After the Drake Passage, known for its stormy weather, the first large icebergs come in sight. This is the first moment you will encounter the enormous masses of thousands and thousands of penguins, a spectacular sight.
Ashore, visitors will often be welcomed by different kinds of penguins, such as the Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie penguins. All penguin species are restricted to the southern hemisphere, but the greatest concentrations are on the Antarctic coats and sub Antarctic islands. On the Peninsula, Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins are the most common. Near the colder Weddell Sea we also find Adelie and Emperor penguins, although the latter is seen more rarely.
The Antarctic waters support a vast variety of seabirds. Only a few species are adapted to breed regularly on the continent. Skuas are widespread and prominent in the Antarctic. They prey heavily on the eggs and chicks of penguins and small petrels. Also prions, fulmars, and shearwaters are often seen, as well as terns, sheathbills, and two species of cormorants. Fish and krill in the Antarctic are important components of the marine ecosystems. They are major prey for higher predators, such as the Humpback, Minke and Fin Whale. There are many seals. Depending on the species, seals feed on fish and squid or krill. The Leopard Seal is a predator of penguins and other seals. Seals can leave the water and move on dry land to breed, have some rest and moult.