Visitors numbers to Antarctica, one of the world’s most desirable, remote and expensive destinations, have risen sharply with a 16% year on year increase for the 2017/18 cruising season when a total of 51,707 tourists made the long journey south.

Total visits have risen 38% since 2013/14. The United States remains by far the biggest market with 33% market share, followed by China 16%, Australia 11%, Germany/UK 7%.

China was the fastest-growing major market with a 4% increase.

The figures were released this week by the International Association of AntarcticaTour Operators.

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