Antarctica: An expert’s guide to making the most of your time

Towering icebergs, screaming penguins, majestic whales breaking the surface of the ocean: these are just some of the thrilling natural phenomena that await you in Antarctica. With its otherworldly landscapes and magnificent colonies of wildlife – sometimes hectic, sometimes quiet and serene – it has carved out a place among the most charismatic wilderness destinations in the world.

As remote as it is, Antarctica is not out of reach, even if you only have ten days to enjoy yourself. There are several ways to get there, including the express option: by booking a fly-in cruise on a small expedition vessel, where careful logistics ensure no minute is wasted. Francesco Contini, a polar tourism expert with a boutique expedition company in Antarctica Antarctica21walks us through some of the key details that will help travelers get the most out of their expedition experience.

What would be your first piece of advice to someone planning an expedition to Antarctica?

First, it is essential to consider your initial travel options. There are only two ways to cross the Drake Passage: by sail (a four-day round trip that, in stormy weather, is folklore), or by plane, which only takes two hours and brings you to your ship well rested and in good condition. As a result, I always encourage time-pressed travelers to consider air cruises on ocean-only voyages. It’s both a matter of convenience and saving time, in my opinion.

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