A frozen paradise unspoiled by human hands and uninhabited by anything other than the native species that have existed here since time immemorial, Antarctica is a true wilderness. Towering icebergs slumber in frigid waters of the deepest cobalt, while on the luminous ivory shores life thrives in a beautiful and humbling setting.
Travellers to this area will be astounded by the gorgeous scenery that populates every square meter of this barren landscape. Antarctica abounds with some of the world’s most beautiful seascapes, while the indigenous species are thrilling beyond compare to witness in their natural, desolate environment.
It is a glorious experience to change positions with these wild creatures, which may have been viewed before in a zoo, but are now in their natural habitat, while the traveller is confined to the boat in alien territory.
It is important to visit Antarctica in the right season, as the consequence could be getting stuck in sea-ice and spending an enforced winter of 8 months on the continent. The five-month period from November to March is Antarctica’s summer season and, as such, offers over 20 hours of daylight.
From November to December is late spring and early summer, when courting season takes place for penguins and seabirds on the Continent and spring wildflowers bloom spectacularly in the Falklands and South Georgia.
Mid-December to January bring the ‘heat’ of mid-summer, and with it comes the hatching of penguin chick on the Continent, while in the Falklands and South Georgia seal pup and penguin chicks emerge for the first time and the receding ice allows for deeper exploration.
Late summer reigns from February to March when whale sightings are at their best, penguin chicks begin to fledge and the ice pack recedes further to allow maximum exploration of this icy region.
The weather and ice dictate the time in Antarctica, clocks and calendars have no place where every traveller is at the mercy of the continent’s moods and weather patterns. All ships must be ice strengthened, no matter what time of the summer the trip may take place, and a well-informed and experienced guide should always be on hand.
Their expertise may lead you to Deception Island, a collapsed volcano that forms a breathtaking natural harbour, Paradise Harbour, whose spectacular glacial scenery makes the title self-explanatory, or Lemaire Channel, a narrow waterway between Antarctic cliffs and the rugged coastline of Booth Island nicknamed ‘Kodak Gap’. Every landscape and creature will thrill and excite, while the responsibility of protecting and preserving this pristine frozen desert will alter your mindset forever.