Deception Island Port Guide

Deception Island Port is one of the places that makes the South Shetland Islands unique. The unique geological makeup and activity of this island makes it a popular destination with geologists and volcanologists. At the Deception Island port of call, cruise ships can't dock. Transportation is provided by inflatable zodiac boat, and weather conditions usually allow for a landing. The natural harbor is well-protected from passing icebergs that are common in this part of the world. The large harbor came into being when part of a large volcanic crater crashed into the sea. A Deception Island cruise is good for those who prefer interacting with nature over a lot of man-made attractions.


There are no longer any human settlements on Deception Island, so the island doesn't have any stores.

Things to See

When weather conditions are clear, Deception Island can be easily visible 10 miles away. Cruise ships pass through the impressive Neptune's Bellows to reach the harbor. Your cruise line will likely have some good, heavy cold weather clothes you can use if you haven't brought your own. If you're bringing a camera, it's a good idea to use a waterproofing case.

Believe it or not, there's actually a spot where visitors can safely dip into in the ocean itself. Pendulum Cove is a section along the beach at Whaler's Bay where the water is kept heated by one of the active volcanoes. This is definitely an interesting experience that you won't find elsewhere, and certainly provides bragging rights. Some cruise lines are even known to provide certificates for passengers who have decided to take the plunge.

Whaler's Bay was once a major station for whalers. Although the station was abandoned after a couple of volcanic eruptions, you can still see the ruins of the shacks and boats used by the whalers. You'll even find colossal whale bones on the beach. Several hot springs, evidence of the area's "hot" geological activity, are found in this area. The beaches are composed of black lava, which is a stunning sight against the frozen backdrop.

Bally Head is home to one of the world's largest colonies of chinstrap penguins. These birds can very very entertaining to watch, and observers are often surprised at how they walk in orderly lines. You'll want to make sure you have a camera available to capture the colony's activities. Several other bird species such as skuas and terns rest along the beaches. Crabhunter seals like to recline on the beach. Humpback and minke whales are often spotted off the coast.

Further inland, you'll find a crater from a volcanic eruption that took place in 1970. This location is very easy to hike to for those who are inclined to do so. The whole island's location inside a caldera often puts visitors in mind of a frozen Santorini.

Restaurants and Bars

Deception Island doesn't have restaurants or bars due to its lack of human inhabitants.

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