Read More GoNOMAD Stories About Antarctica
“The first Zodiac to the island will launch in 10 minutes!” Our expedition leader’s voice boomed throughout the P.A. system of our ice-strengthened ship, which was currently anchored just off Half Moon Bay Island in Antarctica. Dozens of keen explorers rushed to queue up for the inflatable Zodiac boats like eager skiers racing toward their favorite chair lift.
With more and more ships and operators entering the Antarctic market, tour prices have dropped sharply and opened up the fifth-largest continent to those of us who can’t afford to spend the equivalent of a year’s rent venturing to the southern land mass. Read more
Antarctica has become a very popular travel destination in recent years, and there are dozens and dozens of tour offerings there.
But if you want to get really close to the striking Antarctic landscapes and the hardy animals that make their homes there, you might want to take a hands-on sailing tour of the White Continent aboard the "Spirit of Sydney," an eight-passenger yacht designed for round-the-world racing.
In addition to their other popular Antarctic cruises, Adventure Life of Missoula, Montana, now offers sailing excursions to Antarctica which embark from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. Passengers travel through the frequently rough seas of Drake's Passage in an expedition vessel to the protected waters of the Antarctic Peninsula. Read more
“After life in the vastness of a vacant continent, civilization seemed disappointingly narrow, cramped, superficial, and empty.”
Those words certainly ring true for me. As an older woman traveling alone to such a distant place, I knew that I would have to start planning well in advance and explore all my options before booking passage. While I didn’t realize it at the time I was considering such a trip, Frank Hurley’s comments would have a tremendous impact upon me upon my return.
The Internet provides a wealth of information for anyone planning this kind of trip. The web site iExplore.com lists the top seven companies offering expedition cruises to Antarctica. Ships sailing to Antarctica are limited to carrying no more than 200 people aboard and the sailing schedule runs from mid-November to mid-February. Read more
Antarctica is a frozen otherworld safari without borders. A (Quark Expeditions) Russian icebreaker introduced me to the earth’s overwhelming polar underside: stadium-sized, sculpted blue and green icebergs drifting past thundering, skyscraper-height glaciers calving over jagged, rock mountains into a sea of breaching whales and affable penguins.
This continent gives new meaning to hitting bottom, way way down under.
The planet’s final frontier is 1.5 times larger than the United States, and that circumference doubles during the winter freeze. Its ice sheet is earth's largest body of ice – an area of about 13.3 million sq km – formed through snowfall accumulating and compressing over millions of years. It holds ninety percent of the earth’s ice and seventy percent of its fresh water.
At its thickest, the ice is over 2.8 miles (4.5 km) deep, a colossal cap covering the continent and exerting massive influence on world weather, substantially more than the arctic ice cap. The Arctic region/North Pole is ice floating on an ocean and, by comparison, has half the ice.
Here, there are birds that can’t fly (penguins) and mammals that can’t walk (seals); a pollution-free environment where the wildlife returns your ogle. There’s no native population, so any environmental degradation is caused solely by outsiders. With limited history of abuse – excepting whalers and seal clubbers active until the mid 1900’s – animals don’t fear humans. Read more
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