If you have an adventurer within you, you’ll truly love the experience Antarctica can provide to you. The polar region is quite famous all around the world for travelers. People usually visit Antarctica to experience jaw-dropping sights and amazing wildlife. The penguins and seals of the continent are truly mesmerizing.
So, have you already planned a trip to Antarctica? Are you confused about where to spend your nights? You might get a little worried after finding out that there aren’t any Antarctica hotels in the whole region. There aren’t any actual cities on the continent. So, the tourists have to do with the expedition ships.
Accommodation for the tourists and researchers are all on the ships. If you choose some packages, you might get to stay in a hotel in Chile, Argentina, Tasmania or New Zealand. Some people even prefer camping on ice to get a full adventuring experience.
But most of the travelers who are there for sightseeing choose to stay on board. The lodges you’ll find come in different price ranges too. You can get luxury as well as cheap accommodation options throughout the continent.
Lodging in The Cold
You can’t find a hotel anywhere on the land. But you’ll get to see many outposts or research stations spread across the entire continent. Some of these do allow guests. But other options include the expedition ships, outdoor camps, luxury cruises, and luxury lodges.
The suggested traveling time is from October to March. You’ll be able to find the lodges open during this time.
Let’s start with the different accommodations in Antarctica to give you an insight before you plan your trip:
Union Glacier Camp
The first place to check out is the tented camp in Union Glacier. The camp is situated in the higher regions. You’ll have to take a flight from Mt. Vinson to get here, though. The camp only operates during the summer, so you can only plan your stay here depending on the time of the year.
You’ll be delighted to see the fascinating clam tents here. The place is well decorated with 35 of them. The walls of the tents are thick to keep things warm (you’ll need that). Each of the tents will occupy two people. In no means is this a luxury hotel, but it does give you quite the experience.
The camp has exclusive wooden floors, and it keeps the tourists warm with the heaters. The heaters are operated with solar energy, just like most settings here in Antarctica. You’ll be surprised to find out that the inside temperature of the tents reaches up to 70 degrees F.
As for lying down and sleeping, you’ll be greeted with a cot with a well-equipped mattress. You’ll also be provided with towels and linens along with a basin to wash a few things off. The shower system of the entire camp, however, is communal.
Is the Foodservice Any Good?
Even though the setting is like any other camping site, the restaurant staff try their hardest to provide you fabulous dining experience. There’s a central tent where the tourists come in for their meals. They can choose from different dishes and meals. You’ll be surprised to see the variety of dishes. The food comes in from Chile.
Of course, you’re planning to get in some quality activities during your stay too. You’ll get tons of activities to choose from, like skiing, walking tours, fat tire biking, and different types of excursions. You’ll also be greeted with some good lectures from some researchers every evening. That’s a total plus point if you ask us!
Enter the most luxurious lodges in the entire continent! After spending a day here, you’ll be confused about why people don’t call this a hotel. This Antarctica hotel alternative can be found on the central side, with the ice-clad mountains all around. This is by far the most premium experience you’ll get when it comes to lodges in Antarctica.
You can take a private jet to Antarctica from the White Desert. The plane will take you directly to Whichaway. It will take 5 hours from Cape Town, though, so keep that in mind.
The camp has 6 pods, and all of them can fit two people each. The pods are domed and quite luxurious. You’ll get a king-sized bed or two double beds and even an attached shower. The pods have wooden floors and fantastic heating. You’ll even get a desk, which always comes in handy.
The communal dining space is another great feature of Whichaway Camp. The guests are served with three-course meals throughout the day. You can even get English breakfasts and some fresh champagne.
During your stay here, you can avail of multiple adventurous activities across Antarctica. You can choose from picnics, mountaineers, tunnel trekking, kite skiing, and ice climbing. Each of the events will bring you joy. You can also try out their mountain adventure program if you’re an enthusiast.
Gould Bay Camp
Next on the list is one of the most preferred Antarctica hotel alternatives. The reviews are sky-high as the customers love the hospitality in the most adverse conditions. The camp is located in the Weddell Sea.
The tourists who have the intention of visiting the Emperor Penguin Colony usually try to spend their nights here. The camp is quite remote as the whole place is far away from the Union Glacier, 420 miles to be precise.
The setup is quite simple and not too luxurious. They set the camp up to help the tourists stay close to the Penguin Colony. They also made sure to keep the minimum distance from the colony so that the penguins aren’t disturbed.
Staying Overnight on Expedition Ships
The other choice for spending your night in Antarctica is choosing to stay on ships. The whole continent has tens of premium cruise ship services that offer you the most premium experiences. Take a quick peek at some of them:
1. The Ushuaia
You can choose this one if good value is your preference. The boat has been refurbished to provide the passengers with fantastic hospitality. The deck space is quite generous, so you don’t have to worry about sitting tight in your room. This is overall a great choice if you’re looking for accommodation on a budget.
2. Ocean Nova
The second boat is the Ocean Nova, which is a rather practical choice for the tourists. You’ll get a decent experience without having to spend a fortune. The boat has all the basic amenities, and you can easily spend a day or two here.
3. Hebridean Sky
This is one of the more luxury options for the ones who are willing to spend more. You can choose from a wide range of suites. You can also avail of different games on the whole boat. This one is certainly a no-compromise choice.
4. Silver Explorer
Next up is the Silver Explorer, and this one is the epitome of luxury when it comes to cruise ships in Antarctica. The accommodation is quite spacious, with over 60 suites and 5 decks. All the facilities scream “premium,” and you truly won’t see any sort of compromise if you opt for this one.
5. Sea Adventurer
The last on the list is this strengthened ship in Antarctica. The ship offers a different range of services with the most basic suites. You’ll get your money’s worth here. This one is certainly a good combination of comfort and excitement.
Other Overnight Antarctic Stays
If you’re traveling with limited time on hand, you have to opt for the overnight camps. You can easily pick a camp and stay there overnight. These camps are usually set on the typical tourist hotspots, like the South Shetland Islands. King George Island is the most famous for these types of camps.
You can easily avail of these programs straight from Chile. But they aren’t year-round systems. You have to pick a date from December to February. These programs do tend to get expensive sometimes.
King George Ice Camps
Take a 2-hour flight from Punta Arenas to the Island instead of taking the 50-hour long cruise. These ice camps are temporarily set up for the tourists and the researchers. You can choose tents of any size depending on how many people there are in your group.
The entire set up may not be luxurious, but they can truly offer you comfort and keep you warm in the tremendous conditions. You can also get transport facilities and daily meals here. These express programs will even guide you through a few adventures and penguin colony visits.
You can take on other activities like snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and kayaking. But the departure time can fluctuate depending on the weather. So, keep this in mind if you’re considering the express camping programs.
Even though there aren’t any hotels in Antarctica, you can easily choose to stay in these alternatives. Some of these places won’t let you feel the absence of an actual hotel. The amenities they offer on the edge of the world are ridiculously good!
So, do consider these while you’re planning your trip.