The Next Big Adventure: Travel to Antarctica

Photography guide for Antarctica

The 7th continent, Antarctica, is a desired place to travel for many adventurers like ourselves. Back in the days, only a handful of people wanted to go there as not many knew about it and it wasn’t very accessible. Today around 30,000 to 40,000 people visits the place every year, but then Antarctica is still quite an unknown place for many.

Reaching the Impossible

We have been to over 70 countries and finally can cross off the bucket list to reach our 7th continent. For me, it’s an absolute personal record to be able to see all the continents before 30 years old. Antarctica always has been for us a dream that we thought would take time before we even plan it.

Fortunately for us, the stars aligned themselves and we just got back to Antarctica with Dubai and GCC’s specialized tour operator for explorers and adventurers: EduOutings  They are the newest and best (not bias at all as it is based on facts) company offering tours to Antarctica because they have complete exclusivity with Hurtigruten in the Middle East. It is a company with over 120 years of experience in polar waters and for such expeditions, you want the best.

Photography guide for Antarctica
Shot during our own Antarctica trip in 2018 with EduOutings  (Nikon D850)

From Dubai to Antarctica with EduOutings

  • The EduOutings team will support you with all the insurance and flights you need to book based on where you are based in the GCC. Whether you are based in the United Arab Emirates, Oman or even Saudi Arabia, the team will know what to advice you. Based on your preferences, they will also inform you about all the types of expeditions.
  • EduOutings works with the biggest Antarctica operator worldwide. They have 2 expeditionary ships that offer unique experiences in Antarctica and this year they even launch the 1st of two hybrid-powered expedition ships which is a step forward sustainable travel.
  • There are many expeditions out there and not many have an actual local office in the Middle East and GCC to offer you a hands on experience. With EduOutings, the team will be able to offer the support so you book the best experiences.

Getting ready to travel to Antarctica

It may seem like a complicated trip because it’s a pricey one, but it’s actually very simple. This is the list of things we did prior to the trip

  • Book the plane trip to Buenos Aires (there the team will pick you up and transfer you to the hotel, from there you are taken care of!
  • Book our insurance with World Nomads which is a very reasonable price. In our case we had insurance for UK, Argentina and Antarctica at a price of 250$US for the two of us.
  • Go to the doctors to fill up our medical papers. You need to get a health check stamped and signed by a doctor that can confirm that you are in proper shape to travel to Antarctica. This will be required to board the boat.
  • Pack our bags, we only have a 20kg + a carry on which is full of clothes good for the boat (inside) + gym clothes as there is a gym on board. We also obviously have all the proper layers to not freeze.
  • That’s it! It’s just like any other trip, just an extra visit at the doctors! Now we know you might have some questions, here’s a little Q&A based from your DMs on Instagram and e-mails.

Frequently asked questions about travelling to Antarctica

Do you have internet access in Antarctica.

Depending on the company you book with, there is web access via satellite. It is not for free though, you will have to pay a fee to have access to the internet. It was actually an amazing internet detox when you go to such trips. EduOutings boat has internet access you can buy.

Can you travel alone to Antarctica?

Of course you can. If you don’t take a private cabin, the company will arrange you to share a cabin with someone else that is also a solo traveller.

Is it mandatory to get travel insurance for Antarctica?

It is absolutely required for you to have insurance to go on an Antarctica trip. This must include coverage for air lift evacuation in case of any medical emergencies. We use World Nomads which covers all of that.

What meds do I need for Antarctica?

No vaccines are required, but you will need to consider buying some seasickness pills as you are heading to the roughest seas in the world.

How can I get the best rate for Antarctica?

A trip to Antarctica isn’t a backpackers trip. To get the “cheapest rate”, you will need to go for early bird rates. Sometimes when you book 2 weeks before departure you can get good prices as well as the company can judge if they will be able to fill up the boat or not.

When is the best time to travel to Antarctica?

For Antarctica, the time you chose to go will depend on what you want to do and see. In November you will see a lot more Icebergs and it’s the mating season for penguins. After that until January, that’s the time you will see tons of baby penguins and seals. As for whales, this will be in March as the water is much clearer than the other times of the year.

What is the itinerary for Antarctica?

There are few options depending on how long you can be long for and what you want to see. In our case, we went on the 13 day trip, including 2 nights in Buenos Aires. We will share our actual day to day on another post, but below is the approximate itinerary for all the 13 day trips.

DAY 1: Buenos Aires
This adventure starts with an overnight stay in Buenos Aires, the bustling capital of Argentina. The operator will offer an optional city tour in the afternoon. You can spend the evening at your leisure and discover the ”Paris of South America”.

DAY 2: Buenos Aires to Ushuaia
Fly to Ushuaia, where MS Midnatsol awaits. Once on board, we kick off our journey with a welcome-on-board dinner. Ushuaia is one of the most southern points in South America and where most of the cruises to the Antarctic sail away from.

DAY 3-4: Drake Passage
Get prepared for Antarctica as you will cross the infamous Drake Passage, and trust us, it can be overwhelming. There will be several lectures on the environment around us; films about Antarctica and many more briefings for you to get ready for the explorers’ journey.

DAY 5-10: Antarctica
You are now in one of the most remote areas on earth! Come ashore to explore the breath taking Antarctic scenery and to come close to penguins and seals. Possible highlights – Volcanic Deception Island of South Shetlands; staggeringly photogenic Half Moon Island, or Yankee Harbour and Cuverville Islands, with its large colony of Gentoo penguins; the Neko Harbour; Paradise Harbour; Wilhelmina Bay, all while cruising between the sea ice, looking for leopard seals and other wildlife. Another day, go kayaking or a longer hike or walk. Back on board there are also have activities. For those who love photography, there are 2 photographers in each expeditions that will conduct paid workshops.

Photography guide for Antarctica

DAY 11-12: Back North via the Drake Passage
After exploring this exhilarating continent, we set course back to civilization. Spend the day at sea recapping your experiences, eating and going through your photos. There will be movies about Antarctica, as well as other interesting talks.

DAY 13: Ushuaia/Buenos Aires
Sadly, every adventure must come to an end. It is time to say goodbye to the crew and all your new friends when we reach Ushuaia. We transfer you to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires. If you haven’t had enough adventures, you have the possibility to extend your stay and enjoy our optional post expedition programmes.

And then boom, like that, we are back to reality. I am not sure how we will ever top this experience. Make sure you follow our journey online on Instagram.

Interested to experience Antarctica?
Learn more about itineraries and pricing right here!
Learn more about Antarctica.

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