Summer in Antarctica

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Summer in the southern hemisphere lasts from December to February and can be excruciatingly hot - except for one continent. This is the time to venture to the far south - as far as it gets. For only in summer is it most accessible to ships and visitors.

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Welcome to Antarctica, the frozen continent, the icy custodian of 75 percent or more, of the world's fresh water. Spread over an area 1.5 times the United States, with a population of around a thousand, and surrounded by the chilly Southern Ocean, here the ice can be as much as 4.8 kilometres thick. It covers mountain ranges as high as the Alps, and its ice rivers, or glaciers - like the Lambert Glacier that moves at one kilometre a year - split off massive chunks of ice when they reach the coastline, like some gargantuan chilled cookie conveyor belt. Those bergs sail the ocean for as long as ten years before finally thawing and breaking up.

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But on the Antarctic Peninsula, officially administered by Argentina, which is a mere 1000 kilometres north across the turbulent Drake Passage, visitors are mainly among brash ice - small floating bits that remind many of a detested kitchen chore. Defrosting the freezer.

For more information contact: Peregrine Adventures.

 

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