Friday, 24 April 2009

Three Polar Travel Myths Debunked

Consumers considering the polar regions as travel destinations often have three misconceptions about the Arctic and Antarctica:

1. Neither region is a sun destination.

2. They are cold places to visit.

3. Polar voyages are more expensive than other cruises.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The polar regions are the ultimate sun destinations. Travel occurs in the summer months - June to September for the Arctic and October to March for the Antarctic. During the summer daylight is continuous above the polar circle. Consumers who choose itineraries that sail near or above a polar circle will be able to bask in the sun 18 to 24 hours a day.

Travelers to the polar regions are encouraged to pack swimsuits, for polar plunges. Although the temperature hovers above freezing, in some locales geothermal activity creates hot springs in which to laze. Admittedly, the weather can turn suddenly, but if consumers pack the gear recommended by the outfitter, they will be very comfortable no matter what the weather.

Polar expeditions range in price, and when comparisons are made with other cruise destinations, often they are favorable. This is because polar expeditions are virtually all-inclusive. Unlike more traditional cruises that charge fees for shore landings, the best polar expedition companies include shore landings in the cost of the voyage. Consumers are advised to comparison shop, as the lowest price is not necessarily the best value!

First time travelers to the Arctic would do well to consider Spitsbergen, Svalbard as a destination. Those considering Antarctica for the first time would do well to consider a Peninsula voyage.

About Quark Expeditions

Since 1991, Quark Expeditions has established a tradition of firsts in polar expedition travel. The company was the first to transit the Northeast Passage with commercial passengers; the first to take travelers to the "far side" of Antarctica and the first to circumnavigate the Antarctic continent with guests, twice. Quark is also recognized for its diverse passenger fleet; the largest in Antarctica - including the only polar-class icebreaker operating as an expedition ship there. The fleet enables Quark to operate the widest variety of polar itineraries of any other adventure company in the world, and the greatest number of departures to Antarctica. In October 2006 and 2007, Quark was named a recipient of National Geographic Traveler's "50 Tours of a Lifetime" for their "Emperor Penguin Safari" and the "Far Side" respectively. In the March 2006 edition, Outside magazine named the "Emperor Penguin Safari" as one of the New Trips of a Lifetime.