Sunday, April 10, 2011

Puerto Williams Striving to be Chile's Ushuaia Equivalent

Puerto Williams is located in Chile, but is only about 25 miles from Ushuiaia in Argentina is located.  Ushuaia is the main port that Antarctica tourist cruises leave from.  Puerto Williams plans to expand their port to accommodate the cruise liners.  Further down the road they also plan to expand the local airport.  While they just got some Chilean government money to improve their tourism industry, it appears it will still be a while before they even have the facilities to even try to compete with Ushuaia.

On one hand competition can be good for getting quality tourist experiences, but on the other hand this is sort of attempting to expand the Antarctic tourist industry, which overall is not good for the continent.  Sure, the lack of competition might lead to increasingly expensive Antarctic tourism/cruises, but this is the type of tourism industry that I feel needs to be that way to protect the natural environment of Antarctica for others to enjoy it as it is for as long as possible.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Raytheon Science Support of NSF Research Awarded New Contract

I am very familiar with Raytheon being the employer/provider of the support staff for NSF run bases/camps in Antarctica, although I did not realize it has been only since 2000.  However, at the same time I have much longer known them for what most people think of them as, which is a defense contract company.  I always think it is funny that a company that builds and sells things like missiles is the same company that handles the support staff for scientific research research in Antarctica, where military activity is banned (military personnel and equipment can be used to scientific research or other peaceful purposes).

The new contract is a $157 million one that extends Raytheon Polar Services support staff role through March 31, 2012.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Whisky Recovered from Antarctica Replicated

Earlier this year McKinlay and Co whisky was removed from the ice at one of the camps Shackleton left behind from his 1909 Nimrod Antarctic Expedition.  The company ( Whyte & Mackay distillery) that now owns McKinlay and Co whisky has studied the only whisky formulation and successfully replicated its unique flavor.

The Scotland Whyte & Mackay distillery will be selling 50,000 bottles of the replication.  The bottles are priced at £100 and 5% of each sale will go to the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

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