Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go on a journey to Antarctica? Imagine standing at the bow of the ship as it chomps through sea ice. You make it to land and watch as hundreds of penguins waddle by. Seals grunt and whales do acrobatics.
So, are you ready to come on a virtual voyage to the end of the world? Scroll down to set sail with these 12 amazing pictures of Antarctica!
A WORLD OF ICE
After 2 days of sailing from Ushuaia, Argentina, we catch our first sight of “The White Continent.” Snow covered peaks line the horizon and the occasional gigantic iceberg floats by the ship. There’s nothing like coming to the upper deck, breathing in the crisp air and getting a 360 degree view of this pristine world of ice.
This isn’t your average cruise, this is an expedition cruise which means don’t just view Antarctica from your room, you get out and explore as much as possible. These inflatable boats known as a Zodiacs get you up close to the wildlife and landscapes that make the Antarctic Peninsula so special. Dana, the boat driver spots a seal in the distance and slowly maneuvers through the ice to let everyone get a good look.
Chunks on ice float around the sea making for the perfect place for seals to take a nap after a long day of hunting for food. Here we cruised by this group of sleepy Crabeater seals. Only one could be bothered to notice us, the rest just kept on snoozing.
It’s time to stretch our legs after the long days aboard the ship. Hiking up the hills near the shore, we get a new perspective on the polar landscape. For the bucket listers in the group, stepping foot on land means they can cross off visiting their 7th Continent while we are here as well.
THE CLIFF CLIMBING CHINSTRAP
Chinstrap Penguins are easy to spot with the thin black “strap” under their chins. They are excellent climbers, as you can see, this little guy has made it to the top of the rocky cliff of Orne Harbor.
GOOD MORNING ANTARCTICA
Would you ever spend the night in Antarctica? Sure the night is chilly but the reward is waking up to a vast sky painted by the sun. It’s about 5:30 AM and all the campers are busy breaking camp and heading back to the ship after spending a night under the stars.
A PADDLER’S PLAYGROUND
It’s easy to see why Antarctica is a kayaker’s dream destination. Of course there is plenty of wildlife but what makes this place really special is the dramatic landscapes. Here in a quiet bay, icebergs tower above us in all directions. The feeling of gliding through this world of blue and white under your own power is incredible.
PENGUINS IN PARADISE
From the seat of a kayak, we stop off to watch a group of Gentoo penguins as they jump over rocks, squawk and dive into the water. Surrounded by the sea and ice it looks like they are in a penguin paradise.
PEAKS AND PADDLERS
When you’re out paddling in Antarctica, there’s no sound of an engine behind you. It’s just you, your boat and the world. Snow covered peaks tower in the distance as we make our way through a channel. On a rock straight ahead, a black fur seal pup is nearly camouflaged against the dark rock.
It’s March in Antarctica, which means the penguin chicks that hatched a few months ago have grown into fluffy and rambunctious “toddlers.” This little guy is running through the colony squawking as loud as he can. You don’t need to be a penguin expert to know that this means, “Moooom, I’m huungry!” The chicks don’t have their waterproof feathers yet so the adult penguins go to sea to search for food and bring back their catch to the chicks.
Could you imagine living in Antarctica? While no one permanently lives in this cold and remote corner of the Earth, the continent is dotted with scientific research stations like this one. Here we are paddling into the Brown Station which is operated by Argentinian scientists. Hikers are on their way up to the top of the hill to get a 360 view of the bay below.
SEAL, SEAL, PENGUIN
You’ve probably realized by now that the Antarctic Peninsula is packed with wildlife. Here in Yankee Harbor you can see a perfect example. Penguins march between the lazy fur seals. The squawks, squeals and grunts make up the music of Antarctica.