- The Ross Ice Shelf, the largest floating body of ice in the world, roughly the size of France.
- This is the most remote and challenging region of Antarctica, reached from Australia and New Zealand.
- Emperor penguins, orca whales, both leopard sea and wandering albatrosses can all be found here.
- Rich history with the iconic huts of Scott at Cape Evans and Shackleton at Cape Royds.
- A sea renown for vast tabular icebergs in the clearest sea water on earth
- Home to millions of penguins with both Adelie and emperor rookeries
- Synonymous with Shackleton and his men, here the Endurance ship became trapped in the ice
- This is a more remote, less visited area than the Antarctic peninsula, accessed from South America
Our Antarctic Specialists Recommend
Experience Beyond the Ordinary in Antarctica
- Spend an unforgettable night out on the ice in a bivi or tent with a cosy sleeping bag and a blanket of stars
- Sail around the Antarctic Peninsula on a 22 metre yacht for a experience like no-other
- For the real adventure you can fly into a specially constructed camp near the South Pole
- Get closer to the water in a kayak, near-silent but for the clink of the sea ice against the sides, penguins are particularly curious and often pop up next to you
- Enter the water (seriously) - don a dry suit and snorkel with penguins to see just how much ice really is below the surface
What to expect on your Antarctic cruise holiday
If you are sailing from Ushuaia in southern Argentina to the Antarctic Peninsula, remember that it will take two days to get there and two days to get back, out of the standard ten day cruise. This stretch of water, the infamous Drake’s Passage, can offer up some interesting weather and if you are at all prone to seasickness make sure you go prepared.
During the crossing you will have lectures from your expedition crew as well as time on deck watching the flight of the pelagic birds. Upon arrival in Antarctica your daily routine will typically involve two landings by zodiac in different areas. If whales are spotted then the zodiacs may well be lowered again to try and get you a closer view.
The onboard expedition staff are key to a successful Antarctic journey. They use their experience to get you ashore when the weather is challenging and provide you with alternatives when the weather is inclement. They are on hand to give you insight into the wildlife, geology and history of this unique part of the world. Their insight vastly enriches your experience.
The expedition team give lectures throughout the voyage which will leave you reeling with knowledge, information and trivia. For example:
- The daily intake of krill of a blue whale would feed a human for four years.
- Snow falling on Antarctica takes 100,000 years to ‘flow’ to the coast before carving off as an iceberg.
- Worryingly, if Antarctica's ice sheets melted, the world’s oceans would rise by 65 metres.
Why we like Antarctica
Experiencing Antarctica first-hand can be overwhelming - the smells, the sounds and above all the scale. Penguin poo has a particular perfume. There's the honking bray of penguins, the shrill party whistles of young chicks trying to find their voice, the bleating, mewing, strangulated cries of a crèche of young fur seal pups. The deep visceral gurgling of the stomachs of elephant seals. The staggering size of the icebergs, the vast numbers of penguins.
That’s the trouble with visiting this part of the world: sensory overload. The weather, the seas, the scenery, the marine life, the bird life, the colours, the contrasts. You scour your memory database for superlatives, you are constantly reaching for your camera – thank goodness for digital cameras – but however much you try, you are never quite able to capture the experience.
Find the right boat for your Antarctic cruise
Our Antarctic Holiday Expertise
Sue our Polar specialist first visited Antarctica 15 years ago and has been captivated by the place ever since. She has crossed the notorious Drake Passage five times, visited the Antarctic Peninsula, the Weddell Sea, crossed the Antarctic circle and been to South Georgia and the Falklands during her three visits. She has experienced Antarctica during the early, mid and late season; has kayaked through and camped on the ice and even jumped into the freezing water doing the ‘polar plunge’. Sue has also sailed or been on the vast majority of boats we offer. She is a true Antarctic specialist and can offer first-hand knowledge on most aspects of a holiday to Antarctica.
Advice from our Antarctic Experts
“It is probably not as cold as you expecting but the wind chill makes a difference, take lots of layers, a good hat to cover your ears, thick socks, neck gaiter and spare gloves in case they get wet. Extra-large washing up gloves make a simple and effective waterproof coating for gloves.”
“If you are a keen photographer then kneepads are great in the zodiacs and for getting down low to take penguin shots. Don’t forget to put your camera down and just take it all in, the images that are in your memory are much more vivid than those on your memory card will ever be.”
Talk to Sue today to start your Antarctic adventure, call 01285 885333 or enquire here.