Cruise South Pole
Antarctica is a continent of cold and dryness extremes – indeed, the driest and coldest on the planet. Overlying the South Pole, it is the fifth largest. Despite these extremes, it is a continent that provides some of the most breathtaking scenery on earth that is barely tarnished by human encroachment.
The harsh weather sees only a couple of scientific bases dot the giant island and no more than four thousand scientists on its vast landscape at any given time. A cruise to the South Pole, even if just in passing, is not one you are likely to forget in a hurry. And chances are, you will have embarked on a journey that few of the people around you will be able to claim to have done.
Ice bergs are constantly breaking off the continent shelf and float around for miles from shore. Travelling in a ship that is strengthened to withstand the battering of ice is therefore important. Travel to the South Pole is managed through the 80 travel companies that are members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators.
As far as flora and fauna go, there is none in Antarctica’s interior because of the inhospitable weather. The shoreline though teems with different forms of marine animals and migratory birds including penguins and whales. Cruises to Antarctica are limited to the summer season – November through March. At this time, the ice covering the seashore has melted enough in certain sections to allow access.
Some of the views and or visits possible via cruise ship include Mount Erebus, Anvord Bay, Anver Island and South Shetland Islands. Majority of cruises to the South Pole depart from Punta Arenas (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), Hobart (Australia) and Bluff (New