Published: November 2008Adventure Guide: Antarctica
Antarctica Map
Text by Andrew Burmon
Whether by kayak, ship, or plane, there are more ways to see the white continent now than ever before.

By Kayak: Expedition-ready paddlers can explore the continent just like writer Jon Bowermaster, traveling from anchorage to anchorage while camping on the Antarctic Peninsula. Explorers’ Corner’s new sailing-and-kayaking combo launches this month and offers the best of both boats (30 days, $13,500; explorerscorner.com). For a more modest paddle, One Ocean Expeditions specializes in daily five-hour guided kayak trips from its icebreaker ($6,750; oneoceanexpeditions.com). "Paddling in Antarctica is surreal," says owner Andrew Prosser, veteran of more than a hundred Antarctic expeditions. "There is no place as pristine, no place else where seals and whales put on shows for you."

By Ship: During the fall and summer (October to March) sailboats tack between Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica. Ocean Voyages can help would-be Shackletons find a berth on a number of small sailboats, including the ten-passenger Pelagic Australis, which sails from Puerto Williams ($5,400 a night; oceanvoyages.com). Non-sailors can climb aboard the National Geographic Explorer, the new, state-of-the-art expedition ship operated by National Geographic Expeditions in conjunction with Lindblad Expeditions. Bowermaster will be on board for the December 9 journey (15 days, $10,250; nationalgeographicexpeditions.com).

By Plane: A massive bankroll has replaced massive cojones as the pre-requisite for visiting the Pole. Adventure Network International’s flights to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station run $35,000 (departs from Punta Arenas, Chile; adventure-network.com). More frugal aviators can board Croyden Travel’s chartered 747s, which soar over the ice sheets on the far side of the cold continent and give passengers the opportunity to usher in the New Year while drinking champagne 30,000 feet above an emperor penguin colony (flights into and out of Sydney, from $999; antarcticaflights.com).

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