Catch up on our Adventures in Antarctica reader event

Watch the recording of our virtual reader event in partnership with Intrepid to uncover what an expedition to the Great White Continent is really like…

Team Wanderlust
15 October 2022

A glistening white desert of wind-blasted glaciers, iceberg-speckled waters, never-ending skies and some 12 million penguins, as well as whales, seals and seabirds. This is Antarctica, and it doesn’t get much further flung or adventurous than that.

Catch up with our virtual reader event where we uncovered what an expedition to the Great White Continent is really like. We were joined by the experts at Intrepid Travel, who answered all your questions about visiting this mesmerising part of the world on their spectacular ship, the Ocean Endeavour. Award-winning travel writer Mark Stratton also joined us and shared his stunning photography and first-hand stories of an Antarctic expedition trip.

Watch the event below

Your questions answered about travelling to Antarctica with Intrepid

When is the most popular time to visit?

The most popular time to visit South Georgia is in December/January as you will see the King Penguin chicks. There are various highlights throughout the season so there is not necessarily a best time to go. For example if you love whales then February or March would be best.

How many passengers are aboard the Ocean Endeavour and is there a restriction on people going on land?

There is a restriction that only 100 passengers can land at any time. The size of the ship is not the most important factor but the operations. The Ocean Endeavour is capped at 200 passengers but has the industry leading expedition team, with eight guests to every expedition team member, and 22 zodiacs to get everyone off the ship at one time. This means some guests will be on the ice, some kayaking and the rest zodiac cruising which is a huge highlight too! This means that you can have the maximum two to three hours on each landing not to compromise your Antarctic experience.

Is travelling to Antarctica sustainable?

At Intrepid, we’re dedicated to creating, sharing and leading the best travel experiences ever for both people and the planet. And our Antarctic expeditions are no exception to this. All Intrepid trips are 100% carbon neutral plus, we’ve committed to science-based decarbonisation targets and have committed to double offset our Polar Expeditions in our Seven-point Climate Action Plan. We strictly adhere to the guidelines of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) who work alongside the Antarctic treaty to enforce environmental standards that guide us to protect the fragile Antarctic ecosystem. Our entire approach to responsible travel in Antarctica has been broken down into three areas of focus that we believe will create the greatest positive impact: inspiring travellers, supporting science and protecting the environment.

Do I need to take binoculars to spot birds?

On all our voyages we have specialist bird guides who really add the overall experience. It’s a really fantastic idea to take binoculars if you’re not focussed on photography.

Is the kayaking excursion safe?

Kayaking is very safe. You have two kayak guides with a safety zodiac with the group at all times. However a good level of fitness is required as you kayak for between 90 minutes to 3 hours each time. We do not recommend doing this if you cannot swim, and previous experience is required.

Do you get many solo travellers to Antarctica? What’s the best option for solo travellers?

We get a lot of solo passengers, around 30-40% each voyage. We have three solo occupancy cabins with the lowest single supplements in the industry. If you are happy to share with another customer of the same gender then there is no single supplement. We have lots of solo customers travelling with us.

What level of fitness do I need to join the trip? Is there an age limit?

To enter the zodiacs you will simply step off the ship steps in to the zodiac with the assistance of the expedition team. If you can walk up and down stairs then you will be fine especially with the expedition team support due to helping with your balance. There is no upper age limit and a minimum age of eight years old.

Do you have any photography tips?

You will need a long lens, ideally with a capacity for 400 mm. I think it’s pretty essential, you can get some amazing shots. What you will definitely need when you go into the zodiac is a waterproof bag for your kit, as you never know when a wave will splash over the bow and get your kit.

We have a photography specialist on board every voyage who takes pictures of guests and the experience which will be given to everyone at no extra charge. If you would like to do the full photography course then there is an additional costs and the price depends on the voyage you take. If you love photography then it is highly recommended as the photographer works with all abilities and levels of experience to help you improve.

Are there any medical facilities onboard if needed?

All voyages will have a fully qualified doctor onboard, available 24/7 if they have any medical needs.

Is there anything that can help sea sickness?

There’s lots of ways to treat sickness. Chat to your doctor of pharmacist before you set off, and make sure you don’t leave without protection. But there are options of medication, including tablets and patches which can really work. It’s certainly something to be aware of.

More information and how to book

You can download Intrepid’s Antarctic Guidebook here, view itineraries here, or get in touch with Intrepid or Trailfinders’ polar specialists. Remember this exclusive offer can only be booked via Trailfinders who are on hand to arrange your adventure and any additional services to make your Antarctic expedition the trip of a lifetime. You can pop in to your local Trailfinders store or call them for a quote on 020 7084 6513.

What you had to say…

“Excellent and lovely photos. We’ll be going!”

“Awesome and definitely now on my bucket list. Thank you”

“Many thanks. Awesome presentation!”

“Many thanks Lyn, Simon and ‘Knuckles’ Stratton – a great evening, inspirational as always. Will start saving now!”

“So many useful tips. Wanderlust webinars cost me a fortune as every time I watch one I book a holiday!

“Brilliant, thank you so much and am now very interested in going to Antarctica”

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