In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, we will hope to make as much time as possible to explore by inflatable Zodiac boats and marvel up close at nature’s glory. Our goal will be to sail south of the Antarctic Circle and into Matha Strait or Marguerite Bay. Given favorable ice conditions, we will push our exploration even further southward, looking for historic and wildlife sites.
At Half Moon Island we will visit a breeding colony of chinstrap penguins that share their territory with fur seals and blue-eyed shags. We also hope to see the gentle humpback whale dining on krill in its feeding grounds and possibly have an opportunity to spot Orcas and Minke whales as we go.
We will plan on making our first landing on the continent of Antarctica at Paradise Harbor or Neko Harbor. The scenery here is amazing; particularly the oddly shaped icebergs looking like sculptures, as well as the colossal ‘tabular’ icebergs that break away from the continent’s ice shelf. From our most southerly point (south of the Antarctic Circle), we will make our way north, cruising through the narrow waterways and channels of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Spectacular waterways such as Crystal Sound, the Lemaire Channel, the Neumeyer Channel and the Gerlache Strait will all feature in our itinerary. Landing sites might include Neko Harbour, Wilhelmina Bay, Petermann Island and the Yalours, where we will observe Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals, skuas and other seabirds as well as an abundance of penguins including colonies of the comical Gentoo.