Quark Expeditions is holding the contest. The company says it has conducted commercial polar expeditions since 1991. Bloggers must post their essays, no longer than 300 words, on the Quark Expeditions site. The contestant who receives the most votes and a companion will receive a free cruise in February 2010 on one of Quark Expedition's vessels, plus round-trip air travel to Ushuaia, Argentina, where the ship departs.
So far, 188 hopefuls have entered. A quick review of the entries shows that many science students and early-career scientists from around the world have signed up, as well as environmentalists of all ages. The competition opened on 19 June and continues to 30 September. Registration with the site is required for voting.
Up to this year, National Science Foundation (NSF) offered artists and writers opportunities to visit Antarctica, but that program has been put on hold. Here's last year's GrantsNet entry describing the program. NSF hopes to continue it after 2010.