6 Antarctic Circle Facts to Inspire Your Travel There

6 Antarctic Circle Facts to Inspire Your Travel There

The Antarctic Circle (also known as the Polar Circle) is the mythical ring that runs around the south pole used by map makers and former explorers to mark the extreme depths of Antarctica. 

Located at lattitude 66 degrees 33’ south, the polar circle is still regarded as significant and whist Antarctic travel is not as unusual as it once was, the peninsula remains the hotspot and the Antarctic Circle region is still less ventured and remote. 

Here are 6 Antarctic Circle Facts that will have you seriously considering whether you need to travel even further south to the Polar Circle when you go to Antarctica.

6 Antarctic Circle facts to inspire intrepid travellers:


1. Antarctic Circle Travel goes beyond the mainstream

If travelling to Antarctica was not ‘off the beaten track’ enough for you, venturing further south to the Antarctic circle is definitely not as common as a regular peninsula trip. So reaching the polar circle will not only mean less chance of encountering other tourists – apart from those on your own cruise, but also mean some pretty special bragging rights of being one of the few to ever cross the Antarctic Circle. Maybe you will even share a toast on board as you cross the Polar Circle to celebrate your achievement. 


2. Crossing the Antarctic Circle Means More Time in Antarctica

This might seem obvious, but you will need a bit more time than your regular peninsula cruise journey to reach the Antarctic circle. Most Polar Circle Cruises will take between an extra 1-4 days on top of a basic Antarctic voyage. This means more time sailing in Antarctica itself, and if you’re part of an expedition cruise, this should also mean additional shore landings and opportunities to explore Antarctica and its magnificence for yourself. Our Antarctic cruises that venture to the Antarctic Circle range from the budget friendly vessels like the MV Ushuaia & G Expediton, mid range adventures on the MV Plancius and MV Ortelius to an out right luxurious experience on the Greg Mortimer vessel.  

There are even ways to venture to the Antarctic Circle in less time in a fly cruise  journey. You can take a Polar Circle journey on the Ocean Nova, Hebridean Sky or Magellan Explorer in only 10 days, about the same time required for a regular an Antarctic peninsula cruise. 

And depending on the journey, you may have the opportunity to conduct special activities such as camping, kayaking or even polar diving in the Antarctic Circle too.


The MV Plancius cruising through the ice of the Antarctic Circle.

3. There’s some special wildlife in the Antarctic Circle Region

Viewing wildlife in their pristine natural environment is one of the drawcards of Antarctic travel anyway, but by venturing even further south to the Antarctic Circle, you will have more time and opportunities for wildlife viewing. Wildlife you may come across in the Antarctic Circle region include but are not limited to humpback, minke and fin whales, gentoo, chinstrap and adelie penguins, leopard and crabeater seals and birdlife like storm petrels. 

Now there’s an Antarctic Circle fact to inspire you to bring your camera or binoculars along. 


Crabeater Seals in the Antarctic Circle

4. The Landscapes and Landing Sites are Impressive

With the extra travel time and distance, this means so much more to see on the way to and after you cross the Antarctic Circle. You will most likely pass the Lemaire Channel, well known for its imposing mountains

and a favourite of photographers. You may sail through Crystal Sound – an ice packed body of water off the coast of the Argentine islands and on the way to the polar circle. 

As part of an expedition cruise this will also mean additional landings including to places like Detaille Island – an island with an abandoned historic English research station surrounded by gorgeous mountains. 


5. You Might Come Across Bigger and Different Ice Formations


Another Antarctic Circle fact to inspire your inner adventurer has to do with something most people associate with Antarctica; ice. Yes, this is what you imagine Antarctic to be covered in and the deeper south and colder you navigate, the more spectacular and different a lot of these ice formations are. Icebergs come in various shapes and sizes and thrive in remote waters and you may even have the opportunity to see an aptly named, ‘tabular’ iceberg which dominate the sparser Antarctic seas.


6. You Might Encounter the Phenomenon of the Midnight Sun 

 Yes, once past the Polar Circle, a peculiar natural phenomenon called the midnight sun occurs, usually during the month of December. During this time, you could experience periods of as much 24 hours of daylight each day! That means more time to spend exploring on shore, though the incredible Antarctic activities or even just admiring the gorgeous landscapes and colours across the sky from the observation deck on your cruise. 


These Antarctic Circle Facts are just a starting point for anyone thinking about travelling to Antarctica and how to maximise their once in a lifetime journey. Have they inspired you to think about travelling to the Polar Circle region? Let us know in the comments. 

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