The distant, frozen wilderness of the white continent is attracting more and more visitors from all over the world for the last two decades or so, willing to discover this vast, windswept continent, so hostile and remote that it has no permanent inhabitants. The following Antarctica tours will surely provide you with a nice introduction to it and the option to book right away or create a custom tour of your own if you wish.
Fifth-largest continent after Asia, Africa, North America and South America, Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia, with an area of 14,000,000 km2 (5,400,000 sq mi).
About 98% of it is covered by a sheet of ice averaging 1.9 kilometres (1.2 mi) in thickness, and yet considered a desert, due to the fact that it has a maximum annual precipitation of only 200 mm (8 inches) along the coast and even less inland.
Fortunately, there isn't a single country or government able to take control of Antarctica single-handedly. It's too large and important for that. In 1959, the Antarctic Treaty - presently signed by 49 countries - agreed that it should remain a peaceful, free and demilitarized place of international cooperation and scientific research.
Tourism is the largest industry in the white continent so far, however, due to the fact that no one owns Antarctica, no single country can regulate tourism to minimize its impact on the environment. While tour companies policy themselves in this regard, your responsibility as a visitor is to behave with outmost respect in regard to wildlife and environment.
At all times keep in mind the golden rule...take nothing but a picture, leave nothing but a footprint.
While some Antarctica tours depart from Australia and New Zealand, in this part of the world, your journey is likely to start from the port city of Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Best time to visit it is from November to early March. Ice and weather is what determines the itinerary and timetable of all travel there.
Antarctica has some of the iconic sights that makes this one of the world's most pristine and exotic natural environments, from penguin-covered beaches to magnificent icebergs. It's been described as the ultimate travel destination.
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