China’s expedition to Antarctica

China goes to space, China hosts the 2008 Olympics… and yesterday November 12: 91 Chinese scientists leave Shanghai for a new Antarctica expedition.

188 Chinese go on a 5 months Antarctica expedition: 91 Chinese scientists will reach Antarctica on the Xue Long Antarctica cruise ship, the rest of the 188 strong expedition will reach Antarctica by air.

This will be China’s 24th scientific expedition to Antarctica.

Why China wants to explore Antarctica

  • this Antarctica expedition will lay the foundations for China’s in-depth exploration of the Antarctic area
  • the expedition team will fix the site of China’s third scientific research station at the South Pole (a planned observatory with seven telescopes and one acoustic radar at Dome A, the highest point on the Antarctica continent at 4,093 meters above sea level)
  • the Chinese Antarctic explorers will also conduct field research into the bio-diversity of Antarctica, the ice shelf, climate change, global warming, the Antarctic ice algae and krill, and environmental monitoring

Antarctica Cruise Ship

Chinese Antarctica cruise ship Xue Long (snow dragon)

All this makes you wonder what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon really is doing in Antarctica these days except for enjoying a once in a lifetime tourist vacation free cruise to Antarctica

Antarctica Weather

Temperatures on the ice sheet’s highest plateau on Antarctica drop to – 90 C and it has for long been considered "unapproachable".

So this Chinese Antarctica expedition team will first conduct preparatory work such as boiling water and observing the atmosphere.

China’s future plans on Antarctica

China is making preparations to build a third Antarctica station and once the site is located, construction will start soon to be completed by 2010.

1 week ago, China sent 189 construction workers from the China Railway Construction Engineering Group to begin work on the biggest expansion of the two permanent Antarctic stations – Changcheng (Great Wall) and Zhongshan.

These workers will add facilities comprising a space observation station, garage, warehouse, garbage and sewage discharge system, boiler house, high-frequency radar room and oil tanker to the two Antarctic stations.

To protect the environment, this South Pole construction group has built advanced sewage treatment systems and garbage burning facilities. Non-degradable and solid waste will be shipped back home for treatment.

China’s history of Antarctica Expeditions

China launched its first expedition to Antarctica in 1984.

Since that first Antarctica "adventure", such expeditions have been conducted on an annual basis.

China is part of the 82 stations built on Antarctica. Antarctica receives more than 30 scientific expedition teams every year, one of which is Chinese.

How to get a free cruise to Antarctica?

If you have been browsing around to find out prices about Antarctica tours, you will surely know that any Antarctica cruise easily costs a minimum of about US $ 10.000…

Why politicians love Antarctica trips

So if you ever wondered why politicians love to participate in an Antarctica tour: it’s merely because visiting Antarctica is the fastest way to burn any budget.

Of course the budget of environment will be hurt the easiest, but even if you don’t have that, than use up the budget of science and technology: as maybe your country does need scientists on Antarctica as well? Or if you already have them, better go on an Antarctica expedition to find out what your scientists really are doing in Antarctica.

Why Ban should be banned from the South Pole

So United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is viewing for himself the worrying effects of global warming by visiting Antarctica.

Is Ban an expert and has he ever done an Antarctica expedition? Does he have any clue what to look at in Antarctica?

Wouldn’t it be money well spend if real scientists gave Ban a report + documentary of how Antarctica was years before now compared to now?

Antarctica tourism

Antarctica tourism on its best: fast travel by plane:
Ban arriving at the at Chile’s Air Force base in Antarctica

Antarctica, Ban and Global warming

How can you see any effect of Global warming if you have no point of reference? You mean Ban can just go there and see the planet warming up the second he arrives? If that’s the case, our planet will be doomed to overheating in a matter of weeks!

This must be really the coolest way of spending US money! Way to go Ban!

king george island Antarctica

Ban looking at global warming on his Antarctica cruise.
Notice the scientific equipment Ban uses to measure global warming…
like none, nothing, zero !!!!

By the way: if you ever go on an Antarctica trip, then make sure you have your gloves on before you step outside the compartments of your Antarctica Cruise ship. 6 months after my Antarctica trip due to wet gloves, I could still feel the cold in my fingers!

Antarctica Vacations

To add to the holiday experience, Ban will also visit the Torres del Paine National Park, home to Chile’s spectacular glaciers.

Why?

Well that’s a no-brainer: they are also threatened by global warming, so that’s a good excuse to visit them!

Antarctica Cruise

If there is one place that one should go before you leave this earth for good, Antarctica is one of them. It is an excellent place to go for an adventure cruise and a trip to this white continent will be a memorable one for anyone who has the golden opportunity to make a trip there.

Antarctica CruisesThe best time to go for a cruise to the Antarctica is in the summer months for obvious reasons. However, summer is not “warm” and it can get very chilly and weather some times can be unpredictable. Also during the summers, the ice thaws so ships can navigate through the waters and ice.

Do know when we talk about Antarctic summer, we actually refer to January and February, since we are talking about the South Pole (Australian readers won’t be surprised to hear this, as they also live on the southern hemisphere).

When cruising in Antarctica , you can to see all kinds of wild life and different types of birds. You can see marine mammals like Humpback, Minke and Orca whales and seals as well. The wildlife and landscapes are truly unique and worth seeing.

Antarctica vacations

If you are one of those lucky ones that have been to practically every continent in the world and is fast running out of places to go (except the moon) then you should seriously think of taking a cruise to Antarctica .

Antarctica vacationsIt is expensive for sure and depending on where you are from, the airfare will cost an arm and a leg.

But it will be a journey of a lifetime as there is no place on earth like Antarctica .

There are various cruises you can choose to go on but if you can afford it, you have to get on one of those Russian icebreakers that will take you to places where the big cruise ships are unable to get to.

How do people get to Antarctica

Quark Expeditions specializes in polar expeditions aboard purpose-built Expedition vessels and they have the most diverse fleet of passenger vessels in the Antarctica.

It offers many departures and various itineraries than other companies.

Within its fleet there is also a helicopter equipped icebreaker outfitted for expeditions in Antarctic waters.

It can bring you closer to the wildlife as it go farther with its helicopter.

Their crews consist of specialists of various fields with decades of experience in the polar regions.

how to get to antarcticaThey are experienced in navigating through pack ice in extreme conditions.

On top of this, it has a deep sense of environmental responsibility and take the extra effort to educate all passengers that it brings to the polar regions.

Quark Expeditions

Quark ExpeditionsQuark Expeditions Cruises is one of the more established companies that organizes cruises on Russian icebreakers to the Antarctic continent.

Their cruises focus mainly on giving you an adventure but do not expect too much luxury on board. It does roll around quite a bit so if you do not have sea legs, you are in for a ride!

Quark ExpeditionsThey do however have specialists on board that will provide you with the required information on polar ecosystems and even digital photography.

One thing I can assure you is that the food on board is excellent

… Well, on those days when the boat is not rolling and you are not sick to your stomach, eating is a joy at meal times.

How to get a free Antarctic cruise?

Well, you need to be:

  • a citizen of Malaysia,
  • a scientist,
  • determined,
  • increase your chances when you apply as a woman,
  • you need to be totally devoted to go on an Antarctica vacation… OOPS:
  • you need to be totally devoted to go on a polar research mission.

Polar Research Malaysia

Each year, Malaysia sends an average of 14 scientists to the Arctic and Antarctic. The participants in these Antarctic expeditions are scientists and postgraduate students of which 70% are women.

Most of them undertaking this Antarctica travel are young and very determined.

So if you are crazy about Antarctica but never think of spending the money for going on an Antarctica vacation, why not divert your passion into becoming an scientist and even get paid to go on Antarctic expeditions?

Polar Bears

polar bears

Malaysian Polar Research Team : Suhaila, Sheeba and Leela

The 3 Malaysian polar researches (from the National Antarctic Research Centre) just came back from their first scientific Antarctica travel.

You can read how these 3 Malaysian women experienced their Antarctic expeditions in our next posts. For the skeptics amongst you: there is much more involved than counting how many penguins there are on Antarctica…

Antarctica Cruises

Penguins are most likely the first animals you think about when you hear about an Antarctica cruise: they sail through the icy water, and when the ice is to hard for any Antarctica ship to crush, penguins or other of the little wildlife could be seen walking on ice.

Your vacation to Antarctica wont be complete without penguins. Without an icebreaker, you will be able to admire them from far. Yet on board of a real icebreaker, you can come up and close to these Antarctica penguins, just hold your breath… you have been warned :-).

Make sure to book a cruise that uses an icebreaker, to bring you up and close to the ice and the penguins: it will most likely a once in a lifetime travel, and since you already want to venture so far, might as well make sure you will go the extra mile and set foot on Antarctic soil!

My Antarctica Cruises Dream

penguin cruises antarctica

Antarctica cruises : did you ever dream of somebody who cruises Antarctica and that somebody is you? Never miss a episode of whale wars? Did you ever wanted to visit Earth’s lost Paradise: the seventh continent on an Antarctica cruise? Ever imagined about adventurous Antarctica cruises? I did!

This Antarctica Cruises site will show magnificent pictures about my Antarctic travel. We invite everybody to share their Antarctica travel stories and pictures, so do leave a comment!

Let’s make this site a personal tourism site for everybody who dreams about a cruise to the South Pole.