Half Moon Island Port Guide

Half Moon Island Port is part of the South Shetland Islands chain. It gets its name from its unique crescent shape. This sub-Antarctic island has some stunning scenery that includes massive, rocky cliffs. Half Moon Island lacks a place where ships can dock, as it was last used only by commercial whalers in the 19th century. Passengers who want to see the island up close will be taken out in a zodiac boat as long as the weather permits it. You won't regret taking the opportunity to see the scenery and wildlife.


There are no stores on Half Moon Island, due to its lack of permanent human settlements. In Antarctic settlements, supplies are usually brought in with the inhabitants.

Things to See

Half Moon Island has some very impressive mountains with a composition of basalt. These rocky giants stand out against the frozen snowfields of the rest of the island. It's possible to climb some of them depending on the weather, and cruise companies generally provide guides to ensure your safety. If you do climb one of them, the view from up top will be amazing. 

Glaciers out in the harbor can be a dazzling sight when hit by sunlight, and are some of the most-photographed sights in the area. An unexpected sight may be the remains of old whaling boats on some of the beaches. This island was used by whalers back during the 19th century, and it's been mostly abandoned since whaling has diminished. Seeing what's left of these boats helps one realize how long these islands have been visited for various purposes.

There are some good wildlife opportunities here, and many feel that the island's animals are its most precious resource. The massive, impressive leopard seal is often seen lounging on the shore. Large numbers of chinstrap penguins make their home here. The penguins can be very fun animals to watch, and time spent observing them and the other animals certainly won't be wasted. Whales frequently visit the waters here, and there's an excellent chance of spotting orcas. Be sure to have a camera ready, since seeing these animals in the wild is a rare opportunity.

Zodiac boat is the mode of transportation used for landings and to bring visitors closer to the sights. Know that you're in good hands and that the boat drivers will do everything they can to make sure you get good viewing opportunities. Although your ship is likely to provide these items for you, make sure you have a good parka and pair of boots. The temperatures will be far colder than what most people are accustomed to.

An Argentine naval base, Teniente Camara, is staffed during the summer. The base's location is the McFarlane Strait. This base is one of the better-known landmarks in the South Shetlands.

Restaurants and Bars

Half Moon Island doesn't have restaurants or bars, as the only regular inhabitants are those who live at the naval station in the summer.

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