Today Show: 35,000 People Vacationing in Antarctica to See Penguins

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Today Show: Kerry Sanders Visits Antarctica

Just 10 years ago only about 1,000 people were traveling to Antarctica for vacation, but it is estimated around 35,000 people will travel to Antarctica this year to take in the beauty of the frostbitten landscape. In an effort to find out why people would want to travel to the bottom of the earth, the Today Show sent Kerry Sanders on vacation.

Today Show: 35,000 People Vacationing in Antarctica to See Penguins

The Today Show sent Kerry Sanders to Antarctica for a vacation where he swam in 35 degree water, drank some of the cleanest water in the world and met penguins.

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From America to the very tip of Argentina, Sanders said it was only a boat ride away after that. He said at times the journey was stomach churning, like when his boat traveled through the treacherous Drake Passage while 20 foot waves smashed against the hull of the boat. But when the waves subsided, one woman on the boat described the scenery as simply amazing. Another woman said she felt like a “kid in a toy shop.”

For one woman, coming to Antarctica was a dream come true, something she had been dreaming of doing since she was in the seventh grade. The group of tourists had the chance to watch whales care for their young, watch penguins slip, slide and waddle across the ice and they watched seals hunt for fish.

Today Show: Living On a Boat In Antarctica

The tourists don’t stay on a cruise when in Antarctica. Sanders said they simply lived on a large boat that was just big enough to navigate the straits formed by ice. When the group would take to land to see more wildlife, inflatable Zodiacs were used in the freezing cold water.

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Sanders, who was forced to sleep outside one night without any tent, said he was allowed to take a kayak out by himself where he had his fill of some of the most refreshing and clean water in the world. He even took a dip in the 35 degree water before heading back onto the ship.

Why bring so many people to such a fragile environment? Kevin Sampson, one of the wildlife tour guides on the ship, said they are trying to create ambassadors for Antarctica, ambassadors that will help keep Antarctica the way it needs to stay.

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