- 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
While sailing in Antarctica’s vast white wilderness, a flexible itinerary allows you to take advantage of favorable sea and weather conditions. In the true spirit of expedition cruising, each day the Expedition Leader and Captain determines best course depending on weather, ice conditions, and wildlife you may encounter.
Here are some of the places you may visit:
Brown Bluff, Tabarin Peninsula (a 2,200-foot bluff on the Antarctic continent)
Brown Bluff is an ice-capped, 745-meter-high, flat-topped mountain with a prominent cliff of reddish-brown volcanic rock. Adelie and gentoo penguins, kelp gulls, and Cape petrels use the base of Brown Bluff as a breeding area. Birds such as the all-white snow petrel and skuas may be seen from a distance. Weddell seals may be seen basking in the sunlight near the base of a glacier.
The sight of Adelie penguins covering the entire island is quite amazing. The island is home to 80-90 thousand Adelies that come here to breed. On a nearby hill is a massive colony of blue-eyed shags. Kelp gulls and snowy sheathbills are amongst the birds that also breed on Paulet Island, and Wilson’s storm petrels are regularly seen. Members of a Swedish Antarctic expedition had to over-winter on the island in 1912 after their ship was ship-wrecked. Remnants of their hut still remain and you have to walk past the hut on your way to the island's lake.
Cuverville Island, Errera Channel
The island was discovered by Gerlache’s Belgian Antarctic expedition of 1897–99, and was named for a vice admiral in the French navy. Large, bare rock areas provide nesting sites for gentoo penguins. Snow petrels and Cape petrels also may be seen, whilst Wilson’s storm petrels nest in the higher scree of the island. During Zodiac tours, hauled-out Weddell and Antarctic fur seals are quite often encountered.
Paradise Bay (on the Antarctic Peninsula)
The bay is well named for its spectacular scenery of mountains, glaciers, and icebergs. The ship reaches Argentina’s “Base Almirante Brown”, one of many Antarctic research stations. Here, actually set foot on the mainland of Antarctica. You can also view the wildlife from sea level while cruising in the Zodiacs. Apart from observing nesting shags in the cliffs there is a good chance to see crabeater seals relaxing on ice floes, and you might even locate minke whales.
Neko Harbour (on the Antarctic Peninsula)
Neko Harbour offers a visit to small penguin rookeries, a nice Zodiac cruise in search of whales, and the possibility to hike onto a glacier for spectacular views of the glaciers, the bay, and the ship. The common breeding birds are gentoo penguins, but chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls, and skuas can be seen too. Seals are often hauled-out close to the landing site.
Lemaire Channel (Between Booth Island and the Peninsula)
The Lemaire Channel (named by Adrien de Gerlache after a Belgian explorer who never came to Antarctica) was first crossed in 1898. The spectacular scenery of the steep snow-covered mountains and the tranquil waters in conjunction with the probability to see whales and seals make this one of the most memorable places during the voyage.
Port Lockroy, Goudier Island
The British built a listening station here during WWII, which was later used as a research station in the 1950s and since 1996 as a museum and gift shop and Post Office. While you are inside sending a postcard from this lonely outpost, snowy sheathbills and gentoo penguins roam outside the museum.
Port Foster, Whalers Bay (Deception Island)
Deception Island is an excellent example of a caldera that can be reached from the sea. Sail inside the caldera through a narrow entrance called Neptune’s Bellows. The Geologist might take the opportunity to explain the unique volcanic features of the area, while a historian introduces you to Deception Island’s interesting history, from whaling to scientific studies. Still visible on the island are the boilers used to make whale oil in the early 1900s.