There’s an old maxim that Iceland is green and Greenland is ice. While this for the most part may be true about Greenland, it’s only half the story.
Imagine steaming across thousands of miles of frigid, poorly charted waters, many of them made all the more dangerous by icebergs and sea ice. Imagine finally reaching land and then dealing with one of the driest, windiest and coldest places on earth. One completely void of indigenous peoples, man-made infrastructure or vegetation.
Although tropical destinations such as the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Tahiti typically rank high in a person’s mind for a getaway, approximately 30,000 travelers looking for a more adventurous destination reached the shores of Antarctica during the 2015-16 season. Rather than sandy beaches and palm trees, they were in search of remote landscapes, icebergs, and most of all, penguins. The latter's vast waddling populations are incredible to see, with the gentoo penguins outnumbering them all.
This story really happened more than 30 years ago.
In the Russian High Arctic, a convoy of over 50 Soviet-era ships became trapped in ice fields along the Northern Sea Route or "Northeast Passage." In those days, many Russian Arctic settlements were dependant on food and other neccessities that were typically delivered by these traditional convoys. This time, however, the convoy was unable to return after supplying the isolated settlements due to impassable ice.
As the situation became dire, it was agreed that a nuclear-powered icebreaker, the Lenin, would be pressed into service to lead the other ships out of their icy jail.
What makes this story special – and the Lenin the hero – was her power source: nuclear energy. It enabled the Lenin and her crew to prevent hundreds of seamen from being trapped in the ice for a prolonged period of time. It was one of the biggest and most successful rescue missions of its day.
Poseidon Expeditions, like other tour operators that take you on adventure cruises to Antarctica, wants you to be comfortable during your trip. That’s easy aboard the ship where casual clothing is the norm in the lounge, dining room or lecture room. But adventure cruises to Antarctica require a bit of planning
This article was reposted from Boomer's Bucket List Travel
Do you wish you had been born over a century ago when the world was out there for the curious to explore? If you’ve watched the TV saga Vikings, keep explorers like Erik the Red in mind. He made his mark on the Arctic by founding the first Norse settlement in Greenland. Think Sir Edmund Hillary and Sir Ernest Shackleton