Antarctica is a land of superlatives. It is the coldest, windiest, driest, iciest and highest of all the major landmasses of the world. It is a continent of extremes, but also one of extreme beauty! Those fortunate enough to explore its icy shores cannot fail to be awe-struck by the shear grandeur of the landscape, the towering glaciers, rugged snow-covered mountains and huge ice-bergs calved into a myriad of shapes by the relentless pounding of the Southern Ocean. This encircling ocean is, in turn, one of the richest of all seas and the basis for the food-chain that supports Antarctica's huge concentration of wildlife. Every spring, as the pack-ice slowly retreats, millions of penguins, seabirds and other creatures leave the vastness of these turbulent waters to converge on the continent to breed and raise their young. By late January the breeding season is at its peak, penguins and albatrosses are busily feeding chicks and the race to fledge is in full swing before darkness descends once more heralding the return of winter's even icier grip.

In January 2019 Naturetrek is taking a full charter of the 116-berth, ice-strengthened MV Ortelius, with the aim of repeating the itinerary, and success, of our recent 30th anniversary cruise around the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula - we hope you can join us!

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