East Antarctica and the Ross Sea Travel Guide

In the present circumstances, due to the spread of COVID–19 around the world, which causes a great impact on the majority of industries, it is quite troublesome to travel to foreign countries. However, there is a good chance to become a globetrotter and to have a marvelous adventure across East Antarctica, and to meet the astonishing inhabitants of the Ross Sea.

East Antarctica, which is also known as Great Antarctica, composes more than half of the Antarctic Continent. It is separated from West (Lesser) Antarctica by the Transantarctic Mountains and is permanently covered by ice except for tiny areas of the coast where most of the animals live.

The Ross Sea is a mysterious gem hidden from the eyes of many tourists who travel to Antarctica. On account of its remoteness, the territory is almost completely untouched by humans, which makes this place fascinating to visit and to view nature as it is.

When to travel to Antarctica?


While planning a trip or a journey you should pay attention to choosing the best time to visit the place. In this case, Antarctica is more finicky than any other spot. The most appropriate period to travel is during the Antarctic summer, which is from November to March. Other months are impenetrable because of harsh weather conditions when the temperature can drop to -60° C.

However, the best period for having a voyage to East Antarctica and the Ross Sea is from January to March, when ice has melted enough for a ship to navigate through. Moreover, only during this time, you can have access to the most pristine waters of the Ross Sea. The exact time of visiting East Antarctica depends on what you expect to get out of your adventure.

January is known as a month without nights, more than 20 hours per day the sun shines on Antarctica. This month will treat its guests with a huge amount of cuteness by showing countless penguin chicks being delighted fleeing from their mothers. In addition, starting this month it becomes possible to encounter underwater inhabitants of the Ross Sea.

February is the best month for expeditions. By this time, dauntlessly thick ice has melted enough to explore so far further. This is also the schedule when you might see whales returning to Antarctic waters.

March is a colorful month in Antarctica due to algae bloom. The possibility of meeting feasting whales increases in this period.

Picking the best transport


There are two ways of traveling to East Antarctica and the Ross Sea. One of them is by cruise ships, and another way is via helicopter. So which one to choose? For those who are fancy taking their time sightseeing and exploring nature from a close distance the answer will be a cruise. Most of the ships can carry over 100 passengers, although they are not similar to Mediterranean ships, which contain a great variety of leisure activities.

However, there might be people who don’t like traveling with such a large number of passengers or who want to have more conveniences. The solution is to have a journey on a yacht by, which can carry at most 13 passengers. It provides travelers with excellent service and lavish entertainment, so they can relax after observing breathtaking landscapes and seascapes, and gain strength before arrival at the destination.

People who are fond of seeing as huge scenery as possible and those whose dream is to fly across Antarctica as a seabird should choose to travel by helicopter. It is convenient for people who are limited in time or suffer from seasickness. There are a lot of constraints due to security measures, yet magnificent views worth these inconveniences. Furthermore, traveling by helicopter allows visitors to observe places where a human cannot access, going on foot or sailing the ship, and even land there, so they will be the rarest guests of the area.



The biggest enticement for Antarctica globetrotters is a chance to see the abundance of the continent’s inhabitants, like penguins, whales, seals, and a unique range of birds. Among them, the rarest possibility is to meet congregating Emperor penguins. Moreover, the probability of observing this event is infinitely greater in East Antarctica compared with other locations in this region.

It will be a huge loss for travelers who are fond of photography not to visit Ross Island, which is formed by 4 volcanos, Ross Ice Shelf, the biggest floating ice in the world, McMurdo Dry Valleys, the snow-free, and Mars-like location, and Terra Nova Bay, a picturesque inlet placed between glaciers and ice mountains.

Another reason to go on an expedition to East Antarctica is to plunge into the history of the continent’s exploration. There is a wonderful opportunity to witness the heritage of Antarctic explorers in the form of buildings and huts. In particular, you can go to Cape Adare where was the first-ever layover and buildings in the continent’s history. In addition, the visit to Scott’s and Shackleton’s huts, which are located in Ross Island, and Mawson’s huts, which are in Cape Denison, reminds of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Also, there are several scientific stations at Terra Nova Bay and near the Ross Sea that happily accept their guests.



Besides taking photos of breathtaking landscapes, seascapes, and enormous icebergs, there are plenty of other activities like trekking, climbing, skiing, and camping. The most popular one in Antarctica is kayaking. This activity plunges you into nature and total peace where you will feel full integration with the world. While kayaking you might spot whales passing beneath transparent waters and seals having their time on ice flows. The experience of viewing this incredible wildlife will be remembered for a lifetime.

People who are not afraid of the cold can also try scuba-diving. Only 10 percent of an iceberg is above water and the other 90% can only be seen below. The result of seeing it underwater will be worth all efforts.

What to bring?


It is very important not to overpack the rucksack because they need to carry the heavy luggage will tire you out faster and as a result spoiling the impression of the journey. The most important things that are needed everywhere are a pack of documents including a passport, visa, and travel insurance.

Next, a first aid kit is a must-have for any journey. Waterproof and warm clothes, thermal socks, hiking boots, shoes, a headband, a beanie, a scarf, etc. are required to visit Antarctica.

Finally, don’t forget your camera to capture unforgettable and spectacular moments of your journey.

About Jeanette Iglesias