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2013/14 Itinerary
Peninsula Cruise
10 days from $4,595
Air-Cruise
Fly over the Drake Passage then join your ship in Antarctica. Fly both ways or fly one - sail one options
Across the Circle
Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctic Circle, Historic Areas - kayaking, camping
14 days from $5,499
Ross Sea in the Wake of Scott and Shackleton
Ross Ice Shelf, McMurdo Sound
29 days from $18,700
Antarctica Peninsula to the Ross Sea
Wildlife and History
rarely travelled itinerary
31 days from $24,163

 

Beaufort Island

Beaufort Island is an isolated island in the Ross Sea about 13 miles (21 km) north of Ross Island. It is about 7 square miles (18 sq km)  in area rising steeply to 2,530 feet (771m) made entirely of basalt which is characteristic for the area (Ross Island itself includes the active volcano of Mount Erebus).

Beaufort Island is designated as an "Antarctic Specially Protected area" an ASPA. This means that a permit is required to land on the island and any activities carried out there must be conducted according to a management plan. It has yet to be extensively surveyed, due to the difficulty of accessing it, human visitors have been rare. It has had far fewer opportunities than anywhere else in the Ross Sea region for the introduction of non-endemic biological material. It is this low level of human impact that has largely led to it being designated an ASPA.

There are larger areas of vegetation (moss banks) than anywhere in the region and the island has the most southerly found regions of red snow algae. A northerly facing aspect protected from cold southerly winds by high ice cliffs make it a relatively mild climate. A stable substratum (basalt) and a steady supply of water in the warmer months from ice cliffs and snow banks make it particularly favourable for the growth of vegetation.

Picture courtesy of Mike Usher - Mike went on a Ross Sea expedition on board the Kapitan Khlebnikov in 2005.
You can purchase a selection of Mike's pictures here

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