A trip to the Antarctic is so much more than just ticking the last continent off your must-see list. If you’re contemplating a cruise to Antarctica, bear in mind that it will take a lot of preparation, considerable thought and a sizeable travel budget. You’ll be greeted with intense conditions, challenging terrain and total isolation from the rest of the world (aside you’re your buddies onboard). But journeying to the Antarctic will be amazing, exhilarating and the experience of a lifetime. Bear in mind though that there are at least 7 things that you should NOT do once in the land of ice and snow.
Look but don’t touch the wildlife
The wildlife is meant to be admired and observed. No one should try to handle or disturb any wildlife encountered and that includes feeding the animals. This rule of thumb applies to land and water. Animals are protected and should remain so. In fact many species are endangered such as the Blue Whale, Northern Royal Albatross and Antarctic Tern.
Do not be a litterbug
Littering is a serious matter in the Antarctic. The intention is to keep the land pure. Leave it the way that it’s found.
Do not disturb artifacts
There are historically important sites, protected areas and artifacts in the Antarctic. These are meant to be admired by the many, not taken apart by the few. They are a piece of history, documenting an important moment in time. This should be respected. Bones, fossils, and any contents from various buildings need to be left in their place.
Do not be careless
The Antarctic can be extremely dangerous with its harsh climate and frequent and prolonged severe weather conditions. Don’t explore the region without the proper clothing and always dress appropriately. Don’t wander away from the beaten path or travel alone, taking the risk of becoming lost. Listen to your trip guide and stay safe. For more details on what to pack and what to expect, read our travel guide.
Don’t travel without a survival kit
In the event that some unforeseen problem should arise, it is important to have an adequate survival kit for any eventuality. It should include high energy food, water, extra clothing, a heat source, and a down sleeping bad for the most extreme conditions of cold. A comprehensive set of first aid items are a good bet as well.
Do not expose your skin
Covering the skin is essential in Antarctica. Hands, ankles and the face and neck need to be covered and dry, warm socks are an absolute must. Proper head covering and gloves are also vital in addition to an excellent coat and leggings.
Don’t take children to the Antarctic
The Antarctic is a place of adventure but the risks are truly too great to involve children. Save such a trip for when they are old enough to appreciate it and stay safe.
By Julie Bowman