We will land, weather permitting, on several locations in and around the Antarctic Peninsula and Mainland and embark on what will be the final journey of the 4 Deserts for many competitors The Antarctic Peninsula's remarkable history will provide a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have time to explore the amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and an incredibly wide variety of wildlife. Apart from penguins and seabirds you are very likely to see Weddell, Crabeater and Leopard seals as well as Minke, Killer (Orca) and Humpback whales at close range.
Locations where we may land include:
- King George Island which is home to many research bases as well as the natural inhabitants racers will get to meet and be cheered on by some of the few human residents of Antarctica.
- Other parts of the South Shetland Islands which are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and southern elephant seals make every day spent in this amazing island group unforgettable.
- Jougla Point forms the west side of the entrance to Alice Creek in Port Lockroy.It lies on the west side of Wiencke Island, in the Palmer Archipelago.
- Deception Island which is reached by sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of the horseshoe-shaped island. Seeing the hot springs of Pendulum Cove is truly amazing.
- Petermann Island (if ice conditions permit) for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins and a stage of the race.
- Paradise Bay is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world. There are a few landing options in Paradise Bay including Stony Point – all are on the mainland of Antarctica. They require the ship to navigate the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound. Bustling Adélie Penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed Cormorant colonies on Paulet Island close-by. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins.
Other landing sites could include Melchior Island, Aitcho Island, Dorian Bay, Danco Island, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Lamaire, Port Charcot, Booth, Pléneau Island, Hoovgard Island, Waddington Bay and others.
Depending on the ice conditions, we will also navigate some beautiful waterways like the Gerlache Strait, Neumayer Channel and Lemaire Channel. The latter channel involves narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers.