The Polar Experience
A Study in Contrasts
Welcome to the Polar Experience. This section of our website is for people curious about expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica. This is the place to begin your virtual journey above 60N or below 60S.
Are you aware that the Arctic and Antarctica are a study in contrasts? The Arctic - is an ocean surrounded by continents. Antarctica is a continent surrounded by an ocean. Each has unique wildlife that cannot be found in the wild elsewhere. Polar bears and walrus inhabit the North. Penguins inhabit the South. The Arctic has been continually inhabited for thousands of years. Antarctica has never been inhabited.
Here you learn about wildlife, geography, and the polar expedition experience.
There are similarities between the Arctic and Antarctica. Polar expedition cruises in both regions occur during the spring and summer. In the Arctic that is June to September. In Antarctica, that is November to March. Daylight lasts long during both summer months, as much 18 to 20 hours. To experience daylight 24/7 travel above the Arctic Circle, or below the Antarctic Circle.
What do you call the ends of the Earth?
Here at Quark, North Pole refers to the invisible point at the top of the world, also known as 90N. We use the term Arctic to refer to the entire region of the globe above the tree line. That includes the North Pole. The South Pole refers to the invisible point at the bottom of the world, also known as 90S. We use the term Antarctica to refer to the entire region of the globe below 60S.
The Other Poles
The two poles you know best - 90N and 90S are geographical poles - the ends of the Earth's rotational axis. There are three other poles - in each region! The Magnetic Poles are located where the lines of force of the Earth's magnetic field converge. They move constantly - from 10 to 20 km (6 to 12 miles) per year - due to variations in the Earth's magnetic field. The Geomagnetic Poles are theoretical. You cannot visit them. They are used to rationalize variations in the Earth's magnetic field. The Poles of Relative Inaccessibility are measured by distance from the coasts.