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Antarctica
 

 


 

On selected voyages a crossing of the Polar Circle is planned. This border, that is located at Latitude 66° 33' South, marks the Antarctic Territory according to one of the definitions. The Antarctic Circle experiences a period of 24 hours of continuous daylight at least once in the year.  South of the Polar Circle at Detaille Island in Crystal Sound is the farthest south that we will probably reach at Latitude 66°52' South.
Sea mammals such as Killer Whales, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, Leopard Seals, Crab-eater Seals and Weddell Seals are frequently seen during our Antarctic Circle voyages. In the southern summer the large ice-free areas at the peninsula's north-west coast provide breeding grounds for large numbers of seabirds such as petrels, skuas and four species of penguins. On beaches and ice-flows nasty Fur Seals, sheepish Crab-eater Seals, ferocious Leopard Seals and friendly Weddell Seals can be seen in abundance.



 

 

The Antarctic Peninsula is part of the Antarctic Continent and is the southern continuation of the mountain chain that runs from North America through South America into the Scotia Sea. Here it continues as a mainly sub-marine ridge, the Scotia Ridge, until it comes above sea-level at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.
The peninsula consists of an 800 kilometres (500 mile) long mountain chain, the highest peaks rising to approximately 2,800 metres (9,186 feet), and numerous off-lying islands.

The Antarctic Peninsula offers the most dramatic scenery and biggest variety of wildlife in Antarctica. Visitors are easily overcome by sensory overload by the huge amount of ice-bergs, glaciers, high mountains and the abundant and tame wildlife.

 

 



 

Ross Sea - This is your ultimate chance to sail to the southern parts of the Antarctic peninsula, Peter I Island, the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas into the Ross Sea, visiting Shackleton's and Scott's huts, Mc Murdo Station, the Dry Valleys and - enroute to New-Zealand – Macquarie Island. Our strongest ice-class vessel, Ortelius will be equipped with helicopters.
The flora and fauna in the Ross Sea is different compared to that of the Antarctic Peninsula. Vegetation is almost absent and high-Antarctic penguin species such as the Adélie and the Emperor Penguin have replaced their more low-Antarctic cousins, the Gentoo's and Chinstrap's. Large colonies of the Emperor penguin, largest of all penguin species, can be seen along the Ross Sea coast.
The Adélie Penguin has adapted well to the harsh environment of the Ross Sea and is therefore the dominant penguin species in this area. Totaling 5 million in number, a colony of more than a 250.000 breeding pairs can be found on Cape Adare.
Some 80.000 pairs of Emperor Penguins of this largest of all penguin species breed at the fringes of the Ross Sea. As these areas are normally clogged with heavy pack-ice we use our strongest ice-class vessel, the Ortelius. The ship is equipped with helicopters which is a great advantage and can support us in our goal to reach the colonies.
The Ross Sea is abundant with whales and seals. Killer Whales, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, Leopard Seals, Crabeater Seals and Ross Seals can be expected during our Ross Sea voyages.
The Ross Ice Shelf is a floating mass of land-ice, with a front of 30 meters high.  This ice-shelf produces the huge tabular ice-bergs that are so abundant in the Ross Sea.



  The Weddell Sea is a remote high-Antarctic region located at the south-east side of the Antarctic Peninsula.  The huge Weddell Sea, at its widest it is more than 2000 kilometres (1250 miles) across, is located on the south-east side of the Antarctic Peninsula.

The Weddell Sea extends far south and is therefore under the direct influence of the very cold Antarctic Continental Climate.

The continental borders of the Weddell Sea are formed by huge floating sheets of ice. These ice-shelves produce the huge tabular ice-bergs that are so abundant in the Weddell Sea.


 
 The Arctic
    Greenland belongs to the Kingdom of Denmark but is run independently.  Visitors will find a world where European culture meshes with that of the inuit in a harsh but beautiful landscape of ice, rock and sea.  Greenland expeditions allow you to step foot on trails followed by Vikings hundreds of years ago, go whale watching (beluga, blue, fins, Greenland, bowhead, minke, narwhals and sperm whales), meet the inuit and learn about their ancestors and the Thule culture, polar diving, kayaking, hiking and bird watching.
Greenland is the worlds largest island, but inhabited by less than 100,000 people (an estimated 2,000,000 seals live in the waters around Greenland)
Three quarters of the island are covered by an ice sheet - which means all the population centres are dotted around the cost.  There are no roads that connect the coasts - travel around the island is only by air or sea.
On average Greenland's warmest temperatures don't go much higher than 10 C during the summer months.



 

North Norway cruises carry you into a picturesque land dominated by thousands of kms of coastline and watched over by the Northern Lights in August through to April.  A North Norway cruise offers plenty of  opportunities to spot Sperm whales, Orca, Humpback, Minke and pilot whales

In addition to whales North Norway features a vast array of wildlife including polar bears, reindeer, walruses, puffins, arctic foxes and several huge bird colonies, sea birds including sea eagles.  It is a photographers delight.
Svalbard in particular offers prime views of glaciers and wildlife.



  Svalbard (an archipelago off the north coast of Norway made up of 4 main islands and almost 150 smaller islands) offers the chance to experience one of the Earth's northernmost human inhabitations - experience a beautifully stark landscape of glaciers and show capped mountains, with the opportunity to explore the preserved and protected history of the region and the high Arctic wildlife on both land and sea.

About 65% of Svalbard is a protected nature reserve or a national park.

Polar Bears are the main attraction of the area, but opportunities abound to spot reindeer, arctic fox, numerous birds and walrus.



 

 

 

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