Just as moving as the history of the British overseas territory, the abundant bird life becomes apparent as soon as the Zodiac lands on the coastline. With more than 60 different species, including rockhopper penguins, Magellanic penguins and albatrosses, the island is a paradise for ornithologists. During natural history walks along the coast, your experts will provide fascinating information about the head-high tussock grass and the Victorian houses in Stanley.
Days of breathtaking expedition experiences lie ahead when glaciated mountain summits and deep fjords on the horizon signal your approach to this unique animal paradise. Flexible, spontaneous and impressive: the Zodiacs are used several times a day to let you experience very special wildlife sightings. For example, standing with the experts in front of a gigantic colony of king penguins. The island is home to almost 200,000 animals inhabiting the steep slopes and coasts – such as Salisbury Plain, which is covered by birds begging for food, or the Gold Harbour beach where fur seals and elephant seals sleep through your visit. The biologists, geologists or glaciologists accompanying you will intensify your unique natural experiences with surprising details about the masses of animals. At the former Grytviken whaling station, the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton recalls the bravery and adventure of times gone by. Making a heroic effort, he once saved his team after the ship was forced to spend winter in the pack ice. It is an example of the lifelines of the polar explorers you will cross on every expedition.
Antarctic Sound and the Weddell Sea
Unforgettable moments are guaranteed when you are crossing the Antarctic Sound and the water is suddenly parted by the fluke of a majestic whale. The deck becomes your box seat for unique natural spectacles in one of the Antarctic’s most impressive passages. Every day on board passes in the spirit of daring pioneers such as Otto Nordenskjöld, who once endured great hardship to explore this remote region. You will feel how impressive complete silence can be in the Weddell Sea. It is home to breathtaking icebergs, some of which are as tall as a house and covered by Adelie penguins, and dense pack ice. The ice crunches and cracks around the ship’s reinforced bow. How far into this region can the BREMEN actually make it? For example, in 1903, the Nordenskjöld expedition was forced to wait ten months to be rescued on the volcanic Paulet Island. Today, the island is home to countless penguins and, like Devil Island, makes for a very lively spectacle.
South Shetland Islands
Towering basalt rocks, bizarre volcanic rock, black volcanic beaches and fossils up to 150 million years old: the archaic beauty of the Antarctic’s largest island group is also a history book of geology – and Antarctic exploration. After being forced to abandon their ship in the ice, Shackleton’s men spent the winter on the rocky Elephant Island. In good weather, we can set out in smaller boats to reach destinations such as Half Moon Island. Walk across vast fields of snow and enjoy beautiful views of the rugged neighbouring Livingston Island, the home of majestic elephant seals. Your impressions will be just as unforgettable when the BREMEN calls at Deception lsland. Thanks to its shallow draught, the ship can sail directly into the flooded caldera of the extinct volcano. Flanked by rock faces up to 50 m (164 ft) in height, the black sand in front of you gives off steam as a testament to a past eruption – and you are at the heart of this scenery.
Antarctic Peninsula and outlying islands
Where weather and ice dictate the route, only a genuine expedition ship like the BREMEN can guarantee the full Antarctic experience: enjoy unforgettable moments when, for example, you first set foot on the Antarctic mainland near to Paradise Bay. Snow-capped summits surround the bay, where icebergs the size of houses drift and glaciers tower hundreds of metres above. The imposing glacier cliffs, such as those of Neko Harbor, generate a sublime soundscape. And gentoo penguins stretch as far as the eye can see – including on Cuverville Island, for example, surrounded by drifting icebergs. One of the most impressive shipping passages in the world is the Lemaire Channel: mountains up to 1,000 m (3,280 ft) high line the strait of water and seem to be almost within reach. The Neumayer Channel and Port Lockroy provide panoramic views of glaciers that are no less breathtaking. The former British research station is one of the historical sites of the Antarctic and has been transformed into a museum – only a handful of people live here to record first-hand observations of hundreds of birds and numerous penguins.