Travel to Antarctica is governed and regulated by the International Association Antarctica Tour Operators, IAATO. What was started by 7 private tour operators in 1991, the IAATO now has more than 100 members. It is stipulated that no more than 100 people from each visiting vessel can step foot on the continent at one time. This is why the travelers on the big, huge cruise ships will only cruise by and not be able to make land fall.
On my trip to the Antarctica in January 2013, I was on a ship with 183 other travelers and 92 crew members. Each day, my fellow travelers and I would be separated into 2 groups. One group would step onto the continent while the other goes zodiac cruising. After a designated amount of time, we would switch adventures. Continue reading