In the north-west of Antarctica, a piece of land juts out into the Southern Ocean – the Antarctic Peninsula. In the summer months (Nov-Feb), the coasts of this finger of land are home to a rich diversity of wildlife including colonies of penguins – surely the most endearing bird on the planet – and other bird life. Leopard, Weddell and crabeater seals haul themselves on to beaches to give birth and in krill-rich waters just offshore, humpback, minke and killer whales patrol.
The only humans to inhabit this area are scientists who man the handful of scientific research stations such as the one at Port Lockroy. Evidence of previous human activity is present in places like Deception Island where vast, rusting whale oil boiler tanks and slowly rotting wooden boats are all that remain of the whaling industry which was at its peak in the early 1900s.
With so many points of interest, the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula is included on the majority of itineraries to Antarctica. Our small polar-rated expedition vessels and their compliment of Zodiac inflatable boats are perfect for exploring in these waters in a way that allows us to avoid our visits having any adverse impacts.