Following his epic Patagonia adventure last year, our very own Sales and Operations Manager Eric Bartanen was back out there this past March, this time to Antarctica. We share with you today his dispatch from his adventure and remind you to follow us on Instagram to see pictures and stories from his wildlife packed adventure all next week! Eric's Dispatch from AntarcticaI was on the 11-day Antarctica...
 Antarctica is one of the last frontiers on earth, unknown by most of the world’s population. Visiting Antarctica is a once-in-a-lifetime experience through well-protected waters, teeming with unique species that are often scarce in other parts of the world. Check out our list of some of the Top 10 Wildlife Sightings in Antarctica to learn what you have to look forward to on your trip.Blue whalesGet...
If you’ve always dreamed of witnessing penguins in the wild, then our team of Latin America travel experts has you covered. While Antarctica is famously the best place to go if you’re looking for the ultimate penguin trip, there’s also no shortage of opportunities to do some penguin watching everywhere from the Galapagos Islands all the way through Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. In...
  This past week you may have noticed penguins taking over your Instagram or Twitter feed as World Penguin Day was celebrated on April 25th and proved once again that pretty much everyone, everywhere loves penguins. Penguins are without a doubt the most sought after wildlife viewing experience we offer at Southern Explorations, and it’s no mystery as to why. Across the 17 species of penguins,...
We’ve always said South America and Antarctica are packed with revelatory travel experiences, but a recent revelation just off the end of the “thumb” of Antarctica, below South America, took that idea to the next level. In the Weddell Sea, in a cluster of islands known as the Danger Islands (yes, that’s what this archipelago is actually called), using a special-made extreme weather drone...
It could probably go without saying, our planet’s poles are extreme locations. The frigid temperatures, extremely dry conditions, and extraordinary wildlife have often led those trying to describe the poles to look to other planets in an attempt to accurately convey the peculiar environments.It's also why scientists and researchers are turning to Antarctica to learn more about conditions on the Moon, Mars...
 An Antarctic trip is one of the most unforgettable travel experiences you can have.  The remoteness and the expansive landscape of the southernmost continent creates a rich and liberating disconnection from the rest of the world at large. However, getting there can sometimes feel like the exact opposite experience. The idea of traveling to Antarctica, putting together the logistics for you and your...
Southern Explorations Antarctica expert Carrie Beck visited the White Continent this past November 2015. Here she recounts the incredible experience of backcountry snowboarding in the most remote place on earth.I stood on the deck of the Akademik Ioffe, a small ship dedicated to tourism and research in the polar regions, watching a crane lower a zodiac from the ship toward the icy water. Inside the zodiac was our...
Whale Watching In AntarcticaWhale watching in Antarctica is at its height in February and March. Of the eight whale species that visitors may see, six are baleens: the southern (Antarctic) minke, humpback, sei, fin, blue and southern right. Perhaps Antarctica’s most extraordinary whale watching experience is encountering the largest whale of all, the blue, in part because of its gigantic proportions and also...
Which Antarctica cruise is right for you?For most people who travel to Antarctica, it is the trip of a lifetime, so the prospect of choosing the right cruise can be daunting. Of course, any of the cruises we offer provide a great experience, but every passenger is different regarding what he or she wants to experience during a trip to the Seventh Continent. Here are some things to consider as you look at the...
The Awe of It AllAntarctica is home to the world’s grandest icebergs. Soaring high above the sea in all shapes and sizes, silhouetted by a rising or setting sun, drifting by or showing off many shades of blue. The continent’s landscape of snow-covered ice defies the imagination and remain in one’s memories forever, with or without a camera.A Place Without A Human ImprintClear skies, pristine waters...
SOUTHERN EXPLORATIONS 10 YEARS OLD AND GROWING!2015 marks Southern Explorations’ 10th year in business. What started as a two-person operation in a garage has grown into a company with destination coordinators in several countries, customers from throughout the world and awards from the national travel media for our authentic trips and sustainability values. Southern Explorations has become one of the leaders...
An Antarctica cruise is a once in a lifetime voyage. As you make your way to the world’s most remote continent, prepare for a visual experience like no other. The distinctive beauty of this expansive white wilderness is filled with giant icebergs, steep cliffs, vast ice shelves and stunning mountains. The wildlife is equally as spectacular and arguably the main draw for those traveling to Antarctica. Of...
Many of our full itineraries for Chile tours and travel to Argentina include destinations to observe penguins. For those that don’t, it is possible to add on a few days to the beginning or end of our tours in order to fit penguins into your vacation. These tour extensions range from day-trips to multi-day excursions in Peru, Argentina and Chile plus an exotic fly-in excursion to Antarctica.You will have two...
Reading about and preparing for your adventure is half the fun. For more book suggestions go to Antarctica
Man’s history with Antarctica is one of exploration and hardship in the pursuit of fame and fortune, with peaks conquered, virgin territory mapped and new lands discovered as its historical timeline. The ill-fated attempt by British explorer, Ernest Shackleton, to cross Antarctica in 1914 ended in one of the more daring of the region’s exploits. After his ship, the Endurance, sank in the Weddell Sea,...
Antarctica is more than a cruise if you want it to be. While every Antarctica itinerary takes passengers ashore to get close-up views of the continent’s abundance of wildlife, some visitors who travel to Antarctica wish to experience even more thrills. For them, we offer additional activities that some but not all ships offer, including camping, hiking, mountaineering and cross-country skiing, made all the...
Diving The combination of sunlight, seawater and the unusual formations of Antarctica’s ice floes create brilliant underwater hues, offering divers an unforgettable experience. Divers can expect to encounter a fascinating array of marine wildlife, such as kelp walls, sea-snails, ice fish, shrubby horsetails, sea hedgehogs, crab, sea butterflies, jellyfish, sponges and starfish, plus many fish species, enormous...
To travel to Antarctica from South America by ship, one goes via the 400-mile Drake Passage. An unforgettable experience during this sea crossing is the opportunity to observe the wildlife, including whales that come to feed at the Antarctic Convergence, an area rich with the mainstay baleen diet. The Drake Passage will be most peoples’ introduction to whale watching in Antarctica. Southern minkes are the most...
Orcas are found in three Antarctic locations: along the Lemaire Channel off the Antarctic Peninsula, on the other side of the peninsula in the Weddell Sea, and near pack ice in the Ross Sea. February and March are the most predictable months to spot orcas. Southern Explorations’ eleven to thirteen-day Antarctic’s Weddell Sea and twelve to fourteen-day Crossing the Antarctic Circle cruises are two tour...
Four penguin species are considered temperate. Of these, three inhabit the oceans surrounding South America, either the Pacific or the Atlantic, or both. These are the Magellanic Penguin Humboldt Penguin species that burrow to make their nests, and the Galapagos penguin that has figured out how to keep cool in the tropics. This species stays put near the Equator year-round, much to the enjoyment of visitors on...
Had they spent longer studying these birds that didn’t act like birds, the explorers might have named them for any number of their unique qualities—their swimming speeds or their ability to get around on land without legs or wings. Pinguim is Portuguese for fat which perhaps refers to the oil derived by slaughtering penguins or to their girth. In Welsh, pen gwyn means white head, a term that humans gave...
For penguins, temperature is everything, their waterproof feathers keeping them both cool and warm. Keeping cool is one of the penguin’s main pre-occupations. On land, their elongated bodies and flightless flippers limit their movement to a slow gait, forcing them to lead a sedentary existence. This makes them easy to observe during Antarctica tours and travel to Patagonia. Breeding in the shade or burrows and...
Visitors who depart from South America on Antarctica tours will have the most opportunities to observe Emperor Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins and Adelie penguins if they choose an itinerary that travels to the Weddell Sea, the islands off the Antarctica Peninsula and along the peninsula itself. After arriving at their breeding grounds at the end of October, Chinstraps are laying eggs about the time that Emperor...
The Adélie PenguinHis name lives on, in various locations, among them, the d’Urville Sea in the Southern Ocean, d’Urville Island, one of the islands off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, and the Dumont d’Urville Station that serves as a center for French research on Petral Island off the mainland coast of Antarctica. Thanks to a devoted husband, Adelie’s does too, as the area of...