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Antarctica Expeditions: Antarctica reading guideTundra Travel

Antarctica Expeditions: Antarctica reading guide

Here is a brief selection of favorite, new and hard-to-find books & maps, prepared for your journey.




"Anártida, descubriendo el último continente", Sebastián Arrebola y Shoshanah Jacobs, Vazquez Mazzini Editores.


“Antarctica, A Guide to the Wildlife”, Tony Soper, Dafila Scott (Illustrator). 2005.

Designed for the field, this compact handbook features all the species of birds, seals and whales the traveler is likely to encounter on a voyage to the Antarctic. Each species gets a double-page spread, with concise essays on each species, range maps and masterful color drawings.


“Endurance, Shackleton´s Incredible Voyage”, Alfred Lansing. 1998.

An extraordinary tale of survival that reads like a good novel. It´s the gripping day-by-day story of Shackleton´s legendary perseverance: losing his ship in the ice, drifting helplessly across the Weddell Sea, and finally reaching Elephant Island, from where he sailed 800 miles to get help for his stranded men.


“The Oceanites Site Guide to the Antarctic Peninsula”, Ron Naveen. 2005.

With its descriptions, maps and wonderful aerial photographs of visitor sites in the Antarctic Peninsula, this is the one book to carry on your voyage south. The guide, which supports the Antarctic Site Inventory Project, covers 40 prime visitor sites in detail.


“The Crystal Desert”, David Campbell. 2002.

A splendid, prize-winning portrait of Antarctica; Campbell´s vivid essays on fossils, glaciers, history and wildlife of the Antarctic Peninsula are an excellent introduction.


“Antarctica, The Blue Continent”, David McGonigal, Lynn Woodworth. 2003.

A masterful, generously illustrated primer on everything Antarctic with hundreds of photographs, an especially good regional overview, glorious full-color maps and a nice section on wildlife.



Maps and guidebooks.


“Antarctic Explorer Map”, Ocean Explorer.

A handy map of the Antarctic Peninsula designed for the ship-board traveler, showing the full range of Antarctic voyages south from Ushuaia to the Antarctic Circle, including South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. On the reverse is a map of the full continent.


“Antarctic Peninsula and Weddell Sea Map”, British Antarctic Survey. 2005.

A gloriously colored, double-sided map, featuring the South Shetland Islands and northern Antarctic Peninsula at the very good scale of 1:1,000,000. It covers the full route of Antarctic voyages south to Marguerite Bay. The reverse shows the Peninsula and Weddell Sea across to the Ellsworth Mountains at a scale of 1:3,000,000.


“Anvers Island and Brabant Island Map”, British Antarctic Survey. 2005.

A full-color satellite map of the heart of the Antarctic cruising area at the very good scale of 1:250,000. The map covers Anvers and Brabant Islands, including the Gerlache Strait, Paradise Bay, Cuverville, Palmer Station, Neumeyer Channel and Port Lockroy.


“Satellite Image Map of Antarctica”, USGS.

A beautiful, full-color photo poster of the Antarctic, created from composite satellite imagery. 40" X 56".


“Lonely Planet Antarctica”, Jeff Rubin. 2005.

A compact overview of the Antarctic, its history, wildlife and attractions.



History and exploration.


“The Race to the White Continent, Voyages to the Antarctic”, Alan Gurney. 2002.

Gurney captures the fanfare, ego and discovery of 19th-century polar exploration in this compelling narrative of the 1837-1842 Antarctic voyages of Dumont d´Urville, James Clark Ross and Charles Wilkes.


“Through the First Antarctic Night”, Frederick A. Cook. 1998.

Cook´s account of the voyage of the Belgica, under the command of Adrian Gerlache, who explored and named many of the features along the western coast of the Peninsula.


“The Last Place on Earth, Scott and Amundsen´s Race to the South Pole”, Roland Huntford, Paul Theroux (Introduction). 1999.

Huntford´s absorbing dual biography is a rousing tale. Clearly an admirer of Amundsen, Huntford interweaves the story of the two expeditions, contrasting Amundsen´s well-planned campaign with Scott´s many follies.


“The Worst Journey in the World”, Apsley Cherry-Garrard. 1997.

One of the great tales of exploration, originally published in 1922. Cherry-Garrard´s epic midwinter journey to the emperor penguin rookery is just a warm-up for the main event: his vivid account of Scott´s doomed last expedition.


“Shackleton´s Boat Journey”, Sir Edmund Hillary (Introduction), Frank Worsley. 1998.

This classic account by the captain of the Endurance features the team´s remarkable two-week boat journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia.


“End of the Earth, Voyaging to Antarctica”, Peter Matthiessen. 2004.

In this fine book, the result of two voyages, Matthiessen captures the magic of polar landscapes and wildlife, along with the camaraderie of a ship-based polar expedition.



Falklands and South Georgia.


“Falkland Islands Explorer Map; South Georgia Explorer Map”, Ocean Explorer Maps. 2002.

These double-sided beauties feature a detailed maps at scale of 1:250,000 along with color photographs and information on wildlife and exploration.


“A Visitor´s Guide to South Georgia”, Sally Poncet, Kim Crosbie. 2005.

A convenient, comprehensive and full-color guide to exploring South George by a dynamic duo who know the region intimately.


“A Visitor´s Guide to the Falkland Islands”, Debbie Summers. 2005.

A convenient, comprehensive and full-color guide to exploring the Falkland Islands, featuring 20 detailed maps of visitor sites.


“Birds and Mammals of the Falkland Islands”, Robin and Anne Woods. 2006.

A comprehensive photographic guide to the wildlife of the Falklands and surrounding waters, featuring 43 color plates. Published in conjunction with Falklands Conservation.


“Antarctic Oasis, Under the Spell of South Georgia”, Pauline Carr, Tim Carr. 1998.

An oversize portrait of South Georgia, featuring 100 stunning color photographs, by Tim and Pauline Carr, the yachtsmen who have made the extraordinary island their home.


“Ambassador to the Penguins”, Ellie Mathews. 2003.

Robert Cushman Murphy´s much loved Logbook for Grace, nicely re-told, annotated, and amplified by his granddaughter. His account of a year (1912-13) among the whalers of South Georgia is a classic.



Photography wildlife.


“Antarctica, An Adventure of a Different Nature”, IMAX. 1999, DVD.

A breathtakingly beautiful IMAX documentary of Antarctic wildlife, research and exploration featuring innovative aerial and underwater photography. 38 minutes.


“March of the Penguins”, Luc Jacquet (Director). 2005, DVD.

This splendid documentary, narrated by Morgan Freeman, captures the life in an emperor penguin rookery over a year in the Antarctic.


“Penguin”, Frans Lanting. 2003.

A pocket edition of Lanting´s extraordinary portfolio of 114 penguin portraits, emperors and their photogenic young.


“The Nature of Penguins”, Jonathan Chester. 2001.

Expedition leader, author and photographer Chester presents a beautiful collection of full-color penguin photographs along with accompanying essays.


“Antarctica: Beyond the Southern Ocean”, Colin Monteath. 2005.

This marvelous collection of photographs, organized thematically, shows the wildlife and landscapes of Antarctica and the subantarctic islands in full color.


“Natural History of the Antarctic Peninsula”, Sanford Moss, Lucia de Leiris (Illustrator). 1988.

A handsome illustrated primer covering the environment, ecology and wildlife of the Antarctic Peninsula. Complementing the text are attractive black-and-white illustrations.


“The Complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife”, Hadoram Shirihai, Brett Jarrett (Illustrator). 2002.

This book, an essential reference, features striking color illustrations and photos of each of Antarctica´s birds and mammals.


“Birds & Mammals of the Antarctic, Subantarctic & Falkland Islands”, Frank Todd. 2004.

A gorgeously illustrated, compact field guide, featuring excellent color photographs of all the hard-to-identify seabirds and marine mammals of the Southern Ocean.


“Birds of the Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic”, George E. Watson. 1975.

A comprehensive field guide to the birds of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean Islands, long the standard. With color plates, range maps and detailed species accounts.


“Birds of Southern South America & Antarctica, Princeton Illustrated Checklists”, Martin D. la Pena, Maurice Rumboll. 2001.

A compact guide featuring color illustrations of 1,140 species found in southern South America and Antarctica, with a brief description, range map, identification features and habitat for each species.


“National Audubon Society Field Guide to Marine Mammals of the World”, Randall Reeves, Pieter Folkens (Illustrator). 2002.

A handsome, comprehensive guide to 120 species of whales, dolphins, seals, walruses, sirenians, polar bears and their kin worldwide. Each species gets a four-page spread with color photographs and an overview of range, habitat, behavior, status and conservation.

Corporate image:Xavier Marlí

Web Design and Development:Xavier Marlí