Antarctica’s islands and coasts offer a wide range of attractions that have become favorite destinations for an increasing number of tourists
Each year, more than 40,000 tourists are attracted to Antarctic islands and coasts for their interaction with animals, the beauty of the landscape, and the possibility of getting to know new places that are not visited very often. The rise is good for business; however, many have criticized the increase in visitors since it could alter Antarctica’s delicate ecology.
According to research, Antarctica is suffering the consequences of climate change. The region is warming six times faster than the global average and its ice sheets are getting increasingly thinner.
Approximately 10,000 people live in Antarctica at any given time. Most of them are scientists, ranging from glaciologists to ornithologists. In recent years, tour companies have started to create plans to bring more people there. They usually travel on long flights, although they also have the option of arriving via ice-breaking ships, which are prepared to face such a complicated journey.
Top destinations in Antarctica
Some of these ships offer cruise-type amenities. Others, however, with an ecological approach, try to pollute as little as possible. These ships host experts who give lectures on Antarctic life and share survival techniques. Visitors are not allowed to carry any traces of insects, soil or seeds with them. If any of this were to fall on Antarctic soil, it could affect the ecosystem. Despite precautions, scientific research has shown that tourists are causing an increase in soot, which contributes to the faster melting of the sea ice.
Andvord Bay is one of the most visited places in Antarctica. Its waters are home to different types of whales, among them the humpback whale. Meanwhile, on land, the Gentoo penguins abound.
The bay of Pléneau Island, full of icebergs, is also a must-see destination. Further on you can enjoy Trinity Island, home to a large number of seals. Visitors to Petermann Island can appreciate the olive-green color of the snow. This is due to the large number of algae growing there.
Another unforgettable experience is to sail through the Weddell Sea, where you can admire one of the largest icebergs in the world.