Antarctica is travel’s last frontier, the legendary ‘white continent’ where a dramatic and alien landscape is blanketed in snow and ice. Hard to reach and even harder to inhabit, this vast wilderness is one of the last truly pristine habitats on earth, untouched by humans save for a few research stations and abandoned whaling outposts. Icebergs the size of cities calve off the icecap and drift out across the notorious Drake Passage, while enormous penguin colonies huddle for warmth on guano-splattered islands, guarding their chicks and hunting for fish below the waves.
It’s not just penguins that hunt here, with leopard seals lurking in the inky seas, and many species of whale pass through here on their migratory routes across the southern seas. The only way to really explore Antarctica is on board a specialist expedition ship, though it is possible to fly across the Drake Passage if weather conditions allow. As well as the Antarctic Peninsula itself, you should consider an itinerary that calls at the Falkland Islands, of particular historical interest to Brits, or take an even longer detour to South Georgia, home to a staggering concentration of wildlife including king penguins and fur seals.