Ah, behold the Grand Line! Goal of pirates, Graveyard of ships, and the fabled resting place of that most sacred of treasures, One Piece. Only the best of sailors can get around here, and the seabed is littered with bones and shipbits from those who weren't quite up to it.
The Grand Line presents some rather interesting challenges to those that try to sail its waters, such as strange magnetic currents that make compassas useless, or that time and season may shift drastically from island to island. Without the specialized compass known as a Log Pose, even the most skilled of navigation will not save one from a watery grave.
Add to that the dangers of the Sea kings, (Giant sea creatures of a godzilla scale that seem drawn to take out their displeasure over lacking feet to stomp Tokyo with on passing ships.), Wild and savage animals on some of the more feral islands, from dinosaurs to more fantastic monsters. Plus, being the grand line, any pirates here are a cut above the average brute.
But it's not a totally god-forsaken deathtrap. There are cities and towns of any imaginable description on the islands of the chain, fantastic landscapes of breathtaking beauty, and forgotten treasures, while not as impressive as One Piece itself, are still probably worth looking into.