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south pole

south pole

The ice under a blue sky. Silence, only penguins and seals. A trip to Antarctica is an unforgettable experience. Now the return trip to the region began.

Until now the South Pole attracts about 50 thousand tourists per year. Adventure a few years ago did not pay off, now the cheap. Can it cope with flooding continent tourists?

In the Netherlands, there are about 20 travel agency that offers a number of exciting tourist destination for the adventurous. It costs about 8,000 euros per person. Expensive indeed, but much can be gained: eco-friendly holidays, for example. Special Antarctic Treaty requires the agency filed a special permit to explore the area by boat. A number of conditions must be met. From the method of waste disposal in the boat until an airtight food packaging.

Until now ships sailing to the South Pole may carry a maximum of 150 tourists. Limited and determined from the beginning. They can observe penguins and seals up close. Or take a walk on the ice. However, the number of tourists increases, said Gert Polet, a pole of WNF:

“We see a trend that the size of cruise ships that sail in the polar licensed bigger. If a ship berpenumpang 2000 people problems at the poles, it is difficult to evacuate the victims. Arctic Explorer, carrying 150 passengers, crashed in 2007. Working hard to evacuate them. Danger once when 2000 passengers floating in the polar. In addition, oil leaks can occur. Not possible to solve all problems if much of the infrastructure! ”

Large cruise ships are now not allowed to sail to the Antarctic mainland. Passengers can only admire from afar Antarctic-like expanse of white ice.

Much heated discussion whether the arrival of large ships are desired. Looking risk, mass cruise offers a totally unique character of the region. A cruise along the coast of the Arctic is also not environmentally friendly to the Antarctic continent.

Although many policies taken, very little research done on the effects of tourism in the area. Yet growing research needs, said Machiel Lamers from Wageningen University. It examines future tours to Antarctica. Although Antarctica has not changed so Costa Spain or Ibiza, a permanent guesthouse already built in Antarctica.

Lamers: “There is no rule against it. And a lot of activity towards tourism. So this is a scenario that should be taken into account, and many countries want to come to think about. ”

Inevitable that eventually the policy should be structured, thought Lamers. Policies such as the prohibition of building a hotel, organize any activity that may be performed on the mainland. And the maximum number of tourists. A division of travel time.

Lamers: “It can be arranged in the form of distribution of the visit. Travel agencies can negotiate with each other. In this way they can determine who is allowed to Antarctica in a particular season and how many people should be brought. ”

The advantages of the system are: the money generated could be used to study the effects of tourism on the environment.

Not meant to fence off the Antarctic continent, but we must be careful to exploit it. So says expert poles Polet. Moreover, many other dangers to the South Pole than tourism.

“Climate Warming in Antarctica runs faster than in other parts of the earth. Penguins become one of his victims. They breed on the ice and broke the ice more often. Never happened, half penguin colony split due to ice breakup. Parents penguin can not find her children. The problems were bigger than the number of tourists visiting Antarctica. ”

Until now, a trip to the South Pole is very exclusive and travel agencies are responsible for arranging everything. Moreover, they give the illusion of untouched wilderness to their clients. And meet other vacationers at the South Pole does not fit that description. Moreover, finding trash on the ice.


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