Antarctica is always at the top of travelers' bucket lists. And some people want to travel using their own boats. Can you sail your boat to Antarctica?
Most travelers believe that traveling by flight to Antarctica is a waste of money and time. Why not think about traveling to Antarctica by boat when your goal is to see the natural world? While some people get to visit the sea by cruising to Antarctica, others fantasize about sailing across the murky depths of icy waters on their own boats.
You can sail your own boat to Antarctica as long as you are fully equipped with food and fuel for your journey. A crew of five to ten people would be ideal to help each other amid the loneliness of the sea. The port of departure would be in South America, either in Chile or Argentina.
To help you choose between flying and sailing to Antarctica, we've listed all the challenges and benefits you'll experience on your own boat. Of course, it's a long and hostile journey to take over, it is best to reconsider the decision once.
Once you've made your choice, you might consider the island's places to visit and the items you'll need to pack. Wow! We're thrilled just thinking about it. The voyage itself will certainly be exciting.
Can You Sail Your Own Boat To Antarctica?
Yes, you can sail your own boat to Antarctica. Since Antarctica is a continent that is unclaimed by any country, if you travel there on your own ship, no one will look into you. In fact, until recently, sailing was the only mode of transportation available to reach Antarctica. Many tourists still choose to sail or cruise to Antarctica instead of flying.
Sailing is still the most popular means of travel to Antarctica. Our estimations show that Antarctica receives more than 54,000 visitors per season. Each season, 50 expedition ships navigate the cold waters of this island. However, if you are someone who values time above all else, a 2-hour flight will be a better means of transportation for you.
Where to Begin?
The southernmost country of South America, Argentina, serves as the departure point for ships cruising or sailing to Antarctica. If you wish to sail to Antarctica, you must first sail to Ushuaia, Argentina, and then depart from here on your ship. It will take you about 2 days to sail from the ports of Argentina to the Antarctic Peninsula across the Drake Passage.
Requirements for Sailing to Antarctica on Your Own Boat
To make a list of things you'll be required on your yacht, you may consult the yacht-specific checklist provided by the International Association of Antarctica Tour (IAATO). According to this checklist, your main requirements will be:
- Anchoring and mooring equipment
- Communication equipment
- Rescue equipment
- Navigation system
- Clothes, food, and drinking water
- Antarctic visit permit from your government
Sailing In Antarctica: Challenges and Benefits
Sailing your own boat to Antarctica seems like a daydream. No doubt, it's quite a challenging decision you've made. But if you manage to go there somehow on your boat, there will be no regrets.
If you've made up your mind to sail to Antarctica, you may count on the benefits of the journey alone.
Thrill and Adventure
Although the distance to Antarctica is fairly large, this is part of what makes your sailing experience so unique and remarkable. While sailing on your boat, you'll be able to sense the motion of the water beneath you. You'll be surrounded by blues everywhere.
The journey will be full of thrill and adventure. You'll be able to see wildlife roaming freely. Penguins and seals will be welcoming you. Oh! This is actually what you call a nature's miracle. Don't forget to capture everything in your camera and show this amazing piece of nature to everyone once you return.
Flexibility of Trip
Sailing on your own boat with your own people will make your journey flexible. You'll not be bound by the limits of time and place. The place is just never-ending to explore and the time is all yours. You can enjoy as much as you can in the peaceful environment of sea and ice.
You can choose to stay at sea as long as you want. Just spend your resources there and come back when they are about to end. Since you'll certainly be visiting Antarctica for the first and the last time, it's better not to rush.
This continent is a zenith of travel, something that most people can only imagine. There are moments when the Drake Passage is incredibly serene and radiates a serenity similar to a lake.
The wide landscape is awesome, unique, and like nowhere else in the world. Imagine sailing through the waterways between high glaciers with peace and quiet everywhere. Voyagers who've seen Antarctica find every other place inferior.
You'll be surrounded by cold water and nothing else, sailing on your own boat to Antarctica means you have to face a number of challenges.
Rough weather on the island and surroundings affects 30% of voyages each season. The percentage rises even higher in the winters when the chilly winds blow everywhere. Moreover, crossing the infamous Drake Passage is a necessary part of your journey if you want to sail to Antarctica. This passage may be more horrible than you think.
Your sailing journey to Antarctica is quite a long one. The total distance between Argentine ports and the Antarctic Peninsula is about 2780 nautical miles. It means you have to remain over the deep blue sea covered by wilderness for the whole 48 hours.
Large Costs of Logistics
One of the biggest problems you'll face as you travel to Antarctica by boat is the high cost of logistics. You'll need food, water, fuel, and everything else for the trip and the stay. Unless you have a lot of money, it is quite tough to manage things on your own. However, if you're considering splitting the total cost among the entire crew, sailing is an option to consider.
Wilderness and Isolation
Although Antarctica covers about the same area as the US, it is much larger in terms of wilderness. You can't get any assistance from anyone while traveling on this lonely, gloomy island. It is known as White Mars. You'll get chills just thinking about being cut off from the rest of the world.
About THE AUTHOR
I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.Read More About Brian Samson