Pristine in its isolation and dramatically beautiful, Antarctica is covered in perpetual ice several kilometres thick. Its freezing waters teem with spectacular wildlife, pursuing a frenzied race to breed during the four short months of summer.
It takes several days to sail from Cape Horn to the Antarctic Peninsula, crossing the notorious Drake Passage in the wake of great polar explorers like Scott and Shackleton. No-one who experiences this extraordinary journey will forget their first glimpse of ice so dense it looks blue, the sheer walls and flat tops of huge tabular icebergs, massive ice shelves and glacial valleys, against a backdrop of mountains that have never been climbed.
Intrepid adventurers can paddle a kayak through the narrow channels between ice floes or camp ashore in the immense emptiness of an Antarctic night, falling asleep to the sounds of wind blowing and ice cracking.
Wildlife watching here is outstanding - sea birds, whales, dolphins and seals attracted by the millions of krill that stock the oceans in abundance. The Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) are home to vast colonies of penguins, raising their chicks on white sand beaches, albatross, sea lions, orcas and elephant seals. Longer cruises can include South Georgia, a protected marine ecosystem of exceptional biodiversity with the largest king penguin rookery on earth.
Here are some of our Antarctica highlights
The wildlife is outstanding in Antarctica's surrounding oceans - penguins, whales, albatross and orcas are all long-established residents. Longer cruises also visit South Georgia, home to the largest king penguin rookery on earth.
Kayak around peaceful bays through narrow channels, admiring the icebergs and playful penguins. The more adventurous may like to try camping on the uninhabited white continent itself, an experience like no other.
Marvel at the icy blue structures floating along silently, each sculpted by the elements highlighting nature's grandeur. Antarctica is like no other place on earth, hauntingly beautiful and simply stunning.
The itinerary you put together was absolutely tremendous - thank you. We were welcomed into the community of the Falklands and really enjoyed learning about their way of life, the farming aspect and the wonderful wildlife. The timings in each location, the ship/hotel/yurt/lodge accommodation, your valuable knowledge on where to send us and what would suit us, the insight into different locations in the itinerary details was useful, your care and advice before our trip was so much appreciated and having the knowledge that you were tracking our progress while we were away was extremely reassuring, especially when circumstances beyond anyone's control, threw the itinerary and travel arrangements into disarray. We can't thank you enough for looking after us so well on our trip of a lifetime. We certainly hope to travel back to Latin America and you would be our "first port of call" to arrange a trip because I know I can put absolute faith in your commitment to a caring service for your clients. I will miss our contact, I feel we have become friends! All the more reason for us to think about another trip!! - SR