Wow. A photographers paradise! I'm going back one day. Not next year and probably not even in the next 10, but one day I will.After months of deliberation I decided in the end to go and am incredibly glad I did. It was the definitive highlight of a trip which has had many of them. The whole trip was 10 days, departing and returning from Ushuaia in Southern Argentina. It takes 2.5 days to cross the Drake passage (each way) just to get to the Antarctic peninsula. That's 5 days with up to gale force winds and 3-5 meter waves...The ship was the Akademik Shokalskiy, originally a russian research icebreaker. Full capacity of 48 passengers, but we got lucky and only had 38 (which was the reason I got a great last minute deal).Each day we would have two main activities. One was to spend several hours on land, visiting penguins, sea lions, elephant seals and dozens of birds. And the other was to cruise around in small zodiacs, getting up close to whales, sea lions and icebergs.I saw dozens of whales (Humpbacks, Minkes and Orcas), at least a hundred thousand penguins and many, many other animals. One Minke was only a couple of meters from the zodiac and penguins would nibble on my boots as I was taking pictures of others.The surrounding scenery is spectacular with snow and ice covered mountains rocketing out of the seas. The icebergs and glaciers are massive.If you are going to click through and look at only one of my albums, this one should be it. With 11 days at sea there are a lot of pictures so I have created different albums depending on your interest:Best of Antarctica. 34 images, all of them great (if I may say so myself ;-)The full trip. 82 images, many of the additional 48 almost as good as the top picks.Friends and family album. 112 images, having added a few that are photographically not as great, but help tell the story of the trip.And if you haven't tried the full screen slideshow feature yet, the Best of Antarctica one would be a good place to start (use space to pause/play and arrow keys to navigate manually).