Getting there and getting around in Antarctica

Pardo Ridge on Elephant Island exposes greenschist- and blueschist-facies rocks.

Credit: 

John Van Hoesen

Traveling to Antarctica pretty much requires being part of an organized tour, something tens of thousands of people do each year. We went on a trip arranged by the Geological Society of America and Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris. If you aren’t lucky enough to take a scientific tour, there are plenty of more traditional tours that will get you there. Most depart from Argentina, but some go through the Falkland Islands as well as Australia and New Zealand. The vessels used by tour operators range from icebreakers to cruise ships to smaller yachts (not for those with a weak stomach) that can carry you across the Drake Passage to the more remote islands of the Scotia Arc and on to Antarctica.

John Van Hoesen
Thursday, January 2, 2014 - 06:00