Explore the wreck of an ancient whaling ship that sank below the ice in 1916. A fascinating yet eerie sight, witness the wreck from your yacht’s tender and, if experienced, dive below the water yourself. Discover the cold-water coral and the resident Antarctic terns which flock across the ice. Later, cruise to see a wide array of wildlife, including southern giant petrels, crabeater, weddell and leopard seals, and a large population of gentoo penguins. Take a tender ashore with your guide to learn the art of snow shoeing and to observe the local animals at a safe and respectful distance.
Cruise through the Neumayer Channel, if weather conditions permit on your visit. Often completely blocked by giant icebergs and glaciers during the Antarctic winter months, expect towering ice sculptures that take the breath away. Stop at an old British research station that is now the southernmost public post office in the world, to learn about its history from your guide. Later visit the US Antarctic Program’s base, Palmer Station, to learn what life is like for the researchers who live there permanently. Look out for leopard seals in the area and visit nearby Adélie penguin colonies.
If weather conditions permit, cruise through the iceberg filled Lemaire Channel, also known as the ‘Kodak Gap’ where you may encounter a few humpback whales. Head ashore to visit the Halley Research Station, one of the longest running bases in Antarctica and the site where scientists first discovered the hole in the ozone layer. Later, gear up with your guide to go ice climbing on Mount Shackleton, reaching the plateau in time for a stunning sunset.