Antarctica

venice-italy

Eight Places to Visit Before They Change Forever

Before you know it, some the world’s most beautiful and unique destinations could be unrecognizable. Climate change, plastic pol­lution and overpopulation are having devas­tating effects on our planet. Earth Month, which celebrated its 46th anniversary this year, is a global initiative that aims to drive aware­ness around environmental issues.

In support of Earth Month 2016, we are hoping to raise awareness of global environmental issues by highlighting some traveller bucket list destinations we are in danger of losing forever.

Venice

Venice (above) is one of our favourite island paradis­es, but it’s no secret that the city is sinking, and it has been for centuries. High tides, rising sea levels due to climate change and boat traffic are three of the main reasons why the build­ings are eroding and slowly being claimed by rising water levels. The effect is a few millime­tres a year which may not seem like a lot, but look ahead a few decades and it’s more than a bit concerning. With floods becoming more frequent efforts are being made to control the water levels going forward. And no, stilt walk­ing for all is not a realistic option.

The Taj Mahaltaj-mahal

Not only are fees to visit this marble-ous palace increasing in an effort to limit tourists, but it’s moving towards not looking so mar­ble-ous at all. Pollution is causing the Taj Mahal to turn from white to yellow, and some­thing tells us as time goes on, the white mar­vel won’t really have the same postcard wor­thy affect that draws visitors from all over the globe. Groundwater levels and general tourist traffic have also been creating some structural damage to the palace which has led to whis­pers of public access being restricted in the near future.

orcas-featured

7 Great Spots to See Orcas

  1. ANTARCTICA

Why it’s a hot spot: The Antarctic is a good feeding ground for orcas and it is estimated that half the world’s population (around 25,000) reside there. Tours circle the Antarctic Peninsula in search of dorsal fins cutting through waves, or to witness orcas crashing into icebergs to knock unsuspecting sea lions into the water where they can be devoured.

minke-whale-founded-in-antactica

Minke Whale founded in Antarctica

Where to see: Tours of the peninsula from Argentina’s Ushuaia are popular, with sightings of minke and humpback whales common. Trips from New Zealand to the Ross Sea in the eastern Antarctic are also rich with orcas.

usuhaia-argentina

Ushuaia Peninsula – Argentina

When to go: February-March

  1. PENÍNSULA VALDÉS, ARGENTINA
    peninsula-valdes-argentina

Why it’s a hot spot: Neither heavy in numbers nor easy to spot, the lure of Patagonia’s orcas is their sophisticated hunting technique. Witness the lobos (meaning wolves, a local nickname given to the area’s predatory orcas) gulp down sea lion pups after purposely beaching themselves at high tide in order to capture their prey.

Where to see: Viewings are mainly land-based, with the beaches of Caleta Valdes, Punta Delgada and Punta Norte all good viewing spots.

orca-catching-a-sea-lion-cub

Orca Whale Catching a Sea Lion Cub – Caleta Valdes

When to go: March-April (Punta Norte) and September-October (Punta Delgada and Caleta Valdes)

Antarctica

Antarctica

The White Continent

Antarctica – Ferra Australis Incognita, “the unknown land of the south” – is the surreal continent at the bottom of the world, a destination of ethereal beauty and unequivocal grandeur. Its limitless landscape of ice, sea, and sky comes in a million shades of blue. One of the modem world’s most magical desti­nations and one of nature’s last, most remote strongholds, Antarctica affords an opportunity for adventure, excitement, and discovery rarely accessible to the average traveler. The nearly total absence of human presence fosters nonaggressive wildlife that welcome you into their habitat. A visit to a penguin rookery, whose tuxedoed residents number in the tens of thousands, is a once-in-a-lifetime experi­ence.

Different itineraries are possible: You can sail the Antarctic Peninsula or circumnav­igate the entire continent, with options to travel by Zodiac launch amid the towering ice­bergs to neighboring islands, or with ports of call on South Georgia Island and the Falklands. Though dozens of cruise ship companies ply these frigid waters, the first and best of the seaborne expedition ships is the Explorer, the “little red ship” that invented Antarctic cruising. This shallow-drafted ice­breaker carries a veteran crew that includes geologists, zoologists, polar explorers, histo­rians, ecologists, and oceanographers who help bring the incredible within reach.