image of antarctic landscape

Unearthing Antarctica: A Timeline of Discovery


Close encounters and boundless discovery – welcome to Antarctica, where adventure awaits.

Antarctica has long inspired discovery, adventure and exploration. Since Captain Cook stumbled upon this awe-inspiring wilderness of ice and snow, countless others have followed – with hundreds of voyages and expeditions setting forth to chart the unknown.

Now, some 250 years since its discovery, the Antarctic continues to entice those in search of adventure – its otherworldly scenery and majestic wildlife providing the ultimate travel experience. But we mustn’t forget who put this wild wonder on the map, giving us the chance to walk in their shoes and experience the extraordinary.

Join us as we unearth the legacy of discovery in Antarctica, touching on the people, places and events which shone a light on the edge of the world.

First Sightings

When Captain Cook crossed the Antarctic Circle in the 18th century, it heralded a new dawn of discovery and adventure at the edge of the world. Find out about the first sightings and early expeditions to Antarctica.

New Discoveries

With the Industrial Revolution providing new technology and equipment, expeditions to Antarctica became more frequent in the 19th century – culminating in the legendary exploits of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the very first British Antarctic Expedition.

The War Years

The First and Second World Wars did little to slow Antarctic discovery. On the contrary, fearing the enemy would get their first, the British planned specialist wartime expeditions to the South Pole, laying the foundation for future Antarctic research.

Marine Discovery and Conservation

Discover Antarctica with Scenic Eclipse

Scenic Eclipse was inspired by the close encounters, extraordinary discoveries and pioneering spirit of the world’s great explorers. From its Polar Class design to its fleet of on board discovery vehicles, we’ve made sure our Discovery Yacht can help you follow in the footsteps of these legendary figures – with unforgettable experiences guaranteed throughout your journey.

Travelling on board Scenic Eclipse gives you the opportunity to get closer to the iconic landscapes, wildlife and ice flows which Cook, Shackleton and Scott put on the map all those years ago. Unlike the explorers of the past, you’ll have a whole host of discovery vehicles and equipment at your disposal, from a helicopter, submarine, kayak and Zodiac, to binoculars and safety gear which ensure you’re able to make the most of your time in this enchanting corner of the world.

So, what are you waiting for? Join us on board Scenic Eclipse and prepare for close encounters like never before. Click here to view our collection of upcoming ocean cruises or for more information, call us on 0808 231 3959.