Skip to main content

Which Part of Antarctica Should I Explore ?

Approaching the Antarctic Mainland on Europa

The Antarctic Continent, and the surrounding Southern Ocean is a vast wilderness. The land mass alone is twice the size of Australia and in the winter the sea ice doubles this area. Browsing the internet it is easy to get the impression that this ultimate travel dream is brimming with expedition ships and tourists. I (Debbie) first sailed there in 2007 on Bark Europa and I only saw 3 ships South of the Antarctic Convergence Zone on a 7 week trip.

You may worry about impacting on the wildlife, but there is a whole load of ocean where humpacks can roam free, crevasse strewn plateau when no human has ever trod, and camera drone free skies where the skuas and giant petrels still rule. Human beings have a very tenuous hold here and the summer scientific base crew start to look nervously at the encroaching sea ice as it gets time to leave.

If you are trying to chose between Antarctic Expeditions with Classic Sailing, you can read about the different regions below, but here is a quick summary of the main sailing areas:

South Shetland Isles

If you sail across the Drakes Passage then the first land you spot will be the black volcanic spires and snow domes of the South Shetland Isles. For many it will be a welcome chance to set foot on land that doesn't move, and return to a ship at anchor for a meal where your glass of wine might just stay upright. If you were daunted by the idea of climbing the rigging i the rollers of the Southern Ocean, then now is your chance. Several favourite landing spots reveal chinstrap penguins, elephant seals and giant whale bones.

West Antarctic Peninsula and Islands

Across the Bransfield Strait you reach the Antarctic Peninsula and many mountainous islands offering sheltered water. See stranded icebergs at Trinity Island, watch out for humpback whales or orca feeding and enjoy squadrons of penguins swimming like small porpoises.  Astrolabe Islands have awesome rock formations and you can sail the ship into a drowned caldera at Deception Island. Narrow sounds between steep mountains, tumbling glaciers and overhanging ice cliffs all add to the drama.

The Wilder Side of the Peninsula - Weddell Sea 

South Georgia - Sub Antarctic Island

South Orkney & Scotia Sea

What others say about us

CURRENT AVERAGE   4.6 STARS
249 REVIEWS

Facebook reviews

"A life changing experience with talented crew who gave us hope for mankind ...and biscuits"

Customer comments

Read what the press say about our holidays
 

Magazine articles

 

Why book with Classic Sailing?

The call of the sea

Destinations for sailors & explorers

Over 300 voyages a year

11, 051 customers introduced to

traditional boats and tall ships.

Tell us your sailing dreams

Experts

Office Team of 4 Skippers

6 Times Around the World between Us

Selling Holidays for 22 Years

3 Dogs to make us laugh

Contact Us

How to Book

Voyage Applications Online 24 /7

How to book a voyage

Terms & Conditions   Travel Insurance

Office open Mon - Fri, 9 - 5

Frequently Asked Questions