The northern-most tip of the world's wildest continent is incredibly lush by Antarctica standards, able to support an astonishing variety of plants and animals. During the summer, humpback, minke and occasional rare blue whales come to the waters surrounding the Peninsula to gorge on pink krill. Albatross, skuas, gulls and penguins are also seen in great numbers, feasting on rich pickings from the sea.
Ships bound for the Antarctic Peninsula sail out of Ushuaia, the southern-most town in the world in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
How you can help
DO sail with members of IAATO, the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators, bound by a strict environmental code and limiting passenger numbers to 400 (although most ships carry fewer).
DON’T travel on big cruise liners such as the Marco Polo – the ship is refused landing at Britain’s Port Lockroy base because it doesn’t comply with IAATO rules. The bigger the landing party, the greater the likelihood people will trample on lichens or stumble through nesting sites.
DO keep five metres from the wildlife at all times.