Things to do in Antarctica

LANDED’S Favorite Activities in Antarctica

While one might think that there’s not much to do on the coldest continent, there are plenty of activities for you to choose from on your trip to Antarctica.

Zodiac tours are included in all departures, allowing visitors views of wildlife, icebergs, and glaciers. Zodiac cruise participants also tend to cover more territory than other travelers see while afoot at a landing site. Additional activities tend to carry a supplemental fee and are carried out in small groups with dedicated, experienced guides. Additional packing items or experience might be required. Your LANDED specialist can help you swift through the options and identify the right cruise for your preffered activity.

Take a look at some of our favorite activities and start building an idea of what you want to explore on your luxury vacation.

Most visitors to Antarctica arrive by ship. Whether you’re looking for a luxury cruise or an active adventure expedition, you’ll find adventures on the sea on any Antarctic cruise.

Sailing in an Antarctic Cruise

The Drake Passage marks the site of the greatest oceanic bottleneck on the planet and has an upsurge of nutrients responsible for sustaining the region’s impressive biodiversity. If time and temperament allow, we encourage you to make the crossing of this legendary stretch of ocean by ship. Crossing the Drake is among the greatest things to do in Antarctica.

Cross the Drake Passage

A few Antarctic cruises include helicopter tours of Antarctica, enabling visitors to access remote, rarely-seen inland locations of special significance. These may include scenic flights to the Emperor Penguin colony at Snow Hill, overflights of coastal mountains, or above the ice of the Weddell Sea and Ross Sea.

Ship-based Helicopter Tours

Kayaking in Antarctica is an unforgettable experience—one that can change your relationship with nature. Get an eye-to-eye look with the wildlife in Antarctica and enjoy the peaceful, rhythmic paddling in small groups.

Kayaking in the Antarctic

For adventurous travelers, Antarctica offers a unique challenge. Sign up for ice climbing and glacier trekking and conquer the frigid wilderness of Antarctica’s steep mountains–including Mt. Vinson, its highest peak–with abseiling and rappelling.

Mountaineering in Antarctica

Snowshoeing is a great way to maximize your time at an Antarctic landing site. You’ll spend less time marching, and more time enjoying the wildlife and scenery. For many Antarctic travelers, the snowshoeing experiences here are their first anywhere. Snowshoeing is a skill that is easy to learn and hard to forget!

Snowshoeing in Antarctica

During certain times of year, Polar research stations open their doors to guests. In the company of a station guide, registered guests can usually visit the pole markers, the plaque display, and other “common areas” such as the electronics lab, galley, greenhouse, gym, and store.

Visit a Polar Research Station

You can still get up close with the local wildlife without needing to hike. Zodiac boats—inflatable rubber boats with outboard motors—are the workhorses of Antarctic expeditions. With Zodiac tours, you’ll be able to explore the area as the Zodiacs pilot you and your fellow travelers along the coast and near floating ice for close observation of penguin colonies and seals.

Antarctic Zodiac Cruises

Wildlife watching is one of the most popular things to do in Antarctica. Encounter seals, fish, birds, and the other incredible wildlife that call Antarctica home. And yes, that includes penguins.

Wildlife Watching Excursions

Antarctica is home to ten whale species and is a great destination to observe them in their natural habitat.

Whale Watching

Enjoy a peaceful night by going onshore for a night of camping. For the rest of your life, you’ll be able to recall the stillness and beauty of the Antarctic landscape, interactions with Antarctic wildlife, and the sherbet-color night sky.

Camping in Antarctica

Considered a rite of passage by some, a polar plunge involves jumping into the frigid waters of the Antarctic, wearing nothing but a swimsuit. Considering the Antarctic waters are the coldest in the entire world, this polar activity is definitely one of the most extreme things to do in Antarctica!

Take the Polar Plunge

SCUBA diving is possible in Antarctica for experienced divers. These dry-suit dives can be done in the company of penguins and seals, around whales, or allow you to explore nearby icebergs or near the edge of fast ice with the supervision of expert dive team leaders and guides. Antarctic Dives are limited to a depth 20 meters, with a length of between 30 and 45 minutes.

Scuba Diving Excursions

Interested in skiing in Antarctica? In a thrilling once-in-a-lifetime adventure, experienced alpine skiers can join a small group to climb and then ski in steep, snow-covered, glaciated, alpine environments with certified mountain guides.

Skiing  in Antarctica

One of the more popular things to do in Antarctica is participate in a photography workshop. Choose from separate courses for beginners and for advanced photographers. Lectures are provided, covering topics such as composition, exposure, white balance, and SLR basics. Additional guidance is provided during Zodiac cruises or at landing sites. You may even be able to submit your photos to a contest!

Photography Workshops

Known as rappelling in the United States, this Antarctic activity is made for thrill-seekers. Using a rope and climbing harness for a controlled vertical descent down a vertical face. While most rappelling takes place on a rock face, Antarctica is one of the few places in the world where you can abseil down ice.

Antarctic Abseiling

Also known as ‘snow kiting’, this outdoor Antarctic sport involves using a kite to propel oneself across flat snowy or ice-covered surfaces on skis.

Kite Skiing in Antarctica

Riding a fat tire bike across the Antarctic landscape is a surreal, unforgettable experience. Fat tire bikes have wide tires that displace weight and allow riders to traverse snow and gravel–making it perfect for the rugged terrain of Antarctica.

Fat Tire Biking

Start your journey today

Ready to find adventure in Antarctica? LANDED has connections with over 20 ships that regularly sail to the Antarctic coast. Make memories that will last a lifetime and call us today to schedule your next adventure!