Yes, it’s summer, which means people are booking Antarctica cruise tickets right now to grab those last great deals for ships departing early next year — while many others are already booking summer savings to cruise in January 2015. Does the White Continent hold a special place in the hearts of loners, worriers, and anxious dreamers? You bet. There’s something about all that ice, all that whiteness, and the idea of journeying right off the face of the earth that appeals to us — even when the cost and the logistics of going that far south are a definite challenge
So is it true that an uninhabited place of stunning natural wonder is perfect for you? Consider the following.
1. If you do book a dream trip to Antarctica, it will most likely be on a cruise ship (unless you’re a millionaire who can afford a plane or a helicopter down…) or a smaller “explorer“ ship that can actually land you on ice. That means being in relatively close quarters with hundreds, if not a couple thousand, people. I took one of those “big” cruises, and while I had a fantastic time, I have to say that at the end of two weeks, I had a very intense need for my personal space back. My advice? Learn from my challenges and shell out the extra money for a room with a balcony. If you book an indoor stateroom, the only way you’re going to get a view (or even some fresh air) is to mingle with the dozens milling the observation decks upstairs… and your social anxiety might get the best of you.
2. You don’t have to actually do anything on an Antarctic cruise if you don’t want to — a great pleasure if you‘re in need of some serious stress detox. Not only are your meals and room and board taken care of like on any other cruise ship, but outdoor activities shut down as the temperatures plunge. No outdoor pool; no dancing outside; fewer distractions; no need for you to feel like you should be drifting from fore to aft all day to make the most of your expensive ticket. You usually just sit and enjoy the stunning scenery. And let your imagination take over.
3. Antarctica appeals to the nature-loving, highly-sensitive introvert. I met many such individuals in my experience earlier this year. For every group of ten or twelve people who clearly knew each other, there was at least one person who looked like they had in fact booked the trip to the end of the earth to get away from their anxiety triggers. These people can become your friends if you have the energy and courage to work up a conversation with them. It would probably be a lot more difficult to connect with another anxiety sufferer outside the Louvre or the Parthenon.
Did I mention the photo opportunities? Take your own set of stunning shots, print them when you get back home, and one look back will bring you to that mental space where you had thousands of miles of ice and sea to meditate on during your incredible journey.
Need a good place to start searching for this trip of a lifetime? I had a good experience with Vacations to Go: http://www.vacationstogo.com/antarctica_cruises.cfm
–The Brave Traveler