Pleneau Island is an island, 0.8 nautical miles (1.5 km) long, lying just northeast of Hovgaard Island in the Wilhelm Archipelago. Charted as a peninsula of Hovgaard Island by the French Antarctic Expedition, 1903-05, under Charcot, who named its northeast point for Paul Pleneau, photographer of the expedition.
Beautiful, tranquil and uninhabited, Pleneau Island is located west of Booth Island at the southern end of the Lemaire Channel and features an array of iceberg scenery. In fact, an astonishing ninety-three percent of the world's mass of icebergs is found surrounding the Antarctic. The word "iceberg" actually comes from partial Dutch translation meaning "ice mountain." The term iceberg refers to chunks of ice larger than 5 meters (16 feet) and smaller chunks of ice are known as bergy bites and growlers. While Antarctic icebergs last typically ten years and Arctic bergs about two years, what's interesting to note is the glacial ice that icebergs are made of could be more than 15,000 years old!
There are two very different cruise types to Antarctica - firstly the larger cruise ships that visit here are restricted to scenic cruising through the area and generally include a visit to the region with longer cruises around the South American coast.
The second type and more popular cruise to Antarctica are provided by smaller specialty ships that allow passengers to disembark onto the Antarctic islands and the continent itself. These ships tend to be sturdy expedition style ships and do not offer all the extras associated with modern cruise ships. These cruises are dedicated to the experience and feature experts in the region and the wild life who give lectures and lead shore excursions. Visits onshore to the Islands are usually by Zodiac inflatables.
Cruises operate to Antarctica from October to March in the southern summer months when the days are longer - there are up to to 20 hours of daylight in high summer.
Weather in the sub Antarctic islands is cool but pleasant in the summer months but the temperature on the continent itself rarely gets above freezing. The nature of the area means that the weather can and does change quite quickly, so if you plan a cruise here take good note of the cruise lines advice on clothing. Again remember that island visits are by zodiac infaltables so you need to ensure you are properly dressed for these trips.