Penguins in Antarctica

September, 2019 | Wildlife

Penguins – they are charming, they are resilient, and boy are they cute! One of the biggest reasons people travel to Antarctica is to see the wildlife, and penguins are right up there at the top of the list.

There are 8 species of penguins Antarctica and the surrounding region:

Emperor Penguins are the tallest and the heaviest of all the penguin species. After the female lays a single egg, she leaves it behind, and the male will keep it warm by balancing the egg on his feet and covering it with his feathers. Emperor Penguins can diver deeper than any other bird.

An Emperor Penguin waves hello

King Penguins in South Georgia

The second largest penguin species, King Penguins live in dense colonies among tussock grass and gently sloping beaches of South Georgia. They have the longest breeding cycle of all the penguins and can live between 15 and 20 years. Their stomachs are adapted to allow them to drink saltwater.

In the Falkland Islands, Rockhopper Penguins can be spotted hopping and bounding along the rocks, hence their name. The smallest of the crested penguins, Rockhoppers stand at just 20 to 22 inches tall.

Macaroni Penguins look similar to Rockhoppers and also hop. They have an orange crest of feathers that flows back from the centre of their forehead and are the largest of the crested penguins.

Named after Ferdinand Magellan, an explorer who was the first to see them in 1519 while voyaging around the bottom of Chile and Argentina, Magellanic penguins are found in the Falkland Islands but also higher north in countries such as Chile or even Brazil.

On the Antarctica Peninsula, Adelie penguins show off their amazing swimming abilities. They can travel as far as hundreds of miles to find food. These highly athletic penguins start training their chicks at a young age, making them chase them before they feed them.

Adelies playing on the Peninsula

Chinstrap Penguins on Deception Island

Gentoo Penguins are seen in the hundreds of thousands and are thriving on the Antarctica Peninsula. They may seem awkward on land, but underwater they are unrivalled. They can propel themselves at 22 miles an hour, which helps them evade leopard seals, orcas and sea lions.

Called so because of the thin black band under their chins, Chinstrap Penguins are very recognizable and the most abundantly found penguin in Antarctica. The largest colony found in the Sandwich Islands holds 1.2 million breeding pairs!

Interested in seeing these amazing creatures for yourself? Join us on a voyage. At least 1 penguin sighting is guaranteed!