The South Shetland Islands are teeming with wildlife. Vast colonies of penguins, beaches ruled by Antarctic sea lions and southern elephant seals, make every day in this group of islands unforgettable. Navigating the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing.
King George Island is the largest island in the South Shetland Islands and is characterized by colonies of Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguin, Kelp Gull, Imperial Cormorant, Antarctic Tern, and Southern Giant Petrel. There are also scientific bases from different countries. Chinstrap penguins, gentoo penguins, as well as elephant seals, await you on Livingston Island.
Learning about the remarkable history of the Antarctic Peninsula will thrill you in a way comparable to how early explorers did. You will have enough time to explore its incredible landscape, a pristine desert of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and the incredible wide variety of wildlife. In addition to penguins and seabirds, you can also see Crabeater, Weddell and leopard seals up close, as well as humpback, Minke and killer whales.
We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful channels always depending on the ice conditions: the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel and the Lemaire Channel are narrow passages between towering rocks and spectacular glaciers. We plan to do at least two shore excursions per day.
The sites for such excursions may also include:
Bahía Paraíso, literally the best named place in the world, is where we will try to make a proper descent to the continent. After crossing the iceberg-covered waters of the Antarctic Strait, we hope to visit the active colonies of Adélie penguins (more than 100,000 pairs breed here) and imperial cormorants on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone shelter here in 1903; ruins that today have been invaded by penguin nests.
Other possible explorations could take us to the Melchior Islands, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbor, Pléneau Island, and if the ice conditions allow it, to Petermann Island to visit the southernmost colony of Gentoo penguin.