A destination of superlatives, Antarctica is a world of vast skies, blue seas and dazzling snow and ice, host to some exceptional wildlife making it one of the most captivating destinations anywhere on Earth. Cruise to the awe-inspiring white space of the South Pole for a truly memorable trip. As one of the world's last great wildernesses, this pristine environment once took years to travel to and explore. These days it's far more accessible, with expedition cruise ships bringing guests in luxurious comfort to explore landscapes and sights seen by only a fraction of people in the world.
A dramatic region of ice and rock, the Antarctic Peninsula extends north towards the southern tip of Latin America, offering the most accessible gateway to the 'White Continent'. Here, immense snow-clad mountain ranges spill down to an iceberg-studded coast home to seals, whales and huge colonies of penguins. The highlight of any Antarctic cruise, a visit to these remote shores is the closest you'll get to experiencing your very own polar expedition, with the likes of guided shore walks and kayak excursions bringing you right up close to the action. And, the research stations based here offer a select number of visitors a unique glimpse of the important scientific work being carried out in this remote corner of the planet.
As one of the main gateways to Antartica itself, this island of spectacular fjords and beaches bursting with wildlife is a popular staging post for many Antarctic cruises. With mountains soaring to almost 3,000 metres above sea level, it's a truly stunning destination, made all the more special by the sheer quantity and variety of its inhabitants, from its 30-million-plus breeding birds to its 7 million penguins.
Falklands (Islas Malvinas)
Penguins, seals and albatross are among the star turns on this group of islands, flung out in the southern Atlantic almost 500 kilometres east of Patagonia. Mix with the hardy locals in the capital, Stanley, then head out to the archipelagos remoter reaches to hike cragged coastlines and come face to face with basking seals and colonies of gentoos, king and rockhopper penguins as seabirds swoop overhead.