chapter  2
12 Pages

Polar Yacht Cruising

ByMark B. Orams

Our planet’s polar regions have fascinated humans for centuries. £e extreme conditions, the ·ora and fauna and the dramatic geography have created ecosystems in the Arctic and Antarctic that are unique, almost to a point where they are considered otherworldly – that is, they are places that are the most far removed from the day-to-day living conditions of most people as is possible. It is this contrast and the challenges associated with the travel to these locations that, for some, have proved irresistible. For over a century these challenges have meant that travellers (for they never thought of themselves as tourists) were a few determined explorers and adventurers who had the skill, determination and fortitude to venture into these regions. Advances in technology over the past three decades, increased media attention and pro¤le and, most recently, climate change-induced changes have dramatically transformed visitation to polar regions. An increasing number of both commercial charter yachts and privately owned vessels are venturing to the Arctic and Antarctic and this trend is highly likely to continue. £e implications of such growth in visitation are multifaceted and will be a signi¤cant management challenge over the coming years.