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What's hot about Antarctica?

The appeal of Antarctica is easy to see. Frozen beaches, a superb monochromatic landscape, fabulous wildlife and miles of no-one else makes for a hugely attractive destination. Of course, being such a difficult place to reach and explore does also mean it's an expensive holiday but still the tourism numbers have hugely increased in the last icegripper products for Antarctica60 years.  Tourism has grown from a few hundred at the beginning of the tourist industry in the 1950s to close to 40,000 visitors each year more recently. At ICEGRIPPER we have seen a continued increase in demand, year-on-year, for summer orders of ice grip footwear products from tourists going on Arctic and Antarctic cruises.

What’s the appeal of Antarctica?

Scenery: A vast, jaw-dropping landscape offers both beauty and eye-catching wonders. Stunning seascapes, frozen beaches, almost black-and-white contrasts and awesome glaciers. Seeing is believing in this fabulous setting.

Wildlife: One word sums it up, Outstanding. There are numerous opportunities to get very close to creatures such as seals, whales and dolphins. But perhaps the biggest stars are the penguins, which number in the tens of thousands in Antarctica.

For the adventure: If you're into adventure travel, there's plenty to do including kayaking, hiking and trekking, mountaineering and scuba diving. Many people come for the history and science, too. To make the most of the exploration it’s a good idea to take ice grips with you.

What might stop you

Realistically, the Antarctic is not for everyone. It's not cheap, with a trip for a fortnight costing somewhere around £5,000. And that doesn't include the airfare to Ushuaia, Argentina, the world's southernmost city and the capital of Tierra del Fuego. From that minimum figure, prices can go to as much as £40,000, depending on the tour and accommodation.

Some people are also hit by seasickness. Even if you normally have an iron stomach, the voyage through Drake’s passage can leave you feeling pretty ropey.

Ice and snow terrain might put some people off although the 21st century range of ice and snow gripping products for your footwear is now a major bonus for trips to Antarctica.

Where do tourists go in Antarctica?

Most vessels sail to the Antarctic Peninsula region although some itineraries include South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. A small number of tourist expedition ships visit the Weddell Sea, the Ross Sea region and East Antarctica, as well as many of the other sub-Antarctic islands, such as Snares Islands and Macquarie Island. Private expeditions also visit inland sites, including Antarctica’s highest mountain, Mt Vinson, and the geographic South Pole.

More fascinating facts about Antarctica

  • The Southern Hemisphere's summer lasts from November to March, which is the best time to go.
  • Antarctica is the highest, driest, windiest, emptiest, coldest place on earth.
  • An ice sheet covers all but 2.4 percent of Antarctica's 14 million square kilometers.
  • At its thickest point the ice sheet is 4,776 meters deep and averages 2, 160 meters thick. This is 90 percent of all the world's ice and it is 70 percent of all the world's fresh water.
  • There are lots of penguins, whales, seals, krill (the main food for whales).

Have you visited Antarctica?   We'd love to hear your stories, or see your photo's - share them with us by posting on our Facebook, Twitter or G+ pages

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Posted in Information by Carl Marsh