Barren, cold and unwelcoming – this is how the continent of Antarctica may appear to the wary traveller. But beyond its icy exterior lies a fascinating part of the planet that remains virtually unseen by most people; welcoming only 30,000 visitors a year. Its landscape is dominated by imposing icebergs carved into different shapes, glaciers that overflow into the sea and miles of remote icy fields. And although the severity of its climate isn’t made for humans, some exotic animals call it home. Among them are colonies of penguins, fur seals and humpback whales.
This vast continent was once described by Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton as “the last great journey left to man”, and flights to Antarctica are virtually non-existent so determined travellers will have to arrange to take a flight to Ushuaia in Argentina or Punta Arenas in Chile and then embark on a two-day voyage aboard a private yacht. Alternatively, flightseeing provides a good option for those who want to see the continent from high above without having to get down and brave the cold.
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