9 Reasons to Take an Expedition to Antarctica

Penguins, snowshoeing and kayak tours: Antarctica is an awe-inspiring, adventure traveler's dream.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Awe-Inspiring Antarctica

It’s easy to see why nature lovers find the remote, almost other-worldly beauty of Antarctica so awe-inspiring. The southernmost continent’s extreme landscape and distinctive wildlife make for a once-in-a-lifetime expedition. The best (and only) time to visit is during the southern hemisphere’s summer months, November through February.

Wonderful Wildlife

You’ll find watching a wide variety of birds and marine mammals in this stunning natural habitat quite remarkable. Timing is everything when traveling to Antarctica, so plan your trip with your interests in mind. An ideal time to visit is December and January. Who wouldn’t want to ring in the New Year with baby penguins and seals, as well as the biggest mammals on the planet (whales!)?

Hiking or Snowshoeing

A picturesque hike is a spectacular way to get some exercise while you're taking in the natural wonder of Antarctica. In November and December, when the snow cover is at its heaviest, snowshoeing is the recommended way to get around. If you're in decent shape, it's also a great way to see the less traveled areas of the region.

Variety of Tours

There are many ways to explore Antarctica, depending on your comfort level and budget. See the sights from the deck of an ice-strengthened ship or downsize to a smaller Zodiac raft. If you like to get up close and personal with nature, sign up for a guided kayak tour. This whale watching tour has a group of kayakers gliding through Telefon Bay in search of humpbacks.

Chinstrap Penguins

The adorable chinstrap penguin reaches around 2 feet tall and is easily identified thanks to the narrow band of black feathers across its chin. They're quirky little birds (sometimes angry birds!) with an interesting courtship ritual you have to see to believe.

Leopard Seals

Known for lounging about on the ice, leopard seals (aka sea leopards) are solitary animals that are seen frequently along the coast of Antarctica. Yes, they're cute, but beware. They can weigh up to 1,300 pounds, will eat a precious penguin in a hot minute and are known to get aggressive with humans, so keep your distance. Their only natural predator is the killer whale.

Gentoo Penguins

This playful gentoo penguin is ready to catch its dinner in Telefon Bay, just off the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica. It's identified by a white stripe across its head and bright orange/red bill.

Wish You Were Here

While you're sending your friends and family post cards from the edge of the world, you'll see gentoo penguins waddling about. This tiny building, located near the Port Lockroy research station, is the sole post office for all of Antarctica.

Russian Pre-Fab

Built in the early 2000s, the Holy Trinity Church was built in a traditional Russian style from Siberian pine. It was originally constructed in Russia, then dismantled and shipped to King George Island, where it was then reassembled by researchers. It now sits atop a rocky hill overlooking the Bransfield Strait.

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