It takes a certain type of person to uproot their life and go to Antarctica. It takes an even more specific type of person to do so repeatedly, year in and year out.
On Sunday night’s episode of “Parts Unknown,” Anthony Bourdain will venture to the world’s least-populated and harshest continent, Antarctica.
The community in Antarctica is one of “travelers and seekers,” Bourdain explains. He clarifies: “a special type of hardass.”
Travelers inspired by Bourdain’s incredible journey should take note: It takes preparation to visit the continent.
It’s only been about 100 years since explorers first reached the South Pole. In 1911, these explorers used sled dogs to cross the continent, but most travelers now rely on helicopters. Flying through Antarctica will probably involve landing on the runway made of ice at McMurdo Station.
The U.S. Military Base is the largest American camp on the continent. During the working “summer” months, about 1,000 people live there. During the dead of winter, that number drops down to 150.
Conditions at McMurdo are not exactly designed for luxury. In fact, Bourdain likens it to a college dorm, complete with galley. Those who don’t want to brave the camp can always opt to take an Antarctic cruise. It’s also possible to dine at a five-star restaurant while visiting the world’s coldest desert.
Activities down in Antarctica may be limited but those who are fascinated by science and exploration should stay entertained. Spend time with a penguin colony, discover mysterious waterfalls or learn about the diverse research scientists are doing in the cold.
But alas, Antarctica is an unforgiving climate. Travelers who prefer to stay warm (but still think that the continent looks beautiful) can curl up with a hot beverage and watch this calming eight-minute video of a trip through the Antarctic.
“Parts Unknown” airs on CNN Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET.