Antarctica conjures up images of bleak and lifeless snowscapes, fierce blizzards and great hardships. However with the advent of modern, ice-strengthened expedition cruise ships, the Great White Continent is no longer the sole domain of intrepid explorers. Unlike some other places in the world, the tourism industry is generally acknowledged to have had a minimal impact on Antarctica and is strictly controlled, yet each year allows hundreds of ecotourists the amazing opportunity to experience the planet’s last great wilderness. Although the interior of this, the world’s coldest, driest and highest continent is mostly lifeless, its shores teem with wildlife in the summer months and the nearby Subantarctic Islands also play host to a thriving assemblage of birds and mammals.
Our classic 19-day Antarctic cruise departs from Ushuaia at the southern tip of South America and takes in the Falkland Islands, incredible South Georgia and continental Antarctica. This cruise of a lifetime obtains on average 90 bird species but what it lacks in diversity is more than compensated for by quantity and quality! We will walk amongst colonies of King Penguins in their hundreds of thousands and to top this off, 6 other penguin species are virtually guaranteed. The pelagic seabirding is spectacular and some of the islands host exciting landbirds and seabird colonies. Pinnipeds and cetaceans are also well represented. Great rates are available and we welcome you on our 28 December 2010 to 15 January 2011 cruise. Our 11-day Antarctic Peninsula Adventure runs from 27 January to 6 February 2011 and limited spaces are still available. Please contact us for more details. Our July image of the month was taken by Rockjumper tour leader Markus Lilje on our February 2010 Antarctic cruise and is a beautiful image of a flock of Antarctic Petrels with a single Snow Petrel, against a giant tabular iceberg off Antarctica.