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wojtekd Ushuaia - A travel report by Wojciech
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Ushuaia,  Argentina - flag Argentina -  Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur
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wojtekd's travel reports

Antarctica - how to get there?

  29 votes
Page: 1 2

Ushuaia travelogue picture
Only few years ago very limited number of tourists visited Antarctica. Seventh continent was restricted to scientist and serious expeditions. Now it is more open, but still not accessible by hitchhiking or on scheduled flight. Practically the only way for the globetrotter who wants to get there and to see most interesting places is to embark the ship. Few adventurers were lucky enough to sail to Antarctica aboard Chilean supplying ship. It is probably the last expensive way, but ships are rare, capacity is limited and it is difficult to plan such trip from distant Europe or USA. Searching for possibilities to visit Antarctica I found-out my best offer for organize expedition in the internet… The small port of Ushuaia on Tierra del Fuego acts as the gateway to Antarctica... They say it is southernmost town on our globe...

Favourite spots:
Ushuaia travelogue picture
Most tourist expeditions to Antarctica are heading from Argentinean or Chilean ports to Antarctic Peninsula - area which has relatively good ice conditions during Antarctic summer. Because the short distance it allows also to shorten the number of „days at sea” at the beginning and at the end of journey. Company I choose in my opinion offered best price for adventure-style cruise on small ships. They chartered a fleet of Russian research vessels. with passenger capacity from 44 to 120. Two midsize ships are worth to recommend: „Joffe” and „Vavilov”-;.

What's really great:
Ushuaia travelogue picture
Beauty of the nature. The wildlife and emptiness... There are no harbors in Antarctica - all landings are „wet” - approaching coast by rubber boats (zodiacs) you will jump to the water, so knee-high rubber boots are necessary. Thousands of penguins. You can see the sample on the photo: chinstrap penguins colony. Unexpected additional landings. Weather is very changeable: landings often are canceled due to the rough sea. Interesting lectures and slide shows almost every day. Many friendly, enthusiastic people and informal atmosphere aboard. Open bridge policy - you can visit the bridge and ask questions at any time.

Sights:
Ushuaia travelogue picture
Deception Island. It was one of the most interesting places on our route. The island has a shape of the ring with large volcanic caldera inside. Very narrow entrance allows ships to sail into caldera and to give tourist opportunity to visit remains of whaling station used by Norwegians from 1910 to 1931. There are furnaces, vats, small plane and buildings inhabited presently by birds and seals. Later on we make second landing at the end of caldera. There are geothermal springs and some fellows planed to swim in the warm water pools. They were surprised because there in no pools at all: the springs are right on the black, sandy beach. Hot water drips into caldera. It is too hot to stay in the hot water just at the shore and in the icy cold water 5 meters further. So, what you should do is to remain between this two zones - where water is 50 cm deep. What a experience in icy Antarctica!

Accommodations:
Ushuaia travelogue picture
All the time you sleep on the ship. No entertainment on board except video movies. Only three meals per day: unsophisticated breakfast and lunch buffet, choice of 2 or 3 different main courses per dinner (but for me it was enough). Do not expect to sleep long except days at sea - landings starts early. You can see more my pictures from Antarctica on my private page:

www.kontynenty.tpi.pl/s5enantar.htm


Other recommendations:
Ushuaia travelogue picture
During Antarctic summer - between November and March companies offers 4 main routes, all from Argentinian port Ushuaia: Antarctica (8 nights on a ship), Extended Antarctica (10 nights), Antarctica & Falklands (14 nights), Antarctica, Falklands & South Georgia (18 nights). Prices starts at 3000 USD + 500 USD taxes for the shortest expedition in the quad cabin. It seems a lot but sometimes price covers also round trip flights from USA/Canada gateways and hotel nights before and after the expedition What other companies charge?: rather big cruise ship „Marco Polo” makes few trips from Ushuaia to Antarctic Peninsula in December/January. 8-nights cruise-only trip costs from 2400 USD. Small „World Discoverer” (140 passenger) of Society Expeditions offers 12-nights cruises from Ushuaia for minimum 2800 USD

Published on Wednesday December 18th, 2002


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Sun, Oct 23 2005 - 12:03 PM rating by jesusferro

You know my country (Argentina) better than me. I have never been in Ushuaia!

Sun, Oct 23 2005 - 09:33 AM rating by miguelmarchi

I think that I will never go to Antartida, too expensive for my pocket!

Mon, May 30 2005 - 12:00 AM rating by rangutan

Excellent and unsual place and a great report to it!

Fri, May 20 2005 - 12:48 AM rating by ardelia

An informative and interesting write up..excellent..make me want to pack my bags and just leave

Mon, Mar 14 2005 - 10:11 PM rating by magsalex

Great report on an unusual destination

Thu, Jul 01 2004 - 07:04 PM rating by traveling_gal

I loved your report. It is not only informative but also includes magnificent photos! Great job!

Sun, May 09 2004 - 01:27 AM rating by britman

What a fabulous report and such brilliant photographs. I am starting to save up to go already. Thank you for describing it so graphically!

Fri, Jul 25 2003 - 10:22 PM rating by karmapd

This is a brilliant report! Really liked it! Nice pics...and just a cool place to have been (huh huh 'cool')!

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