South Shetland Islands Travel Guide

Browse travel reviews, 3 travel blogs and 241 travel photos from real travelers to South Shetland Islands.

People Traveling to South Shetland Islands

Craig Eric …

South Shetland Islands Overview

The Dutchman Dirck Gerritsz in 1599, or the Spaniard Gabriel de Castilla in 1603 travelled through these Antarctic lands, both of them supposedly sailing south of the Drake Passage in the South Shetland Islands area. In 1818 Juan Pedro de Aguirre obtained permission from the Buenos Aires authorities to install an establishment for sealing on "some of the uninhabited islands near the South Pole".

The name "New South Britain" was used briefly, but was soon changed to South Shetland Islands (in reference to the Shetland Islands off the northern coast of Scotland). The name South Shetland Islands is now established in international usage.

Seal hunting and whaling took place on the islands in the 19th and early 20th century. From 1908 the islands were governed as part of the Falkland Islands Dependency but the islands have only been occupied since the establishment of a scientific research station in 1944. The archipelago, together with the nearby Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia, is an increasingly popular tourist destination during the austral summer.
The South Shetlands consist of 11 major islands and several minor ones.