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Alcohol In Antarctica

November 16, 2013 11:55 am    |    by Jonny Blair

You can drink alcohol in Antarctica and so I’m giving you my top 6 places to have a beer on the ice cold continent of superlatives! There is a bar in Antarctica, there is even a Happy Hour! This is a top six to wet your appetite for a drink when you head down south…

1. Alcohol in Antarctica – drinking on Antarctic land

You’re not meant to drink on Antarctic soil as it happens, but you’re only going to be here once (probably) so you might as well raise a toast to this incredible continent with a drink. Bring a cold beer with you to one of the landings – preferably the last one.

2. Drinking in Antarctica: Out on Deck!

OK so we were sailing down the Gerlache Strait and were welcomed by an amazing snowstorm. I was sitting in the indoor bar onboard our ship, the MS Expedition when my drinking buddy on the trip, Russell and I turned to each other and said almost at the same time “Let’s go outside for a beer”. It had to be done. We sat out on deck in the snowstorm – Russell in his shorts and flip flops/thongs! We were joined out on deck by Canadian Mike MacSween who even came barefoot! There was no need to keep the beers chilled as it was absolutely freezing! Great place for a beer. Try and get as many from the boat to join you, even if it’s just for 5 minutes or so.

3. Drinking in Antarctica: Onboard Bar at Happy Hour

This is perfect for the backpacker, if you’re on a tight budget then happy hour is a good way to save money on the boat. There is no need to drink any alcohol after happy hour, just get the cocktails in nice and early and sit back and relax. You can stare out the window at a land of white. Just an amazing travel experience.

– There’s a lounge bar on the boat which is usually open from 4pm – 7pm everyday.

– There’s a late night bar which opens from around 8pm until whenever!

Alcohol was also available at dinner, served to you in the onboard restaurant, everything you ordered was added to your bill. There was no payment accepted in cash as far as I remember, they just added everything to your bill and you paid at the end of the trip. Be careful not to get too happy though, as even Happy Hour in Antarctica is more expensive than what you are used to!

4. Drinking in Antarctica: Bring Your Own Alcohol

Again the cheapskate option and this is the one I used mostly – even the beer I took onto Antarctic land to drink was bought in Argentina and brought on board. There is no real limit on the amount of alcohol you bring onboard, but if you suffer from sea sickness, please note that the Drake Passage is the roughest stretch of water in the world, so you want to avoid the booze on that part of the trip! I brought my own beer and wine and drank it in the cabin or sneaked it into the bar (hardly a big deal considering you’ve paid loads for this trip!!).

5. Having a drink in Antarctica: Vernadskiy Station Bar

A great way to enjoy a drink in Antarctica is to actually drink in a bar on the cold continent. You’re in luck! There is a bar at the Ukrainian Vernadskiy Station which even serves its own vodka. They actually make a vodka in Antarctica and you can sample it here.

6. Alcohol in Antarctica – have a beer at the South Pole

This would be the ultimate planet earth beer, and we didn’t go that far, but it can be done. It’s costly to get to the South Pole and if you do make it and manage to acclimatise, you will be pleased to know you can have a celebratory tipple, or if you really want to be a cheapskate, bring your own! There was a beer shipped out there last year called Pole Axed!

Having a beer at the South Pole must be a beer drinker’s dream.

If you have managed to do all six of these I salute you!! I was happy with the four I managed to get in on my amazing Antarctica adventure back in 2010.

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