While working out our route for the world trip, we are thinking about places near some of our prime destinations. One of which is Patagonia. This will be a highlight on our trip with it’s epic landscapes and wildlife. The hard part is, there is this other continent just to the south that is really tempting us. When a trip is labeled as an expedition, it suddenly becomes the opportunity of a lifetime. Antarctica: should we go?
While we think about going to Antarctica there is one thing that makes it very difficult for us; the cost. The trip expense can vary depending on when you go, but most advance bookings range from $6,000 to $25,000 USD per person. There can be last minute deals (two weeks’ advanced booking) that can get us there for $5,000 USD if we hit it right at the beginning of the season or just happen to get lucky.
Checking with all the local companies and keeping a close eye on prices can improve our chances, as well as time. Many people can’t spend a few weeks in Ushuaia, Argentina, waiting for a good deal, but we can. Tour companies will want to fill their boats and will work to entice us.
On our world trip, we are going to do our best to be budget travelers. Doing an excursion like this would wipe out a third of our travel budget, even on the low end of the range. We could try to save up more or make some money as we go to pay for this. Likely we would do a little of both, regardless if we go or not.
This trip takes two days and goes over some of the roughest sea in the world, the Drake Passage. I happen to get sea sick very easily and not all countermeasures are effective. Most trips we have done in the past have been sunset sails or whale watching, and those have caused mild to severe sea sickness. However, that’s is nothing compared to two days out at sea. If we decide to go, we will definitely bring sea bands and Dramamine just to be sure.
Some tour companies will offer parkas, so we wouldn’t need to transport those around with us. We would also likely need to get some knee-high boots as the boats from the ship will land on the beach and will require some light wading. Those can be rented in advance of the trip, which would be better than transporting them through all the prior countries or buying them there for one use. We would also need waterproof pants. Getting wet there is a big deal as it could be 14 degrees out when we arrive. Safety is definitely a priority.
What is there?
Most people go to Antarctica for the wildlife and there are plenty of animals to go see. Penguins are definitely the dominant species on land. If we want to be there when the penguin chicks are hatching, it usually happens in January. Penguins will be around during the entire summer season, and with 20 hours of daylight we will have plenty of time to view them.
We love whale watching and there are seven different species of whales near Antarctica. The prime season is mid-February to March. Watching whales jumping out of the water near icebergs would be an experience of a lifetime.
The landscapes are also quite incredible with floating ice, snow cliffs, mountain peaks, and various snow formations. Brianna would be thrilled, as it is a photographer’s paradise.
Should we go?
We haven’t made any decisions yet on this, but it is definitely possible. It may take some creativity, but if the dice fall in our favor we will be there. Brianna said she would kill for the opportunity. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that.
Do you think we should go to Antarctica? Will we regret not going?
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