What Wildlife will I see on a Polar Expedition Cruise?

What wildlife can I see in Antarctica?

For a continent almost entirely covered in ice, there is a surprising amount of wildlife. Antarctica is home to four of the world’s 18 penguin species. Almost everywhere on land, you will see gentoos, and if you are lucky you may also spot chinstraps on the islands while Adélies and the largest penguin of them all, the emperor, breed on the Antarctic continent. If you are visiting South Georgia look out for macaroni and king penguins too. We will get up fairly close (within the guidelines) so you can take amazing pictures.

Terns, gulls, fulmars, prions, cormorants, skuas, petrels and shearwaters and five species of the mighty albatross join the line-up of seabirds. Of these, the iconic, wandering albatross is the largest, with a potential wingspan of three metres. 

South Georgia and Antarctica are also a haven for seals. Six species of seals can be seen in Antarctic waters ranging from the smallest, the fur seal, to the largest, the mighty elephant seal. Others include the leopard, crabeater and Ross and Weddell seal. Whale species in Antarctica waters include the blue whale (the largest creatures to have ever existed on Earth), humpback, killer (orca) and minke, and occasionally right, sei and sperm whales. 

What wildlife can I see in The Arctic & at The North Pole?

The range of wildlife in the Arctic is equally impressive, although surprisingly different from Antarctica - you’ll only see polar bears in the Arctic, for example. As climate change takes its toll, you are more likely to spot these fearsome predators (and maybe their cubs) as we cruise past pebbly beaches in summer and in Svalbard, polar bears out-populate people. 

Walruses haul out at various locations in the frozen north. On Greenland, you regularly encounter arctic foxes, hares, lemmings and the rare Arctic wolf, among others. In Alaska, hardy muskoxen and reindeer forage, bear and caribou roam, and the mountain streams provide a freshwater habitat for spawning wild Alaskan salmon. Birdlife throughout the northern polar regions include puffins, as well as skuas, eider, ivory gulls, eagles, rock ptarmigan, and hundreds more. Whales that live in the Arctic year-round include beluga, narwhal and bowhead, with grey and humpback whale spotted here in summer as they come to breed. 

Whichever destination you choose, you are sure to be blown away by the incredible wildlife at home in their natural habitat.

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