We take a look at Antarctica holidays from Australia
Antarctica holidays from Australia take a little more planning than your standard cruise holiday. But they are becoming increasingly accessible and increasingly popular. Here's what you need to know...
A cruise to Antarctica really is the trip of a lifetime. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. You'll remember every minute of it.
Travel to Antarctica is really only possible from November to March, during the 'summer' months. Ice sheets make winter cruising all but impossible. December and January are the best times to travel, with average temperatures between -6 and +5 degrees. During these months, daylight lasts for about 20 hours.
How long for?
Most expedition are between ten days and three weeks in duration. Occasionally, shorter trips of five days are available.
Almost all Antarctica cruises set off from Ushuaia in Argentina, or other South America ports. Cruises that depart from other continents are considerably more expensive.
Occasional cruises depart for the Eastern Antarctic from Hobart, Auckland and Lyttelton-Christchurch - and very occasionally, from Fremantle.
Yes, Antarctic cruises are expensive. The cheapest options are usually twin cabins, which cost about $5000 per person. The best cabins could easily set you back $50,000!
Do I need a visa?
No documentation or visas are required to visit Antarctica, but check if your cruise stops off at other countries en route.
Is there anything else I need to bear in mind?
Some passages can be rough - so if you are prone to motion sickness, it's wise to take extra precautions.
The size of cruise ships can vary greatly, but according to restrictions, only 100 people are allowed to be landed at any one place. If your ship is carrying more than 100 passengers, you might not get to set foot on Antarctica at all.
Also remember that there will not be the same level of entertainment and 'showbiz' personalties that you'll find aboard cruises to warmer climes. Many Antarctic cruises do include scientific lectures and resident experts.