Yough Pioneer Tours

Animals in Antarctica

In 2021, YPT will be heading back to the frozen continent of Antarctica on one of the most epic voyages you can do. Starting in Ushuaia, Argentina, at Tierra del Fuego on the edge of the world, we’ll be sailing for 10 days there and back.

On the trip we will see plenty of animals in Antarctica, even with the harsh environment, and we will even have talks on board our ship, the m/v Hondius, from naturalists and environmentalists so we hear first-hand from the experts. Here is a guide for this trip on wildlife in Antarctica.

So what type of animals live in Antarctica?

A baby wendell seal, as seen in Antarctica

There is a wide range of animals in the Antarctic. The main type of mammal are seals. You can see Weddell seals, southern fur seals, the southern elephant seal, crabeater seals and leopard seals in the waters and on the land of Antarctica.

Can you see whales in Antarctica?

A Minke whale swimming is one of the many animals in Antarctica
A minke whale, as captured by Martin Cathrae

On a voyage you are very likely to come into contact with the whales of Antarctica. On the way from Argentina we can spot fin whales, and in Antarctica we are likely to come across humpback whales and minke whales. Killer whales, or orcas, and blue whales can even be seen there.

Birds of Antarctica

But it is the bird kingdom where we see the most variety, surprisingly enough because you may have thought the environment isn’t great for nest-building. On the seas you may see wandering albatross, one of the most majestic birds to come across. There are also a huge variety of seabirds including snow petrels, giant petrels, fulmars, Antarctic skuas, the blue eyed shag, snowy sheathbill, Antarctic and Arctic terns and even the cape pigeon.

How many types of penguins live in Antarctica?

Two white penguins, animals of Antarctica

And then there’s the most famous Antarctic creature of all, the penguin. Indeed, there are nine types of penguin in Antarctica, including the emperor penguin, most famous of all. You may also see gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, adelie penguins, magellanic penguins, macaroni penguins, royal penguins, southern rockhopper penguins and king penguins.

Can you see polar bears?

A polar bear near Churchill Canada, not an animal of Antarctica
This polar bear was sighted near Churchill, Manitoba by Martin Lopatka, not in Antarctica, we’re afraid…

No. Although it’s the south pole, polar bears only inhabit the north pole region I’m afraid, the Arctic as opposed to the Antarctic.

Join YPT on the voyage of a lifetime on our Antarctica Frozen Continent Tour!