Photo courtesy of Silversea
Silversea’s sailings to Antarctica present passengers with incredible natural vistas, as well as a number of unique forms of wildlife that call the continent home. Here are a few, with some fascinating facts provided by the cruise company.
The Emperor and Adelie penguins are the two main species that live in Antarctica. Social and inquisitive, the birds allow cruisers to observe them in their natural habitat.
Six species of seal can be found here, of those, Leopard seals are one of the largest predators in Antarctica while the Weddell, Crabeater, Fur and Elephant seals get into “loose breeding aggregations,” which can be spotted from the ship.
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Silversea describes whales as some of “the most enigmatic and fascinating of all creatures. They are highly intelligent with an extremely elaborate social life.”
Over 160,000 orcas (killer whales) live in the waters around the southernmost continent, swimming in large pods. While large baleen whales, such as the blue and humpback varieties, hang out in the open ocean, the smaller Minke whales can be spotted closer to the Antarctic ice edge.
Albatross and other birds
The wandering albatross, with its 10-foot wingspan, is the king of Antarctic flying bird species. There are also Arctic tern, Snowy Sheathbill, the Giant Petrel and plenty more.
For more of a focus on the best of the continent, Silversea conducts photography and bird watching-specific tours, in addition to the standard itinerary.
For more on Antarctica’s wildlife, visit Silversea’s blog.