Antarctica tours cater to a range of tastes and preferences, and anyone hoping to make it to the planet's coldest and driest continent is encouraged to weigh all of the available tour options. Deciding when to go to Antarctica is made easy by the fact that wintertime travel is essentially not an option. The only people that hang out in Antarctica during the winter months are researchers, who stay at any number of research stations. November through March is the peak season for Antarctica tours, as these months are the warmest months of the year in the southern hemisphere. You'll still encounter cold temperatures in Antarctica come summer, especially if you book Antarctica tours that involve mountain climbing or heading inland, though it can get up to 60 degrees in parts from time to time.
Antarctic tours can last anywhere from a couple weeks to a few months, and they tend to include any number of side tours at various destinations along the way. In addition to enjoying side tours on the continental mainland, those who are visiting Antarctica can also explore islands such as the Falklands and the South Shetland Islands. While some Antarctica tours are only of the sightseeing variety and don't involve getting off the boat, others can see you trekking across some icy terrain, skiing down a mountain slope, or even scuba diving! More often than not, you will at least have the opportunity to get into a kayak or Zodiac. A Zodiac is a small, inflatable raft, and like a kayak, it can allow you to go where the larger cruise ships can't.
Tours in Antarctica can have one main focus or they can include an array of experiences. The smaller the group, the more flexibility you are bound to enjoy. Flexibility can be a good thing when it comes to Antarctica travel, as it's easy to linger at certain destinations. The Antarctic tours are almost always dependent on weather, unless you're touring the inside of a research station, so itineraries can often change, which you'll want to keep in mind. Most of the Antarctica tours stick to the Antarctic Peninsula when it comes to the mainland, since it boasts the best weather. Should you be interested in heading inland, the South Pole can make for an interesting destination, and a flight over the Transantarctic Mountains is sure to please.
For those who are interested in the history of Antarctica, Antarctic tours that include visits to an old explorer's hut might be in order. The South Shetland Islands will also be of interest, thanks to the fact that they offer access to some interesting historical sites. If photography is a favorite hobby of yours, you can always enjoy photo tours. A trip through the Lemaire Channel is definitely recommended if you want to take some eye-catching snapshots. The wildlife viewing tours are understandably among the most popular side tours in Antarctica, and some of the animals that you can expect to see on them include penguins, seals, and whales.
The prices for Antarctic tours vary, which has everything to do with the company that you choose, the level of service that you require, and the length of your trip. If you want to enjoy a lot of side tours in Antarctica during your larger overall tour, then you'll want to stay for as long as possible. Arranging everything in advance is the way to go when it comes to Antarctica tours, though it is important to remember that itineraries can be subject to change. Any and all tours in this vast and largely inhospitable land are typically of the all inclusive variety, as Antarctica isn't exactly a commercial hot spot. In addition to your transportation and your meals, the fees for Antarctic tours also tend to include guides, which often prove to be invaluable.