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Drinking in Antarctica

By Jonny Blair

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. Drinking in Antarctica: Out on Deck!

Having an ice cold beer out on deck while sailing down Antarctica was a dream of mine and I did it. It’s a great way to relax and admire the epic views out of the window of the ship. As you cruise through blizzards, snowstorms and icebergs, get out on deck and admire the scenery over a cold pint of beer, at least the beer will be the perfect temperature!

3. Having a drink in Antarctica: Happy hour on board!

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)

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. Having a drink in Antarctica – bring some alcohol on-board

This is also a backpacker style option and where the real money saving is – buy some beer in Argentina and bring it on board to enjoy with your travel buddies!

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

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!

If you ever make it to the South Pole it would be an incredible moment to open a beer!

That’s my 6 tips for drinking in Antarctica – if you can manage them all then I take my hat off to you! Congratulations!

For more stuff like Drinking in Antarctica visit Don’t Stop Living, the travelling website from Jonny Blair for more stories and advice.. Free reprint available from: Drinking in Antarctica.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Blair, Jonny "Drinking in Antarctica." Drinking in Antarctica. 9 Apr. 2013. 3 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Blair, J (2013, April 9). Drinking in Antarctica. Retrieved August 3, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Blair, Jonny "Drinking in Antarctica"

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