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Tip of the Iceberg

http://www.coolantarctica.com

“You can’t protect what you don’t know.”
Lars-Eric Lindblad leader of the first commercial Antarctica cruise in 1966

“We should have the sense to leave just one place alone”
Sir Peter Scott Founder of the WWF and son of Robert Falcon Scott

“The Continent in brief

There are no indigenous people on Antarctica. The population varies from fewer than 1,000 in winter to over 50,000 in summer: 5,000 scientists from 27 of the countries party to the Antarctic Treaty, plus tourists. Last season 2010/2011 there were 33,824 tourists, the peak was the 2007/2008 season with 46,000 visitors.

Antarctica surrounds the South Pole. The nearest landmass is South America, which is over 620 miles from the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Surface area: 14 million square miles (36 million square kilometers).

There is no indigenous government, management of the Antarctic is organised through the legal framework of the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. Forty-three nations are now party to this agreement, and seven of those – UK, Norway, Chile, France, Australia, Argentina and New Zealand – have historic claims on parts of the continent as national territory. The 1959 Antarctic Treaty preserves the status quo of the continent by neither recognizing nor rejecting the claims of these countries and by not allowing expansion in any way on the continent.

Antarctica currently has no economic activity apart from offshore fishing and tourism, and these are run by other nations (i.e. not the continent of Antarctica)

Tourism in the Antarctic is mainly by ship, around 20 vessels carrying 45 to 280 passengers each.

The ships are ice strengthened and sail primarily to the Antarctic Peninsula region sometimes also including South Georgia and the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas).

There have been occasional voyages to Antarctica by larger passenger vessels (up to 960 tourists), some of which conduct sightseeing cruises only without landings.

Yacht travel is also popular, and gives a smaller scale more intimate contact, though often without the luxuries and facilities of the larger Antarctica cruise ship.

Several expeditions take place outside the Peninsula region each season. Voyages have been made to the Weddell Sea, Ross Sea region and, on occasion, East Antarctica including islands of the Indian Ocean sector. These expeditions have included visits to emperor penguin colonies, historical huts, the Dry Valleys and other remote areas.

Weather and ice, not clocks and calendars, set the schedule for a journey here. No matter what the reason for your visit, you’ll be at the mercy of the continent’s changing moods and weather patterns. You may be able to make a landing as expected at the appropriate time, but don’t rely on it if the weather and sea state has other ideas.

The following slideshow features 10 pictures from the gallery on

The ships are ice strengthened and sail primarily to the Antarctic Peninsula region sometimes also including South Georgia and the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas).

There have been occasional voyages to Antarctica by larger passenger vessels (up to 960 tourists), some of which conduct sightseeing cruises only without landings.

Yacht travel is also popular, and gives a smaller scale more intimate contact, though often without the luxuries and facilities of the larger Antarctica cruise ship.

Several expeditions take place outside the Peninsula region each season. Voyages have been made to the Weddell Sea, Ross Sea region and, on occasion, East Antarctica including islands of the Indian Ocean sector. These expeditions have included visits to emperor penguin colonies, historical huts, the Dry Valleys and other remote areas.

Weather and ice, not clocks and calendars, set the schedule for a journey here. No matter what the reason for your visit, you’ll be at the mercy of the continent’s changing moods and weather patterns. You may be able to make a landing as expected at the appropriate time, but don’t rely on it if the weather and sea state has other ideas.”

The following slideshow presents 10 pictures from the gallery made available on http://www.coolantarctica.com.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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