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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

 

Dry Valley

The Dry Valleys area in Antarctica is found to the West of McMurdo Sound in Victoria Land. It consists of around 4800 square kilometres (1850 square miles) of snow and ice free rock and gravel. It is a unique area not only in Antarctica but also on the surface of the earth in that it is intensely dry and intensely cold without there being any  liquid or frozen water in any appreciable quantity at any time. The Dry Valleys are the closest on earth to what the climate of Mars is like.

There are a number of glaciers that flow into the Dry Valleys, but while some show some melting and form seasonal lakes, streams and ponds, most of the ice simply sublimes turning directly from solid to vapour without a liquid stage. This happens due to the strong and almost constant katabatic winds that blow through the valleys. These winds can reach speeds of up to 320kmh (200 mph), sucking up all moisture and also blowing sand around that carves rocks into forms known as ventifacts.

Dry Valleys - satellite image
Photo courtesy NASA

Dry Valleys map
The top picture is a satellite image of the Dry Valleys area,
the bottom is a map of almost exactly the same area

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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