South Pole Becomes Tourist Destination

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According to this article from the U.K.’s Telegraph the South Pole is about to become a tourist attraction for anyone who has the cash to get there.

British adventure travel specialists Discover The World will begin offering an eight day Antarctic trip that will begin with travelers arriving in Punta Arenas, where they’ll catch a flight to Patriot Hills, where they’ll set up base camp and spend time exploring and hiking on the frozen continent. From there, they’ll also take the six hour flight to the South Pole, where they’ll be allowed to spend as much as four hours and have the opportunity to visit the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

The trip will cost about £18,000 or roughly around $36,000. At this time, there are a total of four trips planned, with a maximum of 11 people per trip. The first tours are being scheduled for December of 2008 and into January of 2009.

I have rather mixed feelings about this trip. While I’d personally love to travel to the South Pole, and have the opportunity to explore parts of Antarctica, the thought of it turning into a tourist destination is kind of scary. I wouldn’t want to see it become over run with people, and have the environment there effected by the traffic. The first of these trips will carry a maximum of 44 people over the four planned tours, but that’s just the beginning. Where will it go from there? Hopefully the price and remoteness of the location will help keep things in check, but then again, we’ve seen what that has done to Everest.

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3 thoughts on “South Pole Becomes Tourist Destination”

  1. I’ve actually always thought a trip to Antarctica would be amazing, but I do agree with the idea that it shouldn’t be turned into a tourist destination. I think small and limited expeditions there would be fine, but things usually grow out of those small ones. It’s a fragile place and I think care needs to be taken.

  2. Exactly the same way that I feel. I just fear that it’ll blossom into more traffic than is expected. Like I said, look what’s happened to Everest in the past 10 years, and look at the efforts that are underway to clean up the mountain. I’d hate to see the South Pole turn into something similar.

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