One thing that surprised me when I ventured up to Arctic Svalbard with Silversea Expeditions last month: the number of comparisons between the Arctic and that other famous polar destination, Antarctica.

Antarctica is filled with beautiful moments like this...Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Antarctica is filled with beautiful moments like this…Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Guests who had never been to Antarctica were curious as to how the two compared. Guests who had previously been to the famous White Continent outlined the differences. And of course, the question on everyone’s lips was, “which one is better?”

...but so is the Arctic. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

…but so is the Arctic. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

I sailed to Antarctica in January aboard Hurtigruten’s FRAM. Together with the Arctic, it had been my dream-destination for as long as I can remember. After having experienced both, I can honestly say that they’re life-changing experiences in their own right. But there are some important distinctions.

Penguins vs. Polar Bears

There's No Getting Around It (or Them): Penguins are everywhere in Antarctica! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

There’s No Getting Around It (or Them): Penguins are everywhere in Antarctica! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Let’s get the obvious distinction out of the way first: the Arctic is the home of the Polar Bear. If you’re in the market for some cute, cuddly Penguins, you’ll want to go to Antarctica.

In fact, if you’re a lover of wildlife in general, the Arctic wins for sheer diversity – there are more birds, mammals and animals here than in Antarctica. The trick is, they’re much harder to find. You can spend an entire voyage without ever seeing a polar bear. On our Silver Explorer voyage, we saw but two – almost at the end of the trip. However, the sheer array of birds and marine life we saw made up for that.

An Impossibly Fantastic Sight: a whale, visible beneath the surface of the water, comes up next to our Zodiacs in Antarctica. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

An Impossibly Fantastic Sight: a whale, visible beneath the surface of the water, comes up next to our Zodiacs in Antarctica. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Click here to continue reading!

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:


Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!