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Albatrosses and Petrels: Southern Ocean Specialists
The immensely productive Southern Ocean supports an extraordinary diversity and abundance of marine life, particularly seabirds. The most numerous and conspicuous of the seabirds flying above these southernmost seas are the albatrosses and petrels, collectively known as “tube-nosed” seabirds. From the deck of a ship bound for Antarctica, one could spend all day watching these graceful birds wheeling just above the waves on outstretched wings. Tube-nosed seabirds are perfectly adapted to a life wandering on the wind across vast open seas, except they have not figured out how to make a nest on the water. For this, they must return to land. Once you catch a glimpse of these beautiful and majestic birds, you will want to follow them over the horizon to the place where they congregate in their millions to raise their young. Your desire will be fulfilled on a polar expedition cruise to
Visit the Most Important Places along the Route of Endurance
Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition (1914-1917) is regarded as one of polar history’s greatest stories of survival and heroism. The name of Shackleton’s ship, Endurance, seems appropriate as he and his men endured incredible dangers and hardships during their time in Antarctica and South Georgia. On an Antarctic expedition cruise, you can comfortably follow in Shackleton’s footsteps at some of the most important places along his historic route.
You are in a Zodiac and the highly anticipated moment of your first step ashore on South Georgia is fast approaching. As the objects on land become clearer in your view, you realize they are moving. The landscape is alive. Your Zodiac pulls up to a sandy beach and you disembark. Before you is a phalanx of restless animal bodies, some rotund and blubbery, some sleek and furry. Your eye is drawn to a gigantic figure looming commandingly over the throng. A sonorous, gurgling bellow is heard above the din of groans and howls. “That’s the beachmaster,” the expedition leader says. “Stay clear of him!” This imposing fellow is the first of many huge elephant seals you will see on your Antarctic cruise to South Georgia.
One simply must experience
These dapper, distinguished birds are much more than feature film fodder, though and boast some pretty impressive features.In no particular order, here are our nine favorite facts about the King Penguin:
South Georgia's birds are a bit safer this week after a years-long project to rid the island of invasive rodent species was complete.