Through our Lens:

The Seventh Continent


All aboard! We embark from the end of the world aboard the MS Roald Amundsen on a (shivery) trip of a lifetime! Once across the infamous Drake Passage adventurers are graced with sights of towering mountain peaks, shimmering glaciers, and boisterous penguins. As one of the last frontiers, you’ll want to make sure you pack accordingly and don’t forget those binoculars while exploring the windiest, coldest and driest continent on Earth. And just remember, if you’re hoping to run into some polar bears, you’ll need to look on the other side of the equator…

In the heart of Tierra del Fuego National Park, at the southernmost tip of Argentina, sits the “Post Office at the End of the World.”  Constructed of corrugated metal and wooden piles and a whole lot of stickers, this small shanty atop a short pier posts parcels from the absolute last stop in the Americas before continuing on toward Antarctica.

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Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego Province, Argentina

Captivated by writings of polar expeditions from a young age, Roald Amundsen knew he was destined for adventure. However, his mother had other plans and coaxed him into a medical career to keep him safe. Upon her passing, Amundsen immediately dropped his schooling in favor of joining Arctic voyages (sorry, Mom). Proving himself to be a more than capable sailor, Roald would become the first explorer to sail through the entirety of the  Northwest Passage, and was the first of a few to reach the south pole. It’s no wonder the Hurtigruten Exhibition team has dubber one of their fleet after one of the world’s most awe-inspiring adventurers.

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Somewhere in Antarctica

Drake Passage

Considered to be one of the most treacherous voyages for ships to make, the Drake Passage connects Chile, Argentina and the closest islands of Antarctica. Though it’s named after explorer Sir Francis Drake, Drake himself never actually passed through the channel (win-win for him). The ride is a bit rocky (to say the least), but it’s actually a very important part of physical oceanography, as the three main ocean basins (Atlantic, Pacific and Indian) all connect in this passage. Just don’t forget your motion sickness medicine!

Drake Passage

Elephant Island/Point Wild

Elephant Island isn’t exactly as tender and loving as its namesake animal… This island was the desolate refuge of the British explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew in 1916, following a devastating loss of their ship in the ice of the Weddell Sea. After months drifting on ice floats and harrowingly crossing the open ocean in small lifeboats, the crew of 28 reached Point Valentine on Elephant Island where they found a small, rocky spit at the terminus of a glacier, which offered better protection from rockfalls and from the sea. Ultimately, the site was named Point Wild after Frank Wild, who was selected by Shackleton to lead the crew while he went on a harrowing search for rescue. The entire crew managed to endure the harsh conditions for four and a half months until Shackleton finally returned with help. TV’s Survivor doesn’t stand a chance against this crew.

Elephant Island

Whaler's Bay/Deception Island

Antarctica is also home to… volcanos! Named Whalers Bay for the whaling and research station that was active back in the day, it’s now home to a cemetery. Although Whalers Bay was shook by not one but two eruptions within the last three years, it is typically known as a “safe” harbor with the exception of being inside an active volcano. If an eruption does occur, you only get a 6 minute warning to get the heck out of dodge, so best not to stray too far from the ship.


Whalers Bay, Deception Island

Playing all day in a frozen white wonderland, a cozy hut for lodging is as important as one’s warmest mittens. On the world’s 7th continent, where winds can whip past at 100mph, and temperatures can dip to -70 degrees, an outdoor adventurer must have a warm spot to wait out the storm. Comfortably packed amongst the snow, it was once a waiting room where researchers would await pickups from ski-planes, making Damoy Point home to the southernmost waiting room in the world…

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Damoy Point, Wiencke Island

Situated on the rocky and Y-shaped Booth Island, Port Charcot is named after French explorer Jean-Baptise Charcot who stumbled upon the area in 1905. Overlooking the ‘iceberg graveyard,’ this shivery lookout is also home to some cute penguin friends. We had a blast exploring this alcove, demonstrated by our on-the-ground adventuring. The best way to explore iceberg alley is by kayak, and some friendly penguins may help guide you to their favorite icebergs!

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Port Charcot, Booth Island

Lemaire Channel

Nicknamed “Kodak Gap,” this icy channel is not only quite obviously scenic, but its waters are almost always practically still. This serenity is uncommon in the waters at the end of the world, as the southern seas are most often storm-wrecked. The Lemaire Channel is also narrow (only a mile wide at its narrowest point) and only goes for about 7 miles. It takes an experienced captian to navigate this narrow passage while simultaneously dodging icebergs!

Lemaire Channel

Orne Harbor

Shimmering glaciers, towering mountain peaks, pure white ice and snow makes up the tiny Orne Harbor. A tiny alcove in the hills of Antartica, Orne was originally used by whalers in the early 1900s. A steep but worthwhile hike to the top of the hill allows for fantastic views of glaciers, along with a few waddly friends!

Orne Harbor

Danco Island

Danco Island is small but mighty! Sitting at the end of the Errera Channel, this icy island is home to 1,600 breeding pairs of gentoo penguins. It also is a prime location to see Minke and Humpback whales, which can often be heard from the shore. That is, that is if not penguins aren’t being too chatty at the time to hear to whales.

Danco Island

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