South Orkney Islands
A remote Antarctic archipelago
Information about South Orkney Islands
The South Orkney islands are located in the Scotia Sea at the North-Eastern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. They consist of 4 main islands that are mountainous and sometimes have a rich green color. However, the South Orkney Islands are rarely visited on Antarctic cruises because of their remote location.
Pictures of South Orkney Islands
Highlights in South Orkney Islands
This small sheltered cove is found on the southern shore of Coronation Island, in Iceberg Bay. Shingle Cove is notable for both its fascinating geology and its large colony of Adelie Penguins.
Two gravel beaches allow for an easy landing and give access to the higher ground beyond. From the beach, you can see outcrops of metamorphic schist, with visible layers of quartz and feldspar. Your expert Antarctic guides will also show you areas of Shingle Cove where other mineral deposits have eroded to the surface, including red garnet and green amphibole.
To either side of your landing site, petrels will be seen flying to and from their rocky burrows in the low cliffs. You’ll also be unable to miss the noise from the impressive Adelie Penguin colony here - over 13,000 strong!
Although you can wander freely on the landing beach, your walk to the penguin colony will be carefully marked and must be followed under supervision. This is to protect petrel burrows which are easily disturbed.
Only groups of 20 visitors at a time are allowed into the colony to avoid too much disturbance, but this is an excellent opportunity to walk into the heart of the Shingle Cove penguin colony with all its sounds, sights, and smells!
A real “bucket list” opportunity! On December 4th, 2021, a full solar eclipse occurs in the southern hemisphere. Totality will only be experienced in the Antarctic.
The benefit of being on a cruise vessel? You can be positioned exactly in the center of the narrow path of the shadow cast by the moon as it blocks out the light from the sun.
In December, the Antarctic experiences over 20 hours of daylight in every 24 hours, and even the “night” is more like deep dusk. Imagine the contrast, then, of being among the gleaming ice and rugged coastlines when everything is plunged into an eerie darkness.
Your heart will skip a beat as the sun finally disappears, and the halo-like corona shows itself. Then, just as you have become used to the gloom, your breath will be taken away by the sudden brightness as the world returns to light and life.
There are extremely limited numbers available thanks to the popularity of this experience with both antarctic explorers and eclipse hunters and astronomers. For most of us, this will combine a once-in-a-lifetime adventure trip with a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical experience. Book your Antarctic eclipse experience now!