Antarctica Wildlife Holidays
Experience some truly rewarding wildlife encounters on a visit to the great White Continent. For half the year, much of Antarctica lies in darkness, a frozen world locked in the grip of some of the lowest ever recorded temperatures. However, with the arrival of the austral springtime, the melting sea ice frees the oceans and islands and the continuent comes alive with marine mammals and seabirds, playing host to some of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth.
Millions of pairs of penguins, albatrosses and other sea birds breed in the region; seals are regularly observed hauled out on ice floes; and whales and other marine mammals come to feed in nutrient-rich oceans.
Photogenic, inquisitive and comical, penguins are the consummate charmers of the Antarctic region. On a typical voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula you can expect to visit enormous rookeries of Gentoo, chinstrap and Adelie penguins, while king and macaroni penguins are found on the Sub-Antarctic Islands. Few sights can be more spectacular than a vast king colony on Salisbury Plain, South Georgia. The largest of them all, and the most elusive, is the emperor penguin which is the only species to nest on the sea ice.
Five seal species – the Antarctic fur seal, Weddell seal, elephant seal, leopard seal and crabeater seal are regularly observed on expedition voyages, and there’s nothing quite like seeing huge numbers of albatross at their island breeding sites, on the Sub-Antarctics. Cape and storm petrels also come ashore to breed, often in vast colonies.
Make the most of every second you can on deck – on the lookout for Antarctica’s extraordinary wildlife as well as its breathtaking landscape. You can sleep when you get back home!