Antarctica Things to Do

  • Romantic walk
    Romantic walk
    by darrmont
  • Darwin Channel
    Darwin Channel
    by fred98115
  • Mountains and Clouds
    Mountains and Clouds
    by fred98115

Antarctica Things to Do

  • Danco Island

    Our eighth excursion to Danco Island (@ 64°43'45.08"S ; 62°36'1.67"W) will be long remembered, if not for the plentiful penguins, at least for the playful and breaching minke whale. As he was swimming towards us, breaking habit for most minkes, he was out in open water, exposing himself and breaching to the sky. Not once, but many times. Not sure...

    more
  • Penguin Island

    Later on, our twelfth and final outing was cancelled due to winds and sea conditions. Hoping to land at one of the northern most islands, Penguin Island (@ 62° 6'5.64"S ; 57°56'28.43"W), wind gusts and waves would have prevented the zodiacs from safely plopping us on land. The red volcanic island and the nearby glacier capped King George were...

    more
  • King George Island - Maxwell Bay

    All during the night and the first half of the eleventh morning, we were sailing from the main Antarctic Peninsula to the more hospitable and thriving islands of King George. Our eleventh outing was just that, landing our zodiacs in Maxwell Bay (@ 62°11'79.75"S ; 58°57'37.23"W), at the foot of Russia’s Bellingshausen Station. They had promised to...

    more
  • Wilhelmina Bay

    On the way to our tenth excursion, Wilhelmina Bay (@ 64°39'40.51"S ; 62° 5'43.66"W), we passed a small Chilean (AF) base. There was no sign of human life in the half dozen buildings, but the base did seem to be overrun by thousands of penguins.Wilhelmina Bay is supposed to be a whale paradise and feeding point. No beaches available mean that all...

    more
  • Brown Base

    The tenth day saw the ninth excursion to Paradise point cancelled due to winds and sea conditions. But thankfully the skies calmed just enough for our first official ‘continental’ landing at Brown Base (@ 64°53'43.18"S ; 62°52'6.79"W). The short stop was just long enough to walk 10 minutes to the crest of a small hill for a photo opportunity and...

    more
  • Lemaire Channel and Gerlache Straight

    Day nine was thankfully warmer and drier. After leaving the Argentine Island Archipelago, our northward course took us through the Lemaire Channel and Gerlache Straight (@ 65° 5'51.68"S ; 63°58'37.81"W), ending at Danco Island. Swells, waves and snow made the Lemaire Channel a bit more mysterious than dramatic as its Kodak Point nickname implies....

    more
  • Petermann Island

    We did not go far since our sixth excursion was only 4 miles way at Petermann Island (@ 65°10'34.22"S ; 64° 8'9.69"W). Having moderate winds, only a few of us selected to kayak, navigating the leeward side of the island for half the time. The other half was on the island, watching the copious gentoo penguins, with their molting adolescents and...

    more
  • Vernadsky Station and Wordie Hut

    Day eight thankfully saw improving weather and allowed us to see all our excursions. The fifth excursion was to Vernadsky Station (@ 65°14'44.09"S ; 64°15'26.55"W) and Wordie Hut (@ 65°15'3.97"S ; 64°15'12.92"W). The former being a Ukrainian research station and the later being an old British hut during the days of geological surveys. Vernadsky was...

    more
  • Prospect Point

    Day seven was spent almost entirely on the boat. Moving northbound, our fourth excursion destination was Prospect Point (@ 65°55'25.90"S ; 64°57'9.77"W). Due to extremely overcast weather, choppy seas and 15knot winds, not only was kayaking cancelled, but the zodiacs could not make shore. We wound up cruising on the zodiacs around the ice watching...

    more
  • Detaille Island

    On day six, our third excursion was to be at Detaille Island (@ 66°53'6.83"S ; 66°39'8.55"W). From our current position, we would have to round Adelaide Island (the inner channel was filled with ice), pass the Antarctic Circle northbound and then turn back into the bay passing the circle for the third time. We feared we may have had to cancel and...

    more
  • Stonington Island

    Sailing to our second excursion, Stonington Island (@ 68°11'2.61"S ; 66°59'57.11"W) we pushed down further south than the captain and crew had ever been, down to 68° 12.815′ S! Kayaking south of 68° must be a rare opportunity, particularly in calm seas and under a blue sky. For about an hour we paddled through the brash ice and small bergs,...

    more
  • Horseshoe Island

    On day five, our first excursion was Horseshoe Island (@ 67°48'38.18"S ; 67°17'39.97"W). Hoping to kayak, the winds were too high. But the zodiac landing on the rocks went smooth enough. The old British hut was preserved as it was left in 1956, complete with food tins on the shelves and board games on the tables. Filing in 10 at a time, we could...

    more
  • CRABEATER SEALS

    Crabeater Seals eat Krill, not crabs. It kind of helps that there really aren’t any crabs down here. Different theories around a mistranslation of the Norwegian word ‘Krill’ account for the name of this amazingly interesting mammal. They live almost exclusively here in Antarctica, have massive numbers, can swim up to 25 kmh and are the largest...

    more
  • Keep the Camera Out Even When Leaving

    The photo opportunities continue even as you leave Antarctica. You take so many pictures that you feel "done". However, eat early and head forward on the cruise ship to enjoy the sunset opportunites. Remember that the ship will be at 20 knots, so dress warmly and be prepared for a stiff breeze. This is a great opportunity to use the zoom lens. It...

    more
  • Penguins Abound

    When we boarded the Veendam for the Antarctic cruise, question number one was will we see penguins. We had no idea. The scientists told us that six of the world's 18 species of penguins can be found in Antarctica, with an estimated population approaching 20 million breeding pairs. Get close to floating ice and yiu'll probably see a penguin or two...

    more
  • Man 's Presence on the Continent

    Palmer Station is one of several national research stations on the Peninsula. The benefit of being on a cruise ship is that we were visited by scientists from Palmer. The downside is that we could not go ashore in zodiacs to walk on the continent. Included in this tip are photos of some of the stations that we cruised by. Photographers, I could...

    more
  • Ice and More Ice

    The cruiser will have the chance to see ice, and a lot of it, when sailing in the Antarctic. Eighty percent of the Southern Hemisphere is water, and weather systems proceed around the earth unimpeded. And it is cold. No small wonder that the continent has so much ice. The ice sheet covers 99% of the continent, is 90% of the world's ice, and 70% of...

    more
  • The Small Boat That Could

    We were not alone in our big cruise ship. Into the silent world came a single-masted sailing ship. Where did it come from? It trailed us for a while, and, after a hundred or so images, it drifted away. Photographers, it was proof that the old saw about F/8 and Be There was never more true. It was early in the morning and it would have been so easy...

    more
  • Glaciers and Bergs on a Foggy Day

    We woke in the morning and found we were in a black and white world. The landscape of mountains, ice and water was muted by clouds and fog. Much of the morning it snowed, a fine particle snow. Our ship glided silently through the ghostly waters. We ignored the conditions, took photographs...and then took more. Photographers, bring extra memory...

    more
  • Outer Islands of Antarctica

    Our Captain decided to skip Ushuaia because a major storm was heading to the Drake Passage, and so we sailed across a day early, giving us an extra day to cruise the lee sides of the Peninsula islands. Even so, we had weather. Rain and clouds were with us. This is not a reason to set aside the camera. Photographers, put on your weather gear and go...

    more
  • Cruising the Chilean Fjords

    Cruises to the Antarctic, such as ours originating in Santiago, will sail through the channels and observe the Southern fjords. Scandinavia is not the only locale with these geological formations. Weather can be intimidating. Photographers, if you sail here, bring your foul weather gear and be prepared. The Lower Promenade deck is generally a...

    more
  • Paradise Bay 1

    Paradise Bay is actually officially known as Paradise Harbour but this little point of confusion often gets overshadowed by the fact that this, like Neko Harbour, is an actual landing on the Antarctica continent proper! There's a little hike up at Paradise Harbour that will reap great rewards: sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding bay and...

    more
  • McMurdo: Weddell seals

    Another attraction around McMurdo and Scott bases are the Weddell seals. There are huge beasts (up to 500 kg or 1100 lb) that look like slugs on the Ross sea ice from afar. They seem to just mainly lie there and sleep. They are known for their habit of gnawing holes in the ice to make breathing holes. This shortens their life span compared to other...

    more
  • CTAM

    CTAM stands for Central Trans-Antarctic Mountain. It is a camping area that the Americans maintain during the summer in the middle of the Transantarctic mountains on the Bowden névé. A névé, which is a flat expanse of snow, allows for the planes LC130 to land. CTAM is a transit camp for field parties. Their gear is brought in by the LC130s. Then...

    more
  • McMurdo

    Picture: McMurdo viewed from Ob Hill. Top right: Erebus volcanoMcMurdo is the biggest base in Antarctica and is managed by the United States. Its purpose is to support scientific expeditions in Antarctica. It is inhabited year round with about 1000 people in the summer (October-March) and a few hundred in the winter. It was founded in 1956-57. The...

    more
  • Scott Base

    Scott base is the New-Zealand station located 3 km (2 miles) away from McMurdo. The two are linked by a dirt road and we once just walked from McMurdo to it and back. Scott base lays on a small peninsula on the Ross sea and the first buildings were erected in 1957. All the buildings are green, appropriately kiwi-color, and it is much smaller than...

    more
  • McMurdo: Scott's Hut

    Right next to McMurdo, about a 10 minute walk along the pier is the one historical building to visit absolutely! Scott's Hut was built in 1905 when the first expedition to ever set foot on Ross Island built it at this location. The expedition was British and led by Falcon Scott. As there are no trees (no plants actually) at McMurdo, they had to...

    more
  • The polar plateau

    Picture: Antarctic Polar Plateau. Towards the way I am pointing lies thousand of miles of ice until you reach the other side of Antarctica.Antarctica is covered by a thick sheet of ice (more than 2 kilometer thick at places) called the Polar Plateau. Experiencing the plateau is just seeing flat ice as far as the eye can see. The elevation is more...

    more
  • Erebus volcano

    Erebus volcano towers over Ross island where McMurdo and Scott bases are located. It is the only active volcano in Antarctica and one of the few with a lava lake in its crater. It generally has a puff of smoke from its summit (3794 m, 12448 ft) and has produced large (several cm) anorthite minerals called Erebus crystals. I did not get to go to the...

    more
  • Miller Range, Transantarctic Mountains

    Picture: Miller Range, Transantarctic MountainsMiller Range is part of the Transantarctic Mountains located around 83º South 156º East. It comprises beautiful mountains, the bottom part of which are buried under thousands of meters of ice, cross-cut by majestic glaciers. Some of the most famous ones would be the Marsch or Nimrod glaciers. It is all...

    more
  • Adelie penguins

    Adelie Penguins are to be found in just a few of the places, that we have anchored at while cruising with the Bark Europa through Antarctica. Peterman island was the place with the largest colony of Adelie penguins in our cruise. They are also the smallest species of penguins by average size, beeing just about 60 cm high.In order to breed they are...

    more
  • King penguins

    King Penguins are living normally in another part of Antarctica, but how lucky for us, this King penguin had lost its way many years ago and it is now living among other penguin species at Aitcho island.the King Penguin really looks impressive against the much smaller other penguins and he obviously also feels like a king, looking gently down on...

    more
  • a little penguin, almost smashed by the...

    In Gerlach Straight we met this cute penguin taking a sunbath on one of the thousands of icebergs that we passed by. It has choosen one of the icebergs with a soft snowy top and all of a sudden our ship came closer and closer, the ship finally cut the iceberg into 2 pieces, but at least the little penguin could escape in the last moment.My last 2...

    more
  • an iron pot, left back in Halfmoon-Bay

    This is an iron pot, that was left back by the whalers in Halfmoon-Bay and although that was more than 60 years ago, the pot has still quite a thick iron-skin, because rusting and all weathering in Antarctica will take a lot longer than in warmer areas of the world.b.t.w.: tourists are not allowed to take home any souvenirs from Antarctica, not...

    more
  • British Museum hut / Wordie House at...

    In Vernadsky Station there is also a museum, the so-called British Museum hut or "Wordie House" : it was the original location of the station, that was built by the British in January 1947, originally known as Base F Argentine Islands. Wordie House was used in the antactical summer of 1935/36 by the British Graham Land Expedition. Base F Argentine...

    more
  • Some of the icebergs look really funny

    Every iceberg is looking different and many times you will be able to see a funny shape, like the duck and pelikan that you will see here in my main photograph.

    more
  • just 10% of an iceberg are above the...

    Just 10% of any iceberg is visible above the sealevel and the rest of it is under the water and it could be in any shape or extention that might harm your ship or Zodiak, when passing by it too close !That is the reason, why always somebody had to look out for dangerous extentions of the icebergs, when we had our tours in the Zodiaks or when...

    more
  • 2 antarctic palmtrees are to be found in...

    It is certainly more a wish or a joke but in any way it is certainly also a funny idea to paint 2 palmtrees on the large fuel-tank of Vernadsky Station, a station that was built by the british government and sold to Ukraine some years ago for the symbolic price of 1 euro. It was quite windy and a lot of snow there at the station, when we had been...

    more
  • Skuas are eating the penguin's eggs

    Skuas are eating the penguin's eggs and also their small chicks. Mostly they work togeather with another Skua : one of them is facing the penguin-mother and trying to distract her, while the other Skua is coming from the backside pinching an egg or small chick.Skuas wear a kind of carmouflage and they are really hard to be seen, also for myself: I...

    more
  • Penguin-highways

    Penguin-highways are to be found at all places, where large colonies of penguins are living and you will recognize them easily by the grey color in the white snow. Such highways are the most convenient way to reach the ocean and it gets it typical grey color by the penguin-poo. It is best NOT to use such paths for exploring Antarctica, because the...

    more
  • the antartical museum in Bransfield...

    Bransfield House once used to be the main building of the british research-station Port Lockroy, but it was given up in the 1950s. Just a few years ago the building was restored by a british thrust and it was transfered into a museum in quite a funny way : You will be able to see the old machineries, like the electric generator inside the gift-shop...

    more
  • Port Lockroy, the southernmost...

    Port Lockroy is considdered to be the southernmost postoffice in the world, they even have their own postal stamps that are printed only for this tiny station with 3 people living on this island togeather with hundreds of penguins and the "side-job" of the postmaster is the counting of the penguins and similar things for scientific reasons. A small...

    more
  • Jougla Point

    Jougla Point is the small island opposite of the post-office of Port Lockroy and there you will find some whale-bones of a giant whale, set togeather again on the island, so will have a good idea about the former size of this giant whale. Unfortunately most of the bones were covered by snow, when we had been there in December 3rd, 2008, but later...

    more
  • Dorian Bay / Damoy

    In Dorian Bay / Damoy there is one of the scientific stations of the United Kingdom, but unfortunately there was too much snow along the coastline of this island, so we could not land there with our zodiaks, but at least we had a cruise of 90 minutes in the zodiaks, going to some places, where we were able to watch penguins.It was quite cold and I...

    more
  • Vernadski Station

    Faraday station is the historical name of this scientific station built by the British Government and recently the station was sold for a symbolic price of just 1 GBP to the Ukraine, who re-named it Vernadski Station, after their famous scientist Vladimir VernadskiFaraday station was also the place where the british team had found out about the...

    more

Instant Answers: Antarctica

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

79 travelers online now

Comments

Antarctica Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Antarctica things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Antarctica sightseeing.
Map of Antarctica