Tourists Spend Thousands to Swim Among Penguins in Antarctica

Published December 1st, 2019 - 07:10 GMT

Mostly indifferent to the bipeds donning neon-colored windbreakers, wildlife abounds in the deafening silence of the icy landscape. Antarctica, a land of adventure without rulers, is 'like the heart of the Earth'.

To reach the Antarctic destination some of the people traveled 14,000 kilometers and spent thousands of euros. Tourists plunge into the three-degree Celsius water under the intrigued gaze of a group of penguins. 

Tourists are also flocking to the area in greater numbers. This season nearly 80,000 visitors are expected, a 40-percent increase compared to last year. Antarctic tour operators insist they are promoting responsible tourism.

But critics question this sort of tourism, as the emissions from world-crossing flights and soot or black carbon in the exhaust gases of cruise ships are part of what is putting the region under threat.

The colony of 2,500 penguins has been gradually declining over the years. It is not known if it is the fault of humanity

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Tourists and Barbijo penguins (Pygoscelis antarcticus) are seen on Half Moon island, Antarctica on November 09, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP

Tourists and Barbijo penguins (Pygoscelis antarcticus) are seen on Half Moon island, Antarctica on November 09, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP

A Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis Papua) swims on Half Moon island, Antarctica on November 09, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP

A Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis Papua) swims on Half Moon island, Antarctica on November 09, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP

Tourists visit Orne Harbur in South Shetland Islands, Antarctica on November 08, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP

Tourists visit Orne Harbur in South Shetland Islands, Antarctica on November 08, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP

Tourists visit Yankee Harbour in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, on November 06, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP

Tourists visit Yankee Harbour in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, on November 06, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP

View of an iceberg on Half Moon island, Antarctica on November 09, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP

View of an iceberg on Half Moon island, Antarctica on November 09, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP

View of glaciers at the Torres del Paine National Park in Magallanes region, Chile, on November 1, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP

View of glaciers at the Torres del Paine National Park in Magallanes region, Chile, on November 1, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP

Swim among penguins (Twitter)

Swim among penguins (Twitter)

Tourists spend thousands to swim among the Penguins in Antarctica "It's like getting stabbed," a tourist exclaimed, as he plunged into the three-degree celsius water (Twitter)

Tourists spend thousands to swim among the Penguins in Antarctica "It's like getting stabbed," a tourist exclaimed, as he plunged into the three-degree celsius water (Twitter)

Tourists loot at the sunset from a ship at Chiriguano bay in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica on November 07, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP

Tourists loot at the sunset from a ship at Chiriguano bay in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica on November 07, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP

Tourists spend thousands to swim among the Penguins in Antarctica "It's like getting stabbed," a tourist exclaimed, as he plunged into the three-degree celsius water (Twitter)

Tourists spend thousands to swim among the Penguins in Antarctica "It's like getting stabbed," a tourist exclaimed, as he plunged into the three-degree celsius water (Twitter)

View of a glacier at sunset at Chiriguano Bay in South Shetland Islands, Antarctica on November 07, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP

View of a glacier at sunset at Chiriguano Bay in South Shetland Islands, Antarctica on November 07, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP

Tourists and Barbijo penguins (Pygoscelis antarcticus) are seen on Half Moon island, Antarctica on November 09, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
A Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis Papua) swims on Half Moon island, Antarctica on November 09, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
Tourists visit Orne Harbur in South Shetland Islands, Antarctica on November 08, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
Tourists visit Yankee Harbour in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, on November 06, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
View of an iceberg on Half Moon island, Antarctica on November 09, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
View of glaciers at the Torres del Paine National Park in Magallanes region, Chile, on November 1, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
Swim among penguins (Twitter)
Tourists spend thousands to swim among the Penguins in Antarctica "It's like getting stabbed," a tourist exclaimed, as he plunged into the three-degree celsius water (Twitter)
Tourists loot at the sunset from a ship at Chiriguano bay in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica on November 07, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
Tourists spend thousands to swim among the Penguins in Antarctica "It's like getting stabbed," a tourist exclaimed, as he plunged into the three-degree celsius water (Twitter)
View of a glacier at sunset at Chiriguano Bay in South Shetland Islands, Antarctica on November 07, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
Tourists and Barbijo penguins (Pygoscelis antarcticus) are seen on Half Moon island, Antarctica on November 09, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
Tourists and Barbijo penguins (Pygoscelis antarcticus) are seen on Half Moon island, Antarctica on November 09, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
A Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis Papua) swims on Half Moon island, Antarctica on November 09, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
A Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis Papua) swims on Half Moon island, Antarctica on November 09, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
Tourists visit Orne Harbur in South Shetland Islands, Antarctica on November 08, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
Tourists visit Orne Harbur in South Shetland Islands, Antarctica on November 08, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
Tourists visit Yankee Harbour in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, on November 06, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
Tourists visit Yankee Harbour in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, on November 06, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
View of an iceberg on Half Moon island, Antarctica on November 09, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
View of an iceberg on Half Moon island, Antarctica on November 09, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
View of glaciers at the Torres del Paine National Park in Magallanes region, Chile, on November 1, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
View of glaciers at the Torres del Paine National Park in Magallanes region, Chile, on November 1, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
Swim among penguins (Twitter)
Swim among penguins (Twitter)
Tourists spend thousands to swim among the Penguins in Antarctica "It's like getting stabbed," a tourist exclaimed, as he plunged into the three-degree celsius water (Twitter)
Tourists spend thousands to swim among the Penguins in Antarctica "It's like getting stabbed," a tourist exclaimed, as he plunged into the three-degree celsius water (Twitter)
Tourists loot at the sunset from a ship at Chiriguano bay in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica on November 07, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
Tourists loot at the sunset from a ship at Chiriguano bay in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica on November 07, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
Tourists spend thousands to swim among the Penguins in Antarctica "It's like getting stabbed," a tourist exclaimed, as he plunged into the three-degree celsius water (Twitter)
Tourists spend thousands to swim among the Penguins in Antarctica "It's like getting stabbed," a tourist exclaimed, as he plunged into the three-degree celsius water (Twitter)
View of a glacier at sunset at Chiriguano Bay in South Shetland Islands, Antarctica on November 07, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP
View of a glacier at sunset at Chiriguano Bay in South Shetland Islands, Antarctica on November 07, 2019. Johan ORDONEZ / AFP