Young Pioneer Tours

22 Interesting Facts About Visiting Antarctica

By Marshall Mayer and Morgan Bourven

In December, YPT will take you back to the frozen continent. We have been running trips to Greenland and Svalbard in Arctic waters, but for anyone with an adventurous spirit, this Antarctica cruise is not to be missed. Here’s 22 reasons why.

1. Antarctica is not a UN recognized country. Technically no one owns it, although a lot of people claim it. Argentina even dispatched a pregnant woman there in 1977 and on January 7, 1978, Emilio Palma became the first person known to have been born in Antarctica.

2. It doesn’t have to be your 7th continent – but it probably won’t be your first. Unless you are Emilio Palma.

3. The Antarctic summers can be very warm (relatively speaking). When going ashore, you always must prepare for the worst, though.

22 interesting facts about visiting Antarctica
15 minutes earlier, the weather was nice. 

4. Penguins really are that cute. All of them. But you’ll still have a favourite species at the end of the cruise: are you more a Adélie or a chinstrap fan?

5. The polar plunge isn’t that bad!

6. The Drake Passage really is that bad! You’ve gotta earn your Antarctic visit! 

22 Interesting Facts About Antartica
A lot of bottles didn’t survive the crossing. 

7. Whales can be playful and curious.

8. Seals seem lazy as hell, but they actually spend most of their time underwater. They come out during the mating period which is, lucky for us, also the tourist season.

22 Interesting Facts About Antartica
“Have you seen a lady seal?”

9. It’s nearly impossible to take a bad photo.

10. There are more tourists going to Antarctica than Turkmenistan* every year (*Turkmenistan is UN recognized).

11. Stay on the path! One wrong step can land you in deep snow (or a massive crevice). And remember that penguins have right of way.

12. No planes! There are almost no commercial routes that fly over Antarctica, so the skies will always be clear for your Insta pics.

13. No picnics (or shots!). You can’t take any food ashore. No popping bottles on the mainland. 

14. You can’t steal a penguin – seriously, we wish you could take a pet, but you’ll definitely get arrested when you get back to Argentina. Sorry. Also, they stink more than you think. 

15. You can go camping in Antarctica! If you want to spend the night on the frozen continent, you can! Sleep where few have slept before!

22 Interesting Facts About Antartica
Camping with a view

16. Most people who visit Antarctica stay on the ship and view it through a window. Not with YPT! Get out of the ship and cruise the frigid waters, hike on shore and feel the ground under your feet!

17. Penguins are extremely curious, and will absolutely pose for selfies with you.

22 Interesting Facts About Antartica
“Welcome to Antarctica”

18. Digital detox! Need your job not to bother you? You won’t have service in the southernmost continent – get off Instagram, Facebook, news, and most importantly, your work emails. You won’t miss it.

19. Drink with ice that pre-dates Genghis Khan and Charlemagne! Glacial black ice floats around the Antarctic waters, easy to pick up and bring back for your cocktails. It’s perfectly clear, with air bubbles having been pushed completely out of the ice by ice and snow crushing it down over a long period of time. The process can take more than 1,000 years, and pairs very well with an aged Scotch whiskey!

20. Icebergs! They’ll never get old. You’ll miss them dearly!

22 Interesting Facts About Antartica
An iceberg with a zodiac for scale

21. As with all YPT trips, you’ll make friends for life. They will even come to your wedding.

22. Antarctica is a great icebreaker (pun intended). After a cruise there, you’ll have a ton of stories to tell at parties. 

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