The truly adventurous head for Antarctica at least once in their life-time and a trip to the bottom of the earth is an event to cherish all life. Nature presents its full splendor in a quite different form in the White Continent. Breathtaking, will be too short a word to describe the scenery of the ice waterways, glaciers, towering icebergs, and shiny mountains. Add to these the marching penguins, the bellowing seals, and countless types of sea birds – the entire thing seems like a dream. When you are there you have entered in to one of those perfect picture cards. To enjoy the trip in a hassle free manner and make it really memorable there are certain things that travelers should consider.
Every step that you take and every move that you make in Antarctica must confirm to the safety guidelines. Danger is not exactly lurking at every corner, but you must watch your step. For example, getting too close to the seals and penguins or straying away from your group could be dangerous. Every cruise ship has one or more guides that will explain about the safety issues. Reading good books on safety issues as well as connecting with people that have knowledge about the subject before traveling to Antarctica are good ideas. You must follow their instructions to be home safely.
Very Less Paperwork
Antarctica doesn’t have a government and will not require any visa to be produced for visiting the region. So the paperwork is minimal and travelers need to carry only a few documents. However, travelers should not forget to carry along their passports as their cruise ship may require docking at different ports if the routes are inoperable. The ports may belong to different countries and the passports will be essential when travelers are there. Also, travelers may need to produce their passports in case they decide to disembark at a port and return by a airplane, or discontinue their return voyage to visit other countries, or fall sick and need to be air lifted to the nearest country. Having your travel insurance papers ready is also a minimum requirement that every traveler should consider before boarding the cruise ship.
What Clothes to Pack
Now the exciting part – detailed attention need to be paid to clothing as you will be traveling to one of the coolest regions in the world. Since this is an expedition voyage there is no need to carry formal attire, unless the cruise ship you are traveling in has formal occasions with a dress code. On board of the ship the temperature will be warm and cozy. Outside, while traveling to shore on the Zodiacs and while walking on the icy surface of the Antarctica you will need warm clothes and rubber boots. Consider dressing up in three layers of clothes. The base layer should be non-absorbent, and the middle layer should be of polyester, woolen, or fleece clothing. The top layer usually consists of water proof jacket and pants. Most cruise ships rent water boots and jackets. You will be better off carrying your own stuff. Caps that cover the head and the ears help protect you from the chilly wind in Antarctica. Gloves and wind cheaters should also form a part of your baggage.
Stuffs for Adventure
With so much of breathtaking scenes in the surroundings even a hermit cannot resist the temptation of clicking away pictures. To not deny yourself the non-stop pleasure of taking photographs take two cameras, both digital if possible. Carry extra batteries for the camera and the flash as well as enough memory cards. You should also carry along zoom lenses to take pictures of animals from a distance respecting their territorial rights. A binocular is a must in an expedition to the Antarctica. A good Iridium phone with GPS feature can be interesting and helpful on a trip to the Antarctica. Keep some cash with you, because you never know when it will be needed.
In addition to appropriate clothing and shoes, sun glasses giving protection from ultra violet rays are a must have thing for the expedition. The sun shines for nearly 20 hours during the touring season in the Antarctica. Sun rays that get reflected from the surface of glaciers and ice bergs can be very strong on the eyes. Your camera will also benefit from a polarizing filter in keeping out the glare in the photos.
The Drake’s Passage is tough to negotiate and may present additional difficulty while sailing through it. Voyagers should consult a general physician and carry medicines that would minimize the effect of pitching and rolling in the rough seas.
Do your bit and gather as much as info possible before your voyage commences. And the natural beauty of the continent will make it a trip of a lifetime.