The South Shetland Islands are a string of islands located 960 k m south of Tierra del Fuego at the tip of Sth America. They are currently covered by the Antarctic Treaty where all territorial claims are suspended. The islands are largely ice covered and there are eight permanently manned research bases run by various countries. Tourist cruise ships frequently visit the islands.
The South Shetland Islands consist of eleven major islands and several minor ones. Between 80 and 90 percent of the land area is permanently glaciated. The highest point on the island chain is Mount Irving on Clarence Island at 2,300 metres (7,546 ft) above sea level.
King George Island is the largest of the group and the least isolated. There are twelve bases established here. Other major islands include Elephant and Clarence Islands; Nelson Islands; Robert, Greenwich, Livingston, Snow, and Deception Islands; Smith and Low Islands.
Things to see and do
* Sea birds
Cruise Season - Nov - April
Land Area - 3687 km²
Population - 0
Time - GMT minus two hours
Transport Links - The only access to the South Shetland Islands is by sea from Ushuaia, Argentina.