Antarctica

Weddell Sea holidays

Fridjitjof Sound, Weddell Sea, Antarctica
Liz Lunnon

Part of the Southern Ocean, the Weddell Sea is on the eastern side of the Peninsula and is one of the least visited parts of Antarctica owing to large areas of pack ice which rarely allows ships to penetrate a great distance.

Its land boundaries are defined by the bay formed from the coasts of Coats Land and the Antarctic Peninsula. Much of the southern part of the sea, up to Elephant Island, is permanent ice, the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf. The sea is contained within the two overlapping Antarctic territorial claims of Argentina, and Britain and also resides partially within the territorial claim of Chile. At its widest the sea is around 2,000 km across.

The sea is named after the British sailor James Weddell who entered the sea in 1823. It was first widely explored by the Scot William S. Bruce over 1902-04.

It was in this sea that Shackleton's ship, the Endurance, was trapped and crushed by ice in 1915 - leading to one of polar history's most heroic tales of survival.

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