Alcohol In Antarctica

In: Food & Beverage

5 Jul 2013

I was thinking about my Antarctica trip recently, and how I managed to drink in 4 different places on the trip (OK I’m cheating as three of them were onboard the boat!!!). But I thought I’d give all you Antarctic bound travellers some tips on how you can drink in Antarctica, yes there is even a bar there, there is even a Happy Hour and drinking in Antarctica is part of the experience to the world’s southern most continent. Here’s my Top 6 places to drink in Antarctica (of which I drank in only 4 of them, as sadly 2 of them we didn’t visit)! One of my favourite Thirsty Thursdays to date.

1. Alcohol in Antarctica – drinking on Antarctic land

OK so strictly speaking this is illegal as you should take only water with you on your treks. But on our last landing in Antarctica, myself and 5 others all took a drink each onto the land to toast to our amazing trip. We chose either wine or beer and burst them open by some rocks near the Henry Arctowski Polish Station at Admiralty Bay on King George Island. It is probably the best place I have ever had a beer. Just there in the wilderness with penguins in behind. A must for drinking in Antarctica!

2. Alcohol in Antarctica – a drink on the deck of the boat!

With snowstorms on board the boat and epic views of the landscape, while cruising down the cold continent I can’t think of anything better to do than have a beer and admire the views. A great place to relax – even if it is freezing! At least you won’t have to keep your beer cold!

3. Drinking in Antarctica: Onboard Bar at Happy Hour

For the budget travellers this is a great option. Each excursion to Antarctica will of course be different, but ours had a Happy Hour from 5 – 6pm every day in the Lounge Bar. This also coincided with the daily gathering of everyone on board in the lounge to discuss the day’s events and plan ahead for tomorrow. Our ship, the MS Expedition had two onboard bars and alcohol was available normally after 4pm on each day. There were 3 places to buy booze onboard, these were the two onboard bars and the restaurant:

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

- The Polar Bear Bar was open from around 8pm until closing time (whenever you wanted to stop drinking)

At dinner time in the on-board restaurant you can also enjoy a drink.

4. Alcohol in Antarctica – take your own booze

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. Drinking in Antarctica: The Bar at the Ukranian Vernadskiy Station

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. Drinking in Antarctica: A Pint at the South Pole

If you ever make it to the South Pole, how amazing would it be to have a drink right there – at the bottom of the world. Get a beer and toast to a mega achievement in your life!

Imagine having a beer at the South Pole!

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.

For more stuff like Drinking in Antarctica visit Don’t Stop Living, the nomadic site of Jonny Blair for more stories and tips.. Unique version for reprint here: Alcohol In Antarctica.

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