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Ten Favorite Penguin Pictures from Antarctica Cruise

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Penguins Marching Across Beach in Antarctica
Penguins marching across Antarctica

Penguins marching across a rocky beach in Antarctica

Photo (c) Linda Garrison
Penguins rank high in most everyone's vote for the cutest animals on earth. Penguin lives have been chronicled in movies such the "March of the Penguins" and "Happy Feet". The best way to get a true appreciation of penguins is to take a cruise to Antarctica. This challenging environment and the constant struggle of penguins to live and reproduce is touching and impressive.

I visited Antarctica on the Hapag-Lloyd luxury adventure cruise ship the Hanseatic. While there we saw thousands of penguins of three different species -- Adelie, Gentoo, and Chinstrap. We also saw Rockhopper and Magellanic penguins in the Falkland Islands while on the way to Antarctica. Unfortunately we did not see any Macaroni, King, or Emperor penguins, which also inhabit the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions. The best place to see King or Macaroni penguins is on the island of South Georgia in the South Atlantic. Some cruise ships visit South Georgia each year in January or February, but it adds from two to four sea days to the length of the cruise, and there is no guarantee that you will get to go ashore if the weather is bad.

The Emperor penguins made famous in the "March of the Penguins" are only found far south in Antarctic (not sub-Antarctic) waters. They breed on sea ice, and lay their eggs and rear their young chicks inland many miles away from the sea. Therefore, cruise ships visiting Antarctica will only see Emperor penguins by chance and in the sea.

Even with no Emperors, all penguins are VERY cute! Let's take a look at some of the 100+ photos I made of penguins while on our Hanseatic cruise to Antarctica.

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