Antarctica - The Last Wilderness
Travel to the ‘White Continent’ on a luxury cruise ship departing from Ushuaia (or occasionally Buenos Aires) in Argentina, which is the best way to minimise any adverse impact on this delicate environment and get to see the enormous penguin rookeries, colonies of fur seals and wallowing elephant seals whilst ensuring that they continue to be almost unscathed by human contact.
We believe that there are two key ingredients to make the very most of a trip to Antarctica. The first is to select a top quality cruise vessel carrying up to 130 passengers, which allows passengers to venture ashore (not permitted for larger boats) and also to take out kayaks and go off in small groups. The second is to select an expedition which is accompanied by really good quality guides and polar experts.
If you can spare the time, combining a visit to the Antarctic Peninsula with a stop in South Georgia is highly recommended. The island is widely regarded as one of the most impressive wildlife sanctuaries on the planet, the highlight undoubtedly being the colonies of colourful King Penguins on the beaches. You can also visit the South Georgia Museum and Shackleton’s grave, and see the atmospheric abandoned whaling stations which were mainly owned by Norwegians.
On the approach to the Antarctic Peninsula, look out for humpback, minke and orca whales and venture ashore in small parties by Zodiac RIBs to get close to Gentoo, chin strap and adélie penguins. However, please note that due to changeable weather conditions, no landings or fixed itineraries can be guaranteed.
Top tip: Spend more time looking at the whales and penguins than taking pictures!