The seventh continent in the world, the base of the globe, the windiest, coldest and driest continent on earth – Antarctica certainly lives up to its nickname, 'The Ice'. 

Most of Antarctica fits within the Antarctic Circle – a line of latitude sitting at around 66.5° south of the equator. All places inside of this circle experience periods of 24-hour daylight during the summer solstice, and 24 hours of night during the winter solstice. Antarctica's ice sheet is one of the two polar ice caps of the earth and covers 98% of Antarctica, including the South Pole.

Moving further out, the continent of Antarctica makes up most of the region of Antarctica. The region encompasses Antarctica, anything falling inside the Antarctic Circle and a lot of the stuff inside the wider Antarctic Convergence – a seasonally changing line of latitude which marks where the icy Antarctic waters meet the milder waters of the sub-Antarctic. This convergence line is considered the outer limits of what is known as 'the Antarctic'.

Wait, so what's the difference between Antarctica and the Antarctic?

Antarctica is the continent – the land mass almost entirely covered in ice. The Antarctic is the region – the south polar zones including the seas and some outlying islands.

If this is still all a bit confusing, don't worry – it is tricky to understand. Picture this: if you're looking at one of those spinning model globes of the Earth, use a pencil to point to the bottom of the globe and you'll be pointing at Antarctica. Then, move the pencil north just a bit and spin the globe until you've drawn a (not so perfect) circular line around the land mass of Antarctica. That there, inside the circle, is the rough area of the Antarctic region. 

What country is Antarctica in?

Read more about possible landing sites in the Antarctic

Click here to read more Antarctica FAQs

Our tours in Antarctica

11 Days From 6795

Capture the essence of the Antarctic Peninsula and its incredible islands aboard the...

11 Days From 8990

Follow the whales of Antarctica as they migrate south on this 11-day expedition cruise,...

14 Days From 11790

Take an adventure of a lifetime to the Antarctic and beyond. Cross the Antarctic Circle...

14 Days From 11995

Take an adventure of a lifetime to the Antarctic and beyond. Cross the Antarctic Circle...

10 Days From 14990

An unforgettable 10-day polar expedition cruise to Antarctica. Wildlife spotting, whale...

21 Days From 14290

Explore South Georgia, the Antarctic Peninsula and the Falkland Islands with Intrepid...

11 Days From 9995

This 11-day Christmas expedition travels to Antarctica for the ultimate white Christmas...

Tailor-Made trips

Take two or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

21 Days From 18790

Celebrate Christmas and the new year in Antarctica on a 21-day Intrepid expedition...

12 Days From 7290

Take to Antarctica on an 12-day expedition on board the Ocean Endeavour via Puntas...

11 Days From 6995

Take to Antarctica on an 11-day expedition on board the Ocean Endeavour via Puntas...

11 Days From 16990

Celebrate New Year's in Antarctica on this 11-day adventure. Spend time at the...

14 Days From 11995

See a total solar eclipse as you tour for 14 days on an Antarctica expedition aboard...

23 Days From 19495

Visit the Falklands and South Georgia islands on a 23-day immersive polar expedition...

11 Days From 7995

Sail through the Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula,...

20 Days From 35670

Visit Antarctica and travel through the Beagle Channel to the Falkland and South...

8 Days From 10995

Visit Antarctica, flying over the Drake Passage and cruising through the South Shetland...

8 Days From 10995

Visit Antarctica, flying over the Drake Passage and cruising through the South Shetland...

11 Days From 13495

Embark on an adventure of a lifetime while crossing the Antarctic Circle. Discover...

23 Days From 19495

Visit the Falklands and South Georgia islands on a 23-day immersive polar expedition...

14 Days From 10495

Uncover the sublime white beauty of Antarctica on this Southern Expedition. Travel...

20 Days From 15995

Visit Antarctica and travel through the Beagle Channel to the Falkland and South...

11 Days From 13495

Embark on an adventure of a lifetime while crossing the Antarctic Circle. Discover...

16 Days From 19990

Nothing on earth can prepare you for Antarctica; you have to see it for yourself. See...

23 Days From 30990

Embark on a cruise across the Antarctic Circle and visit the Falklands, South Shetland...

11 Days From 12990

Sail through the Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula,...

14 Days From 8290

Experience the rare opportunity to explore both the eastern and western sides of the...

14 Days From 10495

Uncover the sublime white beauty of Antarctica on this Southern Expedition. Travel...

18 Days From 21295

Spend 18 days exploring the world’s southern reaches, from Rio de Janeiro to Iguazu...

11 Days From 8290

Join Intrepid and special guests from the World Wildlife Fund – Australia’s whale...

14 Days From 10995

Join Intrepid and special guests from the World Wildlife Fund-Australia’s whale...

11 Days From 7995

Sail through the Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula,...

12 Days From 18395

Visit Antarctica and travel through the Drake Passage and the South Shetland Islands.