Visa and entry requirements Antarctic:
No visa is required
The Antarctic includes all areas around the South Pole, ie Antarctica as a continent and the Southern Ocean, with all land areas and waters. The entire mainland of Antarctica forms the largest ice desert on our planet.
The Antarctic Arctic Circle consists for the most part of water and very little land on the Antarctic Peninsula.
The continent of Antarctica is somewhat larger than Europe in terms of its dimensions, but the exact area of the Antarctic mainland is not known due to the permanent ice cover.
The Antarctic most densely located land areas are the archipelago Tierra del Fuego off South America, the Cape Agulhas of South Africa, the Australian island of Tasmania and the island nation of New Zealand.
Antarctic ice, averaging over two kilometers in thickness, is the Earth's largest compact ice mass, almost entirely covering the Antarctic continent. In some places, it can even reach a maximum of five kilometers thick.
Completely typical of the Antarctic, are the huge icebergs that break off at regular intervals from the ice shelf or from the glaciers. Afterwards they can roam the sea for years until they are completely melted.
The Antarctic pack ice zone has become one of the largest ecosystems in the world due to its oxygenated water.
Therefore, the Antarctic also hosts a variety of wildlife, such as fish, squid, whales, seals, seals, penguins or various sea birds.
Overall, 20 penguin species live on the seventh continent, some of them occurring only in the Antarctic. Among the best known are the chinstrap penguin, the gentoo penguin, the emperor penguin and the Adelie penguin. However, the latter two are the only ones that breed on the Antarctic ice.
In addition, there are various marine mammals in the Antarctic, such as seals, blue whales, minke whales, orcas, humpback whales or other whale species.
Although the icy climate of Antarctica is almost life-threatening in the long run, more and more tourist trips are being offered there these days. However, trips to this region are quite expensive due to the high number of copies, the enormous remoteness and the extreme weather conditions, so not reserved for everyone. There are now several commercial offers for cruises, with various shore excursions to the mainland or to offshore islands also being offered. Tourist flights to the ultimate South Pole, the American Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, are also possible for around 50.000 euros.
In the southern summer months of November to February, nearly every year 40.000 visitors visit the seventh continent, mainly in the southern port of Ushuaia. After two days on the high seas, you are already from Ushuaia, on the nearby Drake Passage, on the Antarctic Peninsula.
In January 2018 it was finally time and I started my long-planned trip to the Antarctic. With the cruise ship "Celebrity Infinity", I traveled from Buenos Aires, via Ushuaia, a two-week cruise to the seventh continent.
My first and only cruise to date was quite expensive, so the age groups between 20 and 45 years were practically not on board.
Unfortunately my friend and actually planned travel partner had not arrived in Buenos Aires due to illness, so I had to start my first cruise alone. The only advantage of the now resulting single room, but had quickly revealed the numerous disadvantages.
The first three days I felt completely lost on the ship and somehow knew nothing to do with myself. After the third day, after the chance meeting of two Canadians and two good-humored Englishmen, of course at one of the many bars, my planlessness was over. From that lucky time on, the trip was really fun, unlike the first three days that I spent almost exclusively at the bar.
Because of the low temperatures, only the first and last day of the trip could be spent out on deck, this was not a traditional cruise. Already on the second day at sea, the temperatures dropped to a maximum of 10 degrees Celsius and then everything played out only below deck. On this day, the water was completely drained from all swimming pools.
After trying all the bars for the first three days and spending hours at the casino, there was time for some more useful things. Due to the many excellent restaurants and cafes as well as the extremely varied entertainment on board, passed the four complete days on the southern Atlantic, relatively quickly.
Finally arrived in the Antarctic, it was just incredibly breathtaking and so fascinating to observe the impressive sometimes huge icebergs, the jumping penguins or the countless whales. For a total of three days, the legendary Antarctic was now my home, it was at this time very difficult to put in right words, just kind of untrue.
The Antarctic midsummer, with its fluctuating temperatures from -5 to 2 degrees Celsius, was even quite gracious, but it still felt really cold.
The longer stay in Paradise Bay counted for me in the end the absolute highlight. Just in time for our arrival, the sun began to shine majestically. Although I spent several hours in the same place, it always looked different every time. The many pale blue glaciers or the countless icebergs of different sizes shimmered in the sunlight, looking at each other in a different way.
Of course, this unique and unforgettable journey will last forever in my memory. Except for the first three days maybe, it was definitely a lasting experience. There I met many interesting people from all over the world, at the end it felt like a big family.
One day, I would love to travel to the ultimate South Pole and its Amundsen-Scott Station, that's one last big dream of mine.