Antarctica
The seventh continent is more challenging to reach than other places around the globe, which is one reason a trip there is so special. The majority of leisure travelers arrive via South America—on either a traditional expedition cruise or a fly-cruise. For decades, intrepid tourists have visited Antarctica on an expedition cruise usually from Ushuaia, Argentina. The globe's southernmost city, Ushuaia in the summer months bustles with people preparing to cross the mighty Drake. This dangerous body of water is part of every traditional cruise to Antarctica, and the two days (each way) spent crossing the turbulent passage can be a nausea-inducing experience. After a successful crossing, though, ships usually stop at various points along the Antarctic Peninsula, on the small islands, and even farther south on the continent itself. A fly-cruise is a newer option that eliminates the hassle of negotiating Drake Passage. Explorers selecting this option usually leave from Punta Arenas, Chile, another extreme-southern city, where they connect to a special Antarctica-bound flight. Only a few tour companies operate these chartered fly-cruises, but since they save time and energy, they are becoming more popular. Landing at Frei Station on King George Island, cruisers then meet up with their cruise ship for an experience similar to those who traverse the Drake. Weather is still a concern with fly-cruises, though, since harsh conditions in Antarctica can delay flights leaving Chile. No matter how you decide to travel there, a trip to Antarctica truly is a defining travel moment for almost all who make the long trek south.