Once upon a time, Antarctica and Latin America were one. Then, 70 million years ago, the opening of the Drake Passage kick-started the separation of Antarctica from the rest of the southern hemisphere land mass. Later, the final break with Australia completed the isolation, and created a new, soon-to-be ice-smothered, continent.
Antarctica has a dazzling display of larger-than-life landscapes, a kaleidoscope of colours and a symphony of sounds. Along the shores and among the hauntingly beautiful bergs and glaciers thrives a vociferous, agitated, sometimes violent, always entertaining wildlife. Penguins in their hundreds of thousands, seals, whales and a huge variety of bird-life breed, wheel, feed and die here. In the translucent light of a never-ending day visitors can watch them, walk among them, film them, and listen to their plaintive cries.
Nowadays it doesn’t have to be just a case of staring boggle-eyed as the Antarctic drama unfolds. A growing range of active adventures such as camping, hiking and kayaking give visitors a thrilling, intimate experience in the snow and ice.