Visit Half Moon Island – forsaken humid Antarctica

João Leitão
Updated on July 11, 2018
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Walking in Antarctica

Visit Half Moon Island – forsaken humid Antarctica

It was dark and foggy in Antarctica.

My descent towards the south end of Half Moon Island was disagreeably damp, musty and cold, but yet it captivated me from the first moment.

Wreck of a wooden boat, penguins and Antarctic fur seals in Half Moon Island

Wreck of a wooden boat, penguins and Antarctic fur seals in Half Moon Island

At first glance I noticed the wreck of an old Norwegian wooden whaling boat, thousands of penguins and a few dozen Antarctic fur seals on the shore.

If I could describe this place in a few words, I would say that Half Moon is an Antarctic island below of 60° South, covered by ice and populated by thousands of penguins. The sinister dark rocky mountains gave me an apocalyptic sight of this extremely remote destination.

Half Moon Island – in the South Shetland Islands, has various types of rare plants and an important colony of Chinstrap penguins, Gentoo penguins and many Antarctic fur seals can also be seen.

Beach view in Half Moon Island Antarctica

Beach view in Half Moon Island Antarctica

Gentoo penguins are long-tailed, with a bright orange bill and a white stripe on the top of the head. Chinstraps penguins are short-tailed, with the inner sides of their flippers colored in white. Their most distinct characteristic is the narrow black stripe under their heads.

Visit Half Moon Island

Chinstrap Penguin, Visit Half Moon Island

Rocky Mountains and ice slope with penguins in Half Moon Island

Rocky Mountains and ice slope with penguins in Half Moon Island

Chinstrap Penguins in Antarctica

Chinstrap Penguins in Antarctica

Video of Gentoo Penguins and Fur Seals in Half Moon Island

Fantastic coastal landscapes along with the noise of the wildlife…

Chinstrap Penguin colony in Antarctica

Chinstrap Penguin colony in Antarctica

Antarctic Fur Seals on the beach in Half Moon Island

Antarctic Fur Seals on the beach in Half Moon Island

To visit Half Moon Island is relatively easy, and I did a 5 km / 3 miles trekking from one side of the island to the other. I distinctly remember the loud penguin colony and the vivacious fur seals. Penguins are extremely curious, and many come in your direction to get a better glimpse.

Dark rock in Half Moon Island Antarctica

Dark rock in Half Moon Island Antarctica

Apart from the impressive vistas and 3000 pairs of penguins, there’s not much to see on the island, but it’s totally worth visiting to enjoy this sinister forsaken place in Antarctica.

Impressive view of Half Moon Island in Antarctica

Impressive view of Half Moon Island in Antarctica

Foggy view of Half Moon Island in the South Shetland Islands of the Antarctic Peninsula

Foggy view of Half Moon Island in the South Shetland Islands of the Antarctic Peninsula

Nature made circle on rock in Half Moon Island Antarctica

Nature made circle on rock in Half Moon Island Antarctica

I traveled along the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands during 15 days, leaving the Argentine city of Ushuaia across the Drake Passage, down to 68° South in Stonington Island, beyond the Antarctic Circle.

Rocks in Half Moon Island

Rocks in Half Moon Island

A trip to Antarctica can be made on board of a cruise ship usually departing from Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. In the southernmost city in the world – Ushuaia – you can embark on a once in a lifetime expedition.

The best time to take a cruise to Antarctica is during the Antarctic summer months, i.e., during the months of December, January, and February. Before or after these dates it is a little out of season to have good weather and see many animals.

15 days Antarctica Cruise Expedition from Ushuaia

15 days Antarctica Cruise Expedition from Ushuaia

I stayed about two weeks in Ushuaia until I finally got a good deal on a last minute cruise to Antarctica. It was worth the waiting and the time spent visiting tour companies offices around the city.

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The Author of this Blog

HI! I'm João Leitão. Traveling independently since 1999, I explored more than 130 countries and territories in Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North & South America and Oceania. Welcome to my adventure travel blog, where I gathered useful information and inspiring narratives to motivate you to travel more. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest e YouTube.

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