Sometimes referred to as ‘the heart of Antarctica’, the Ross Sea region is the last great unspoiled part of the world’s oceans. To date there has only been minimal exploitation, and to enter this region of Antarctica is a privilege, with only a few hundred people able to visit each year. The East Antarctic coastline is some of the most remote in the world and is locked under ice for most of the year. The rest of the time it is buffeted by strong katabatic winds coming off the polar ice cap. Wildlife is abundant during these brief summer months and includes Adélie and Emperor penguins, South Polar Skuas, Snow Petrels, Southern Fulmars and many more species of bird. Both whales and seals abound here at this time and can be found feeding in the rich waters around the ice edge.
Sir James Clark Ross discovered the Ross Sea in 1842. Whales were hunted here in the 1920’s and more recently there has been some tooth fishing. The dynamic ecosystems that are unique to these regions are fragile and barely understood. It is a land of dramatic landscapes: photographers have attempted to capture it on film, artists to paint it, poets and writers to describe it. But to fully appreciate it, you must experience it yourself.
Sailing into the Ross Sea takes you further south into the Continent than any sea route. Immediately to the west of the Ross Sea is a region known as East Antarctica, discovered by the French explorer Dumont d’Urville in 1840. It was mapped in detail much later by the Australian Antarctic Expedition of 1911 to 1913 led by Sir Douglas Mawson. The region is often referred to as the ‘Home of the Blizzard.’ It is in these two regions that the relics of the ‘heroic period’ of Antarctic exploration can be seen and experienced. There are 5 historic huts and many other historic sites that bring this period of Antarctic history alive in a way that the many journals and books written about them can’t. To visit Borchgrevink’s Hut at Cape Adare, Shackleton’s Hut at Cape Royds, Mawson's Huts at Cape Denison, Scott’s Huts at Cape Evans and Hut Point are truly unique experiences that brings this period of history to life.
Our voyages to the Ross Sea onboard the Spirit of Enderby are extremely popular and generally book out at least one year in advance. In January 2014, we have bought back our previous ship, the Academik Shokalskiy for a one-off departure to the Ross Sea departing on January 17th. Berths are limited, please click on the tab for the 17th January 2014 departure above for more information.
Please click on the blue tabs underneath the heading for more information on our Antarctic voyages.