Antarctic Map with Antarctic circle countries

Antarctic circle map

Antarctic map courtesy of Hogweard

Antarctic Map

Ushuaia city view with mountains, Argentina

Ushuaia city view, Argentina. This is one of the most popular ports for Antarctic cruises.

The Antarctic Circle  is the region in the Southern Hemisphere surrounding the South Pole. The nearest country is Argentina and the second nearest is New Zealand.

The Antarctic Circle is the coldest and driest place on earth and is the only land on Earth owned by no one but claimed by many, so it’s political future is in doubt.

There are no Polar Bears nor indigenous people in the Antarctic, just mad scientists, penguins, whales and seals. From November-January daylight is 24/7.

The word Antarctic is derived from Antarktikos, ‘opposite the bear.’

Depending on the length of the voyage, some cruises visit the Antarctic Peninsula, Falkland Islands and/or mountainous South Georgia. Zodiac excursions permit close encounters with wildlife and icebergs in the surrounding waters while some tours offer Antarctic kayaking or onshore camping. Experts lecture visitors on natural history, wildlife and other features of Antarctica.
Ships travelling Antarctic waters range from Russian icebreakers to expedition cruise ships with strengthened hulls.

Antarctic cruises are best between the months of November – March.

Seals enjoying the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia, Argentina

Seals enjoying the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia. The other South American country close to Antarctica is Chile, the port is Punta Arenas.

Most Antarctic cruises last at least 6 days and use boats that range from small expedition vessels to luxury ships and can include skiing, sea kayaking and even camping on Antarctica. All vessels will include guides and onboard lectures on the local wildlife, climate conditions and geography.

South Georgia is the most visited island in the Antarctic Circle while Chile, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa are the closest countries, with Australia close behind.