With most of the land mass located south of the Polar Circle, Antarctica is the southernmost continent in the world. The South Pole is completely surrounded by the Southern Ocean which is connected to the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. The continent covers an area of more than 14 million sq. km., making it the 5th largest continent in the world.
Around 98% of the continent is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet – an area of approx. 14.6 million sq. km., with an average thickness of 1.6 kilometers. This is no less than 90% of the entire amount of ice on Earth and 70% of the planet´s fresh water. If all of it melted and ran off into the sea, the sea level would rise by at least 60 meters.
In the majority of the continent´s inland regions, the amount of precipitation is relatively low, down to 20 mm a year in places, which means this area is actually a desert! At 4,892 meters, the Vinson Massif is the highest point in Antarctica.
In addition to the many expeditions that are made to Antarctica, it is also possible to visit this chilly continent as a tourist – but pack your woollies :) Read on below to learn how you can visit Antarctica with, among others, “Hurtigruten” on a fantastic cruise of discovery that departs from South America.
Travel to Antarctica with Hurtigruten from South America