When picturing Antarctica the first things that come to mind are pretty little penguins. Yes, when visiting the seventh continent, you will see many penguins. Antarctica is filled with the darling tuxedo-clad creatures, and they are as adorable in person as they are in cartoons. Antarctica also is home to thousands of other creatures; nowhere on earth will you be able to get so close to magnificent animals that are as curious about you as you are of them.
Antarctica truly is the final frontier of adventure travel. From Ushauaia, Argentina, the southernmost city on earth, fewer than 50,000 people a year cross the Drake Passage to step foot on Antarctica. Because Antarctica is a protected environment, the wildlife there does not see humans as natural predators. These animals are not afraid of encounters with people. When you visit, you’ll find whales, birds, and penguins actually will seek you out. We floated past Weddell and leopard seals on kayaks, saw minke whales surface mere feet in front of us, and had penguins peck at our pant legs as we sat quietly on the snowy land.
Visiting Antarctica is a trip to remember. For us, the most memorable moments of all came from the beauty and spectacle of seeing Antarctica wildlife. Here are some of the images that captured those encounters.
A baby penguin comes in for a closer look
Feeding time with the Gentoo pengins
The Imperial Shag
A Weddell Seal on an ice floe
The Chinstrap penguin
Waving at passing ships
A Penguin colony in Antarctica.
A Sleeping seal
The fluke of a Humpback whale
A sleeping Leopard seal