South Shetland Islands

The South Shetland Islands are the first place you'll land after crossing the Drake Passage from Patagonia en route to the Antarctic Peninsula. The islands themselves are made up of 20 islands including Deception Island, Livingston Island, King George Island (where most fly-and-cruise trips depart). The South Shetland Islands were first reached in February 1819 and since then, have become home to Chilean and Argentinian research bases.

The South Shetland Islands really are teeming with wildlife and as such are included in all itineraries visiting the Antarctic Peninsula. Here you can expect to see huge penguin rookeries and several seal species lounging on land. On King George Island, you can see Adélie and Chinstrap penguin colonies, as well as Kelp Gulls, Blue-eyed Cormorants, Antarctic Terns and Southern Giant Petrels.

Find out more about visiting the South Shetland Islands on an Antarctic fly-and-cruise trip or browse cruises that visit the Antarctic Peninsula.

Map of South Shetland Islands

Nearby landmarks

Trips that visit South Shetland Islands

Flexibility is the key to success in Antarctica. All voyage routes take advantage of the ever-changing opportunities provided by nature, crafting a unique and extraordinary experience each time.

Special Offers:Swoop has access to the widest range of offers and can help you find the right trip, cabin, & price.

Antarctic Express Fly & Cruise

Fast-tracking your arrival into Antarctica by flying and skipping the Drake Passage means a compressed journey of only 2 hours before embarking on your spacious and well-appointed 148 guest expeditionary ship. Touches other travellers have appreciated include the onboard National…

  • 8 Days
  • $9,975
Fly & Cruise Polar Circle

This impressive voyage combines all the comfort and speed of flying in both directions with extended time in Antarctica (7 full days), allowing you to head south towards the remote Antarctic Circle. Explore from the comfort of your outstanding purpose-built…

  • 10 Days
  • $14,295
Active Antarctic Adventure

Ideal for active travellers with an adventurous spirit. The voyage cost includes the chance to kayak past sculptural icebergs and spend a night open-air camping in Antarctica. Dip below the surface with a unique snorkelling activity and snowshoe past waddling…

  • 15 Days
  • $16,995
Multi-activity Antarctic Peninsula

With complimentary kayaking, camping and snowshoeing included, this trip will appeal to adventurous travellers keen to take in the best of the Antarctic Peninsula. A comfortable ship, high calibre guiding and great value for money to…

  • 13 Days
  • $8,995
Fly & Sail Antarctica in Style

If you’re undecided between sailing or flying to Antarctica, why not choose both with this combination trip? A two hour flight south provides fast access to the White Continent, then after four incredible days of exploring, you’ll sail back across…

  • 10 Days
  • $16,195
Sail & Fly Antarctica in Style

By sailing south across the Drake Passage then flying north in just two hours, this itinerary blends the adventure of arriving in Antarctica by ship with the speed of a quick exit. The risk of weather-related flight delays is removed…

  • 10 Days
  • $16,795
Highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula

Sail to the White Continent aboard one of the most luxurious ships currently available. Unsurpassed comfort and true 5* service are this operator’s hallmarks. From the discreetly attentive service and French-inspired cuisine to the beautifully appointed public areas, this is…

  • 11-14 Days
  • $13,883
Onto the Antarctic Ice

With three medium-sized expedition ships to pick from and regular departure dates throughout the season, this well-priced voyage is a popular option. Across striking landscapes and icy seas, your company includes penguins, seals, whales and skuas. For the adventurous, optional…

  • 10-13 Days
  • $7,900
South Shetland Islands & Antarctica Voyage

A classic 10-day voyage to the White Continent. Perfect for those wanting great value and comfortable accommodation. Sail aboard a purpose-built X-bow expedition ship with an average of 175…

  • 9-12 Days
  • $6,990
Immense Discovery: Falklands, South Georgia & the Peninsula

This fantastic trip covers all the must-see highlights of an extended Antarctic expedition. With 21 nights aboard, you will venture far south past vast icebergs to cross the Antarctic Circle before taking in jaw-dropping king penguin colonies in the wildlife…

  • 23 Days
  • $28,295
Antarctica, South Georgia & Falklands In Style

Voyage south in Shackleton’s footsteps, exploring the Southern Ocean's highlights as part of this expansive 20-day adventure. A well-balanced itinerary gives plenty of time in each jaw-dropping location. Explore from the comfort of your sleek purpose-built expedition ship, accompanied by…

  • 20 Days
  • $17,895