Antarctic fantastic natural beauty hosts an abundant wildlife in one of the most forbidding places on earth. And you can explore this icy wilderness from the comfort of a cruise ship. Cruises are carefully controlled to maintain environmental standards but you will still meet fearless penguins and watch seals, whales and countless seabirds in a landscape dominated by massive ice cliffs and seas dotted with floating icebergs.
The Antarctic Peninsula lies at the northernmost tip of Antarctica across Drake Passage from the southernmost tip of South America. Offshore you will find the South Shetland Islands including islands like Deception with its volcanic caldera and hot springs. Sail through Paradise Harbour, ringed by hanging ice cliffs and dotted with floating icebergs or the narrow, glacier-lined Lemaire Channel, considered one of Antarctica’s most beautiful passages.
South Georgia Island is a tangle of mountain ranges, glacier fields, and ravines, first seen by Captain Cook in 1775 lying 800 miles northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula. There’s much to see amid its many ice-sculpted coves and historic whaling sites.
Often visited on Antarctic cruises the 200 little Falkland Islands are clustered 300 miles out in the South Atlantic some 480 miles northeast of Cape Horn. Their unspoilt shores, rolling moorland and low hills are home to less than 3000 people, over half a million sheep and much fascinating wildlife, including seals, penguins and shorebirds.
WHEN TO CRUISE?
Cruising is only possible during the southern hemisphere summer from November to March when temperatures can still be -5 to -8C and wind chill a big factor.
Proper protective clothing is essential although it can reach higher temperatures in the northerly islands.