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North vs South, Polar Bears vs Penguins, Vacation vs Education

Posted 20 Dec 2018

Choosing an expedition cruise to either ends of the Earth is an extremely hard decision to make. So, what makes these parts of the world so similar yet so different?

Polar bears and penguins are destined to never meet, living in extremely cold environments but on opposite ends of the planet, Polar bears in the Arctic and penguins in the Antarctic. Everyone has their preferred preference of what they want to see. Polar bears are solitary and majestic creatures best viewed at a safe distance; quite the opposite of bustling penguin colonies, inquisitively waddling over to you, tripping up onto their stomachs on the way. Of course, there is more wildlife in both ends of the world; whale watching season is around the later months of the Arctic and Antarctic season, be on the look out for Narwhales, Humpbacks and Belugas in the North and Minkes, Humpbacks and Orcas in the South. 

Ticking off the 7th continent from your bucket list might be the aim of the game for your trip. The main difference between the Arctic and the Antarctic is their geological form. The Arctic is a sea of ice surrounded by land and Antarctica has its entire continent to itself with 98 percent of it covered by an ice cap. 

Apart from a few inhabited scientific research stations in Antarctica, nobody lives there, it’s a virtually inhospitable terrain to live in, even for its resident penguins. In the Arctic there are numerous native populations living in these harsh conditions, you can visit a town in the Arctic and be welcomed by shops, bars, restaurants and people! So, if you want to get away from civilisation, the Antarctic is for you.

In the Arctic, you will find yourself hiking the tundra surrounded by reindeers and potentially an Arctic Fox will be lying low searching for prey. A landing in the Antarctic will take you across mostly snowy landscapes where you can sit in peace with the penguins whilst they steal pebbles from each other’s nests, or you may even spot a Fur seal or Weddell seal snoozing nearby.

Either way, both the Arctic and Antarctica are other worldly, magical places to visit, it is a trip that is unique and you will treasure forever. 

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