In the midst of our daily hustle and bustle, we have a tendency to become detached from our innate connection to nature. It seems to be getting more difficult to take the time to truly experience what our natural world has to offer, and to remember what a huge role the ocean plays in our daily human existence. Sometimes you simply have to see it to believe it, and small ship Cruises to Antarctica offer an up-close look at a part of our world, few will ever have the chance to truly experience.
Small ship cruises offer a personal, more intimate experience with the Antarctic than larger vessels. According to the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, only 100 people are allowed to set foot on Antarctic land at any one time. So, it makes sense that on ships with less than 100 passengers, the opportunity for a land excursion at each stop can be offered to everyone on board. On bigger cruise ships, it becomes problematic trying to organize small groups, and time on shore would be limited, if available at all.
Once on land, the Antarctic wildlife and terrain have unmatched beauty. One of the most popular sights is that of penguins, striking and somewhat comical in their uniforms of black and white. Emperor penguins are the giants of the penguin world, but as the least common breed of Antarctic penguin, they are more elusive than the larger colonies of Adélie penguins. Other birds include petrels, prions, fulmars, albatross, and shearwaters. Looking out to sea from your icy vantage point, whales and seals are two groups of marine mammals that may be spotted. February and March are the best months for whale watching; they seem to be everywhere!
The Antarctic terrain is unique and wondrous –snow, ice, mountains, and glaciers dominate the landscape. Imagine these incredible sights and sounds without the distraction of traffic, cell phones, or the hum of a city. This is truly getting back to nature.
Small ship touring companies offer a wide range of activities that can bring you even closer to this remote, serene environment. Basic paddling skills could be enough for a sea kayaking excursion – imagine the clack of ice against your oars as you navigate the glassy waters. There are also opportunities to camp on shore overnight, breathing in pristine Antarctic air and sleeping in a warm bivy sack – without a tent! Hiking, whale watching, and photography excursions are other interesting ways to experience the region.
When investigating tours to Antarctica 2013 is the year to go! Why wait? Be one of the lucky few who experience our profound connection to the ocean firsthand.