antarctica: overview
icebarriers & icebergs
penguins (preview)
birds (preview)
seals (in prep)
historic explorer huts
ships & landing boats
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antarctica is a huge continent, thousands of kilometers around the southpole ... it is almost completely covered with ice, and exposed to extremely harsh weather - very cold and also very windy … this made its exploration a truly difficult task … the maps below show how hard it is to reach the actual continent which is surrounded by pack ice even in summer … 



the first folks to stay there for half a year and to 'over-winter' was the expedition of borchgrevink (norway) in 1899 … the first explorer to reach the south pole was amundsen (norway) in 1911 … antarctica was never settled and there are no towns, yet over the last hundred years about 30 research stations have been established, being staffed seasonally (summer) or year-round …


many of them were set up on the antarctic peninsula (see map above). this peninsula is easier to reach than other parts of antarctica, from ushuaia in southern argentina. it is the target of most of the antarctic cruises. only a few excursions start in new zealand.

seven picture galleries are in preparation, with photos of the incredible landscapes (snow-roofed mountains, glaciers, huge icebergs and ice-covered fjords), photos of the animals living in this rough environment (above all penguins and birds and seals), and photos of exploration endeavours.

there are several "sub-antarctic" islands, including south georgia (uk), macquarie (australia) and campbell island (nz); these are (or will be) presented elsewhere.