For hundreds of years the frigid, icy areas of the Arctic and Antarctica have challenged explorers. Expeditions to these areas have always symbolized the adventurous spirit of mankind and its ability to endure hardship and plunge into the unknown. They’ve also claimed many lives.

With the advent of better technology, transport and preparation the poles have also become the domain of the adventure traveler. Today’s options allow you to walk amongst the penguins, kayak through the icebergs, cruise past ancient glaciers or hot air balloon, ski or skydive. In some ways the poles have become besieged with adventure tourism in the way Everest has. If you plan this kind of travel, remember the poles aren’t trophies to be bagged and the natural environment commands human respect, especially in light of global warming.