Expeditions blog

Why you should visit Antarctica with National Geographic Expeditions

June 21, 2021

There’s so much to see
Antarctica is Earth’s last great wilderness. But just because it’s uninhabited and covered in snow and ice doesn’t mean it’s uninteresting. Far from it. From towering snow-covered mountains to huge icebergs and glaciers, and from teeming colonies of penguins to pods of whales, there is so much to discover. That’s why our team of travel experts can offer you a choice of different expeditions and help you make the most of your visit to this spectacular and unique continent. Don’t hesitate to call us to find out which of our cruises floats your boat (pun intended!).

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure
This is no ordinary cruise. It is a journey to a part of our planet which, until a little over a hundred years ago, no human had ever set foot on. Even now very few people have ever visited Antarctica, and except for the scientists who man the handful of research stations, it remains uninhabited. Yet, thanks to our partnership with PONANT, and its specially equipped vessels, National Geographic Expeditions allow you to experience Antarctica in safety and comfort. And because you’ll be travelling with experts who have years of polar experience, you’ll come home with a deep understanding of why Antarctica plays such an important part in the life of our planet.

The wildlife is waiting to meet you
Astonishingly, the animals of Antarctica – particularly the penguins – have no fear of humans. Because they’ve never had any land-based predators, they are genuinely curious about visitors, and are quite happy to allow you to watch them from nearby. And as you’ll be accompanied on landings by a National Geographic expert and our specialist naturalist team, you’ll learn all about these fascinating and beguiling creatures. Importantly, we are members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators who ensure appropriate, safe and environmentally responsible travel to the region and we closely follow their guidelines for interaction with the wildlife and avoid any disturbance to them or their habitat.

The scenery is spectacular
Visitors to Antarctica will tell you that nothing compares to its vast, ever-changing beauty. Glistening blue icebergs change into pillars of pink and orange in the polar sunset. Deep crystal waters burst into fountains of diamonds as they break on the ice floes. The perfect whiteness of its deserts of snow stretch further than the eye can see. You will see sights here unlike anything else on Earth, and with the help of one of our National Geographic photographers you’ll be able to capture your own images which you’ll want to keep forever…and show off to the folks at home!

Exploring has never been so effortless
With extreme temperatures and ferocious winds Antarctica can be an unforgiving place. But aboard one of our PONANT ships you’ll find exceptional service, excellent food and all the comforts you deserve after a day’s polar exploration. You can relax and enjoy National Geographic books, magazines and documentary screenings, visit the spa & fitness centre or simply watch the wide, white world go by. And of course everything is included: Zodiac® outings and shore visits, excursions, parkas and boot hire for polar expeditions and even an open bar serving everything from hot drinks, water to (house) champagne.

A better way to see Antarctica
All National Geographic’s polar expeditions are in partnership with PONANT. Their state-of-the-art ships are designed to sail anywhere in the world, yet are small enough to be able to reach places that larger vessels are unable to navigate. They are all equipped to minimise any environmental impact by reducing as much as possible the greenhouse gas emissions, and offsetting the carbon emissions we cannot eliminate. Other initiatives include the use of chemical-free desalination systems to produce high quality clean water, recycling all waste and eliminating the vast majority of single-use plastics. In fact, these vessels go above and beyond environmental regulations and have all been awarded the international ‘Clean Ship’ label, which certifies minimal environmental impact. Moreover, we have a profound respect for the local communities, and when planning our expedition cruises, we work closely with each local community.

Travel with us and you will be giving back
When you choose to visit Antarctica with National Geographic Expeditions you are choosing a travel company that genuinely cares about sustainability and looking after our environment. Originating from the idea that when people understand the world they care more deeply and are inspired to protect it, our expedition cruises are designed to inspire guests to explore our planet and become global ambassadors for sustainability.

In addition, every year, we distribute a portion of our proceeds to the non-profit National Geographic Society, which awards thousands of grants to scientists, educators, innovators, and storytellers who are continually working to preserve species and ecosystems and advance the understanding of our planet and its inhabitants.

You can find all our cruises to the Polar Regions here.

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