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The 2010 It List

by Ondine Cohane

Antarctica

The year 2010 marks the 40th anniversary of tourism in Antarctica—and perhaps the last time this wilderness will be as accessible to visitors. Within the next two years—in a move we fully support—tour operators will strictly limit the number of tourists making landfall on the continent, in an attempt to curb the environmental impact of excursions. Whether you squeeze in a trip this year or vie for a scarcer berth later, the best way to explore Antarctica is aboard a small vessel. These have access to fjords and bays that bigger ships simply can't reach. Abercrombie & Kent's Le Boreal, launching in 2010, is a compact luxury ship that will get close to Antarctica's extraordinary glaciers while keeping its 199 passengers in stylish comfort with a heated pool, spa and fitness center, state-of-the-art theater, and lecture hall. The sumptuous cabins all have private balconies over the ocean. Eco-chic types in search of even less human companionship should book an excursion with White Desert, a luxury tented camp with an occupancy limit of ten. Guests observe the Emperor penguin colony on Ekstrom Shelf (made famous in March of the Penguins), hike peaks in the region's icy interior (the cold-blooded can overnight in an igloo), and ski or kite-ski through miles of virgin Antarctic snow.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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