Cruises allow nature lovers to get to of the best penguin watching spots on small and comfortable cruise ships. 18 species of penguins live in different parts of the world, but on the southernmost continent, the largest population of penguins — half of the species can be found on Antarctic coasts and subantarctic islands. One of the best ways to get to know penguins — take a cruise in Antarctica, as some of the most spectacular places they live can only be reached by sea.
Panache Cruises has compiled a list of the best cruise destinations for spotting penguins in the wild:
Antarctic Peninsula — one of the most popular and accessible places in Antarctica. It is the northernmost region of the continent, and one of its main attractions is the abundance of penguins, especially the Gentoo penguins, which are very common there.
The Antarctic Sound, known as Iceberg Alley, is a channel littered with icebergs at the northern tip of the peninsula. This is a great place to see big adélie and emperor penguins. Tourists can also watch seals and hear the calls of whales cutting through the eerie silence.
Penguin Island — one of the smallest South Shetland Islands in Antarctica. This one and a half kilometer long island has become a nesting and breeding site for Adélie penguins and chinstrap penguins. At the highest point of the island, visitors can see the active volcano Deacon Peak. In order not to disturb the wildlife, a limit of 100 people is set on the shore. Visitors are not allowed to roam freely, although they may attend guided tours.
Elephant Island got its name thanks to its inhabitants — big sea elephants. It is also home to Gentoo penguins and nesting chintrap penguins. This remote island is considered one of the most deserted places in the entire world. It is a must-visit for polar enthusiasts as it is a real chance to learn more about the Endurance team that has been stuck on the island for months. It is also called Mordvinov Island in honor of Admiral S. I. Mordvinov.
Deception Island in the middle of the South Shetland Islands is one of the most unique tourist destinations. In the midst of its mesmerizing scenery, tourists can see a former whaling station and hundreds of thousands of penguins waddling around. In the center of the island is a massive crater formed by a gigantic volcanic eruption. The island's volcano is still active, which means the black sand beaches trap hot steam below the surface, and tourists can take a warm volcanic bath.
< p>South Georgia — a popular stop on an Antarctic cruise where travelers can experience a wildlife oasis. It is known as the “Gateway to Antarctica” and welcomes guests with colonies of petrels, seals, penguins, whales and albatrosses. South Georgia has the highest concentration of marine life on the planet.
Drake Pass — iconic part of a cruise trip to Antarctica. Traveling through the infamous turbulent waters of the strait, the expedition members will be able to see a huge variety of marine life, including dolphins, humpback whales, killer whales and penguins.