Antarctica in a Nutshell
Antarctica offers a unique and thrilling polar diving experience as one of the last remote areas of wilderness on earth. Divers get to take part in the pioneering exploration of these isolated waters, viewing stunning ice formations, glaciers, and some of the globe's rarest wildlife. There are also exciting options for topside adventures.
Video of Antarctica Sights
Intro to Antarctica
Explore the most untouched and unspoiled territory in the world and experience a region most humans will never see. Antarctica's polar diving provides access to an uncharted world with an abundance of marine life.
Water temperatures maintain a high level of salinity, keeping its temperatures between 28 and 34 degrees fahrenheit. In November to March, before the plankton blooms, visibility can be excellent, ranging even into hundreds of feet. The visibility is largely dependent on the level of pack ice (as less pack ice results in more sunlight and, therefore, plankton blooms), which varies from year to year. This makes it difficult to predict average visibility, but in the dive season of 2013, polar divers reported an average of 40-80 feet.
Extra precautions are taken in this region due to the frigid temperatures and isolation, and divers absolutely must be experienced and healthy to dive Antarctica's waters.
Antarctica Marine Life
There are many regions to choose from within the Antarctic, and trips can be planned according to preference of adventure type, location choice, or hopes for particular wildlife encounters. Polar divers may enjoy an abundance of thriving macro life. Other encounters may include leopard seals, a variety of penguins, and perhaps even whales. Topside in the greater Antarctica region, visitors get the opportunity to view a large variety of birds including albatross, elder ducks, and many more flying birds, along with emperor, gentoo, chinstrap, macaroni, and adelie penguins, arctic foxes, bearded seals, elephant seals, fur seals, and more.
Facing a leopard seal, like any predator, is exciting. Leopard seals, however, are mostly curious about their underwater visitors, as shown in this video:
The polar diving isn't the only draw to Antarctica. Excursions also feature awe-inspiring land adventures, wildlife encounters, and photographic opportunities. Travelers get the option to hike and snowshoe, camp on the stunning glaciers, mountaineer and trek (on or off skis), kayak, sail, seek out wild polar bears and emperor penguins, whale watch, parrticipate in photo workshops, and go bird watching. There is history to be experienced here as well: no visit is complete without a tour of Cape Adare, where the first wintering of Antarctica took place. Carsten Borchgrevink's hut has been preserved since 1899 and demonstrates how truly daunting it must have been for this explorer to pioneer travel in Antarctica.