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 5795

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

10 Days From 5795

Follow the whale migration to Antarctica, where humpback and minke whales breach the...

14 Days From 10995

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journey to Antarctica on an immersive and great-value expedition including South...

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

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

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Encounter wildlife and explore the land and waters of South Georgia and the Antarctic...

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

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If you desire to ‘do it all’ on your Antarctic adventure, then this is the voyage for...

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

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

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

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Soak up the essence of Antarctica on a mid-summer expedition aboard the brand new MV...

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

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Join Intrepid for an extensive 20-day adventure to Antarctica, taking in the Falkland...

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Join Intrepid on a voyage to the legendary Antarctic Peninsula. Embark in Ushuaia and...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Undertake an expedition that offers the most in-depth exploration of the white...

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