Six hundred miles south of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica is surely the ultimate destination for wildlife enthusiasts. Find yourself at close quarters with large rookeries of penguins and seal colonies, and spot whales plying the icy offshore waters. Until recently, Antarctica was the domain of pioneering expeditions and intrepid explorers. Nowadays it is possible to visit this pristine wilderness as part of small groups on expedition vessels that let you experience Antarctica in relative comfort and luxury.
For a short period in the southern hemisphere’s summer months there is a seasonal break up of the vast pack ice, which gives the specialist ships a passage through to the Antarctic Peninsula. Thousands of penguin, petrel and albatross come here to breed and seal colonies adorn the many ice floes.
Some cruises combine the Antarctic Peninsula with the opportunity to visit the wildlife havens of South Georgia Island and the Falkland Islands.