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Poseidon Expeditions Blog - Posts with tag "Antarctica"

Who or What Governs Antarctica? And How Does This Affect Tourism?

Most travelers to Antarctica know that the Seventh Continent is not sovereign territory belonging to any one nation, but rather is governed by an international agreement: the Antarctic Treaty. That’s not to say that there weren’t pre-existing claims of sovereignty prior to the Treaty’s coming into force. Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom all had territorial claims to parts of Antarctic, some going back to the 19th century. But with the signing of the Treaty in December 1959, these sovereign states mutually agreed to put their claims in abeyance for the duration of the Treaty’s life, 100 years.⁣

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Putting a priority on the “Wilderness Etiquette” in Antarctica

Passengers returning from their Antarctica cruise are sometimes surprised by the pleasant lack of seeing other ships during their adventure to the White Continent. Upon arrival in Ushuaia, these travelers sometimes marvel at observing eight or even ten ships of all sizes tied up alongside the long dock on “turn-around day” – that’s industry slang for disembarkation/embarkation and re-supply day – at the same time. And, most travelers have read that there are more expedition ships visiting the Antarctic Peninsula than in past years.
But, once these visitors get to Antarctica, where did all the ships go? Some guests report that they enjoyed an entire week without seeing another vessel once they left port.⁣

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Antarctic Wildlife Webinar with Anja Erdmann-Rutten 24 July 2020

Antarctic region is a pristine polar wilderness featuring abundant wildlife.
Watch our webinar devoted to Antarctic animals and become an Antarctic wildlife expert! Our experienced and knowledgeable expedition leader with 20 years of polar experience Anja Erdmann-Rutten shares with you the most amazing facts about penguins, seals, whales and albatrosses.⁣

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Crossing the Antarctic Convergence on Your Polar Cruise

To many of our expedition staff, who have traveled numerous times to and from the Antarctic Peninsula, the journey across the Drake Passage from the tip of South America is a not-to-be-missed prelude to actually visiting the White Continent. On the journey south, which takes the better part of two days, there’s ample time for orientation, the IAATO Briefing, informative presentations and the natural growing anticipation of visiting one of the most remote spots on earth.

But the journey is in other ways a celebrated portal to the Peninsula, crossing through the Antarctic Convergence. This is a magical yet mostly invisible doorway to the land of penguins, seals, glaciers and icebergs. What exactly is the Antarctic Convergence?

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Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands

Dreaming of going to Antarctica? Don’t forget to include South Georgia and the Falklands!

When you hear the word “penguins”, your mind might jump straight to Antarctica and its snow-covered mountains and valleys. However, several penguin species disagree with that assumption! They prefer a milder climate and believe there is nothing wrong with laying eggs in tussac grass or muddy ground rather than rocks and snow. Who could these unconventional rebels be? Of course, we mean the king penguins, and given the name, they are rightfully entitled to their opinion. Indeed, these species inhabit the subantarctic islands – the Falklands and South Georgia – rather than the continent of Antarctica.

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Who Owns Antarctica?

Everyone and no one. Those four words describe perhaps the simplest way of answering questions about the sovereignty of the Seventh Continent. And, the description has been relatively accurate since 1961 when the Antarctic Treaty, signed two years earlier, came into force.

Claims of ownership by Spain of Terra Australis Incognita – lands south of South American and Africa – go back to the 15th and 16th centuries. But it wasn’t until the 18th and 19th centuries, when hardy navigators first set eyes on the continent and ice sheet surrounding it, that more serious stakes were put forth. Spain’s original claims became those of Argentina and Chile, and five other nations jumped into the picture: Norway, France, Britain and the latter’s major colonies of the time, Australia and New Zealand. Because any type of border was practically impossible to enforce, many of the territorial claims overlapped.

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Ernest Shackleton's Grave Site

Visiting the gravesite of Sir Ernest Shackleton is an emotional stop on an Antarctic cruise that includes exploration of South Georgia. A renowned polar explorer, Shackleton died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1922, at the beginning of a new voyage. South Georgia played a key role in his previous expeditions and was very dear to him, and that is why Grytviken was chosen as the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton. Paying respects to the great explorer is a special experience for many Antarctic travelers.

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Falkland Islands: Top Attractions

The Falkland Islands are a United Kingdom territory consisting of more than 700 islands in the South Atlantic Ocean. History buffs know this place as a war zone in the 1982 conflict between Argentina and the United Kingdom. But traveling to the Falklands just to see the capital, Stanley, would certainly be an oversight. These windswept islands are one of the world’s premier wildlife-viewing destinations, a paradise for birders and nature photographers. Whether you get to see the Falklands on an expedition cruise or as an independent traveler, here are the top attractions not to be missed:

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Antarctic Expedition – Aerial View

Seeing Antarctica for the first time can be life-changing. An expedition cruise is a chance for many travelers to check seven out of seven continents off their bucket list, see whales and penguins in their natural habitat, and experience landscapes and scenery beyond belief.

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Reasons to Visit Antarctica

Visiting Antarctica is something in the back of every avid traveler's mind. Checking off all continents from your bucket list, seeing penguins and whales, following the footsteps of great explorers and becoming one yourself - these are just some of the things that make a trip to Antarctica so special.

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