5 things you may not know about Antarctica

Image: Alex Cearns Houndstooth Studio
Image: Alex Cearns Houndstooth Studio

Our adventure travel expert, Shawn Weller, checked a major item off his bucket list and travelled on a basecamp voyage to Antarctica. Shawn found that this remote, pristine and largely uninhabited landmass, provides endless opportunities to experience and learn new things. 


Here are five unexpected things he discovered about Antarctica on his once-in-a-lifetime trip.


Kayaking in Antarctica |  <i>Shawn Weller</i>

It’s not as cold as you think


One of the first things people were telling me when I mentioned that I was heading to Antarctica was “it’s going to be freezing”. After all, I was going to the coldest continent on the planet. To my surprise, some days were actually warmer than it was at this time of the year (end of November) back home in Ottawa, Canada. 


We had nice weather with temperatures from 1°C / 34°F on the coldest day to 14°C / 57°F on the warmer day during our final landing in Neko Harbour.
Giant icebergs dwarf the zodiac, Antarctica |  <i>Learna Cale</i>

It’s bigger than you can imagine


I was expecting to be impressed by the vastness of the White Continent, imagining sweeping landscapes that would take my breath away. I was absolutely right, except nothing could prepare me for the sheer size of the incredible landscape – it is truly indescribable. 


I felt so privileged to be experiencing all of this grandeur. The sounds of this continent are as humbling as its silence – you can feel your proximity to nature and its power as well as the need to respect it and take care of this amazing place.

Prolific wildlife and amazing history can both be discovered in the Antarctic Peninsula |  <i>Sue Werner</i>

You’ll learn more than you could’ve imagined


Between shore excursions, kayaking sessions and zodiac cruises, you will learn more than you can imagine. Onboard, there were numerous lectures with experts in diverse specialties like polar exploration history, ice formation, rich fauna and Antarctica’s unique geology. 


My favourite lecture had to be the one with our ornithologist Martin. He could not have made birds more interesting, especially about the cute, clumsy and curious penguins. We would later see hundreds of penguins of three different types during our voyage.

Meals onboard the ship |  <i>Valerie Waterston</i>

The delicious onboard cuisines


When I stepped onboard the MS Ortelius leaving Ushuaia behind, I never expected the amazing food we were served. We enjoyed a daily buffet breakfast with all the fixings, lunches to die for and dinners that tasted like they were made at a 5-star restaurant. 


With three different choices on the menu every night, there was always something to please the palate. One of my personal favourites was the roasted New Zealander pink lamb rack with truffle mash potatoes and ratatouille vegetables followed by dessert – so good!

Iceberg scenery, Antarctic peninsula  |  <i>Learna Cale</i>

There’s a lot more blue on the white continent than you’d think


Something I didn’t expect while planning my journey to the White Continent was how blue it actually is. The icebergs, glaciers, water and the sky offer such variations and shades of surreal blue – it is truly spectacular. 


Fun fact: The bluer an iceberg, the older it is. You’ll learn why when you join this once in a lifetime voyage.

Antarctica, photography trips, wildlife, voyages, cruises, antarctic, kayaking, zodiac, penguins, seals, icebergs

Comments (2)

simon turcotte

bonjour aimerais aller en antartic le 20 decembre et aimerais avoir plus info

5 years ago
World Expeditions AU

Hi Simon,

This page might be useful for you:

Any questions, feel free to get in touch with us (


5 years ago
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b i u quote

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