South Shetland Islands

Plum the mysteries of these mist-covered islands

Cruises to the South Shetland Islands

Weddell Sea - In search of the Emperor Penguin incl. helicopters

Searching for the Elusive Emperor Penguins

OTL22-21 A true expedition, our Weddell Sea cruise sets out to explore the range of the Emperor Penguins near Snow Hill Island. We will visit the area via heli

m/v Ortelius

m/v Ortelius

Cruise date:

14 Nov - 24 Nov, 2021

Price:

11300 USD

Falkland Islands – South Georgia – SOLAR ECLIPSE – Antarctic Peninsula

A riveting cosmic event only fully experienced along a narrow terrestrial pathway

PLAEC-21 Though you can see the total solar eclipse along a few key path locations around the globe, none of them offers as unique a “venue” as Antarctica. Com

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

23 Nov - 12 Dec, 2021

Price:

16400 USD

Antarctic Peninsula - SOLAR ECLIPSE - South Georgia - Falkland Islands

A riveting cosmic event only fully experienced along a narrow terrestrial pathway

JNSEC-21 Though you can see the total solar eclipse along a few key path locations around the globe, none of them offers as unique a “venue” as Antarctica. Com

m/v Janssonius

m/v Janssonius

Cruise date:

25 Nov - 14 Dec, 2021

Price:

16400 USD

Antarctic Peninsula - SOLAR ECLIPSE - South Georgia - Falkland Islands

A riveting cosmic event only fully experienced along a narrow terrestrial pathway

HDSEC-21 Though you can see the total solar eclipse along a few key path locations around the globe, none of them offers as unique a “venue” as Antarctica. Com

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

26 Nov - 15 Dec, 2021

Price:

16400 USD

Antarctica

Classic Antarctica including Deception Island

PLA24-21 This Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands cruise delivers you into a landscape of dark rugged rock, pure white snow, and a fantastic variety

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

12 Dec - 22 Dec, 2021

Price:

7300 USD

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Customer story

Antarctica and My Old Friend, Ortelius: Passenger Story by Ann Lane

I was on the recent Antarctic trip on Ortelius, 16 Feb - 7 March. This has been my third expedition with Oceanwide, and

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Blog

Adding Antarctica to Your Seven-Continents Bucket List

It’s a common pursuit among serious travelers to visit all seven continents. And indeed, the term “bucket list,” which b

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Map

South Shetland Islands cruise reviews

Overall rating based on 7 votes

More Than Expected
by William Blakley

The Captain and Crew were extremely professional in their duties. As was the Ships Doctor. The Expedition Staff were very knowledgeable in their respective fields. All of the above were very friends and woul

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Merrily Madero
Incredible Experience - with Amazing crew and expedition staff
by Merrily Madero

This trip was my 7th continent and 100th country and I couldn't have even imagined this experience would surpass ALL of my dreams and expectations. The ship was comfortable, the food was outstanding, the

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Fulfilled a lifetime dream
by Michael Sewell

This trip fulfilled a lifetime dream for my spouse, Pat and I. We cannot say enough good things about Oceanwide Expedition's Leaders, Adam Turner and Sara Jenner.  These two individuals are extreme

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Nick Goody
Fantastic Trip
by Nick Goody

Thank you to everyone at Oceanwide Expeditions for a fantastic trip. Our trip seemed to get better and better every day as the unique wildlife and exceptional scenery was revealed to us. It was a very nice f

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Not your average vacation
by Dawn Gurtner

Antarctica is not a destination for the faint of heart, and it should not be. Once you get past the "Drake Shake" with your seasickness remedy working, you settle down for the real joy: the excursi

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Amazing experience
by Corrado Valsecchi

Everything was planned to the detail, the expedition team was fantastic and always willing to answer any question, nice and talkative. Even when plans changed due to weather conditions there was an equally g

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South Shetland Islands FAQ

What is the Time in the South Shetland Islands?

The South Shetland Islands follow Greenwich Mean Time +12 (GMT +12). This means that if it is 9:00 GMT +12 (9 a.m.) during your trip to the South Shetland Islands, it would be the previous day at 17:00 (5 p.m.) in New York City, USA and 22:00 (10 p.m

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What is the Temperature and Weather Like in the South Shetland Islands?

The climate in this area is typically very cool and corresponds well with the rest of the northern Antarctic Peninsula.The average summer temperature only reaches 1.5 degrees Celsius (34.7 degrees Fahrenheit), and the typical winter temperature hover

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What Wildlife Can I See in the South Shetland Islands?

A visit to the South Shetland Islands will reveal a surprising amount of life for such a harsh environment. South Shetlands wildlife such as, seals, penguins and seabirds utilize the surrounding water as a feeding spot, and they can often b

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How Many People Live in the South Shetland Islands?

The number of people living in the South Shetland Islands is extremely hard to say. Research stations may only have a skeleton crew - if any at all - during the winter. During the summer months it's booming with scientists and support crew. 

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Who Owns the South Shetland Islands?

The South Shetland Islands are not under the control of any nation. Instead, the Antarctic Treaty enables all signatories to utilize the region for any non-military related purposes. This has led to 13 countries establishing research stations and fie

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What Unique Features Does the South Shetland Islands Have?

The South Shetland Islands are volcanic, primarily mountainous and approximately 80 percent glaciated. A voyage to the South Shetland Islands will often provide visitors with the opportunity to see penguins and seals. Deception Island is always a hig

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About

South Shetland Islands Weather

Be prepared for some chilly weather on your South Shetland Islands cruise. The summer months’ average temperature only ever gets up to around 1 or 2°C, and that’s without factoring in the wind which can carry away your body heat.

Scroll one third of the way down this linked page to get all sorts of info about what clothes you should bring.

Facts about the South Shetland Islands

  • If the Antarctic region has any sort of bustling cosmopolitan centre, it’s the South Shetland Islands. There are 10 bases on the Islands populated the year round and another 8 that see activity in the summer months.
  • The South Shetland Islands are made up of many tiny islands and rocks and 11 main islands – Clarence, Deception, Elephant, Greenwich, King George, Livingston, Low, Nelson, Robert, Smith, and Snow.
  • Deception Island is considered an active and ongoing “significant volcanic risk.”
  • Only about 3% of the Islands are ice-free, along the coasts. That’s where your South Shetland Islands holiday will find all of the Islands’ life – including the humans.
  • Famous explorer Shackleton and his crew survived more than four harsh months on Elephant Island.
  • 12 different countries have bases on King George Island – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador, Germany, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Uruguay, and the U.S.
  • The Islands were initially discovered on February 19, 1819 when the British ship Williams was blown of course while trying to make its way around Cape Horn.

Travel to the South Shetland Islands

A cruise including South Shetland Islands takes you to the gateway of the Antarctic. The South Shetland Islands, just a half a day’s cruise away from the Antarctic Peninsula, is home to stunning scenery and astounding amounts of wildlife.

Get ready to bird watch as the islands are the home breeding grounds of terns, skuas, shags, gulls, and thousands of penguins of different kinds.

Your South Shetland Islands trip gives you the chance to explore the Islands through a wide range of activities including snowshoeing & hiking, kayaking and diving.

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