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November 16, 2010

Best New Way to Experience the White Continent—Camping!

By Guest Blogger

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Antarctica: Penguins and Glaciers (Corbis)

The month of November undoubtedly offers the most adventurous time to visit the Antarctic Peninsula. This is the time to see Antarctica at its most undisturbed form. As the season goes on, the landing areas become impacted and muddy. Many operators tend to discourage November voyages as temperatures tend to be colder and polar ice is still breaking up, thus limiting access to some areas. The cold temperatures, however, also offer the most impressive ice-scapes, pristine snow, and breathtaking scenery.

Antarctica is a continent of extremes. It holds the title of coldest, driest, and windiest location on earth. Temperatures have been recorded as low as -129 degrees Fahrenheit, with winds blasting along the coastline at speeds up to 200 mph. But even in such harsh conditions, Antarctica remains the home of a large variety of extraordinary wildlife.

This vast array of wildlife in Antarctica is most active in the austral summer months. During this time seals, whales, penguins, and a large diversity of other seabirds migrate to the continent to breed and feed on the virtually unlimited supply of krill, crustaceans, and fish. Each summer month has its own unique wildlife viewing opportunities not to be missed.

The Antarctic Dream, a 78-person capacity Dutch vessel renowned for its longtime service in the Chilean Navy, has announced a very exciting itinerary for 2011 that includes three days of camping on the Antarctic Peninsula. The Antarctic Dream's expeditions has extraordinary, hands-on access to wildlife, glaciers, and massive icebergs provided by the smaller vessel. Travelers often experience up-close encounters with fur seals, humpback whales, leopard seals, and orcas, and are able to explore the blue, icy land during two to three hour daily zodiac raft and kayak excursions where you actually strap in and disembark the boat.

Rodrigo Tapia, expedition leader, has sailed with The Antarctic Dream since it began operations back in 2005. He has explored Chile's whole length from the Northern Altiplano to Cape Horn while conducting research on bird biology. He came to Antarctica for the first time in 1991, and since then he's been visiting the White Continent both as a researcher and lecturer/guide.

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Related Topics: Antartica Travel


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