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 awestruck by the sheer grandeur of the landscape: the towering glaciers, rugged snow-covered mountains and huge icebergs carved into myriad shapes by the relentless pounding of the Southern Ocean. This encircling ocean is, in turn, one of the richest on the planet 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 the return of the polar night, and winter’s renewed grip.

Our Specialist Recommends

"In November/December 2021 Naturetrek is taking a full charter of the 116-berth, ice-strengthened MV Ortelius, with the aim of not only enjoying the wildlife and scenery of this breathtaking continent, but also of witnessing one of the most spectacular sights in the celestial calendar: a total solar eclipse. The eclipse will pass over the Weddell Sea on the 4th December 2021 and we aim to place the Ortelius directly under the path of totality."

Operations Manager - Paul Stanbury

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