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 7106

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

11 Days From 8175

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

14 Days From 10905

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

10 Days From 13260

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

21 Days From 13625

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

11 Days From 8175

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

21 Days From 17270

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

Tailor-Made trips

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

11 Days From 5270

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

11 Days From 15030

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

14 Days From 10905

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

23 Days From 18200

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

11 Days From 7000

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

20 Days From 12500

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

8 Days From 9700

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

8 Days From 9700

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

11 Days From 12600

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

23 Days From 18200

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

14 Days From 8400

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

20 Days From 14900

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

11 Days From 12600

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

14 Days From 8400

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

18 Days From 16590

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

11 Days From 9085

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

14 Days From 9995

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

11 Days From 7000

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

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

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Cruise from Buenos Aires to the Falkland Islands and on to the Antarctic Peninsula. Set...