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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Map of Antarctica (click to enlarge)
Ice in the Ross Sea, Antarctica
An Icebreaker in Ross Sea, January 2001

The Ross Sea is a deep bay of the Southern Ocean in Antarctica between Victoria Land and Marie Byrd Land. It was discovered by James Ross in 1841. In the west of the Ross Sea is Ross Island with the Mt. Erebus volcano, in the east Roosevelt Island. The southern part is covered by the Ross Ice Shelf. Roald Amundsen started his South Pole expedition in 1911 from the Bay of Whales, which was located at the shelf. In the west of the Ross sea, McMurdo Sound is a port which is usually free of ice during the summer. The southernmost part of the Ross Sea is Gould Coast, which is approximately two hundred miles from the Geographic South Pole.

All land masses in the Ross Sea are claimed by Britain and New Zealand to fall under the jurisdiction of the Ross Dependency, but few non-Commonwealth nations recognize this claim.

A 10 meter (32.8 feet) long colossal squid weighing 495 kilograms (1,091 lb) was captured in the Ross Sea on February 22, 2007.

See also

External links

Coordinates: 77°25′17″S 176°08′33″W / 77.42139°S 176.1425°W / -77.42139; -176.1425


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Antarctica : Ross Sea
Mount Erebus on Ross Island, with Mount Terror! to the right
Mount Erebus on Ross Island, with Mount Terror! to the right

The Ross Sea is a region of Antarctica that lies south of Australia and New Zealand. Mostly ice covered, the land areas around the sea are home to several research bases and countless numbers of seals and penguins.


New Zealand claims a sector of Antarctica, including Ross Island, home to McMurdo Station and Scott Base as well as three historic wooden huts (at Hut Point, Cape Evans and Cape Royds as well as a stone hut at Cape Crozier). Claims such as this one are held in abeyance under the terms of the Antarctic Treaty, but official Ross Dependency stamps are still issued and sold at Scott Base and can be used as valid postage back to the rest of the world.

Get in

Travel to the Ross Sea is normally done through a larger travel company that charters an ice breaker and carries passengers south from New Zealand. Researchers may arrive in the Ross Sea either by military vessel or by plane.

Individual, non-governmental visitors can contact the Antarctic Policy Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Private Bag 18901, Wellington. Phone: +64 4 439 8000 Fax: +64 4 439 8103 [1]

By air

Williams Field is an ice runway that is normally open to ski equipped aircraft during the Antarctic summer months, subject to suitable weather conditions. Flights to the Ice depart from Christchurch International Airport in New Zealand and generally involve an 8 hour flight in a military aircraft's cargo hold, as cargo.

By boat

There are only a very few ships that travel to the Ross Sea area of Antarctica.

  • Polar Cruises, [2]. A small company offering trips on most of the ships cruising Antarctica. They have been on all the ships and traveled to the Ross Sea area. Great insights into Antarctica cruises and travel to this very unique area.
  • Geographic Expeditions, [3]. Among GeoEx's popular Antarctica adventure trips is an expedition to the Ross Sea and McMurdo Sound.
  • Mount Erebus. The southernmost active volcano in the world at 3795 meters. Climbable (when not erupting) in the summer. The mountain was named after its discoverer's ship, which in turn was named after the Greek god Erebus, son of Chaos.  edit
  • Mount Kirkpatrick. Best climbed in April. The highest of Antarctica's mountains is terribly hard to reach, but is climbable on extremely expensive expeditions. 4528m.  edit

Stay safe

There are several countries that administer portions of the Ross Sea, and each country's laws may apply based on the traveler's citizenship and location. In all cases, travelers must follow the rules set forth in the Antarctic Treaty and, if traveling with an International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IATO) sponsored group, all IATO rules.

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