from Ushuaia, Argentina. The journey typically takes around 48 hours. But many choose to hop on a cruise to Antarctica, this can be done over 9 or 24 days. These ships will take you to the best locations along the way. It’s best to bear in mind the size of the boat you choose to take when travelling here. Larger boats are less likely to stop off at as many locations, meaning something smaller is ideal if you want to explore whilst travelling.

There are several options available for those who want to travel by boat. This means that you get to tailor your trip around departures, dates, prices and journey types. With so many to choose from, you’re guaranteed a luxury travel experience to Antarctica when travelling here by ship. 

Air-Cruise to Antarctica

For anyone with less time and on a budget, travelling by air cruise to Antarctica is one of the more affordable and fastest ways to get here. You can partake in a trip across 6 days that will take you from Ushuaia to Tierra del Fuego, Cape Horn and then along the icy waters to Antarctica. 

You can catch glimpses of fascinating wildlife along the way, alongside a chance to explore King George Island and Fildes Bay. The air cruise includes a one-way flight and sailing trip between Antarctica and South America. With your accommodation, food, and guided activities all included, there is no better way to explore with ease than by air cruise. 

How to Travel from Popular Countries to Antarctica

If you’re looking for a little more information on how to travel to Antarctica from a specific country, below are the most popular routes. Check out how to get here from the USA, UK, Canada and Australia. 

Travel to Antarctica from the USA

When travelling from the USA to Antarctica, it will require either flights and sailing, or a private charter. You can journey from Atlanta, New York, Miami and Dallas to Buenos Aires by direct flight. From here you will then need to hop on another plane to Ushuaia. Once you reach Ushuaia you will then either take a cruise to Antarctica or book a private charter. 

Travel to Antarctica from the UK

There are a few options for travelling from the UK to Antarctica, great for a range of itineraries and budgets. You can either fly from London to Bueno Aires and then to Ushuaia where you would need to catch a boat. Alternatively, you can get flights from the UK to Madrid, and then onwards to Buenos Aires. The latter is a long way around but is often cheaper for those looking to save some money. 

You can also fly straight from London to Santiago, with another flight from here to Punta Arenas, Chile. Much like Ushuaia, you would then need to get on a boat to reach Antarctica. 

Travel to Antarctica from Canada

Like many of the other countries listed, travelling from Canada to Antarctica requires a couple of flights and a boat journey. With direct flights from Toronto to both Buenos Aires and Santiago, you would then need to hop on another plane to either Ushuaia or Punta Arenas. Once you have reached Punta Arenas or Ushuaia, you will then need to set sail to access your final destination. 

Travel to Antarctica from Australia

When travelling from Australia, you will need to catch around 3 flights and a ship. You can get direct flights from Sydney to Santiago, from here you would then fly to Buenos Aires and then onto Ushuaia. Upon reaching Ushuaia, a boat or private plane would be needed to access Antarctica. 

It may seem difficult to reach, but its vast wilderness and raw beauty make the journey more than worth it. It is favoured among many due to its pristine terrains and remote atmosphere. With this in mind, travelling here just adds to the adventure that comes with visiting Antarctica

What to Pack for Antarctica

Once you have decided on when to visit Antarctica and your mode of transport, the next thing you need to know is what to pack! Its icy climate, snowy terrains and harsh winds make it a unique destination. With this in mind, it’s important to pack appropriately for your trip so you can make the most out of your time here. 

One of the most important things to note about packing for Antarctica is to start early. Due to its unpredictable weather and changing conditions, you never know what to expect. Keep an eye on the weather and adjust your packing list accordingly. Below covers everything you will need for your trip. 


  • Plenty of warm layers – it’s tempting to take thick jumpers and sweatshirts but layers are advised. With lots of outdoor activities, layers allow you to adjust your clothing as you go 
  • Thermals (base layer)
  • Light fleece or jacket (mid-layer)
  • Warm insulated and waterproof coat (outer layer)
  • Waterproof hiking boots with a good grip 
  • Comfy trainers or shoes for on the ship or travelling 
  • Warm, waterproof gloves 
  • Wooly hat – this wants to be snug as the winds can get very strong, so you don’t want to be worrying about your hat flying off! 
  • Neck gaiter to keep your heat in 
  • Thick, comfortable socks


  • Sun cream 
  • Moisturiser (for windy, dry weather conditions)
  • Medication
  • Hygiene products (shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste) 

There will likely be more things to add to your packing list depending on your preferences. However, the checklist above should help get you started on what to take with you for the adventure of a lifetime to Antarctica. 


Antarctica has plenty to offer for a range of keen adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its remote location and raw landscapes make it a true bucket list destination. No matter what part of the continent you see, its blend of breathtaking terrains and intriguing wildlife will impress even the most experienced traveller. 

We hope that after reading our recommendations on how to travel here, you can now enjoy a trip of a lifetime to Antarctica.

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