If Antarctica were music it would be Mozart. Art, and it would be Michelangelo. Literature, and it would be Shakespeare. And yet it is something even greater; the only place on earth that is still as it should be. May we never tame it.- Andrew Denton
The last wilderness of the world is the place you need to visit to claim to have traveled the world. You might have visited all the countries you can point to on the world map, but I bet you can never truly experience travel without traveling to this lonely continent. Travel to Antarctica is not cheap but worth every single penny you have invested into this trip. Antarctica has no native population but there are around 1000-4000 scientists who are working on various research projects and stay upto 6 months in the shelters arranged by their respective nations. There are many others like me to travel on short trips of 10-15 days.
The first question someone asks me is what I did in Antarctica. I answer without a second thought, to truly immerse in the unadulterated beauty of the creation of the god. Standing on the vast ice sheets of Antarctica, with the next nearest soul at least a few thousand kilometers away, one cannot be left unimpressed by the power of the nature. My trip to this part of the world was a part of International expedition to understand the effects of climate change on Antarctica and polar ice caps. I can only say without hesitation that the acts of mankind can be seen at places as far as Antarctica with huge chunks of ice drifting away from the south towards the mainland. Climate change is a reality.
How to reach: The best way to reach Antarctica is to take a ship from Ushuaia, Argentina. Ushuaia is the southernmost town in the world and is considered to be the gateway to Antarctica. There are many tour operators who can get you a spot on a ship for as low as $5000 which can go upto $15000 for a 5- 15 day trip. It takes about 36 hours to reach Antarctica from Ushuaia on the ship which includes crossing the infamous Drake passage which has waves as high as 10 mts hitting your ship.
Visa : There is no visa needed to reach Antarctica but you will need Argentina tourist visa if you travel from Ushuaia as Argentina claims Antarctica to be a part of its mainland.
What to expect: Whales, Penguins, Orcas, Seals, Antarctica petrels, ice covered mountains and vast sheets of ice.
Precautions : Sea sickness. The waters of Drake passage are considered to be one of the roughest and deadliest in the world and you are bound to experience sea sickness.