Antarctica’s beauty lies in the fact that it is shared equally by all nations and peoples. No one ‘owns’ Antarctica and yet it is everyone’s. While a India to Antarctica tour requires no visa, one definitely needs a visa to enter Argentina to board the ship for Antarctica. Depending on where you live in India, you will need to apply to the Argentinian Embassy in New Delhi or the consulate in Mumbai. Good news - Argentinian tourist visa is free for Indians!
Best time to visit Antarctica
The best time to embark on you India to Antarctica tour is between November and March - the months when sunshine is abundant and the sea ice melts enough to allow access to ships. Temperature returns to expected sub-zero levels, with seemingly endless nights marking the ‘no go’ months between April and September.
My India to Antarctica tour was scheduled for mid-March when the temperature at the Antarctic Peninsula does not usually go far below freezing. The average temperature varied between-10°C and 5°C.
It is critical to pack quick-drying and breathable lightweight clothing. Fleece (and other synthetic materials) dries quickly and has good insulating properties, even when wet. On the other hand, when cotton gets wet, it gets cold and can take a long time to dry.
Layers of clothing are the best (and the only!) solution to maintaining comfortable and safe body temperatures in Antarctica. Thermal underwear, fleece layers, wool sweaters and waterproof jackets are an absolute must. While you can get all of this gear in India, you can also purchase them at Ushuaia, albeit at higher prices.