Overview

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.

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Holidays South Shetland Islands

Visit the untamed wilderness of the South Shetland Islands on an expedition cruise with Journey Latin America.

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Private Journeys

Antarctica

Antarctic Peninsula: Fly and cruise

14 days from £18,290pp

(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)

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Antarctica

Signature Antarctica: Highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula

14 days from £8,250pp

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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.

Where to go when - our guide to South Shetland Islands

Deception Island

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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Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Paul Winrow Giffin
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Carrie
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.

  • Mary
    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.

  • Maggie in LATAM
    Maggie Wilson - Travel Expert

    Maggie visited Latin America on her first backpacking trip when she was 19. Since then, she has taken every opportunity to travel, and has managed to explore a lot of the region in subsequent trips.

  • Kathryn
    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.

  • Sophie
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

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