Antarctica is the southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and its surrounded by the Southern Ocean. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km (1.2 mi; 6,200 ft) in thickness.

Trips to Antarctica:

14 Day Customized Vacation to Antarctica A

14 Day Customized Vacation to Antarctica B

Antarctica has no indigenous population, and there is no evidence that it was seen by humans until the 19th century. European maps used to show this hypothesized land (which geographers believed to be much larger than its actual size) until Captain James Cook‘s ships crossed the Antarctic Circle on 17 January 1773, in December 1773 and again in January 1774. Cook came within about 120 km (75 mi) of the Antarctic coast before retreating in the face of field ice in January 1773.

The first recorded and confirmed landing was at Cape Adair in 1895 (by the Norwegian-Swedish whaling ship Antarctic.

In 1961 the international Antarctica treaty was signed by 46 countries. All 46 countries now act as the governing body. Thanks to this joint protection, Antarctica is a sanctuary and free of military operations.  

Antarctica is the largest remaining wilderness on Earth and is still relatively untouched by human impact. It covers an area of 14 million sq. km (5.4 million sq. miles) around the South Pole. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet which is 4 km (2.5 miles) deep. The continent has about 90% of the world’s ice (and thereby about 70% of the world’s fresh water).

Entry Requirements

A valid passport is required for entry to Antarctica and re-entry into the United States. Each passenger should be sure that his or her passport has at least six months of remaining validity from the date of return to the USA.

Currently, no advance visa is required for US citizens who are visiting Antarctica as tourists. However, you will be required to obtain a permit. Although no visa is required to visit Antarctica, you may well have to obtain a visa to enter your departure point. This will usually be Argentina or Chile. 

Currently, no advance visa is required for US citizens who are visiting either Argentina or Chile as tourists. Prior to arriving at your destination, the airline flight attendants will give you an immigration form that must be completed and presented to a national immigration officer in order to be granted a tourist visa. You must save a copy of this stamped form, as you will have to surrender it to immigration officials when you check in for your flight home.

A customs declaration form for both the outbound and inbound international flights will also be handed out by the airline flight attendants and should be completed before landing. You only need to fill out one form per family. 

When paying by credit card, vendors and restaurants may require your passport number. You may wish to photocopy your passport photo page, keeping it with you at all times, while locking your passport in the hotel safe.


No special immunizations are required to enter Antarctica. If you have questions regarding immunizations or a health concern, contact your personal physician or local County Health Department.


Antarctica is the coldest and windiest continent. It is imperative to wrap up warm in Antarctica given its sub-zero temperatures. Foundation or base layer (thermal tops, thermal trousers, gloves, socks), insulating layer (fleeced tops, woolen sweatshirts, jackets, trousers) and outer or shell layer clothing (waterproof and windproof trousers, jackets, mittens and gloves are required. Scarves, insulating headgear, waterproof and insulated boots, goggles and sunglasses are also essential items. 

Antarctica is a frozen desert with little precipitation, the South Pole receives less than 10 cm (4 in) per year, on average. Temperatures reach a minimum of between −80 °C (−112 °F) and −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F) in the interior in winter and reach a maximum of between 5 °C (41 °F) and 15 °C (59 °F) near the coast in summer. Sunburn is often a health issue because of the sun reflection on the snow surface. Given the latitude, Antarctica goes long periods of constant darkness or constant sunlight. 


The international access code for Antarctica is +672, and the outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 00672 for Antarctica). City/area codes are in use, e.g. (00 672 12…) for Casey Base. Satellite telephone and postal facilities exist only at established research stations. Antarctica has satellite internet, however it’s used merely by scientists and available only for a few hours a day.


There is no Antarctic currency. However, if you visit Port Lockroy in the Antarctic Peninsula, US dollar, Pound Sterling and Euro are accepted. Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted as well, these transactions will be charged in US dollars.


Electrical current is 120 volts, 60Hz. Plugs are typically the 2 pronged round type. 


In 1961 the international Antarctica treaty was signed by 46 countries. All 46 countries now act as the governing body. Thanks to this joint protection, Antarctica is a sanctuary and free of military operations.


Antactrica is a utopia for scientific research, available to all countries who wish to research.


Because of the unpredictable Antarctic environment, sufficient knowledge, appropriate gear and well-prepared and responsible companions are necessary to keep safe, as well as always listening to the advice of your tour operator and guides. It is recommended to consult your doctor 6-8 weeks before travel to assess your health, identify individual risks and precautions, and have peace of mind that you are ready for your adventure.

Travel Advisories

Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travelers’ cheques.  Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.

Be sure to inform your credit card company as well as your bank you will travel internationally into South America. This will eliminate any credit card holds for fraudulent activity.


Most tour operators require passengers and participants to obtain special forms of Antarctic travel insurance prior to the start of travel.

Usually, a copy of each travel insurance policy must be submitted to the tour operator for review several weeks in advance of travel.

In most cases, trips to Antarctica require proof of out-of-country medical coverage.

Your insurance plan must cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, evacuation expenses, and pre-existing medical conditions.

Antarctic Cruise companies often require a policy that will cover air-evacuation from Antarctica (King George Island) to Punta Arenas, Chile.