What is Life Like Onboard an Antarctica Cruise Ship?

The second most common question I got about my trip traveling to Antarctica, right after “Did you see a lot of polar bears?”, was what you do both in Antarctica and while trapped on the ship.

To be fair, before I set off, I had no real clue of expectations, so let me fill you in.

Quite unexpectedly, I've never felt more busy in my travels than on this trip.

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How to Visit Antarctica and Get the Most Out of Your Trip

I decided to travel to Antarctica based almost solely on the beautiful pictures of icebergs on a friend’s Facebook page- before realizing it was actually Iceland that was photographed.

So you can imagine how much research I put into figuring out how to visit Antarctica before I finally sailed to the ice continent. On a ship of 176 passengers, it's safe to say I was the least prepared person on board; but for once I actually learned from my mishaps.

If I could do it all over again, the following are the things I would do differently.

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The Antarctic Penguins are Everywhere, and They’re Adorable

I was lying in the pitch black of my Antarctica cruise ship cabin when we felt the ship stop.

Finally, it is time to see the Antarctic penguins.

Cautiously, I turned on the light and looked at my roommate with wide-eyes. We had finally made it to the final continent; though not my final continent because I seem to be going about this world travel thing in a haphazard way.

The loudspeaker came on instructing us to head to the mudroom and suit up. It was comical to see a group of almost a hundred grown adults crammed into a tiny space attempting to jam every inch of exposed skin into sixty layers of clothing while practically vibrating with excitement.

Visiting Antarctica is a strange idea for me. While I had no idea what to really expect, my expectations were high. After all of the headaches and fuss, after the struggle to get there, I did not want to be disappointed.

I struggled into my parka and thick rubber boots and half waddled down to board the zodiac.

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Things to Do in Antarctica – Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

I can now proudly say I'm one of the first people in the world to have SUP’ed in Antarctica. And no, I didn't fall off my board into the frigid waters, despite some dire predictions among my family and friends.

To be honest, I chose my ship almost solely based on the fact they're the only ones who currently offer stand up paddleboarding as one of the Antarctica activities.

I promised myself I'd practice the sport before I got down south and then promptly avoided it for my entire journey throughout South America. Thus, I found myself checking in about a dozen times with the safety zodiac driver that he would be able to fish me out quickly when I fell in.

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