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.
Photos of South Shetland Islands
Map of South Shetland Islands
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.
With a good choice of departure dates through the season across four medium-sized ships, this 19-23 day trip stands out for its value for money and the broad range of cabin categories available, including Quads, which are…
- 19 - 22 Days
Journey beyond the Antarctic Circle in real comfort aboard a state-of-the-art expedition ship. Spend an extended period of 7 action-packed days exploring the Antarctic Peninsula. Attractive comprehensive transfer package from Buenos Aires available on select departures. Wide choice of optional…
- 14 Days
A cost-effective Antarctic adventure. This itinerary is also ideal for those with limited time wanting to combine Antarctica with time exploring Patagonia. Sailing one way and flying back, you get to combine two iconic places: Antarctica and Cape Horn. Note,…
- 6-7 Days
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…
- 23 Days
For maximum time in Antarctica with flights both ways, this trip really stands out. An extended fly & cruise voyage spending eight full days actually in Antarctica onboard a small, state-of-the-art expedition ship. Optional kayaking & polar…
- 12 Days
Fly over the Drake Passage in just 2 hours, both to and from Antarctica. Ideal for those wanting a high comfort level, but who have limited time or are anxious sailors. An outstanding program, successfully operated for over 15 seasons.…
- 8 Days
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, Relais & Chateaux cuisine and 24/7 butler service to the beautifully appointed…
- 11-14 Days
For those travellers looking for seamless travel on a trip that is hassle-free from door-to-door and all-inclusive, this is the perfect option. Skip over the notorious Drake Passage on a comfortable two hour flight to Antarctica, then travel onboard a…
- 7 Days
Travelling on board this extremely comfortable ship, explore the highlights of the peninsula with a top class expedition team. Spacious cabins, delicious cuisine and optional adventure activities all help create this ideal marriage of comfort and…
- 12-13 Days
Start your adventure in Puerto Madryn, a mecca for southern right whales and then sail to the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, stopping off at the Falkland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula en route. This three week odyssey on a stylish…
- 22 Days
A classic 10-day voyage to the Great White Continent. Perfect for those wanting great value and comfortable accommodation. Sailing onboard a stable 198 passenger vessel that has recently been fully refurbished.…
- 9-12 Days