Top 5 Things To See and Do in Deception Island, Antarctica


things to do in deception island
5 Things to see and do in Deception Island, Antarctica

My trip to Antarctica saw me visit a host of different Antarctic islands, as well as landing on mainland Antarctica. Of the outlying islands I visited, Deception Island was the most diverse and the most inspiring. “Deception” is an island which you “sail into”, an island shaped like the letter “C” and an island which is actually a volcano. I kid you not! Don’t be worried though – it hasn’t erupted for over 50 years. Here are my top 5 things to see and do in Deception Island, Antarctica.

1. Neptune’s Bellows

Let’s start with the elaborate entrance to Deception Island. As it’s a “C” shape you need to enter into the island through a corridor. It’s not an easy passage however, it’s actually a very narrow stretch of water through a gap known as “Neptune’s Bellows”. This is the time to be out on deck on the ship admiring the scenery and marvelling at how easy your captain makes the entrance into Deception Island look. Getting through the passage takes a good half hour. Feast your eyes on the rocks on either side, the occasional bird, the rough waters and the volcanic island in front. If you don’t find it spectacular, then you should have stayed at home. Believe me – you will be absolutely inspired. More information on Neptune’s Bellows.

Neptune's Bellows Deception Island
Sailing through Neptune’s Bellows into Deception Island

2. Whaler’s Bay

Once the venue of an old whaling station, this place is now merely a beach with some buildings, some graves and some wildlife. I say merely with just a hint of tongue in cheek there, as this place is also mind blowing. You’ll see seals and penguins these days instead of whales. Walk along the beach, visit the huts and pinch yourself. You are standing inside a volcano in Antarctica. The landscape is stunning. The terrain is a mix of sand, gravel, rock, ice, snow and ash. An overview of Whaler’s Bay.

seal at deception island Antarctica
Relaxing by a seal at Whaler’s Bay in Deception Island, Antarctica

3. Airfield and Hangar

Are you serious? Antarctica has an airport? Well, kind of. It’s not as if you can type “Deception Island Airport” into flight booking websites. But the first ever Antarctica flight actually took off from here. You can see where the “runway” might have been and a massive hangar actually remains. The doubling up of this area.

Antarctica Airline Hangar
Inside an Aeroplane Hangar in Antarctica at Whaler’s Bay

4. The “Polar Plunge” at Whaler’s Bay or Pendulum Cove

This is your big moment – time to go into the ice cold waters for a dip! Yes you have the opportunity to do the renowned “Polar Plunge” here at Whaler’s Bay in Deception Island. Despite rumours that part of the water is naturally thermally heated (a place known as Pendulum Cove), I’m afraid it’s not – it’s ice cold. So in I went and got totally naked much to the amusement of my ship mates! It was freezing but worth every second. It’s worth going in for a dip! Read about the day I went naked in Antarctica!

polar plunge antarctica
In my green shorts launching myself in for the “Polar Plunge” in the ice cold waters of Antarctica!


5. Telefon Bay

Undoubtedly one of the most spectacular landscapes I have ever seen. Black ash and charcoal mix with pure white ice and show to give the whole place a total “black and white” effect. There are no other colours in the landscape. One for those who love black and white cameras, and it even feels like you have stepped back in time. You can walk up to the peak of one of the hills for a sublime view of the immense landscape.

Telefon Bay at Deception Island in Antarctica
The black and white terrain of Telefon Bay, Deception Island, Antarctica

Deception Island is a truly marvellous place, without doubt one of the best places I have ever been. If you’re booking a trip to Antarctica, I have a great tip on getting a cheap trip to Antarctica on my travel blog, and have written over 30 posts on my visit to the white continent.

That’s my top 5 things to see and do in Deception Island in Antarctica! If you enjoyed it, you can check out my travel blog at Don’t Stop Living, and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Safe travels my friends.

Watch one of my many videos from Deception Island, Antarctica: CLICK HERE


Jonny Blair is an enthusiastic Northern Irishman who left his hometown of Bangor a decade ago to see the world. He currently writes daily and passionately on his travel blog Don't Stop Living as well as being a guest writer on other travel sites. Jonny had visited every continent by the age of 30 and has now been to over 70 countries. On his travels, Jonny has lived in 4 different continents and worked in over 50 different jobs. His aims are to keep travelling the world, updating his travel blog and inspiring others to get out there and see this planet.

3 responses to “Top 5 Things To See and Do in Deception Island, Antarctica

    1. Jonny, Thank you for your article and photos. I cannot wait to go to Antarctica someday! It is on my bucket list! I hope you will share more of your stories with us. Happy Monday! Lisa

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