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Antarctica gets inside you. Every sense is heightened as you’re enveloped by crisp icy nature and find yourself at the mercy of the elements and weather conditions.

Antarctica surprises and delights at every turn. Each day the scenery treats you to massive snow covered mountain ranges towering over you with extraordinary glacier ice volumes tumbling between the peaks.  The incredible icebergs with their glowing blue masses underwater and unique shapes and striations. The sounds are so unique:  Surrounded by an eerie silence, interrupted by thunderous glacier ice cracking, birdlife going about their business, and the occasional whale casually breathing through their blowholes.

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You will feelBirdlife like a guest in the natural habitat of a multitude of fascinating birds. There are entertaining colonies of penguins at every turn. The Gentoo Penguin are the most common in this region, along with the Adelie. They are as equally curious about humans as you will be of them as you walk amongst them. The local bird life include: Albatrosses, Shearwaters, and Petrels. 

Marine Life

A visit to Antarctica will reward you with sightings of fur seal colonies, massive Elephant seals and illusive Leopard seals.

The standout animal highlights are the frequent Humpback whale encounters. Easily seen from your cruise ship deck, but the best opportunities to come exhilaratingly close to them will be during your zodiac outings. These magnificent mammals frequent Antarctic waters due to the high levels of krill that they feed on. You may even be lucky enough to see a few Fin whales and Killer whales.

Famous Fjords

Norway’s fjords are dramatic and breathtaking. Created over a period of 2.5 million years, there are over one thousand fjords around the country. The iconic Geirangerfjord, one of the most stunning sights in Norway, is known for its spectacular waterfalls and steep cliffsides and is a popular inclusion on the itineraries of most cruise lines. Beautiful Sognefjord is the longest and deepest of Norway’s fjords and its famous arm, the Naeroyfjord, has World Heritage status. Make sure you also put Hardangerfjod, Lysefjord, Aurlandsfjord and Trollfjord on your list for exploration.


The ice in Antarctica might seem static, but it is constantly moving. Pieces of ice are continuously breaking off from ice shelf, glaciers or other icebergs. They float freely along with the Antarctic currents, with about 90 per cent of their mass below the surface of the water. This fact is actually what gave rise to the nowadays popular phrase “the tip of the iceberg”. Regardless, the sighting of the first iceberg is always a moment to celebrate in any and all Antarctic expeditions. 

Expedition Cruising

Antarctica Peninsula

The most accessible part of the seventh continent is the dramatic Antarctic Peninsula. It extends a ‘welcoming arm’ north towards South America. Antarctic Peninsula is the warmest part of the continent known for its stunning landscapes, accessibility and mild climate. Travellers usually begin their journey there from Argentina or Chile. 

Silversea Expedition Cruise

An expedition with Silversea luxury cruises is unlike any other form of travel — thrilling, awe-inspiring and humbling all at the same time.

They take you to some of the planet's most remote regions and show them to you intimately. Their cruises are for the curious traveller who longs to see an orang-utan in the wild or what lies behind the next mountain ridge. But it's not just about wildlife or mountains. It's about immersing yourself in the culture, landscape and habitat of a region with the help of experts who can illuminate your destination. Their expedition ships sail to all seven continents so that you can experience everything from the lush rainforests of the equatorial Pacific to the polar extremes at the tip or toe of the world. Explore pelagic wonderlands, admire volcanic plateaus gushing with geysers, or enter the realm of the Polar Bear. But no matter where you go, you'll enjoy a uniquely immersive experience, expanding your global perspective and prompting you to re-evaluate what really matters. And rest assured- no creature comfort will be denied on an expedition cruise with Silversea.

Shore Travel - Mary Buckley personal experience:

We travelled to Antarctica on Silversea’s new Silver Endeavour. She’s a beautiful purpose built PC6 ice-class rated luxury expedition cruise ship that cuts through the Drake Passage with ease and confidently manoeuvres in and out of the ice filled Antarctic harbours. Endeavour’s on-board features include well-appointed spacious suites with balconies, a mud room that dries your boots overnight, and in room drying cupboard for your coats and pants.  Plenty enough zodiacs and crew to ensure every guest can enjoy two off ship experiences each day. Kayaks are also available. There are five different dining venues to suit every taste (plus 24 hour in room dining). Silversea’s luxury all-inclusive offering extends to the generous staff to guest ratio and the very experienced expedition crew.

Ponant Expedition Cruise

Refinement, curiosity, authenticity… Ponant's unique travel philosophy reinterprets cruising and invites you to discover or rediscover iconic destinations.  Their Culture and Relaxation cruises offer you a new way to travel, by combining cultural enrichment with time to unwind in a luxury setting and sites that only insiders know about.

Viking Expedition Cruise

Few places are as otherworldly as Antarctica, with its raw sculpted landscapes awash in blue and white. Here nature is at its most flawless—an experience sure to transform visitors. The ideal time to explore is the Antarctic summer, starting in November when cold, windy weather turns to 24-hour sunlight and temperatures rise to a comfortable 32° F. The ice melts, unlocking frozen seaways. Activities maximize your interaction and virtually all are included: explore by Special Operation Boats, kayak, submarine, zodiac and more. 

Ross Sea Region - Small Ships

Sailing into the Ross Sea takes you further south into the Continent than any other sea route. Immediately to the west of the Ross Sea is a region known as East Antarctica, discovered by the French explorer Dumont d’Urville in 1840. It was mapped in detail much later by the Australian Antarctic Expedition of 1911 to 1913 led by Sir Douglas Mawson. The region is often referred to as the ‘Home of the Blizzard.’ It is in these two regions that the relics of the ‘heroic period’ of Antarctic exploration can be seen and experienced. There are 5 historic huts and many other historic sites that bring this period of Antarctic history alive in a way that the many journals and books written about them can’t. To visit Borchgrevink’s Hut at Cape Adare, Shackleton’s Hut at Cape Royds, Mawson's Huts at Cape Denison, Scott’s Huts at Cape Evans and Hut Point are truly unique experiences that brings this period of history to life.

South Georgia

The island of South Georgia is one of the first gateways to the Antarctic. It lays about 1400 km south-west of the Falklands. With its massive landmass, South Georgia's rugged landscapes provide fantastic photographic opportunities. South Georgia is a real oasis in the stormy Southern Ocean. It is home to penguins, albatrosses, seals, whales and petrels - all in huge numbers. South Georgia is also identified as an “Important Bird Area” by Birdlife International.


Wilhelmina Bay

Wilhelmina Bay is high in the ranks of must-see Antarctic sights, and for good reason: The bay’s sheer ice cliffs and glacial sculpturing epitomize much of the Antarctic experience. Its waters are also sheltered, usually enabling Zodiac cruises between the islands and icebergs.

Wilhelmina Bay is sometimes called “Whale-Mania Bay,” as it is one of the best places in Antarctica to spot these large marine mammals. The waters of Wilhelmina Bay are filled with krill, the staple food of many whale species, and owes to the ample population of the animals there. Sadly, however, it also explains why Wilhelmina Bay was once a top whaling location.


Peterman Island

For many visitors, Petermann Island is the only place they will see Adélie penguins. The island hosts one of the northernmost Adélie penguin colonies, as well as one of the southernmost Gentoo penguin colonies. Blue-eyed shags also breed on Petermann Island, and around the landing bay leopard seals and humpback whales may be seen. Vibrant green and red algae, known as cryoplankton, colors the snow in bursting clouds, especially when the snow is melting in summer.

Pleneau Bay

Pleneau Island is located west of Booth Island at the southern end of the Lemaire Channel and features an array of iceberg scenery. In fact, an astonishing ninety-three percent of the world's mass of icebergs is found surrounding the Antarctic. The word "iceberg" actually comes from partial Dutch translation meaning "ice mountain." The term iceberg refers to chunks of ice larger than 5 meters (16 feet) and smaller chunks of ice are known as bergy bites (how cute!) and growlers. While Antarctic icebergs last typically ten years and Arctic bergs about two years, what's interesting to note is the glacial ice that icebergs are made of could be more than 15,000 years old!

Paradise Bay

When it comes to Antarctic scenery, Paradise Bay is a longstanding favorite. Enormous glaciers tower out of the steel-blue sea, shattered icebergs shimmer along the shoreline, and there’s a fair chance you can spot whales, gentoo penguins, or crabeater seals as well. When the sun is shining and the weather calm, there are few places that will give you the classic Antarctic experience more than a brisk Zodiac cruise around Paradise Bay.

Paradise Bay is located just north of the Lemaire Channel and was once used by whale hunters as an anchorage for their floating factory ships in the early 20th century. The Argentinian research station, Almirante Brown, is located there and is a possible landing site.


Neko Harbour

The whaling ship and floating factory, Neko, is where this scenic Antarctic bay got its name. Neko was stationed here from 1911―24 after the bay was discovered by Belgian explorer Adrien de Gerlache during his 1897―99 expedition.

Gentoo penguins breed on the hill above Neko Harbour, while Weddell seals and fur seals often haul out on the beach. If we are lucky, we may see these animals during our visits. But even if the Neko Harbour wildlife does not make an appearance, the scenery is nevertheless fantastic.

Deception Island

It is an active volcano in the South Shetland Islands, off the Antarctic Peninsula. Its unique landscape comprises barren volcanic slopes, steaming beaches and ash-layered glaciers. It has a distinctive horse-shoe shape with a large flooded caldera. This opens to the sea through a narrow channel at Neptunes Bellows, forming a natural sheltered harbour. It is one of the only places in the world where vessels can sail directly into the centre of a restless volcano.


Elephant Island

Elephant Island is located 245 km (152 miles) from the Antarctic Peninsula’s northern tip and can be a good location for spotting migratory gentoo penguins and nesting chinstrap penguins.

Named after the elephant seals seen along its coast by the First Russian Antarctic Expedition of 1821, Elephant Island’s eastern shore also resembles (to some) an elephant trunk. 

After Shackleton’s ship Endurance sank in 1916, he and his crew made a gruelling journey to Elephant Island. Stowaway-turned-sailor Perce Blackborow was the first to set foot on it. Shackleton and five men sailed to South Georgia for help, while the 22 others lived on Elephant Island for over four months until their return, building a hut on Point Wild.

Chilean Navy officer Luis Antonio Pardo Villalón captained the ship that rescued the men. There is a bust of him in the area that is a certified historic monument, and we are usually able to get close enough to see it from our Zodiacs or vessels. 

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