Antarctica: A Great Trip or a Guilt Trip?

  • 2017-07-20
  • CNN

Two things on the rise in the Antarctic peninsula: temperatures and tourism.

An unprecedented 17.5 C (63.5 F) was recorded by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) at the Argentine Experanza research base in March 2015 -- pretty much T-shirt weather.

Meanwhile, as of July 2017, 63 vessels are registered with the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), including some big names in cruising, such as Hurtigruten, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Silversea and Celebrity Cruises.

Between them they brought around 38,500 visitors on tourist expeditions to the white continent in the 2015--16 season -- an increase of nearly 10,000 over the past decade.

But are these fuel-guzzling trips ultimately harmful to the region -- or can they also be a force for good?