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Antarctic

View the Antarctic Luxury Cruise Collection

Visit the magnificent white continent of Antarctica on specially designed ice-strengthened luxury expedition ships, and admire the unique landscape and wildlife, including whales and penguins.

Even with ice-strengthened expedition ships the cruise to the Antarctic peninsula is only attempted between late October and early March. The Spring to early December sees the pack ice melting with dramatic icebergs and the mating season for penguins and other species.

Mid-December to late January is the warmest time with long daylight hours. Most penguin chicks hatch in January, seal pups appear, and whale sightings are more frequent. By February penguin chicks are fledging and swimming, fur seals, whales and dolphins are more plentiful.

Antarctic Port Guide

Antarctica
The spectacular region of Antarctica, known as the White Continent, is dedicated to research and has no permanent human inhabitants. Depending on weather and ice conditions, landings may be made at Livingston for sightings of Weddell and Elephant seals, and the King George Islands, where the waters offshore are a feeding ground for humpback whales. On crescent-shaped Half Moon Island is a colony of Chinstrap penguins, whilst further south in the region of Paradise Harbour and Hope Bay, the mainland scenery is dramatic and awesome, with ice cliffs and numerous floating icebergs shining blue and indigo in the sunshine. Calved from glaciers, as they melt they create fantastical shapes and arches, or remain flat-topped and sheer-sided. Visits may be made to one of the many research stations.
Deception Island
Enter the volcanic caldera through a narrow entrance to find hot geothermal springs bubbling up close to shore – a place for both hot and cold baths
Drake Passage
Named after Sir Francis Drake, the Drake Passage is one of the world's greatest seaways connecting the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Infamous and legendary, it is steeped in the history and lore of exploration and discovery. At the Antarctic Convergence the temperature drops as the cold waters of the Antarctic Ocean meet the warmer waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and albatross and petrels are frequently seen.
Falkland Islands
The Falklands are a remote British territory, with wildlife and landscapes reflecting their sub-Antarctic climate. On the high cliffs of West Point, rockhopper penguins and the black-browed albatross can be seen, and visits might be made to Carcass Island for its Gentoo and Magellanic penguins and to Saunders island to see colonies of the highly-coloured King penguin and the black-browed albatross on the sandy isthmus of The Neck.
Lemaire Channel
This narrow and spectacular channel is hemmed in on either side by 1000-metre high mountains, stretching for 11 kilometres of calm, sheltered waters. The Lemaire Channel is sometimes blocked by icebergs, necessitating a diversion around Booth Island to sail south.
Paradise Bay
Cliffs surround a natural harbour, with possible shore landings for fine views
Paulet Island
This narrow and spectacular channel is hemmed in on either side by 1000-metre high mountains, stretching for 11 kilometres of calm, sheltered waters. The Lemaire Channel is sometimes blocked by icebergs, necessitating a diversion around Booth Island to sail south.
Port Stanley (Falklands Islands)
The Falkland Islands are a photographer's paradise, with fantastic landscapes and tiny settlements nestling in large open spaces amongst varied wildlife and the delicate beauty of Falklands flowers. The Falkland Islands have a rich military and maritime history, and there are some remnants of the most recent conflict still in evidence. Port Stanley is the capital and has Victorian houses, a pub, and an Anglican Cathedral with an arch made of whalebones.
South Georgia
South-east of the Falkland Islands is the mountainous landscape of South Georgia island, which has over a hundred glaciers and is an important breeding habitat of the King penguin, perhaps seen on landings at Salisbury Plain and Gold Harbour. Elephant seals lie in the tussock grass, and petrels and skuas can be seen soaring in the sky. The explorer Ernest Shackleton’s grave is situated on South Georgia and the whaling stations at Grytviken, Stronsnes or Fortuna Bay might also be included on visits.
South Shetland Islands
The South Shetland Islands are a volcanic island chain almost entirely covered in ice. Elephant Island is well known, as it was from here that Sir Ernest Shackleton set out in a small boat for South Georgia in 1916 on a rescue mission for his men. The largest island is King George, where Admiralty Bay is a favourite feeding ground for humpback whales. The remarkable caldera of Deception Island which has hot springs and steaming black sand beaches, Half Moon and Livingstone Islands are all part of the South Shetlands. Livingstone’s Byers Peninsula is a Site of Special Scientific Interest under the Antarctic Treaty, as it contains most of the regions historic sites.
Tristan de Cunha
The isolated island chain of Tristan de Cunha may be visited on voyages sailing south from Europe to Antarctica. North-east of the Falklands in the middle of the South Atlantic, the landscape is dramatic, with mountainous, volcanic terrain basking in a tropical climate. The archipelago includes the uninhabited islands of Inaccessible and Nightingale, untouched wildlife havens where the indigenous Moseleyi rockhopper penguin and the Tristan albatross might be spotted.
Ushuaia (Argentina)
Situated on the shores of the vast Beagle Channel, Ushuaia is the world's most southerly city, situated in the Argentinian provice of Tierra del Fuego. It is overlooked by Mount Martial to the west and by Mounts Olivia and Cinco Hermanos to the east, and is the departure point for cruises to the Antarctic and the Falkland Islands. There are a number of museums in the town tracing the maritime and military history of the area.
Antarctic
Antarctic
Antarctic