Awesome, beautiful, pristine and white, Antarctica feels like another planet. It is 1.3 times as large as Europe, and double the size of Australia, yet few people live here. Instead it is home to throngs of penguins, whales and other sea creatures. Living things here have found remarkable ways to survive in the coldest, driest, windiest place on earth. Seeing the hundreds of squawking and honking 'tuxedo suit' penguins performing, as well as nesting seabirds and seal colonies on the shores and islands is something that will stay with you forever.

This is a continent like no other you have seen before. You will have the chance to not only marvel at awe inspiring scenery but also learn about the wildlife, historical sites and active research bases.

About 98% of Antarctica is covered by the continental ice shelf, a sheet of ice averaging at least 1.6km (1.0mi) thick. The continent has about 90% of the world's ice (and thus some 70% of the world's fresh water). It also has more than 70 sub-glacial lakes under the ice.

You will see icebergs carved and polished into strange shapes and sizes by the elements, and chunks of ice with ethereal blue patterns, floating by. You can hear the roar of moving glaciers echoing between icy cliffs.

Cruising Antarctica during the summer cruising season - December to February, you can expect the temperature to sit around 0°C, a combination of clear blue skies with the possibility of a couple of overcast days.

The climate in the cruising grounds of Antarctica has been compared to that of a good winter in New York City.

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