You Can Now Travel to Antarctica to Study Whales as an Honorary Scientist

Michael Nolan/Getty Images

The expedition lets you get hands-on with humpback whale research. 

While travel to Antarctica continues to grow in interest and popularity, the offerings are all tourist-centric. In fact, some companies are going above and beyond to provide the most luxurious experience in one of the most remote destinations in the world. But Polar Latitudes has created something no other expedition company can – the opportunity to become a Citizen Scientist helping to better understand some of the unknown habits of humpback whales.

As part of a partnership with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), guests aboard one of the annual itineraries (Feb. 27-March 11, 2020) can participate in a major research study being conducted by a team of scientists on climate change and its impact on the humpback whale population. Until recently, the massive animal was protected under the Endangered Species Act, so this work is more critical than ever.


From left: Getty Images; Courtesy Polar Latitudes

So, what does your scientific research entail? All guests will track whales and collect data while on the journey. In addition to ongoing briefings on the study's progress, there is also a panel discussion on The Future of the Antarctic led by the WHOI Team and Polar Latitudes' team member and marine biologist and whale expert, Annette Bombosch, Ph.D.

"Citizen Science is a way to harness the power of travelers to observe, record, and report on natural phenomena, which is particularly helpful in the Antarctic where it is challenging to support long-term academic observation teams," John McKeon, President of Polar Latitudes, said in a statement. "Passengers on this annual trip are invited to participate in data-gathering activities that support major research projects that help to contribute to a better understanding of Antarctica's unique ecology and changing climate."


Andrew Peacock/Getty Images

But just because you're working as a scientist, doesn't mean you won't get the high-end experiences found on other Antarctica cruises. This itinerary also includes all the usual activities found on all of the company's Antarctic Peninsula voyages, including everything from kayaking through the ice to sleeping under the stars.

Rates for the Citizen Science expedition start at $9,945 per person and includes two nights of hotel accommodation in Ushuaia, transfers from airport, all scheduled landings and excursions, all meals, champagne and chocolates on arrival, expedition jacket and boots for use during the voyage, 100-minute WiFi card (for use on personal devices) and WiFi access from public computers.