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Antarctica sits at the bottom of the world, surrounded by the Southern Ocean.
At 5.4 million square miles, it is twice the size of Australia.  It is the fifth-largest continent, but it’s more affectionately known as the seventh continent because most avid travelers who have already visited the other six continents look to Antarctica to complete their quest to visit every continent of the world.

It is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, with temperatures known to reach as low as -128° F, but the average temperature is about -80F° in winter.  There are no permanent residents in Antarctica; it’s primarily used for research with multiple research stations across the continent. These experiments and resources are shared by scientists from other countries.

Antarctica is not owned by any single country, but it’s part of the Antarctic Treaty. The Antarctic Treaty was signed by 12 countries back in 1959 as a place free from military action. It was used to promote peacefulness and scientific cooperation.  Since its’ inception, 38 other countries have signed the Treaty, increasing the total to 50 nations.

So why would anyone want to travel to Antarctica?



Pristine white snow, massive icebergs in a million hues of blue, and the deafening silence of nothingness. 




​Thousands of penguins and their chicks dot the landscapes. If you’re lucky enough to do a landing, you will be rewarded with an opportunity to see them thrive in their natural environment, unafraid and curious about the humans that come to visit.

Humpback whales_Antarctica.jpg



Whale watching.  Not from your hotel room, or from your ship (which of course is entirely possible), but from your zodiac.  The opportunity to see Minke, Southern Right, or Humpback whales breaching off to the side or maybe even bubble net feeding right alongside your zodiac.  These once in a lifetime experiences are what bring people to Antarctica.



Antarctica is the ultimate destination for adventurous travelers who want to check the 7th continent off their bucket list.


While Antarctica is a continent in its own right, the Arctic is a little more difficult to pinpoint. The Arctic includes many countries that cross the Arctic Circle and the ocean surrounding them.  The geographic North Pole sits in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, covered with drifting pack ice.

The Arctic, our northernmost polar region,  consists of the Arctic Ocean, the adjacent seas, and parts of the United States, Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden.  Only some of these countries are inside the Arctic circle, which sits at 66°30′N.

Tourism to the Arctic region can be divided into two options:


Image by NOAA



Scandinavia is more than just Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen. Go off the beaten path and explore the northern regions of these countries.  You can cruise around the fjords of Norway with an organized tour, hike or backpack into the more remote parts or even go on a reindeer safari in Finland!


This is a region of extreme contrast:  During the summer you can experience the midnight sun – 24 hours of sunlight.  While the winter may bring 24 hours of darkness, these are also the best months to witness the stellar Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights.



There are a handful of cruise companies that operate seasonal cruises to this region. 

Polar cruises travel through Norway, Iceland, Greenland, and the northern territories of Canada and even Russia.  Many people have tried (with limited success) to recreate the fabled Northwest Passage Journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This journey was made famous by Roald Amundsen in 1906.  In 2016 and 2017 Crystal Cruises successfully completed the journey from Alaska to New York.


Most people who choose the polar cruise do so for two reasons:  Polar Bears and the Northern Lights.  In recent years, the lack of ice around the Arctic Sea has raised the profile of the Polar Bear and their arctic habitat, arousing the curiosity of many intrepid travelers.

Image by Hans-Jurgen Mager

Have a question that’s not covered here? 

Interested in more information on an Arctic cruise or a land-based vacation? 
Contact me and I will get back to you within 48 hours.
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