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Polar Bear Swim   Antarctica

Polar Bear Swim

OK, since there aren’t any polar bears in Antarctica (they’re Arctic inhabitants), maybe we should call this the Penguin Plunge. Whatever you name it, though, it’s a heck of a story to share with friends back home.

While many expeditions offer guests the opportunity to quickly jump in and out of the chilly Antarctic waters, the best (and safest) place to go swimming is in Whaler’s Bay at Deception Island. This strange island has been home to several (failed) settlements thanks in large part to the warmer temperatures found here. There’s a reason for those temperatures, and the steam rising from the shore provides a hint. The island is actually the caldera of a very active volcano, one that last erupted only 40 years ago. This volcano makes the waters here warmer than usual, providing the perfect opportunity to take a plunge.

Be sure to wear suitable clothes (bathing suit) and have a friend nearby with towel in hand. Although it may be slightly warmer on Deception Island, it’s still cold and you definitely won’t want to be in the water for more than a few seconds.