The Ross Sea became the starting point for expeditions to the South Pole. Shackleton's hut at Cape Royds and Scott's hut at Cape Evans have become two of its main attractions for visitors on the Ross Sea cruises. East Antarctica and Commonwealth Bay are the areas synonymous with the explorers Mawson and d’Urville. Cape Dennison in Commonwealth Bay has the title of the windiest place on earth, here experience Antarctica at it most raw.
- The Ross Sea and East Antarctica are the most remote and challenging regions of Antarctica to reach with only a handful of expeditions each year
- Learn about the fascinating history of the early explorers, there is a chance to visit some of the most iconic huts of Scott, Shackleton, Mertz and Mawson.
- The sheer scale of the ice shelves has to be seen to be believed
- En-route visit the wildlife rich subantarctic islands such as Macquarie with its endemic royal penguins
- Choice of voyage aboard either a Russian research vessel or a comfortable expedition ship
Named after British explorer James Clark Ross who discovered this formidable ice shelf in 1841, the Ross Ice Shelf is the largest body of floating ice in the world. Visit this fascinating area to witness the huge scale of the ice sheet, spectacular scenery and a chance to visit emperor penguin colonies and early explorer huts.
Given the remoteness of these regions there are very few expeditions and access is normally from either Australia or New Zealand. For a true epic voyage you can travel down from Ushuaia on the tip of South America to the Antarctic Peninsula passing though both Bellingshausen’s and Amundsen’s sea before arriving into the Ross Sea and ending your voyage in New Zealand or vice versa.
Dotted amongst the windswept waters of the Southern Ocean are a series of subantarctic islands that harbour spectacular birdlife including a number of endemic species. The ships stop at a number of these on the journey to or from Australia and New Zealand. UNESCO World Heritage Macquarie Island rival South Georgia for prolific wildlife and scenic diversity, home to 20,000 breeding pairs of royal penguins, along with king, gentoo and rock hopper penguins, elephant seals and various albatross species.
The best time to travel to East Antarctica and the Ross Sea is early in the year.