Cruises to the South Shetland Islands

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Featured cruises

Exclusive 2025 Full Transit of the Northwest Passage

MS Roald Amundsen 08 Aug 2025 25 nights Fly Cruise Flights Included Nome

Exclusive FREE Private UK Chauffeur Service*

Exclusive Savings of up to £7,000*

Unique opportunity to sail the historic northwest passage*

All-Inclusive Drinks, Wi-Fi, Gratuities & Flights Included*

Itinerary: Nome, Alaska - Fly from Nuuk, Greenland to Reykjavik, Iceland - One night 4★ stay in Reykjavik, Iceland
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(full fare £16,799) Outside from £13,599pp

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Queen Mary 2's 2025 No-Fly Grand Caribbean

Queen Mary 2 11 Jan 2025 35 nights No-Fly Cruise Southampton

No-fly cruising

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Book with the Top Partner for Cunard*

Complimentary On Board Credit of up to $2,060*

Itinerary: Southampton - Santa Cruz, Tenerife - Grenada, St. Georges - Bridgetown, Barbados - Castries, St. Lucia - Willemstad, Curacao - Roseau, Dominica - English Harbour, Antigua -...
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Inside from £3,749pp

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SAVE UP TO £4,560
2026 Exploration of South America & Antarctica

Borealis 28 Jan 2026 76 nights No-Fly Cruise Southampton

Exclusive savings of up to £3,800*

Exclusive FREE On Board Spend of up to £1,500*

Ocean members save 5%*

FREE Door-To-Door Transfers*

Itinerary: Southampton - La Coruna, Spain - Las Palmas, Gran Canaria - Praia, Cape Verde Islands - Salvador - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Ilhabela - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Montevideo, Uruguay…
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(full fare £9,499) Inside from £9,199pp

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What to see in the South Shetland Islands

The South Shetland Islands, an Antarctic archipelago, captivate with their icy landscapes, towering glaciers and abundant wildlife. These remote islands offer a gateway to the frozen continent, inviting adventurers to explore pristine wilderness, encounter penguins and seals and marvel at the awe-inspiring beauty of the Antarctic environment.

One of the most captivating aspects of the South Shetland Islands is the abundance of wildlife that calls this remote archipelago home. From playful penguins to majestic seals and soaring seabirds, the islands teem with life, offering visitors an unparalleled opportunity to witness these creatures in their natural habitat. One of the most popular wildlife encounters in the South Shetland Islands is with the resident colonies of Antarctic penguins, including Gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguins. These charismatic birds can be found nesting on rocky shorelines, waddling along icy beaches and diving into the frigid waters in search of food. Visitors can observe these fascinating creatures up close, capturing memorable photographs and learning about their behaviours and adaptations to the harsh Antarctic environment.

The South Shetland Islands have a rich history of exploration and scientific research, with several historic research stations scattered throughout the archipelago. These stations, established by various countries for scientific study and exploration, offer visitors a fascinating glimpse into Antarctica's past and present. One of the most well-known research stations in the South Shetland Islands is the Vernadsky Research Base, originally established by the British Antarctic Survey and now operated by Ukraine. Visitors to Vernadsky can tour the station's facilities, learn about ongoing research projects and interact with the scientists and staff who call the base home.

For adventurous travellers seeking a more active experience, kayaking amidst icebergs and glaciers is a thrilling way to explore the pristine waters surrounding the South Shetland Islands. Guided kayak tours allow visitors to paddle through icy channels, weaving between towering ice formations and navigating around floating ice floes. As you kayak through these icy waters, you'll have the opportunity to observe the breathtaking beauty of the Antarctic landscape up close, with towering glaciers cascading into the sea and massive icebergs floating serenely on the surface. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including seals, penguins and seabirds, which often make appearances as you paddle through their icy habitat.

Which cruise lines sail to the South Shetland Islands?

Cruise Lines Itineraries
Silversea See all featured cruises >


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