Wake of Scott & Shackleton: Akademik Shokalskiy
Antarctica's Ross Sea
The heart of what is known as the Heroic Age' of Antarctic exploration, The Ross Sea features still-intact huts from explorers such as Scott and Shackleton set in dramatic landscapes of Mt Erebus and the Transantarctic Mountains. Many highlights include abundant wildlife: penguins, seabirds, seals and whales, vast glacial ice tongues and ice shelves, visits to modern scientific bases. Breaking the long journey to the Antarctica are the Subantarctic Islands: The Snares, Auckland's, Macquarie and Campbell Island, replete with their own amazing flora and fauna
- Visit historic huts and scientific research bases (where possible)
- Experience 24 hours of daylight and possible Aurora Australis activity
- Emperor, King, Adelie, Gentoo, Rockhopper penguins, cetaceans, seals and a host of other wildlife
- Confront the impressive Ross Ice Shelf, the world's largest body of floating ice
- Visit New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands and Australia's Macquarie Island
The Ross Sea takes its name from Sir James Clark Ross who discovered it in 1841. The British Royal Geographical Society chose the Ross Sea for the now famous British National Antarctic Expedition in 1901-04 led by Robert Falcon Scott. That one expedition spawned what is sometimes referred to as the ‘Race to the Pole’. Ernest Shackleton almost succeeded in 1907-09 and the Japanese explorer Nobu Shirase tried in 1910-12. Scott thought it was his, but was beaten by his rival, Norwegian Roald Amundsen in the summer of 1911. Amundsen had deceived his supporters and sailed the Fram to the Bay of Whales, in the Ross Sea where he established his base Framheim. Shackleton’s Trans Antarctic expedition in 1914-17 marked the end of this ‘heroic’ or ‘golden age’ of exploration, but many of the relics of this era, including some huts, remain.
The dramatic landscape described by these early explorers is unchanged. Mt Erebus, Mt Discovery and the Transantarctic Mountains are as inspiring today as they were 100 years ago. The penguin rookeries described by the early biologists fluctuate in numbers from year to year but they still occupy the same sites. The seals which are no longer hunted for food lie around on ice floes seemingly unperturbed. The whales, which were hunted so ruthlessly here in the 1920s, are slowly coming back, but it is a long way back from the edge of extinction, and some species have done better than others. Snow Petrels, Wilson’s Storm-Petrels, Antarctic Prions and South Polar Skuas all breed in this seemingly inhospitable environment.
There is so much to do and so much to see here, from exploring historic huts and sites to visiting penguin rookeries, marvelling at the glacial ice tongues. The Ross Sea region of Antarctica is one of the most remote places on Planet Earth and one of the most fascinating places in the continent’s human history. With shipping restricted by impenetrable pack ice to just two brief months each austral summer, few people have ever visited this strange and beautiful territory, with opportunities for non-scientific personnel limited to a handful of tourist expedition ships. This is just such a voyage on its own fully equipped and ice-strengthened ship, crewed by some of the most experienced officers and sailors in the world and staffed by some of the most passionate and knowledgeable Guides. This is a unique opportunity to experience nature on a scale so grand there are no words to describe it. and ice shelves and understanding the icebergs and sea ice.
Then there are all the seabirds, seals and whales to observe and photograph, modern scientific bases and field camps to visit and simply the opportunity to spend time drinking in the marvellous landscape that has always enthralled visitors. Lying like stepping stones to the Antarctic continent are the little known Subantarctic Islands. Our journey includes The Snares, Auckland’s, Macquarie and Campbell Island. They break our long journey but more importantly they help prepare us for what lies ahead, for these islands are part of the amazing and dynamic Southern Ocean ecosystem of which Antarctica is at the very heart. It is the power house which drives this ecosystem upon which the world depends.
An epic expedition in the true meaning of the word. Follow in the wake of the heroic explorers and see this truly incredible and inspiring part of Antarctica first-hand.
OverviewThe heart of what is known as the Heroic Age' of Antarctic exploration, The Ross Sea features still-intact huts from explorers such as Scott and Shackleton set in dramatic landscapes of Mt Erebus and the Transantarctic Mountains. Many highlights include abundant wildlife: penguins, seabirds, seals and whales, vast glacial ice tongues and ice shelves, visits to modern scientific bases. Breaking the long journey to the Antarctica are the Subantarctic Islands: The Snares, Auckland's, Macquarie and Campbell Island, replete with their own amazing flora and fauna.
Expedition Vessel: M/V Akademik Shokalskiy
The Akademik Shokalskiy is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research. This class of vessel is world renowned for polar exploration, because of its strength, maneuverability and small passenger numbers. The Shokalskiy provides comfortable accommodation in double and twin cabins with private facilities. All cabins have outside windows and ample storage space. On board there is a combined bar/library lounge area and a dedicated lecture room, where the science team and expedition staff will present a programme of talks.
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