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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Discovering Antarctica Part 2

There are no accommodations available at Antarctica for tourists and in case you like to visit it, you can do so by cruise ship, boat/sailboat, or plane, while booking your lodgings in Chile.

You don't have to book accommodations when you board a cruise ship of course, but keep in mind that excursions to Antarctica only allow 100 people at once to set foot on the frozen land, which is in compliance with the IAATO (International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators) agreements, and those excursions also hinge upon the weather conditions.

Smaller ships, charter yachts, and sailboats are a good option as well, since they are able to go where the large cruise ships can't and allow for more freedom and flexibility when it comes to guided hikes, excursions, kayaking and mountaineering for instance. Yachts go on a 'by the bunk' basis and also offer private expeditions and some outdoor activities and sailboats are more for the adventurers who are willing to do some work and help out.

You can get to Antarctica by plane, but that can only occur during the summer months from October to March and those flights are often by military aircraft which means you need to carry your own luggage and may have to help unload the cargo.

There are some commercial flights to Antarctica, but they are rare and even over-flights are limited. Those usually depart from Sydney, Melbourne, or Punta Arenas and fly over the ice for a few hours. Be warned though; being able to have a good view will require a pretty penny for your seat.

Speaking of which; a visit to Antarctica is not cheap; there are vacation packages ranging from ten to forty thousand dollars, but that is nothing compared to the thrilling experience of a life-time!

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