Taking an Antarctica cruise expedition is the trip of a lifetime. It is simply unbelievable, and to be honest, you will be spending a lot of money to travel to the end of the world. That said, it is an experience that is worth every penny.
Like all good things though, there are things to know before you go that will enable you to maximize your experience and ensure you have an epic trip. So to help you get the most out of your Antarctica cruise, we have put together a few tips.
Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Antarctica (Travel Guide)
34 Antarctica Cruise Tips
Book Extra Excursions Early
A trip to Antarctica is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, not to mention a worlds top 100 travel adventure, and you do not want to miss out on any of the extra excursions that will be on offer.
Our advice is that you should not wait to book any extra excursions on the ship. This goes for all expeditions to Antarctica. It is best to the book any of the extra add ons that you are interested in doing as early as possible.
We would even go as far as recommending that you do it when booking your cruise to Antarctica. For those who scored a killer last-minute deal on an Antarctica cruise, odds are likely that the excursions are filled and you will have to gamble with going on the wait list once you are onboard the ship.
If you do find yourself on a waiting list, do know that these lists can get very full and that selection from them is by lottery. That is if any spots even come available.
Day to day activities, such as skiff rides and landings are already included in your program, so don’t worry about those. But if you want to enhance your Antarctica experience by participating in camping, kayaking or SUP, you should definitely book as early as you can to ensure you get a spot.
Interested in going to Antarctica? We spent 10 days on an expedition ship exploring the Antarctic Peninsula with Quark Expeditions.
Get Out on the Deck
I know what you are thinking, ‘of course I’m going to try to spend as much time as I can out on the deck.’ But it would surprise you how many people don’t take advantage of this.
It is really easy to spend all your down time in your cabin watching movies, resting or uploading your photos to your computer. I get it, you are going to be tired from the crazy days of adventures. It is going to be cold. It is going to be wet. But the wildlife does not care. Being out on deck, your odds are pretty good that you will see wildlife.
You wouldn’t believe the number of sightings I saw because I spent as much time as I could up on the outer decks. Many times whales would fluke once or twice but the ship did not make an announcement because it was too inconsistent. By the time they shouted it through the ship, it would be gone.
Expedition ships are laid out really well and there are benches along the side of the ship and, of course, great standing room on top of the ship. Take advantage of these great spaces and get out on deck as much as you can.
When the Stern is Open, Don’t Miss Out!
It will not happen every day, but when it does, you have to take advantage of the open stern. There is nothing quite like sailing along the Antarctic Peninsula on a beautiful day and viewing this magical continent from the stern.
Truth be told, you will be lucky if it opens up once or twice for you throughout the whole cruise. So I cannot emphasize enough that if you hear it is open, head straight there and marvel at the scenes around you.
From the stern you will be able to get the iconic Titanic photos on front of the boat and it is just an all-around great place for wildlife and landscape viewing. It may only be open for 15 to 30 minutes on your cruise, so you’ll need to be on the ball to take advantage of this.
Take Advantage of the Open Bridge
One of the best things to take advantage of on an Antarctic expedition is the open bridge policy. We loved this on our 10-day cruise with Quark Expeditions. This means the bridge is open at almost all times of the day for you to sit and talk to the captain and his crew mates as you sail around Antarctica.
The bridge has easy access from the inside of the ship and is outfitted with a nice sitting area for you to see what goes on while sailing to ship in Antarctica. This is truly a unique feature that many ships do not have.
While crossing the Drake passage, you definitely have to take advantage of this. We did and we were the only ones up there during rough seas. It was something else watch the rolling sea smash the front of our ship as our experienced captain navigated through them.
The bridge is also a great spot to be if you want to hear the chatter going on throughout the boat. This is where you can hear if someone on the expedition staff may have spotted a whale or something unique, like a tabular iceberg, before they announce it to the whole ship.
Pack Right for Your Excursions
One huge tip on how to make the most out of your Antarctica cruise is to pack for every excursion early. All excursions are different and each of our excursions required different gear.
It is best to pack for your excursion early and have everything accessible within a comfortable dry pack. This doesn’t mean you should pack everything you could ever want or need in Antarctica, but instead about packing smart.
We found it best to have everything laid out in our room, ready to grab at a moments notice. We packed extra dry bags and laid our gear out in the clothing drawers. This allowed us to be prepared and get the most out of our Antarctica expedition.
You’ll be briefed on the boat but Antarctic regulation prohibits you from bringing certain items, such as food, on your excursions. Especially on land, so be sure to follow the rules too.
Not sure what you should pack? Ultimate Cruise Packing List (Cruise Essentials for Any Destination!)
Use Your Time on Land Wisely
Once you step foot on Antarctica, you will want to make the most of your time on land. This means being prepared to use your time wisely. You will not have time to hike up to that lookout and also check out the ruined research shelters, so have a plan and be ready.
Don’t stop at the first penguin you see on the beach as you get off the zodiac. There will be plenty around. If you do stop, don’t spend too much time in just one location.
Use the experienced guides as resources on where to go and what to see at each landing. They will give you a basic briefing once you get onshore but feel free ask a little bit more once everybody has headed off.
Insider info always helps, our expedition guides told us when we explored Baily Head to head straight to the end and avoid stopping. You will not have enough time to make it there if you stop for too many photos along the way.
It was worth listening to our guides because we would not have seen the sites and amazing sounds of the large amphitheater, where we witnessed over one hundred thousand nesting chinstrap penguins.
If we had not made a plan, all of the other penguins walking and sliding would have sucked-up our time. Your time on land is limited by regulation and you only have around an hour to an hour and a half to explore before you have to be back on the shore at your set time to head back to the ship.
Bring a Good Camera
I cannot stress this enough. Bring a good camera and know how to use it to make the most out of your Antarctica cruise photo opportunities. This is the adventure of a lifetime and you need something that can capture it well.
I’m sorry, but a Go-Pro or the standard point-and-shoot will not do. You wouldn’t believe the number of people that were bummed out because they couldn’t capture photos the way they wanted to because of their obsolete basic cameras.
You’ll need a camera like a DSLR that is fully adjustable with manual settings that also has a large zoom to be able to capture the uniqueness of Antarctica well.
This is a list of the camera gear we brought on our Antarctic expedition cruise:
- Canon 6d DSLR Body
- Canon 24-105mm L Lens
- Canon 16-35mm f2.8 III Wide Angle
- Canon 100-400mm L Lens
- Canon 2x Extender
- B+W Circular Polarizer MRC 77mm
- B+W UV Filter MRC 77mm
- Canon ET-83C Lens Hood
- Vanguard VEO AM-204 Aluminum Monopod
- Vanguard Alta BH-100 Ball Head
- 4 SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Cards
- 4-6 Canon LP-E6 Batteries
- Camera Rain Covers
- Think Tank Photo Digital Holster 150 Camera Bag
- Vanguard VEO Discover 46 Sling Backpack
Know How to Use Your Camera
It is always best to know your camera gear in advance of any trip and I cannot stress this enough. Antarctica is a difficult place to shoot and not knowing your camera will make you frustrated. On top of that, you will be severely disappointed in your photographs.
So get to know your camera before heading to Antarctica and understand how it works. Know where the settings are and learn how to shoot in manual mode. Yes, learn how to shoot in manual mode.
If you take one thing away from this Antarctica expedition travel guide it should be: you must know how to shoot in manual mode on your camera.
You wouldn’t believe the number of people on board that had difficulties with their cameras that they had just bought a week before their Antarctica expedition. To me, that makes no sense for you to spend so much time planning this epic adventure, then you spend so much money to buy a camera that you don’t even know how to operate.
There will be professionals on board that will be able to help you with your camera but it’s best not to rely on them. Before your trip, read your manual and take your camera out to shoot a little bit.
Have Your Camera Ready at All Times
Wildlife and amazing moments don’t wait on anyone and they just happen in the snap of a second. Capturing it is a chance of luck and also a little bit of skill. Having your camera ready at all times will allow you to capture that moment or at least get a few snaps off before it is gone.
One huge tip is to shoot in burst mode, then when you have time to review the photos you can save what you like and toss the rest. You will get incredible photos of the surrounding landscapes and wildlife if you have your gear ready at all times.
Bring Extra Camera Batteries
It never fails that while out on an excursion you bring your camera up to your eye and it doesn’t shoot. You’ve got a dead camera battery and that’s the worst feeling in the world. Especially when you’re in a place as unique as Antarctica.
It is best to check your camera batteries before leaving the ship. It is also important that you have a supply of fully charged batteries packed in your bag at all times.
I found it works the best to keep one in my chest pocket in a small insulated camera battery pouch that allowed me to grab it at a moments notice without fumbling through my bag looking for it. The insulated battery pouch also kept the batteries safe.
Camera batteries die a lot quicker due to extreme cold so it is always best to keep fully charged batteries in your daypack or in your chest pocket. We traveled with at least four extra batteries because once you’re on land there’s no getting back to the ship.
Make a habit of recharging every battery at the end of the day so you have plenty of juice for the next day’s outings.
Bring Extra Memory Cards and Dry Bags
An expedition trip to Antarctica is a photographers dream trip. But it can also be a photographers nightmare if you aren’t properly prepared.
You’re going to take thousands of photos while exploring Antarctica so naturally your memory cards are going to fill up a whole lot quicker than they usually do. I don’t know about you but I do not like to clear memory cards while I’m out on an adventure.
You are going to need multiple memory cards. We carried at least five memory cards each and filled them all.
Extra dry bags are also key because you can have one set aside for zodiac cruising and you can have one set-aside for your land-based adventures. This will allow you to be prepared in advance. Having an extra dry bag will also allow you to switch out when one gets damp inside.
Memory cards we use: SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Cards
Dry bag for camera gear or cellphone:
- Waterproof Dry Bag
- Universal Waterproof Phone Case
- Camera Rain Cover
- Vanguard VEO Discover 46 Sling Backpack
- Think Tank Photo Digital Holster 150 Camera Bag
Pack a Power Strip
Most of the cabins on an expedition ship are laid out really well, however one thing that is never plentiful in a cabin is outlets. It never fails there’s just one outlet near the desk and one outlet near the nightstand.
That’s not enough room for you to charge everything. Your camera battery charger we’ll take up that whole outlet so that means you can’t charge anything else. Then on top of that charging on ships can be a lot slower than charging your items back at home on land.
It is best to pack a power strip so you can charge all your items at once instead of fighting over that one outlet spot. We travel everywhere with our travel-ready power strip. It allows us to use one outlet but have 4 USB outlets and 4 plug-ins that are spaced correctly for those large camera battery chargers.
Get to the Gift Shop Early
One thing I never worried about, or even thought about really, was getting to the gift shop early on our Antarctica cruise. Boy oh boy did I miss out on some good items that sold out quickly.
The gift shop on our 10-day cruise with Quark Expeditions had many unique gifts. Some were one of a kind and handmade from locations that the ship visits and others were odds and ends of gear that passengers may have forgotten to bring.
Many of the most unique and popular items sellout onboard, so take advantage and get to the gift shop early. If you like something, buy it. It’s not going to last as there is not a large inventory of goods onboard.
Attend the Onboard Seminars
Throughout the trip there are onboard seminars about certain subjects related to your visit to Antarctica. You can take advantage of these seminars by heading to the lounge or watching them from the tv in your cabin.
If you wan to get the most out of your trip to Antarctica be sure to attend every onboard seminar that is offered. These seminars can be about Antarctica’s history, wildlife or even about personal stories from the experienced expedition staff members.
The onboard seminars are a great place for you to connect with fellow travelers and also your expedition leaders in a personal environment. The presentations are given by the expedition leaders that will be out exploring Antarctica with you.
Use the Knowledge of the Staff
The staff of an expedition ship is unlike the staff on a normal cruise ship. They are well educated and have endless knowledge about the areas you’ll be exploring. Many of them have spent years traveling and even staying on Antarctica.
This is what makes an expedition unique compared to a normal cruise. On our 10-day cruise with Quark Expeditions, the experienced staff consisted of college professors, researchers, historians, geologist, ornithologist, biologist, resident photographers, naturalist, artists and musicians as members of the expedition team.
What’s magical is that the knowledgeable staff members are not only on the ship but also onshore with you and exploring. This allows you to ask questions right in the field and connect with what they were talking about in their onboard seminars.
Make Friends with Other Travelers
On an expedition to Antarctica there are many well-traveled and like-minded adventure lovers. Take advantage of this and become friends with these fellow passengers who have plenty in common with you.
Becoming friends with these passengers won’t only be beneficial to the trip but they will inspire you to explore unique places that they have already visited. Everybody has an impressive travel resume on board, so don’t be scared to strike up a conversation and hear about their past adventures.
Making friends also allowed us to get unique photos of me and Lina that we wouldn’t be able to get otherwise. They took photos of us without us knowing which has a different sense in feeling then canned photos of us smiling together.
You’re going to take thousands of photos on your Antarctica cruise. There’s going to be professional photographers and there are going to be amateur photographers. All will take amazing photos but in their own unique ways.
So take advantage of this. No photographer shoots the same, everyone’s eye is different and on top of that, every excursion is different.
Don’t be scared to share your photos with the crew and fellow travelers. Being able to see what other passengers have shot will also help you grow your eye for that award-winning shot.
Some of the most memorable photos I’ve received were from fellow passengers of things that we didn’t see on our zodiac cruise or magical moments of all as a group just experiencing Antarctica.
On our 10-day cruise with Quark Expeditions, we were able to load all of our photos to an onboard ‘dropbox’. Everyone had easy access to do this in the library and many times the staff members would be willing to do it for us.
This was magical because there was no taking down names or email addresses at the end of the cruise we got a simple web address by the Quark Expeditions staff where we could go and download all of those amazing photos people have shared.
It didn’t matter if you submitted photos you would still get the link to the professional photos that the Quark Expeditions staff talk of your time in Antarctica.
Plan in 2 Days Before and 2 Days After
Ushuaia is called the End of the World for a reason. It is the gateway to Antarctica. Approximately 90% of all Antarctic cruises leave from the port of Ushuaia. During the summer months, this quiet, sleepy little Argentine city turns into a tourist mecca of travelers that are heading to Antarctica on expedition ships.
Traveling to Ushuaia is not easy and it is a long way to travel, so make sure you get the most out of your trip. Take full advantage of your time in this area by planning in a few extra days before and after your Antarctica cruise in Ushuaia.
There are plenty of amazing activities offered in and around the city. Spend a day exploring the southernmost national park (Tierra Del Fueo National Park), explore the Martial Glacier or maybe take a soak in the beautiful green waters of Esmeralda Lagoon.
No matter what there’s plenty to see and do in Ushuaia so make sure you plan in two days before and two days after your cruise.
Top things to do in Ushuaia before your cruise to Antarctica:
- Tierra del Fuego National Park Trekking and Canoeing in Lapataia Bay
- Lakes District 4×4 Full-Day Tour with Lunch from Ushuaia
- The End of the World Train Admission Ticket
- Tierra del Fuego National Park Half-Day Tour with Optional End of the World Train Ride
- Beagle Channel Sailing Tour: Islands, Penguins and Estancia Harberton
Research About Antarctica Before Your Trip
Before traveling to Antarctica, do your research. There are plenty of amazing books, fascinating podcasts and great movies that will get you excited about your expedition cruise to Antarctica. On top of that, it will give you a little bit of knowledge about Antarctica before visiting.
A little bit of knowledge can go along way. You’ll understand conversations better among crew members and you’ll understand the reasons why they do things a certain way on the expedition.
It will also give you a deep understanding of the wildlife you’ll be viewing. This is all key to making the most out of your cruise to Antarctica.
Books about Antarctica to check out:
- An Intimate Portrait of a Mysterious Continent
- Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage
- The Last Place on Earth
- Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica
Antarctica podcasts to check out:
- Ice Coffee: the history of human activity in Antarctica
- The Antarctic Report
- Meet the Ocean
- Polar Geopolitics
Antarctica movies or tv shows to check out:
- Antarctica – An Adventure Of A Different Nature – As seen in IMAX Theaters
- Island of the Penguins
- Secrets of Antarctica
- Wildest Antarctica
Have the Right Gear
Having the right gear in Antarctica is extremely important. This will allow you to have the freedom of comfort and to not worry about the cold, wet elements while you’re exploring.
On our 10-day cruise with Quark Expeditions, they provided us with the proper jackets that would keep us warm and that can withstand everything Antarctica would throw at us. These jackets were extremely well-designed by Quark Expeditions.
I’m not going to go into full details on what you should pack or what you shouldn’t pack, that’s what our Antarctica packing list is for, but for the basics it is always best to pack multiples of an item.
Pack more than one winter hat. Pack more than one pair of gloves. Have a good pair of rain pants and also don’t forget to pack a neck gaiter to protect your face on the zodiac cruises. Having the proper gear will also keep you from getting sick.
Before heading out on an excursion, one of the mandatory checks are if you have your jacket on, waterproof pants on and that you have your life jacket properly fastened.
You will not be allowed to leave the ship without those items. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a whole lot of other items like gloves and hats that you want to carry with you but the jacket, rain pants and lifejackets are 100% mandatory.
Like many adventure locations, it is function over fashion. Also, don’t go cheap as these items will not survive in Antarctica. Spend the money and get quality products that will keep you warm and allow you to truly enjoy one of the coldest places on earth.
Take Every Excursion
Antarctica is one of the coolest places on earth, both literally and figuratively. No excursion is the same and you simply cannot miss out on even one excursion. Take advantage of every outing that you can and this will help you get the most out of your Antarctica cruise.
You should expect your trip to have plenty of challenges. There are going to be days that it is raining, there are going to be days that it is bone-chilling cold outside and there are going to be days that you are just flat out tired and want to sleep.
Keep in mind you’ll have so few days to explore Antarctica that you cannot let even one excursion slip by. Every excursion is truly different and you never know what you are going to see.
Prepare for Tight Quarters
Almost all the cabins on an expedition ship are laid out extremely well, however be prepared for tight quarters. There isn’t a whole a lot of room in your cabin fso you should pack accordingly.
There is also not a lot of room for you to spread your items everywhere in the cabin. Just finding a spot for your large suitcase can be difficult at times and some expedition ships even have luggage size restrictions due to the limited cabin space.
On top of that, the bathrooms are no larger than the smallest closet you have ever had. It can be difficult just going to the bathroom during the Drake shake or even taking a shower in the calmest of seas.
It is best to understand that all expedition ships have tight quarters. This not only goes for in your cabins but also throughout the ship. Hallways are narrow and dining rooms are compact. This is the way of life on an expedition ship.
It is always best to use handrails, don’t linger through doorways and also allow fellow passengers to make their way by safely at all times.
Bring an Eye Mask and Earplugs
I don’t know about you but I love a good night of sleep, especially after a full day of exploring. This can be difficult on ships due to loud noises of the engine running while sailing, waves hitting the hull and the limited shades that do not truly dark out your room.
All that added up, it can be a nightmare to catch some much-needed z’s on expedition ship to Antarctica.
To combat this you should pack a good eye mask and earplugs, just in case there are things that’ll keep you up at night. Being well-rested will help you make the most of your Antarctic cruise.
Don’t leave home without:
Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask (Because your room will not be dark.)
Understand That Wi-fi Will be Limited
Most people heading to Antarctica are adventure lovers, so this is not the first time that they’ve spent time off the grid. One thing to make the most out of your Antarctica cruise is to understand that Wi-Fi will be limited. Surprisingly, yes, there is Wi-Fi on the expedition ship to Antarctica.
Wi-fi onboard will be satellite-based. Satellite connections are great for remote vessels and will allow you to have contact with the mainland at all times throughout your adventure to Antarctica.
However, it is going to be slow and very expensive but if you need it, it is there. If you’re someone who’s just checking emails it will probably work well for you but if you’re someone who wants to load photos to Instagram or Facebook, it is not going to work well at all.
What I suggest is to buy a plan the minute you get on board. Load your emails then disconnect, so your phone does not use up all your time and gigabytes searching. Go back to the cabin and read your emails, answer your emails then reconnect and send them.
This will allow you to get the most out of your Internet usage on an expedition ship to Antarctica.
No matter what you do, don’t try to send photos or try to load photos on Facebook. It’s not worth the frustration and the time you will spend messing around with it. Save that for when your not in an amazing place like Antarctica.
I’ll be totally honest with you too, our entire business is online and despite this, we never accessed the internet once on our trip. We wanted to experience Antarctica without the distraction.
I know it’s always awkward, and sometimes scary, to think about sharing a room with a stranger when traveling. But sharing a room on an Antarctica cruise can save you a ton of money.
Everyone booking a trip to Antarctica is like-minded and well-traveled. They’re probably among some of the most well-traveled people who have spent multiple nights in shared dorm rooms and have had limited personal space. So I wouldn’t fear about booking a shared room on an expedition cruise to Antarctica.
The shared rooms are laid out well with enough room for your own personal space. Be sure to keep in mind that there’s a lot of room throughout the whole ship and that your room is mostly used for sleeping.
It is possible to spend some alone time in the library, the dining room or in one of the many many unique quiet sitting areas that can be found on the ship.
Prevent Seasickness Before it Starts
It doesn’t matter if you’re prone to seasickness or if you’ve never had it before. The best medicine is preventing it before it starts so you can get the most out of your expedition cruise to Antarctica.
It is best to bring seasickness pill with you, but if you don’t they will have plenty onboard for you. There will also be an experienced doctor on board for prescribed treatments and to help you in case you get sick.
On our 10-day cruise with Quark Expeditions, the staff went above and beyond to make sure nobody got seasick. We had special snacks and special meals that also included natural ingredients that helped to fight seasickness.
No matter what, take seasickness pills while sailing to Antarctica across the Drake Passage. It’s not worth the risk. It’s not worth the chances of getting seasickness because once it starts you cannot stop it.
Many passengers on our cruise have never had seasickness before but got severely sick and spent a good amount of time miserable during the trip. Don’t let seasickness get you down, have a stockpile of pills on hand.
Use the Hot Tubs
It’s going to chilly at times, but expedition ships are outfitted to help take off the Antarctic chill. That includes on deck hot tubs! Take advantage of the hot tubs when you can, many times the best time is right after an excursion.
It is pretty amazing to be able to relax and sit in them while enjoying the amazing landscapes of Antarctica. I’m telling you, once you’re sitting in the hot tub surrounded by Antarctica’s amazing landscapes with a drink in hand, there’s else nothing like it on earth.
Do the Polar Plunge
Waters around Antarctica are bone-chilling and I know what you are thinking, I’m never getting into that freezing cold water willingly. But to tell you the truth, one of the best activities we did on our 10-day cruise with Quark Expeditions was the polar plunge.
The polar plunge is a right of passage on an expedition cruise to Antarctica. Not many people can say they have traveled to Antarctica, let alone that they swam in Antarctica’s icy cold waters.
So be sure to join the list of elite travelers who take advantage of this on an expedition cruise to Antarctica. The event’s more of a camaraderie where shipmates and expedition staff leaders join in on the fun. On our expedition we had over 90 people take the plunge.
Understand the Kayaking Program
This is one thing I didn’t know about until we went to Antarctica. If you sign up for the kayaking program, you will be kayaking every chance they can get. While this sounds amazing, we quickly learned that it came with a trade off.
Planning to explore Antarctica by kayak and land? That’s not what you signed up for. You signed up to explore Antarctica by kayak. That means you’ll be spending your day kayaking among millions of burgy bits, rafts of penguins and amazing snow-covered mountains that meet the bright blue waters of Antarctica.
This can be disappointing at times because you are going to hear about all the amazing experiences that all the other passengers are having on land, experiences you cannot get anywhere else.
On the flip side of this, there will be times that you’ll be able to make those people jealous from when the humpback whale slaps his huge tail just 10 feet away from you in your kayak.
If you have your heart set on exploring Antarctica by land, you probably do not want to sign up for the full kayaking program. Also, keep in mind however you can decide not to go out with the kayaking program that day which will allow you to explore Antarctica by land but giving up one of your kayaking spots.
This is ok to do once but after that, you may forfeit you kayaking space for someone who is more serious about kayaking in Antarctica.
There is an Onboard Secret Menu
This is a secret tip that many people do not know about that you can do on any cruise. Sometimes there’s not anything on the menu that you truly want to eat. Or maybe you cannot eat what’s on the menu due to health reasons.
What if I told you, you can order an everyday item off a secret onboard menu anytime?
Well, it is true! Almost all the cruise ships offer a special menu that many passengers don’t know about. This menu has great food that normally includes hamburgers, french fries, pizzas, specialty salads, steaks and desserts that cannot be found on the daily menu.
This could be huge when you can’t have what’s on the menu or you have an upset stomach or you’re just looking for some comfort food, like a side order of fries.
It’s definitely worth taking advantage of the unlisted menu if you’re not feeling anything on the main menu.
Take Advantage of the Snacks and Coffee Bar
After an exciting excursion in Antarctica there is no better way to make the most out of your cruise to Antarctica than by enjoying a snack or stopping by the coffee bar and having a beverage of choice.
This will allow you to hydrate and refuel for your next adventure. The coffee bar is open 24 hours a day with your drink of choice that can be anything from coffee, tea to soda pop. There’s also fresh-baked cookies and other odds and ends, like granola bars, that you can grab at the coffee bar at any time.
Snack time is something not to be missed because it helps you fight hunger until dinner and they are amazing, trust me and I’m not a foodie. Simply put, do not skip snack time.
Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol
One huge tip on how to make the most out of your cruise to Antarctica is to not drink too much alcohol. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to have a drink here and there. Heck, you’re marking off the seventh continent and a worlds top 100 travel adventure, celebrate but do not too much.
Alcohol affects everyone differently and can affect the inner ear mechanism that censors motion. While sailing, your inner ear can become over stimulated and having a few drinks on board can make you more prone to seasickness.
Beside seasickness, alcohol can also dehydrate you and after a busy day of excursions and being out in the sun and wind, you’re already going to be a little dehydrated. So what is it best to stay hydrated and drink lots of water and give the alcohol a soft pass.
Understand That Things Can Change
Before you set sail to Antarctica, you’ll receive a basic itinerary. This itinerary is projected outline of where you will go during your trip. It probably will not even resemble your true itinerary in Antarctica, but at least it will give you an idea.
Antarctica is one of the most difficult places to visit and having a set itinerary is nearly impossible. So naturally, you need to understand that things can change and will change during your trip.
Do not get your heart set on visiting a place like Port Lockroy, where you can mail a postcard from Antarctica, because it could be surrounded by ice making it unvisitable by ships. Even if you had it on your itinerary.
Don’t have your heart set on being surrounded by hundred thousand nesting chinstrap penguins at Baily Head because the seas may be too rough to land on its shore.
When we sailed, we had a Drake Lake on the way down. It allowed us to get to Antarctica a half day earlier than previously planned. This allowed us to explore destinations that weren’t on our itinerary and that our expedition staff didn’t expect to stop at.
They crammed in two exciting stops that had us exploring the Antarctica Peninsula all the way till 11 PM at night. Where if they had stuck to the planned itinerary, we would have just sat there doing nothing.
Remember that the whole point of an expedition is that it’s a true adventure where there is an unknowingness of where you’re going and what you’re going to see. Having an understanding that things can change at a moment’s notice is key to making the most out of your cruise to Antarctica.
It’s pointless to get mad about a change and it’s pointless to complain about a change to the staff members. They are always trying to make the trip amazing for you. It is best to just embrace it and go with the flow.
Embrace the Nature of Adventure
An expedition to Antarctica is an adventure in its own right. What many people don’t understand is that it’s a true adventure. Yes, there’s a set route, yes there’s an idea of where you may be going, by the way, may is the keyword.
Weather, wildlife sightings and the sheer thirst of adventure is what drives an expedition to Antarctica. No expedition to Antarctica is the same and no day is the same.
Take advantage of this by not asking too many questions and letting the adventure unfold in front of you. Embrace the unknown of what is next. It’s not worth asking if you’re going to stop at a certain location or if you are going to see a certain animal.
You need to understand that this is all part of the adventure and it is essential to remember that you are having an experience that so few people will ever have. Embrace it.
Our trip to Antarctica was in partnership with Quark Expeditions, however all opinions are 100% mine, as always
|Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent|
Adventure Options: Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, SUP and Cross Country Skiing
|Antarctic Express: Fly the Drake|
Adventure Options: Kayaking and SUP
- Experience the fastest, most direct way to Antarctica
- Fly over the Drake Passage
|Epic Antarctica: Crossing the Circle via Falklands and South Georgia|
Adventure Options: Camping, Hiking, Kayaking and SUP
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