Once the sole domain of whalers, explorers, scientists and soldiers, tours of Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula allow visitors access to a landscape of awe-inspiring majesty and haunting beauty. The best way to traverse this frozen land is by taking a tailor-made holiday. Cruising its otherworldly reaches is a once in a lifetime opportunity to escape from modern reality, to explore the wildest remaining frontier on the planet and experience a pure and extraordinary world unlike any other.
Despite its remote location, Antarctica is accessible by travelling from Argentina’s Tierra de Fuego on expeditionary ships that combine the spirit of adventure with levels of comfort and luxury unthinkable in the days of the great explorers. Cruising waters framed by turquoise cathedrals of ice and dotted with drifting blue-green icebergs is an unforgettable experience. However, breathtaking scenery is only half of the magic. Virtually unchanged since the days of Scott and Shackleton, this ice-bound paradise and its chilly waters are home to a huge concentration of wildlife. Zodiac expeditions ashore are guided by expert naturalists with bottomless funds of knowledge, while the dazzling daylight and lingering twilight of the polar night are a photographer’s dream.
Although passengers from the luxury cruisers are free to wander ashore on guided visits, the priority is, as the old cliché goes, ‘to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but memories’.