Five Unimaginable Sites on an Antarctic Expedition Cruise

EX0586 1

For generations, Antarctica has been a magnet for explorers. Those intrepid adventures set out to the White Continent in search of discovery, knowledge, and wealth. Most if not all, inevitably will learn about themselves and the world they inhabit amongst the frozen expanses and peculiar wildlife. Of the many sites, your ship can visit these five landings are sure to be unforgettable.


South Georgia Island

One of the more remote locations you can visit while sailing the Antarctic waters is South Georgia Island. Accessible to the more technologically advanced vessels like the Scenic Eclipse or Ponant’s Le Commandant Charcot, this destination is home to massive penguin colonies, fur seals, and many other polar denizens. Guests will visit the remains of historic whaling stations. These decaying settlements are now overrun with the very wildlife that was once pressured almost to extinction. The Island is also the final resting place of one of the most iconic Antarctic explorers, Ernest Shackleton. Today the mountainous island is compared to the alps and makes for an excellent scenic exploration.


The Weddell Sea

Another destination that is only accessible by the more capable ice-breaking ships and the vessels that feature helicopters, the Weddell Sea is a vast frozen region east of the Antarctic Peninsula. The pack ice in the summer months is thinner allowing for exploration and wildlife viewing opportunities. The frigid waters are home to migratory whale species like Minke and Humpbacks. You will also see penguins and seals traversing the vast ice sheet. This protected marine environment is a favorite for scientists and researchers who seek a greater understanding of the glacial rhythms of the poles. As such, guests onboard many expedition vessels sail alongside some of the world’s foremost polar experts. 


Antarctic Peninsula

The northernmost part of the continent and the first exposure to the White Continent for most expedition cruises. Most cruises will cross the Drake Passage from Ushuaia, Argentina. The Antarctic Peninsula grows gradually out of the sea. Icebergs increase in size from small white specs to mountain-sized tabular formations until you arrive on the southernmost continent.  


Orcas, humpback, and Minke Whales ply the waters alongside the fur and leopard seal populations hunting the waters for penguins. Guests will enjoy multiple shore landings to enjoy the vast snow-washed peninsula. This is the most commonly visited region in the Antarctic. It is home to massive colonies of penguins. Massive glaciers calf massive icebergs and shape the landmass beneath massive formations of ice. 


Deception Island

The home to 100,000 chinstrap penguins, Deception Island was formed by a tremendous volcanic eruption 10,000 years ago. The horseshoe-shaped island in the northern region of the continent serves as a safe harbor for ships sailing to Antarctica. This secret harbor is an  Antarctic time capsule. Explorers will see the remains of whaling stations and research settlements. Massive vats once used to house oil harvested from whales now stand rusted and unused amongst the remains of whale bones and dilapidated structures giving visitors a somber reminder of a more savage age of industrialized whaling.  


The South Shetland Islands

This frozen island chain is home to the world’s largest population of chinstrap penguins. The region also attracts many other species of migratory birds including giant southern petrels, blue-eyed shag, and the majestic albatross. Your expedition will treat you to massive colonies of Adelie and chinstrap penguins, majestic glacial fjords, and waters teaming with wildlife. 

The islands are also home to 19th-century historical sites (including Deception Island). Livingston Island was once a seal hunting ground. These days it is evident that the seals won that particular contest, as the island is home to the breeding grounds of elephant and fur seals. These days the seals share the island chain with only birds and researchers. The lack of pressure on the animals in the Antarctic allows for up-close encounters between visitors and wildlife. 

Adelie Penguins

There are many ways to experience Antarctica. Expedition cruise lines have caved out specific niches offering various degrees of exploration. Those seeking to check the seventh continent of their list in comfort rather than a vigorous physical adventure may enjoy options like Atlas Ocean Voyages or Swan Hellenic. Those who are drawn to science or want to explore with family may prefer the experience and facilities of Hurtigruten or Viking. For die-hards looking for deeper and more remote exploration, the highest tier of luxury, and advanced technology the PC2 hull of Ponant’s Le Commandant Charcot, Scenic Eclipse’s submarines and helicopters, or the experienced expedition team of the lavish Silver Endeavor will offer the most advanced and complete exploration of Antarctica.  

whale tail

These are cruising’s top products as such they are an investment of both time and budget. To maximize your enjoyment and experience everything you set out for, make use of the experts at Luxury Cruise Connections. Our agency has over thirty years of experience matching guests to the perfect itineraries to meet the exact expectations of guests. Through our partnerships with consortia like Virtuoso and all of the leading brands, we can provide immense value to your experience through hands-on service, itinerary matching, additional promotions, and logistical planning. Your next great adventure is waiting, request a call today.

+ posts