A once in a lifetime experience - impossible to explain in either words or pictures.
In Ushaia in Southern Argentina we were lucky to get a late minute deal, because it was right when the financial crises was peaking around New Year 2008-09 and a lot of people couldn't pay their ticket. Despite being less than half price it was still expensive but worth every penny and more.
We went on a Russian survey ship built for trips in harsh conditions and with many outdoor decks. Great food and experienced staff and lots of activities all the time. 3 hour zodiac trips every morning and afternoon to watch seals, whales, penguin colonies, icebergs as well as historical sites and buildings.
In nature there is of course no guarantee to see anything, so we were priviledged to experience 4 types of penguins (Dahlies, Gentoos, Chinstrap and Makaronis), 4 types of seals (crapeater, leopard, weddell and elephant), 3 types of whales (humpback minky and orcas) , sea elephants and lot of different seabirds..
Antarctica is special because the nature is totally pristine and the animals come very close since humans are not their natural predator - huge humpback whales 5 meters from the zodiac, seals lying carefree on the ice and penguins sneaking curiously up on you from behind when visiting the colonies. And the ice is inexplicably beautiful.