From Worldhum's interview with Susan Fox Rogers:
Somehow I don’t think tourism will diminish there. Antarctica has a powerful pull for some people, doesn’t it?
Yeah. I saw a blogger ask why people have to go there. Well, it changes how you see the world. That’s why people have to go there. When you’re thrown into such extremes, at least where I was in McMurdo, the sensory deprivation is extraordinary. Colors are reduced to white, blue, and suddenly blue has 9,000 variations you didn’t see before. And there’s no sound when you’re standing on the Ross Ice Shelf. There’s always some kind of noise around us when we’re at home, even the hum of the refrigerator. Suddenly you can be in a place where there’s no sound at all. You realize that’s not an experience you can have many places in the world. It’s spooky. Now, I don’t know whether anyone on these cruise ships is having that experience.
What’s more, all things are frozen so there’s almost no smell. And where I was the diet was really limited. So your taste is kind of reduced, too. When I left—I didn’t want to leave, but my time was up—and got to New Zealand, I was just assaulted by the warm air. I went out to dinner and ordered a salad and just chewed and chewed. I was so delighted and thought, how could I have not wanted to come back to this? I was on this sensory overload when I got back. It made me see the world differently.
With anything that’s as extreme as that, you have to be changed. To me, the point of travel is to come back changed. I am a pilgrim. When I go out, I want to return to where I’m from and see things differently from when I set out. Antarctica does that to you.
Susan Fox Rogers is the editor for the Traveler's Tales: Antarctica: Life On the Ice