South Shetland Islands

Cruise through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellow into the mystery of mist-shrouded Deception Island.

Cruises to the South Shetland Islands

Weddell Sea - In search of the Emperor Penguin incl. helicopters
Up to 2300 USD discount

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


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 helicopter and see a variety of other birds and penguins including Adélies and Gentoos.

Cruise date:

15 Nov - 25 Nov, 2017


11550 USD 9250 USD 2300 USD discount

Antarctic Peninsula with South Shetland Islands
Up to 1450 USD discount

Antarctic Peninsula with South Shetland Islands


This 11-day Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands cruise delivers you into a landscape of dark rugged rock, pure white snow, and a fantastic variety of wildlife. Come say hello to whales, seals, and thousands of penguins.

Cruise date:

6 Dec - 16 Dec, 2017


7200 USD 5750 USD 1450 USD discount


Customer stories

Humpback Whales Sing for Food, Not Entertainment

The normal call of a humpback whale can be heard from miles away, and they often make noises that sound similar to crying, howling and moaning....

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Deception Island deceptively active

In Antarctica, the South Shetland archipelago is home to Deception Island, a volcanic-rounded island that is 15 km in diameter with a shield...

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See the impressive array of wildlife you may encounter::

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Map South Shetland Islands

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.)...


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 hovers...


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 be...


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. 


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 field...


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 highlight,...


About South Shetland Islands

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.