The Weddell Sea

Dramatic landscapes, huge icebergs, good wildlife, and the story of the shipwreck of Shackleton's Endurance.

Antarctica's Weddell Sea was discovered by the British sealer James Weddell in 1823. One cannot forget the ill-fated yet heroic expedition of the great British polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. His ship, the Endurance was trapped in the ice here in 1915 and the story of the men's survival is one of the greatest in polar exploration.

This is one of the world's most remote areas. Entrance to this icy world is often via 'Antarctic Sound', also called "Iceberg Alley" due to the huge icebergs often floating out from the entrance to the Weddell Sea, where pack ice stretches to the horizon.

The Weddell Sea is on the sunnier eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Its winds deposit the moisture on the mountains and the western side of the peninsula gets the clouds. Huge, magnificent tabular icebergs break off from its ice shelves and are very slowly pushed by the winds through Antarctic Sound. The surface of an accumulation of ice will always mimic its shape beneath hence the flat "table" tops. Many of them or parts of them get stuck and spend several years fighting the elements before floating free into the Atlantic or breaking up.
Brown Bluff, arguably one of the most scenic spots in the entire northern tip of the Antarctic Continent, marks the entrance to the Weddell Sea. With steep canyon walls and tumbling boulders, an ice-cap looming above, beautiful volcanic creations the scene is complete with thousands of Adelie penguins nesting on the slopes, and a few Gentoos mixed in for fun.
Look out for individual Emperor and Adelie Penguins on the ice floes; cape, snow and giant Petrels fly high in the sky while kelp gulls, skuas and Wilson's storm petrels make their scavenging raids.

Upwellings of cold, nutrient-rich water attract diverse wildlife and some islands host penguin colonies 200,000 strong. An Emperor penguin colony just south of Snow Hill Island was discovered only a few years ago. The island also hosts explorer Nordenskjold's historic hut.

Another possible highlight is fossil-rich Seymour Island.

Start planning your trip to Antarctica

Let us know what kind of boat and voyage you are most interested in, and when you are thinking of travelling. We'll get back to you with some initial ideas and advice.

Call us on 020 7281 7788 ( Mon-Fri 9:15-5:45). Or we'd be happy to call you back.

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