- 12 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 12 Dinners
With unpredictable ice and weather conditions, a day-by-day itinerary is not possible but your expedition team assesses conditions daily and takes every opportunity to launch the zodiacs and make landings. You can anticipate wildlife viewing, visits to scientific bases and historic sites, as well as the spectacular white and blue scenery.
Your ship crew hopes to make landings in the following areas:
Cape Adare: A large flat spit of land, teeming with the staggering sight of Antarctica’s largest Adelie penguin rookery. You may witness a tumult of chattering, feeding chicks, territorial disputes, petty pilfering, and courtship displays. Curious penguins often come very close, offering superb photographic opportunities. Among the shifting mass of penguins you can find Carsten Borchgrevink’s Hut, the oldest in Antarctica, an overwintering shelter for the first expedition to the Antarctic continent in 1899.
Cape Hallett: The enormous Admiralty Range heralds your arrival. Wild and extraordinary, the mountains rear up from the sea to over 4,000 meters, bounded by colossal glaciers. Land at an abandoned base site, now home to large numbers of Adelie penguins and Weddell seals.
Terra Nova Bay: An Italian research station where the scientists are always hospitable and enjoy showing you around their lonely but beautiful home. They share with you their scientific research and also, perhaps, the best ‘cafe espresso’ in Antarctica!
Franklin Island: Desolately beautiful and rugged, this is home to a large Adelie penguin population and other nesting seabirds. A landing is attempted to explore the coastline.
Ross Ice Shelf: This is the world’s largest body of floating ice and a natural barrier, at times creating hazardous weather, with sheets of snow blown at gale force by winds off the polar ice cap. Just 800 miles from the South Pole, this daunting spectacle prevented many early explorers from venturing further south. Cruise along its dizzying 30-meter ice cliffs, perhaps lucky enough to see icebergs ‘calving’.
Ross Island: Mt. Erebus/Cape Bird/Shackleton & Scott’s Hut and visits to a scientific field station (Scott and McMurdo Stations are high on the wish list but ice, weather and station operational requirements often make them inaccessible). Ross Island was and is the ‘hub of activity’ in the Ross Sea, dominated by Mt Erebus, a monstrous active volcano named after the ancient Greek God of Darkness. The carefully preserved huts of the ‘Heroic Era’ help make the history come alive. If possible reach the bases to get a modern perspective on Antarctic Research.
Possession Islands: Rarely visited, small and rugged, these rocks support tens of thousands of penguins. Observe the birds’ busy and humorous activity, with the Admiralty Mountains forming a superb backdrop across the water.