9 Destinations in Antarctica for First Timers

Destinations in Antarctica for First TimersPin

When you are thinking of adventure you need to look for destinations that can allow you to push your physical stamina and strength.

While many places on the planet can provide you with the right adrenaline rush, nothing beats Antarctica. Over the years, Antarctica has remained one of the most challenging places on the planet which many visitors and adventurers have explored or would want to explore.

While the concept of exploring Antarctica sounds exciting, many first-timers also are nervous about the extreme climatic conditions that they will have to endure and how the entire trip will go about.

Hence, you must plan your trip to Antarctica the right way to ensure that you can have a pleasant experience. These days you can also find travel experts who would provide tours in Antarctica to help you manage your first Antarctica expedition.

Here are 9 destinations first-time visitors must have on their list when visiting Antarctica.

1. The Drake Passage

While the Drake Passage was once considered as one of the toughest and unpredictable places in Antarctica things have changed today. Located between Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel this passage remains one of the most used paths by explorers and now by tourists.

Antarctica penguinsPin

If you are visiting Antarctica by cruise you will likely pass through this passage. You can also fly through this passage and that would speed up the process but it is advisable to use the cruise to enjoy the experience. As you pass through this passage you can find albatrosses and seabirds flying around. You might also witness whales and dolphins that swim along with the cruise.

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2. Antarctic Peninsula

One of the most common places that most first-timers would want to explore is the Antarctic Peninsula. This is the northernmost part of the region and many first-time explorers would be happy to pass through the region and be excited about it.

Antarctica penguinsPin

Hence, it is a perfect place for an introduction to Antarctica and everything about it. The best part about visiting the Antarctic Peninsula is that you can enjoy some spectacular panoramic scenery with towering glaciers that dominate the view.

Being closer to South American ports you can easily find ships and cruises that would take you here. Also, when you are here you will find ample wildlife like penguins, seals, and seabirds. You can enjoy exploring this place from the comfort of your ship and enjoy your first trip to Antarctica.

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3. The South Shetland Islands

Located just south of the Drake Passage, the South Shetland Islands will be among the first places you will visit when exploring Antarctica. This is also one of the common places that most visitors visit on their visit to Antarctica.

Ideal for first-time tourists, the South Shetland Islands is packed with prime wildlife and therefore you will ample landscapes that you would want to capture on your camera.

King George Island is the most commonly visited island you will likely get the opportunity to alight here. Here you can find elephant seals, leopard seals, gentoo penguins, and chinstrap penguins which would be a welcome experience for first-time explorers.

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4. The Falkland Islands

When you are visiting Antarctica for the first time you would also want to explore the Falkland Islands also known as Islas Malvinas. Located 490 km east of Patagonia these islands can provide you with some gorgeous scenery that you should not miss. Also, you will see plenty of penguin and seal colonies here that would only add to your experience.

Falkland Islands Islas MalvinasPin

Most cruise ships allow visitors to alight and explore local attractions like Christ Church Cathedral, Falkland Islands Museum, and many other places. If you are interested in bird watching you will find plenty of albatrosses and Falkland steamer duck colonies here as well.

5. South Georgia Islands

Known for its wildlife, South Georgia Islands is also one of the popular stops ideal for first-time visitors to Antarctica. This is where you can find king penguin colonies. If you are into photography you can capture stunning shots in Antarctica especially when you are visiting South Georgia Islands.

This is mainly because of its breathtaking landscape and the amount of natural lighting you get when you are shooting pictures. Many budding photographers come here to learn photography skills and tips.

6. The Lemaire Channel

If you are interested in visiting places in Antarctica that would look completely alien you should not miss the Lemaire Channel. This is one of the most photogenic areas of Antarctica where you can capture images of towering icebergs and ice cliffs.

This 11-mile-long channel is a great place for first-timers because you can explore it from the deck of your cruise. The mirror-like clear waters of this channel reflect sunlight and that makes this place a must-visit when you are exploring Antarctica.

7. The South Pole

For many tourists and visitors visiting Antarctica is all about heading to the South Pole. If you are ready for a challenge you can also head to the South Pole on your first-ever visit to Antarctica. This journey takes you to the southernmost point on the planet. Hence, you must know what to wear for your Antarctica trip.

Atmospheric Research Observatory, South Pole, AntarcticaPin
Atmospheric Research Observatory, South Pole, Antarctica – source

This is the ultimate polar destination that you can put on your bucket list. If you are looking for some adventure you can also fly to South Pole which can help you save all the time you would spend on the cruise.

While you are here you can also visit the Amundsen-Scott Research Base. When you are here you can take a picture of yourself at the South Pole marker which you can proudly post on your social media profile.

8. The Ross Sea

While you are visiting the South Pole you would also want to explore the Ross Sea when you are visiting Antarctica for the first time. This allows you to enjoy the extraordinary landscape of Antarctica as you head to the South Pole.

As you are cruising through the Ross Sea you can also see Adelie penguin and Emperor penguin colonies. This is a great way to explore the wildlife of Antarctica along with exploring the historic huts of Shackleton and Captain Scott.

While not all tour and cruise companies offer Ross Sea in their packages you can look for the ones that do offer a journey to one of the remote locations in Antarctica.

9. The Weddell Sea

On the east side of the Antarctica Peninsula, you can find the Weddell Sea which is one of the tough spots that you can explore via a ship. The sea here is usually clogged with park ice and therefore not all ships would sail here.

Also, the ships that visit the Weddell Sea usually do that in the summer months to offer you a tour of the area. However, you can opt to explore this part of Antarctica via helicopter as well.

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