Antarctica is an endless white wilderness full of fantastic vistas and nature. In spite of all the snow and ice Antarctica is teeming with life. It is home to millions of penguins, thousands of seals and is a rich feeding area for large numbers of whale. Antarctica is the home for many species including Adélie, Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins. There are no land predators in Antarctica, so they are fearless when encountering humans – they might be just as curious about you as you are about them.
Some of the highlights when we arrive in the South Shetlands are Deception Island andHalf Moon Island, because of the resident colonies of Chinstrap penguins. Once on land, you can either stroll around at your own pace, or join our Expedition Team for an activity. We have various routes to choose from, either taking you through spectacular scenery or to one of the penguin colonies.
The main attraction for many visitors on Yankee Harbour is the terraced Gentoo penguin colony with an estimated 4,000 breeding pairs. Predatory Skua also nest here and visitors often witness the struggle between a penguin protecting its young and a Skua trying to feed theirs. Cuverville Island possesses the largest known colony of Gentoo penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula. Majestic mountains and high glacier walls surround the Gentoo penguin colony in Neko Harbour. This is one of the rare places on the Antarctic Peninsula where we may land on the mainland itself.
Paradise Harbour is well named with its incredible scenery. It offers another rare opportunity for a mainland landing, some of the finest vistas the Peninsula has to offer and a colony of friendly Gentoo penguins! The Lemaire Channel is known as one of the most beautiful passages in Antarctica. Depending on sea and ice conditions, you might be able to take an optional exclusive tour through the channel on our Polarcirkel boats.
On Petermann Island you will see thousands of Adélie penguins. It’s location in the picturesque Penola Strait makes a great spot for iceberg- and whale-spotting and offers spectacular views across the channel to the Antarctic Peninsula.
The British base in Port Lockroy is one of the most popular sites in Antarctica, and offers a peek into life on an Antarctic base in the 1950s. The nesting Gentoo penguins surrounding the main building have become accustomed to the frequent human visitors.
The mountains and high glaciers around Wilhelmina Bay ensure plenty of dramatic scenery and sculpted ice from tiny pieces to large icebergs. The huge ice shelves of the Antarctic sound are home to an estimated half million Adélie penguins as well as Gentoo penguins, Leopard seals, and Killer whales.
Brown Bluff lies on the coast of the Antarctic Sound at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Adélie penguins, Gentoo penguins, Kelp gulls, and Cape petrels can be found breeding here and Weddell seals are regular visitors. It’s possible to land here and walk along the beach among the penguins. The best way to experience Adélie penguins however is just to sit quietly and watch nature’s cutest comedians at work.