There is a mysticism that engulfs Antarctica for those who wish to make the journey there someday. As most people believe that it is simply an ice cube with penguins fornicating on it will never understand the immense and awe-inspiring beauty that can be seen on the 7th Continent. Making it to Antarctica is not a vacation, but a full blown adventurous expedition. You must be prepared for several different variables when you embark and realize the risks involved. But first realize this, it will cost you. Getting to Antarctica is not cheap and although you can find cheaper routes than by using the larger expedition tours the question that you need to ask yourself is if you want to chance using a potentially sho(i)tty service to take you through some of the roughest waters in the world and to a location void of much of the necessary medical aid. Even one of the largest expedition tours suffered a tourist fatality when a small boat capsized and although it is certainly a rarity it needs to be taken into consideration.
Most of the expeditions are going to embark from Ushuaia or Rio Gallegos, Argentina or from Punta Arenas, Chile. If you have to go through Argentina remember that there is a stupid and blatant extortive Reciprocity Fee for Argentina for Americans, Canadians and Australians of around $160 and that it has to be paid in advance online before you land in the country. Then there is the cost of the expedition itself.
There are many different ways to go about your trip as some cruises are shorter than others and some also make stops at the Falklands and South Georgia before getting to Antarctica. Most durations start around 10 days and some go up to 25 days or more.
There are several different activities to do while on Antarctica or in the bay but remember that they will cost extra for anything with a guide which is all of them. So be prepared to spend several hundreds of dollars on each activity. Depending on your expedition company will determine what all activities are available to you so it can be wise to ask as well as do your research with the company especially if there is an activity that you feel is a must do. Camping, Cross-Country Skiing, Kayaking, Snowshoeing, Photography, Mountaineering, Hiking, Zodiac Tour, Whale Watching, Penguin Watching and Harpoon lessons are all available through different tours except harpooning which is made up.
The experience will broaden your knowledge of this world we live on and will stay with you till your final days. As we learn to respect our planet we also get to witness the immense beauty she displays for us. There are not very many chances that we get in order to see the extremes of our planet and to get to actually trek around on a continent where so much scientific research has been performed and so many explorers and sailors lost their lives and yet so few have stepped foot on.