Visiting Antarctica and the Arctic is nothing like vacationing at a beach resort or taking a tropical cruise. The distances are vast, the conditions challenging and the ecological responsibilities intimidating.
Even holiday revelers who don't typically think about environmental issues quickly come to understand them once they arrive. There's something about seeing Antarctica, with its enormous penguin colonies, breaching whale pods and endless landscape of mountains and ice that makes visitors stop and take pause. The Arctic, with its polar bears, walruses and seals, is no different.
Fortunately, travel expedition companies specializing in the region are obsessed with safeguarding nature and wildlife.
Travel writer Larry Bleiberg is an eight-time Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award winner, and was honored for editing the best newspaper travel section in North America. He writes a column for USA Today, and has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, BBC, Better Homes & Gardens, Delta Sky and many others.