Deception Island is arguably one of the most infamous spots in the Shetland Islands and is one of the southernmost islands. An ideal place to make Zodiac boat landings, this island was once a whaling station and due to its shape was a refuge from storms and icebergs. Today it is home to some of the Antarctic’s most vast colonies of chinstrap penguins, but the island itself however is of equally geological interest. A volcanic caldera whose interior is filled with crater lakes and half the island covered in spectacular glaciers, here is also one of the few spots in the Antarctic where you can bathe in naturally warm geothermal waters, and dig your feet into warm black sands, at Pendulum Cove for example.
Livingston Island was a major sealing center in the 19th Century, but today is another wildlife haven. Hannah Point is a popular place for chinstrap and Gentoo, nestling on the rocky outcrops, along with some macaroni penguins. The beaches near here are also popular spots for elephant and fur seals. Researchers also love Walkers Bay for its fossils, skulls and minerals.
On King George Island, a popular landing point is Turret Island on the southern coast, and another good wildlife hotspot with elephant seals, Weddell seals, terns, chinstrap and adelie penguins and giant petrels.
Elsewhere, Elephant Island is not as suitable for landings, but this northern island is most associated with Shackleton’s Antarctic expeditions in the early 1900s and wreckage may be spotted along its southwestern side.