Antarctic Peninsula History

Discovered in 1820, the Antarctic Peninsula has witnessed some of the world’s most momentous polar expeditions

Antarctic Peninsula History

Region: Antarctica

Destinations: Antarctic Peninsula

The still-debated discovery of the Antarctic Peninsula

Although confirmed sightings of the Antarctic Peninsula occurred as early as 1820, only the most northern tip (Trinity Peninsula) would be charted for many years. There would be no undisputed and documented landings on the Antarctic Continent until 1853. Even so, some scholars believe that in 1821 American sealers were the first humans to set foot on the continent.

Antarctic Peninsula: a lasting legend of exploration

Since its discovery, the Antarctic Peninsula has been one of the central locations of polar exploration. Roald Amundsen was forced to overwinter just west of the peninsula in 1897, Otto Nordenskiöld’s Swedish Antarctic Expedition landed on the Antarctic Peninsula in 1902, and Ernest Shackleton’s vessel, Endurance, was crushed by sea ice near the peninsula in 1915.

More recent Antarctic Peninsula history

Research stations began appearing in the Antarctic Peninsula around World War II, and most bases on the continent are concentrated there due to the area’s comparatively milder climate. Tourism came to the peninsula in the 1950s, and in 1961 the Antarctic Treaty established Antarctica as a scientific preserve protected from nuclear testing, waste disposal, and industrial development.

Love this article? Share your appreciation:

Related cruises

Antarctica

Classic Antarctica including Deception Island

PLA27-21. This Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands cruise delivers you into a landscape of dark rugged rock, pure white snow, and a fantastic variety of wildlife. Come say hello to whales, seals, and thousands of penguins.

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

4 Feb - 14 Feb, 2021

Price:

8050 USD

Antarctica - Discovery and learning voyage

Classic Antarctica including Deception Island

HDS30-21. This Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands cruise delivers you into a landscape of dark rugged rock, pure white snow, and a fantastic variety of wildlife. Come say hello to whales, seals, and thousands of penguins.

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

5 Feb - 15 Feb, 2021

Price:

8050 USD

Antarctica - Polar Circle

Crossing the Polar Circle

PLA28-21. This Polar Circle and Antarctic Peninsula cruise passes through waters travelled by Humpback, Minke and Fin whales. Anchoring in various spots around the region, the expedition offers the chance to hike, kayak, and dive in the iceberg-heavy waters.

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

14 Feb - 25 Feb, 2021

Price:

8050 USD

Falkland Islands - South Georgia - Antarctic Peninsula

Meet at least six penguin species

OTL27c21. This Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctic Peninsula cruise is an animal-lover’s dream come true. The expedition explores one of the last untamed areas on Earth – a land of ruggedly beautiful landscapes and amazingly varied wildlife.

m/v Ortelius

m/v Ortelius

Cruise date:

18 Feb - 8 Mar, 2021

Price:

13500 USD

Falkland Islands - South Georgia - Elephant Island - Antarctica - Polar Circle

Meet at least six penguin species

HDS32-21. This Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctic Peninsula cruise is an animal-lover’s dream come true. The expedition explores one of the last untamed areas on Earth – a land of ruggedly beautiful landscapes and amazingly varied wildlife.

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

24 Feb - 18 Mar, 2021

Price:

15200 USD