Antarctica

Antarctica
Positioned asymmetrically around the South Pole and largely south of the Antarctic Circle, Antarctica is the southernmost continent and  is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. It is also called Antártica in Chile or Antarctic Continent. It is the fourth in size among the world's continents-14 000 000 square kilometers-, but practically uninhabited because most of its surface is within the Antarctic Polar Circle. 

The Antarctic Peninsula reaches toward the southern tip of South America nearly 1 000 km away. The distance from Antarctica to Australia is 2500 kilometers and 3800 kilometers to Africa. In winter its surface is doubled by the sea ice sheet that grows along the coast. More than 95 % of Antarctica is covered by ice -this is nearly 90% of worldwide freshwater.
 
In this continent prevails the polar weather. Antarctica encompasses all the territory lying south of parellel 60º S. On average, it is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents -more than 2 000 meters above sea level .The average temperature in summer does not exceed 0ºC. The tundra climate dominates the northern coasts -Antarctic Peninsula, contiguous islands, and subantarctic  islands. The average temperature in this region is -17ºC.
 
The Antractic convergence  is an important boundary where cold polar waters meet and mix with subtropical waters. This zone of  convergence forms a significant biological and oceanographic boundary. Within the Antarctic Convergence zone, the cold, dense surface  waters of the circumpolar ocean sink and flow northward, thus creating a major meridional circulation system.
 
The ice-choked and stormy seas around Antarctica long hindered exploration by wooden-hulled ships. Early penetration of this Southern Ocean led in 1603 to the discovery of the continent. It was the Spanish ship Buena Nueva commanded by Gabriel de Castilla the first to sail 64 degrees south.
 
The present scale of scientific investigation of Antarctica began in the XIX century. Although early explorations were nationalistic, leading to territorial claims, modern ones have come under the international aegis of the Antarctic Treaty.  This treaty, which was an unprecedented landmark in diplomacy when it was signed in 1959 by 12 nations, preserves the continent for nonmilitary scientific pursuits. The agreement included regulations for the protection of the Antarctic environment. Antarctica has been designated a natural reserve devoted to peace and science.
 
 
EXPEDITIONS
 
Our expeditions has been carefully been designed by experts so that you can enjoy the best landscapes and the marvellous wilderness of each season. All our trips start  and finish in Ushuaia.
 
We offer the following options:
 
TRADITIONAL: we go ashore penguin colonies and scientific bases. Watch whales, birds and sea mammals. Duration: 11 days/10 nights.
 
GEORGIAS DEL SUR: fascinating trip on board a cruise: feel a priviliged traveller listening to incredible stories and to the exuberant natural life. You will discover the unique wilderness: albatross, penguins, sea lions, whales, weddell seal. Duration: 20 days/19 nights.
 
CÍRCULO POLAR: an ideal trip and an incomparable adventure. Get on board with us to reach the southernmost place we can get. Duration: 12 days/11 nights.
 
MAR DE WEDDELL: if you are an independent adventurous traveler, follow Schackleton's footsteps. Come with us to have a really unique and unforgettable experience in the Antarctic Peninsula and Sea Weddell. Enjoy outstanding landscapes. Duration: 12 days/11 nights.
 
 
All of our expeditions include:
 Cruise and accommodation on board USHUAIA -depends on the expedition.
 All meals on board USHUAIA while travelling.
 All zodiac excursions and on land and all the activities while travelling.
 Lectures given by recognized naturalists and experts who are memebers of the expedition team.
 Duty and taxes.
Information brochures.
Detailed travel journal.

Photos:
Facundo Santana - In.Fue.Tur.

Claudio Suter - Tim Fisher - Antarpply

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