Antarctica’s Ross Sea Region
With unpredictable ice and weather conditions, a day-by-day itinerary is not possible. Conditions will be assessed daily to make the most of every opportunity to land and launch the Zodiacs. Guests can however anticipate exciting wildlife viewing opportunities, visits to scientific bases and historic sites, as well as the spectacular white and blue scenery. Some of the following areas you may visit include:
Cape Adare – A large, flat spit of land, Cape Adare is home to the continents largest Adelie Penguin rookery – an incredible sight of chattering, feeding chicks, territorial disputes, petty pilfering and courtship displays. There is no shortage of outstanding photographic opportunities as curious penguins often come very close. Here you will also find Carsten Borchgrevink’s Hut, the oldest in Antarctica and used as an overwintering shelter for the first expedition to the continent in 1899.
Cape Hallett – Today’s scenery is the extraordinary Admiralty Range. This enormous, wild mountain range towers out of the sea to over 4,000 metres-high surrounded by colossal glaciers. The landing site is at an abandoned base, now home to large numbers of Adelie Penguins and Weddell Seals. The captain will also attempt to land at Franklin Island. Desolately beautiful and rugged, the island is home to a large Adelie Penguin population and other nesting seabirds.
Possession Islands – These small, rugged and rarely-visited islands support tens of thousands of Adelie penguins. Watch as the birds’ go about their daily activities with the Admiralty Mountains forming a superb backdrop across the water.
Ross Ice Shelf – The ice shelf is the world’s largest body of floating ice. The shelf can create hazardous weather, with sheets of snow blown at gale force winds off the polar ice cap. It is just over 1,200 kilometres from the South Pole and has prevented many early explorers from venturing further south. Cruise along its astonishing 30-metre high ice cliffs, perhaps lucky enough to see icebergs ‘calving’.
Ross Island – Perhaps the highlight for many, Ross Island offers the chance to visit a scientific field station – Scott and McMurdo Stations are high on the wish list. A visit will depend on ice and weather conditions as well as station operational requirements which sometimes make them inaccessible. Ross Island is dominated by the impressive 3,794 metre-high Mt Erebus. The carefully preserved huts of the ‘Heroic Era’ help make the history come alive. If weather conditions permit guests will get a modern perspective on Antarctic Research.
Terra Nova Bay – The bay is home to an Italian research station where the scientists always enjoy showing guests around their lonely but beautiful home. Scientists will share their scientific research and, perhaps, the best ‘espresso’ in Antarctica! B L D
Heading back north take time to rest and enjoy life on board the ship in the bar or library after the excitement and long daylight hours of Antarctic. Enjoy a few more lectures on the final destination – Campbell Island – and don’t forget to keep an eye out for passing seabirds. B L D
Campbell Island – Perseverance Harbour
Today the ship drops anchor in Perseverance Harbour, occasionally used as a refuge for Southern Right Whales who come here to calve. Take a walk to the nesting site of the Southern Royal Albatross and see the strange and beautiful mega-herbs on the hills. Other wildlife that we may see include Campbell Island Shags, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and sea lions. B L D
Enjoy a final day onboard as you relax and reflect on a remarkable journey. Join your fellow guests and naturalist guides for a recap of your trip highlights and enjoy a farewell dinner this evening. B L D
Invercargill or Queenstown
Disembark today and say farewell to new-found friends. You will be transferred to either Invercargill or Queenstown airports. B