The South Shetlands are a rugged, heavily-glaciated chain of four island groups and dozens of islets hugging the Antarctic Peninsula, providing a sheltered sea passage defined by towers of black rock. Names evoke the experiences and imagination of the early explorers – Deception and Desolation Islands, the Watchtower, and Elephant Island, where Shackleton’s expedition was stranded for 135 days.
Visitors include chinstrap, gentoo, macaroni and Adélie penguins; giant petrels, Wilson’s and black-bellied storm petrels, brown and south polar skuas, Cape pigeons, Antarctic terns, blue-eyed shags, Dominican gulls, elephant, fur, leopard and crab-eater seals; humpback, minke and orca (killer) whales offshore.
Holidays South Shetland Islands
Visit the untamed wilderness of the South Shetland Islands on an expedition cruise with Journey Latin America.
Antarctic Peninsula: Fly and cruise
(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)
Things to do
We proudly offer the widest range of activities, excursions and one-of-a-kind experiences across all our destinations, tried and tested personally by our travel experts.
Expedition cruising in Antarctica
Explore Antarctica’s heritage
Whale watching in Antarctica
Wildlife watching in Antarctica
Where to go when - our guide to South Shetland Islands
The weather in South Shetland Islands is wide and varied
You’ll spot an abundance of wildlife from the chain of rugged black rocks and glaciated islands hugging the Antarctic Peninsula. Chinstrap, gentoo, macaroni and Adélie penguins make their nests here in November, with chicks hatching from December and fledging in February. Elephant, fur, leopard and crab-eater seals also raise their young here, with pups appearing in December. Off-shore you’ll spot humpback, minke and orca (killer) whales, particularly later in the season February - Machr. January is the warmest month, reaching 1.5°C.View our South Shetland Islands weather guide
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Sally Dodge - Travel Expert
A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.
Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert
Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.
Millie Davies - Travel Expert
Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.
Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.