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Category Archives: Antarctica

Watch this mesmerising penguin colony timelapse

This video may be a few years old now, but it is still just as fascinating. Over a three-month period, an Adelie penguin colony was filmed in the Ross Sea. Every 45-minutes, a photo was taken and then stitched together to create a memorizing timelapse. The footage was taken by Jean Pennycook from the National Science Foundation and was shared on the Armed with Science blog.

It’s not the Adelie penguins waddling that is interesting to watch. Throughout the film, the ice can be seen ‘breathing’ as the tide rolls in and pushes it up and down.  Over the three months, the ice begins to shift, break away and then finally melt into the sea.

The person behind the project was Jean Pennycook, an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow for the National Science Foundation. She was a school teacher for over 25 years and her website Penguin Science provides resources to school children around the world. This includes lesson plans, call-ins and teaching and learning forums with a focus on penguins and the Antarctic. Throughout her time in the Antarctic, she broadcast daily updates around the penguin colonies and at its peak during breeding season, her website was receiving over a million users a month.

Adelie penguins are a fascinating species. They only live along the fringes of the Antarctic coast, preferring to be close to the water. Along with animals like emperor penguins and snow petrels, they make up some of the most southerly living seabirds. To get technical, they are part of the Pygoscelis family which split more than 38 million years ago into three subspecies. Research suggests there are more almost 4 million breeding pairs of Adelie penguins in 250 colonies. Colonies are decreasing in numbers on the Antarctic peninsula but increasing in East Antarctica. This has led to an increase of over 50% since the last census was completing, suggesting that they are not at risk as a species.

The penguins breed between October and February and build their nests from stones found along the edge of the Antarctic. Both parents take turns to incubate the eggs over a month and once hatched, they stay in the nest for a further month. Within 2 months of being born, the chicks have dropped their juvenile plumage and take off into the sea. They are some of the smallest of penguin species and reach around 50 cms and 5 kg in weight.  They have distinctive black and white marks around their eyes and along their body which gives them the appearance of wearing a tuxedo. They have a red bill, but long head feathers cover most of it. They can swim up to 5 miles per hour. They feed on krill, squid and silverfish, but they are in turn preyed on by orcas, skuas and leopard seals.

Would you like to go and see Adelie penguins? Take a look at our Antarctic cruises, get in touch with one of our Polar experts at +44 (0) 207 407 1478 or contact us here.

Antarctic cruise special offers

Antarctica_cruise_on_ushuaia

The Antarctic is a truly amazing place, a wilderness of pristine icebergs, glistening waterways, waddling penguins, and fluking whales. The season runs between November and March and with places limited, if you plan to go, it’s best to secure your place early with a deposit. If you’re still not quite sure, here’s several early bird special offers to help you make your decision.

Cruise Date Days Special Offer
Falklands & South Georgia 20/10 – 7/11 19 $1,000 off
South Georgia In Depth 21/10 – 4/11 15 $750 travel credit
Antarctic Peninsula – Basecamp Ortelius 4/11 – 15/11 12 Includes free activities
South Georgia In Depth 4/11 – 18/11 15 $750 travel credit
Falklands , South Georgia & Antarctica 6/11 – 25/11 20 Up to $4,000 off
Weddell Sea – In search of the Emperor Penguin 15/11 – 25/11 11 Up to €1,200 off
Falkland Islands – South Georgia – Antarctic Peninsula 29/11- 18/12 20 Up to €1,100 off
Antarctic Peninsula Explorer 4/12 – 14/12 11 $750 travel credit
Antarctic Peninsula with South Shetland Islands 6/12 – 16/12 11 Up to €850 off
Antarctic Peninsula with South Shetland Islands 6/12 – 16/12 11 Up to €850 off
Antarctic Peninsula 14/12 – 25/12 12 $1,000 off
Antarctic Peninsula Adventure 3/3 – 13/3 11 $750 travel credit
Marine Mammals of Antarctica 23/3 – 2/4 11 $750 travel credit

To discuss your Antarctic travel plans or book your cruise, contact one of our experts at +44 (0) 207 407 1478 or message us here.

5 amazing places you’ll visit on an Antarctic cruise

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Antarctica, the last true wilderness on the planet. A vast, unspoiled continent that has been inspiring adventurers for hundreds of years. Access to parts of the Antarctic have become much easier in recent years and unlike Shackleton’s exploration, it can be done so in relevant comfort. Here’s 5 amazing regions you’re likely to visit on an Antarctic cruise.

Ushuaia & Tierra del Fuego

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Ushuaia is referred to as ‘The End of the World’ and though it feels like it, it’s the starting point for almost all expeditions to the white continent. Surrounding the most southerly town in the world are snowcapped mountains and the Beagle Channel. While most people land in the town and head straight off, it’s worth taking some time to explore. Hike along the trails with local guides, go trout fishing in the lakes, horse ride and take cross country skiing tours. The Tierra del Fuego National Park is home to much wildlife and is breathtaking.

Weddell Sea & Snow Hill

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The Weddell sea is a truly extraordinary place. To visit, one must travel on board an ice-breaker vessel which cuts through thick ice floes. This is a place where few have been before. Snow Hill is home to one of the only emperor penguin rookeries. Some vessels have helicopters to help you get a bird’s eye view and land nearby to walk among the colony. Here, the male penguins have survived the winter with little food while keeping the eggs of their young warm below their feet. An awesome site. Out at sea, Weddell seals can be seen basking on the chunks of floating ice or diving into the water in search of their next meal.

South Georgia

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Many of the Antarctic expeditions visit South Georgia, a place perhaps best known as the resting place or the explorer Shackleton. What fewer know is South Georgia is one of the most awe inspiring places on the planet. Rich with wildlife, thousands of penguins can be found along the Salisbury Plain while many more Gentoo penguins and huge elephant seals take up the beach along Gold Harbour. It’s also an excellent place for seeing wandering albatrosses and fur seals. Though the waters nearby can be rough, it’s sometimes possible to visit Elephant Island where Shackleton’s crew were stranded all those years ago.

Falkland Islands

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Another common stop off point on the way to the Antarctic, and for good reason. The Falkland Islands, located around 300 miles east of South America, is home to much wildlife. Similar to the windswept islands of Scotland, there are more than 200 recorded species of birds on the archipelago. Magellan and  Gentoo penguins on Carcass Island, and rockhoppers, blue-eyed shags and black-browed albatrosses nest on West Point. The islands are the perfect breeding ground for elephant and fur seals who crowd the beaches.

Antarctic Peninsula and Circle

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One of the most magically moments for most is the first sightings of icebergs during the approach to the Antarctic Peninsula. The huge towering monoliths of all shapes and sizes slowly float past before waterways and mountains surround the vessel from all sides. An expedition is likely to take you down Antarctic Sound (sometimes called Iceberg Alley) and through the stunning Lemaire Channel.  Look out for leopard and crabeater seals basking in the soon and humpback and minke whales fluking near the ship.

The next Antarctic expedition season starts in November 2017, but the limited spaces get booked up fast. To start planning your once-in-a-lifetime cruise to the white continent, contact one of our experts at +44 (0) 207 407 1478 or send us a message.

2017 Latin America travel bucket list

Thinking of travelling to Latin America in 2017? With such a huge area spanning two continents, we thought we’d put together a handy list of the most bucket list worthy things to do in Latin America. From hiking through the Andes to watching turtles on the beaches of Costa Rica, the area really does have something for everyone.

Wander through Tikal, Guatemala

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The ancient ruins of Tikal were built and occupied by the Maya civilization for over a thousand years and is one of the most impressive ruins in all of Latin America. The sprawling complex has over 3,000 structures, some of which are in remarkable good condition. You’ll feel like Indiana Jones as you wander through the ancient site surrounded by thick jungle and the sounds of howling monkeys and birds.

See penguins in the Antarctic

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One of the most bucket list worthy travel adventures on the planet. Take to one of the limited expedition vessels and head out to explore the white continent. There are plenty of penguin species to see including the cheeky chinstraps and gentoos, and the more impressive kings and emperors, the latter usually requires an adventurous helicopter flight to reach them. There is no where on earth as pristine as the Antarctic. While breathtaking is an overused word, there really is no other way to describe the landscapes of towering icebergs, glistening glaciers and majestic fjords.

Hang glide over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Most visit sun kissed Rio de Janeiro for the relaxed pace where the caipirinhas flow and the beach is always appealing. Inject a little adventure and see the city from a new perspective by taking a hang glide. Don’t worry, you won’t be doing it alone. Your guide will fly while you can take the time to take in the surroundings. Take off from the top of Tijuca National Park forest and glide around getting excellent views of the city, beaches and Christ the Redeemer before effortlessly landing on the beach below.

Hike the Salkantay, Peru

Flickr: vil.sandi

Flickr: vil.sandi

While the Inca Trail has become the most popular hiking route to reach Machu Picchu, visitors often forget that there are many other trails. The Salkantay Trek is much less hiked and arguably more scenic (it’s been voted one of the 25 best hikes in the world). It’s also challenging. Those who take on the trek will have to reach some of the highest parts of the Humantay Mountain crossing passes higher than 6,000 metres. But those who do are rewarded with some extraordinary views of snow-capped peaks.

See the wildlife in the Pantanal, Brazil

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The wildlife in the Pantanal rivals that of the Amazon. The difference is the wildlife in these vast wetlands are much easier to spot than the thick jungle. Visitors first drive down the famous Transpantaneira Road stopping to watch crossing caiman and nearby bird life. Once in the wetlands, visitors can stay at any one of the comfortable lodges and take daily excursions by foot, horseback, boat or 4×4 to see wildlife including giant otters, anacondas, caimans, monkeys, marsh deer, tapirs and many species of bird, herons and egrets to hawks and macaws. It’s even possible to see a jaguar from some of the deeper Pantanal lodges.

Scuba dive off Fernando do Noronha, Brazil

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While South American isn’t known for its marine life as say Asia or Australasia, there are still some excellent spots. Fernando do Noronha Islands lies off the coast of northern Brazil. Here the marine life is abundant and its possible to scuba dive or snorkel with colourful schools of fish, lobsters, manta rays, baby sharks and octopus.

Swim with whale sharks off Holbox Island, Mexico

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Our top pick for things to do in Latin America. Whale sharks visit the Holbox Island off Mexico for just a couple of months each year. These huge behemoths are the largest fish in the world and while it may seem scary to snorkel with huge sharks, they are harmless to humans. These gentle giants open their large mouths to filter krill and plankton from the oceans.

Watch hatching baby turtles in Tortuguero, Costa Rica

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Tortuguero National Park on Costa Rica’s northern Caribbean coast are a nature-lovers’ paradise. Cut off from the rest of the country, a plane or boat is the only way to access the region. It’s one of the world’s best places to see green turtles as they come ashore at night to lay their eggs in the sand. Later in the year those young break out of their shells and make the brave journey along the beach to the sea.

Hike to the Lost City, Colombia

Flickr: Andrew Hyde

Flickr: Andrew Hyde

Machu Picchu is undoubtable the most recognizable of ruins in Latin America, but Colombia’s Lost City is just as impressive and with far fewer tourists. To reach the uncrowded ruins, one must take a 4 day hike through thick forest and climb 1,200 steps. Along the way sleep in hammocks in local villages. It’s not unusual to arrive at the Lost City and be the only ones there. Go before this Lost City doesn’t feel quite as lost.

Horse ride with Gauchos in Las Pampas, Argentina

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Whether you are a beginner or advanced rider, all are welcome to visit the Argentine grasslands of Las Pampas. Spend your days with the cowboys of South America, riding through the steppe, rounding cattle, listening to their folklore stories around campfires and sampling some hearty Argentine barbeques. There are plenty of luxurious homestays for those who want a little more comfort on their stay.

To start planning your ultimate bucket list tour of Latin America, speak to one of our travel experts on +(0) 207 407 1478 or email us here.

Last chance to visit the Antarctic with one of our special offers

Antarctica_cruise_on_ushuaia

Antarctic Peninsula – Basecamp Ortelius

Vessel: Ortelius
28 Feb – 10 Mar 2016

Twin porthole – €7,250 NOW €5,800 (20% discount)
Twin window – €7,700 NOW €6,160 (20% discount)
Twin deluxe – €8,150 NOW €6,520 (20% discount)
Superior – €8,900 NOW €7,120 (20% discount)

Polar Circle – Antarctic Peninsula
Vessel: Plancius
6 Mar – 17 Mar 2016

Quadruple porthole – €5,950 NOW €4,760 (20% discount)
Twin porthole – €7,250 – NOW €5,800 (20% discount)
Twin window – €7,700 – NOW €6,160 (20% discount)

We’re offering free flights up to the value of £2,000 for the below two voyages.

Classic Antarctic
Vessel: Akademik Ioffe
28 Feb – 9 Mar 2016

Twin cabins – start at £7,197 per person

Looking to book for the 2016/17 season? Booking before 1 April 2016 to get $500 off many cruises.

For more information or to book any of the cruises get in touch today.

The Best Places To travel In 2016

The New Year is almost upon us. In celebration here’s our pick of the best places to visit in Latin American in 2016.

South Georgia, Antarctic

As the variety of expeditions to the white continent get larger, so does the choice of which combination of islands to visit. Follow in Shackleton’s footsteps to one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on the planet. Breath-taking glaciers, deep fjords and huge colonies of penguins, particularly the king penguin.

Salta, Argentina

Thinking of visiting Argentina in 2016? Whilst most opt for the wilds of Patagonia, a visit to the colourful arid deserts of the north are just as scenic. Find relics of ancient civilizations, striking landscapes (try the terracotta canyons of Quebrada de Humahuaca), indigenous people with fascinating histories and some of the best wine in Latin America. Without trying to be too clichéd: it has it all.

Tour suggestion: Enchanting Northwest

The Cayes, Belize

Flickr: cloud2013

Flickr: cloud2013

The Cayes form a chain of coral islands off the coast of Belize. With year round sunshine and picture postcard white sand islands, there is no better place to go for a year round beach holiday. It’s also arguably the best place to scuba in the whole of Latin America – the Blue Hole is the most famous. Exclusive hotels and luxury getaway guesthouses await.

Tour suggestion: Sun kissed Belize

La Paz, Bolivia

Flickr: Yann Duarte

Flickr: Yann Duarte

Most travellers to Bolivia skip past La Paz rather quickly in favour of visiting Lake Titicaca, the Amazon or the stunning Uyuni Salt Flats. But for those who spend a little more time, there are plenty of gems to discover. Just a wander around the city will reveal colonial churches, museums and Indian street markets (the Witches Market is a must). Just outside the city is the highest golf course in the world, skiing opportunities, beautiful valleys and gorges for trekking and the ancient monument Tiwanaku.

Tour suggestion: Tiwanaku & Beyond

Minas Gerais, Brazil

This landlocked state north of Rio de Janeiro is a cultural gem waiting to be discovered. With a tendency for most to stick to Brazil’s gorgeous coastline and beaches, those who venture inland are treated to pretty colonial towns, baroque churches, excellent food and some of the friendliest people in Latin America. Best explored on a self-drive adventure.

Tour suggestion: Cultural Buzz of Brazil

Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

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The Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica’s verdant south, covered with pristine primary rainforest, is a wildlife lover’s dream. From ocelots and tapirs to literally hundreds of species of exotic bird including hummingbirds, toucans, macaws. Whales, dolphins and turtles roam the waters around the peninsula. If you are lucky you may even see a jaguar.

Tour suggestion: Romance in Costa Rica

Cloud Forest, Ecuador

Another bird watchers mecca, the cloud forests of Bellavista and Mindo are located north west of the capital of Quito. Although the accommodation is fairly the rustic, albeit charming, the draw is the hummingbirds, toucans and parrots which inhabit the region. The trees are festooned with orchids, bromeliads, mosses and lichens and numerous species of colourful butterflies.

Tour suggestion: Hummingbirds & Turtles

Chichicastenango, Guatemala

Come to the largest and most colourful market in Central America. Also known as Chichi or Santa Tomas, the pretty white-washed highland town is most famous for its Sunday and Thursday markets where thousands of indigenous locals living in the surrounding countryside come to town to sell their wares. Get ready for some serious bartering.

Tour suggestion: Maya, Magic & Mystery

Take a real white Christmas in Antarctica

We’ve got two upcoming Antarctic expeditions with some fantastic discounts. Cabins are limited so get in touch if you would like to hold a cabin.

Falkland Islands – South Georgia – Antarctic Peninsula

Falkland Islands - South Georgia - Antarctic Peninsula

Dates: 16 Dec, 2015 – 3 Jan, 2016
Duration: 18 nights
Ship: m/v Ortelius
Embark: Ushuaia
Disembark: Ushuaia

All (sub-)Antarctic highlights in one voyage. Meet at least six penguin species during this Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula expedition.

Prices per person:

Quadruple Porthole
WAS €9300 NOW €7920

Triple Porthole
WAS €10950 NOW €10150

Twin Porthole

WAS €11950 NOW €11150

Twin Window

WAS €12700 NOW €11750

Antarctic Peninsula with South Shetland Islands

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Dates: 19 Dec – 28 Dec, 2015
Duration: 9 nights
Ship: m/v Plancius
Embark: Ushuaia
Disembark: Ushuaia

‘Tis the season . . . to be in Antarctica. Enjoy the ultimate White Christmas on our Antarctic Peninsula with South Shetland Islands cruise. Explore the Peninsula and top this off with a visit to the South Shetland Islands.

Prices per person:

Twin Porthole
WAS €6500 NOW €5300

Superior
WAS €7900 NOW €7250

White Christmas Expedition Family Special

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Dates: 17 Dec – 27 Dec, 2016
Duration: 11 nights
Ship: m/v Akademik Sergey Vavilov
Embark: Ushuaia
Disembark: Ushuaia

Dreaming of a white Christmas in the Antarctic? Why not treat the family to an 11 day Christmas special to the Antarctic where snow is guaranteed! The trip is especially designed for families with children and teenagers including photography sessions, Young Explorers club children’s meals and presentations and soft adventure excursions.
Along the way you will see humpback whales, weddell seals, multiple species of penguins and seabirds and the pristine backdrop of the Antarctic. A family getaway you will never forget.

Prices per person:

Triple
$10,095
$1,000 free travel credit if booked before 1st December 2015

Twin
$12,095
$1,000 free travel credit if booked before 1st December 2015

Call now on +44 (0) 207 407 1478 or get in touch via email to hold a cabin.

Wildlife Hotspots In The Antarctic

Flickr: Aah-Yeah

Flickr: Aah-Yeah

Drake Passage

The rough seas of the Drake Passage that connect the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans is most people’s first experience with the harsh climates of the Antarctic region. Although some decide to fly down to the Antarctic, skipping the Drake Passage, those who take the two day voyage are treated to an array of sea birds including giant storm petrels, black browed albatross and sometimes even roaming albatross. Sightings of whales and dolphins are common.

Suggested cruise: Classic Antarctica on board the Ocean Nova

Weddell Sea

For true exploration of the Antarctic an ice-breaking voyage through the Weddell Sea is a must. This pristine wilderness is often clogged with pack-ice so a stronger ice-class vessel is required. This is one of the best places to view whales including killer whales, humpback whales and minke whales. Leopard seals, weddell seals and crabeater seals can often be seen basking on the pack-ice or fishing. Adelie penguins have adapted for the harsh conditions and a colony of a hundred thousand can be seen on Paulet Island. Not long ago an emperor penguin colony was found on Snowhill Island.

Suggested cruise: Weddell Sea Quest on board the M/V Ushuaia

 

Falkland Islands

Disputed archipelago located 400 kms from the Tierra del Fuego in southern Argentina and a wildlife enthusiasts perfect location. There are plenty of bird species including King penguins, Gentoo penguin, rockhopper penguin, macaroni penguin, Magellanic penguin, grebes, herons, ducks, hawks and more. In the waters around the archipelago elephant seals, fur seals, sealions and plenty of species of whale and dolphin can be spotted.

Suggested cruise: Crossing the Circle via Falklands on board the Sea Adventurer

South Georgia

This remote mountainous island located between the southern tip of Argentina and the Antarctic Penisula is packed full of glaciers and fjords. Wildlife highlights include albatrosses, skuas, gulls, ducks, teals, petrels, shearwaters, chinstrap penguins and Gentoo penguins. The stars of the show are the 400,000 pairs of king penguins and the two million pairs of macaroni penguins. The island has a fascinating history of whalers and Shackleton’s Endurance expedition.

Suggested cruise: South Georgia In Depth on board the Akademik Sergey

 

Flickr: Liam Quinn

Flickr: Liam Quinn

South Orkney Islands

This archipelago of four rugged islands located around 800 miles north of the Antarctic Peninsula is mainly used as a research base for the British and Argentines. The climate here is particularly harsh with strong winds, rain and snow falls almost every day of the year. Coronation Island is an excellent place to observe the elusive pure white snow petrel which uses the island for breeding. Bird species include skues, cormorants, sheathbills and terns as well as Adelie, chinstrap and Gentoo penguins. Colonies of fur seals are found on some of the islands’ beaches.

Suggested cruise: Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula on board the M/V Ortelius

 

Flickr: Anne Dirkse

Flickr: Anne Dirkse

South Sandwich Islands

The South Sandwich Islands located 500 miles from South Georgia is a series of 11 volcanic islands, some of which are still active. The archipelago of islands extends for almost 250 miles and are connected to Tierra del Fuego by the Scotia Ridge, a sub-oceanic ridge. Although there used to be an Argentine research base here, it is now uninhabited. Few cruises visit the islands, but those who do find an impressive collection of wildlife including southern giant petrels, elephant seals, fur seals and Gentoo penguins. The highlight is the million or so pairs of chinstrap penguins.

Suggested cruise: Falklands, South Georgia & South Sandwich on board the M/V Plancius

 

Flickr: Liam Quinn

Flickr: Liam Quinn

South Shetland Islands

The South Shetlands Islands are relatively close to the Antarctic Peninsula, around 80 miles north. This is a common stopping point for reaching the white continent. This series of islands are almost completely covered with ice throughout the year. Its rich in wildlife including plenty of bird life, seals, whales and penguins. Elephant Island is the infamous place where Shackleton’s Endurance expedition got stranded in 1915 in heavy pack-ice. Many visit Deception Island where is it possible to swim in Pendulum Cove which is heated by volcanic activity.

Suggested cruise: Antarctic Circle Voyage on board the Akamedik Ioffe

Antarctic Peninsula

For most, the goal is to step onto the 7th continent which is easiest done on the Antarctic Peninsula. However, due to the harsher climate the wildlife spotting opportunities are not as varied as the sub-polar islands north of the peninsula. You will find seals, sea birds and some whales. For those who have more time (and a higher budget), the highlight will surely be walking near to a vast emperor penguin colony which can only be reached by helicopter.

Suggested cruise: Antarctic Peninsula – Basecamp Ortelius on board the M/V Ortelius

We have a huge selection of Antarctic cruises on offer. For more details or to book your place for the upcoming 2015-2016 season get in touch.

6 Penguins That You Will See On An Antarctic Cruise

With the Antarctic cruise season almost upon us we will be producing a series of articles about the wildlife and landscapes of this incredible region.

Out of the seventeen species of penguin on earth, only two actually survive in the inhospitable conditions of the Antarctic. Most other species live either on the Antarctic Peninsula or the Southern Hemisphere islands like South Georgia. There are around seven species that you are likely to see on an Antarctic cruise.

The Emperor Penguin

Perhaps the most famous of the penguin species, the Emperor are the largest of the all penguins. They also breed the further south, forming huge colonies on the sea ice that surrounds the continent. For a species which breeds in the harshest conditions they also have the highest survival rate standing at 95% and can live up to 20 years. Interestingly, some never actually set foot on the continent, preferring to live and breed on the frozen sea.

The Chinstrap Penguin

The Chinstrap Penguin is found in the South Georgia Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland, South Orkneys and more. Their name comes from the black line below their heads which make them appear to be wearing a black helmet. They are common with an estimated eight million pairs, found in colonies of over 100,000 at a time. Chinstrap penguins return to the same nesting site each year to mate with the same partner.

Flickr: Chadica

Flickr: Chadica

The Adélie Penguin

The Adélie penguin is the only penguin species along with the Emperor penguin which lives on the Antarctic with rookeries found all along the Antarctic coastline. They are named after Adélie Pepin, the wife of Jules Dumont d’Urville, the French explorer who discovered the penguins in 1840. They are some of the smallest penguins and can dive up to one hundred and seventy metres to catch their food.

The Gentoo Penguin

The Gentoo penguin is closely related to the Adélie and the chinstrap. They can be distingused from the other species by the wide stripe across the top of their heads and their bright orange bill. They also have the most prominent of tails of all the penguin species. As the penguin moves on land it sticks this tail out moving it from side-to-side which gave it its scientific name – Pygoscelis meaning rump-tailed. They don’t form the same size colonies as other species tending to stick together in smaller groups.

Flickr: Liam Quinn

Flickr: Liam Quinn

The King Penguin

The King penguin is the second largest species after the Emperor which it is closely related. They can often reach a metre tall and weigh up to 16 kgs. They are mostly found on the Subantarctic island of South Georgia and do not live on the continent itself. The King penguins are excellent divers often reaching one hundred metres, although records show depths of over three hundred.

Flickr: Liam Quinn

Flickr: Liam Quinn

The Macaroni Penguin

The name of the Macaroni are found are mostly found on the Subantarctic islands, although one colony is found on the Antarctic Peninsula. Expects estimate there are around eighteen million individuals making it one of the largest species, although sadly there numbers are shrinking. They are a small, around 70 cms in length and have a distinct feature is the yellow crest that extends back from the centre of their forehead. Interesting the Macaroni penguin always lays two eggs, one slightly smaller than the other. However, the small egg almost never produces a chick, only hatching if the larger of the two is lost.

To see all of these penguin species and the amazing world that they inhabit, why not visit them on an Antarctic cruise. To view all 2015/16 cruises along with prices visit out Antarctic cruise list.

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