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A year ago I was reading some magazine, and found out that there is availability to get a trip to Antarctica.
Unfortunately, there was no info about how I could get there.
Do you know anything about it? Best way to get there, best route, maybe some feedback?

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Keep in mind that what is the "best" way is a bit subjective since what's best for one person is not what's best for everybody. That said Antarctica has much fewer options than most destinations. –  hippietrail Jun 28 '11 at 15:56
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@hippietrail Removed the word "best" –  VMAtm Jun 28 '11 at 20:25
    
@VMAtm: Now it asks for a list rather than a subjective opinion (-: –  hippietrail Jun 28 '11 at 21:01
    
@hippietrail Don't know how to rephrase that. Any ideas? For now I chose the "safiest". –  VMAtm Jun 28 '11 at 21:03
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You may be interested in watching: "Encounters at the end of the world" a documentary by Werner Herzog. –  Geeo May 21 '13 at 14:04

6 Answers 6

up vote 37 down vote accepted

There are a few ways to visit Antarctica. Remember that nothing is ever guaranteed and it's quite possible with weather that you might not make it there.

Cruises: Larger cruises often will get you close but not to the land. You'll have the comforts of cruising. These big ships may be regulated soon. Smaller ships will often let you get right onto land. Costs start at least $5k (for the ultra cheap).

Tailored Expeditions: Many companies run specialty expeditions which let you visit Antarctica exactly how you want. Prices are extremely high for this.

Airborne: You get to fly over Antarctica. This is the more ecological way to see it but doesn't have the same experience as actually walking on it. This is also the cheapest option.

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Thanks for the information –  VMAtm Jun 21 '11 at 21:45

Almost all tourist methods leave from Ushuia, in Argentina. You could get work on a boat, book a cruise, or take a tour with GAP Adventures, among others. However, there is almost NO cheap option.

However, if you're after a cheaper option and have some time to spare, arrive in November. It's the start of the season and many of the boats aren't full. As such, they often offer 50% off the prices of trips to Antarctica. It's still expensive, but a massive saving!

November is also a good time to visit the area, with El Calafate up north being a gateway to the glaciers, mountains and national parks. Perito Moreno glacier has to be seen to be believed!

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Work in Antarctica:

USA vacancies:

Degree Requirements M.S. in Physics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or related field is required. B.S. in Physics, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or related field and substantial (equivalent to a masters degree) experience will be considered.

Russian vacancies (from here):

  • Meteorologist-aktinometrist
  • Geophysicist - ionosphere expert, riometrist, magnetologist
  • Aerologist and Radiolocator-technician
  • System administrator, developer
  • Specialist on environmental protection equipment
  • Hydrologist
  • Radio Engineer (modern radio communication expert)
  • Surgeon or anesthesiologist
  • Mechanic-technician
  • "Pisten bully Polar-300" driver, etc
  • Electric and gas welder-driver
  • Cook
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Using computers to help detect neutrinos in Antarctica? That would be the coolest job ever! (Pun intended) –  JohnFx May 11 '12 at 23:37
    
@mouviciel Updated the answer –  VMAtm Jun 22 '12 at 11:24

Another approach you can take involves getting seasonal work as an unskilled laborer in support of one of the governments doing research there. In particular I think Great Britain, the United States, Australia, and Russia have big Antarctic programs and thus employ a lot of civilians.
If you're looking for a job at one of the American stations, almost all hiring is done through Raytheon

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I was told the easiest such job to get is cook. I was told this by a guy who worked as a cook in Antarctica. Not sure which country though I met him in Canada. Of course you have to be able to cook at least as well as a prison cook I assume (-: –  hippietrail Jul 8 '11 at 11:43
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New Zealand too (Scott Base) –  Mark Mayo Aug 13 '11 at 2:06

I believe most of the most popular route is by cruise ship and the most common departure port is Ushuaia, Argentina.

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Become a researcher in an Earth/Planetary Science department or in a lab that studies the physics of ice. The department I'm in at Brown University does send expeditions to study the dry ice valleys in Antarctica (to study parallels with Martian climate).

Alternatively, do research on penguins (though there are not many penguin researchers in the world).

E.g. the University of Washington Polar Science Center

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