Unique, different, and a place like no other are all overused in travel brochures. This is one time when it is actually true. If you want to take a vacation that sets you apart from the crowd and truly is a place like no other then Antarctica should be on your short list. While many areas claim peaceful, pristine and a place to get away from it all – Antarctica is an entire continent without a single city or even permanent habitation. It is the cleanest air and land on the entire planet teeming with wildlife with a sea filled with whales, penguins and seals.
Spending days sailing through the cold waters beside the whales that make that area of ocean their summer feeding ground (remember “summer” there is during the winter months of the northern hemisphere when planning your trip) you get to experience the clean air lost over a century ago in the more settled parts of the world. Icebergs act as the resting place for the seals and the peninsula itself is covered with penguins.
You will not find any tourist shops, theme parks, or even stores in Antarctica but the ships that cruise there a comfortable and well trained guides can point out the sights and give classes on the wildlife and unique ecology. A history of exploration is easily followed as you go through the Drake Passage and see it virtually unchanged in the last 100 years and thousands of years before that.
The landscapes of naturally sculpted snow and ice are far more impressive than anything man has ever created and do not encompass a small area but rather are the entire continent. It is not like a vacation where you drive through cities to visit a nature preserve – it is Antarctica in its entirety. Looking out at the landscape the only sounds you will hear are those of nature as there is nothing to interrupt it.
Most voyages to Antarctica depart from Australia, South Africa, and South America so combining an Antarctica holiday with a few days in one of these locations can be arranged easily. From North America an easy starting point can be found with Hurtigruten's Antarctic voyages. They have several ships and itineraries available departing from Argentina.
If you actually want to do something different this year and visit a place like no other then Antarctica may be the place to go.