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.

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
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
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
Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctic Adventure

With a good choice of departure dates through the season across three medium-sized ships, this 19-22 day trip stands out for its value for money and the broad range of cabin categories available, including Quads, which are…

  • 19-22 Days
  • $14,750
Crossing the Circle in Style

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
  • $18,990
Antarctic Circle Odyssey

Sail south to the iconic Polar Circle for 7 full days exploring the highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula as part of an epic 14-day adventure. Pre-voyage hotel night in Ushuaia and a 3-in-1 parka jacket are included. An optional one-off…

  • 14 Days
  • $13,495
Ultimate Antarctica: South Georgia & Antarctic Circle

An epic 23-day voyage which packs in an astonishing 7 days in Antarctica, 4 days in wildlife-rich South Georgia and the Antarctic Circle at 66 degrees south. It's very rare to find a trip combining all three places. Limited departure…

  • 23 Days
  • $37,490
Antarctic Explorer in Style

For those travellers prioritising real comfort and ease of travel logistics, this is a great option. Travel in style aboard a state-of-the-art expedition ship, with heli-sightseeing available on select departures for a unique bird's-eye view of Antarctica. Plus the comprehensive…

  • 11-12 Days
  • $10,795
Fly & Cruise the Antarctic Peninsula

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
  • $14,795
Solar Eclipse in Antarctica

A total solar eclipse occurs only once every two years, and to witness it in Antarctica is without doubt a privileged…

  • 22 Days
  • $23,700