South Shetland Islands
Windswept, raw and with a volcanic landscape rich in abundant flora and fauna, the Shetland Islands are covered in mosses, lichen, and meadows of flowering grasses, with gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins and southern giant petrels. Weddell seals and chinstrap penguins can often be spotted on the beach near Cámara Base, the Argentina research station on Half Moon Island, and as you sail through Neptune’s Bellows on Deception Island you enter a theatrical landscape, with equally dramatic wildlife. Hot Springs and the flooded caldera are inhabited by kelp gulls, Antarctic terns, brown skuas and south polar skuas, while the abandoned whaling station of Whalers Bay offers shelter to Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels. The conditions on the Drake Passage will dictate the time of departure.