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There is nowhere on earth quite as ethereal as Antarctica. This icy kingdom is nestled at the bottom of our planet and holds a vast wilderness to be explored. You might catch a glimpse of whales and emperor penguins, in addition to ice-capped peaks and frozen waves.
If you’re like us and love an adventure, the Antarctic might be the place for you!
The best way to get to Antarctica is by boat. There are two ways to do this. You can come from Argentina or New Zealand. A lot of visitors opt for cruises set for Antarctica specifically.
Another way to reach Antarctica is by flying. If you find yourself in the right season, you can fly to the South Pole from Cape Town or Punta Arenas.
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Antarctica makes use of the Antarctican dollar. It is often referred to as an Emp, after the emperor penguins that roam the continent. However, note that it is not legal tender and is more of a keepsake for visitors to take home with them.
The Antarctican dollar is pegged to the United States dollar. As the dollar rises and falls, so does the Emp.
Sunset in Antarctica(Photo by Lauren Breedlove)
There are no permanent, local residents in Antarctica so there is no official national language.
The languages most spoken in Antarctica are those spoken by researchers. The most commonly spoken language is Russian, and then English.
Antarctica follows the New Zealand daylight time. However, the longitudinal lines that dictate different time zones all meet at one point in Antarctica. This means that the idea of time becomes completely muddled.
Originally, explorers and researchers kept their home time zones. However, as you can imagine, having multiple different parties living in different time zones is confusing. Thus, the official decision was made to function under the New Zealand Time Zone.
Antarctica observes only two seasons: summer and winter. These seasons are often marked by a change in daylight patterns. During summer, there are six months of daylight and slightly warmer temperatures. During winter, there are six months of darkness and slightly colder temperatures.
Is summer warm? Nope! But, pack your costumes in case you’re brave enough for a polar plunge.
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Unless you’re braver than most of us and have a knack for the dark and beyond-freezing temperatures, summer is the best time of the year to visit Antarctica.
Summer falls between November and March. With 24 hours of daylight, you’re sure to experience the Antarctic wildlife at its busiest.
Explore Antarctica with Hurtigruten
Travelers coming on an expedition ship will generally spend nights on the boat. We recommend finding an expedition ship that meets all your needs and enjoying a few days on the icy oceans. These voyages include day trips and tours around Antarctica. Some also have camping packages, allowing you to camp under the Antarctic skies for a night.
There are also some camps operating in Antarctica so you could book a stay at one of those. However, note that this is more expensive than booking a trip on an expedition ship. These include luxury lodges, making for an exceptional experience.
If you are more inclined to a toasty coffee while watching penguins perform their tricks, opt for luxury cruises that will keep you entertained during the day.
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