At the very bottom of our planet, the White Continent challenges travelers to break away from their sunny beach vacations to experience something truly unique. Sea birds and penguins, whales, and sea lions prove that life can exist - and flourish!- even in these extreme climates. When you make your expedition to Antarctica, you join a privileged and small group of people who have dared to embark on this journey.
Cruises to Antarctica depart from either Ushuaia, Argentina or Punta Arenas, Chile. Accessible only by expedition ships, some of the most popular destinations on a visit to Antarctica are:
The Drake Passage
The vast ocean that spans from Cape Horn in South America to the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica is named for the 16th century English privateer Sir Francis Drake. While cruising this waterway, you will surely notice the drop in temperature as you enter the Southern Ocean, where the Antarctic waters join the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Keep an eye out for seabirds and whales as you journey across the frigid waters.
South Shetland Islands (including King George Island)
Punctuated by impressive fjords and giant icebergs, acquaint yourself with the southern sea as you search for whales majestically breaching the water, seabirds soaring overhead looking for their next meal, penguins diving for fish, and lazily lounging seals and sea lions.
The climax of many Antarctica expeditions is the journey across the Antarctic Peninsula. You’re sure to see penguins in the hundreds at rookeries and humpback whales favoring certain spots along the coast. In addition to plenty of wildlife viewing and glacier trekking, you will also visit research stations and see some of the latest science and experiments being conducted here. A few top spots to visit on the Antarctic Peninsula are:
- Wilhelmina Bay
- Lemaire Channel
- Penola Channel
- Neumayer Channel
- Half Moon Island
- Neko Harbor
- Paradise Harbor
- Poland’s Arctowksi Research Base
- Ukraine’s Vernadskiy Base
- Historic Port Lockroy and Wordie House bases of the United Kingdom
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