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Hapag-Lloyd Hanseatic - Perfect Combination of Luxury and Adventure Cruising

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Penguins and Wildlife Provide Entertainment for Hanseatic Antarctica Passengers
Antarctic Penguins and Hanseatic

Antarctic penguins greet the Hapag-Lloyd Hanseatic to Paradise Bay on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Photo (c) 2005 Linda Garrison
A story about cruising Antarctica would not be complete without discussing the magnificent wildlife. I can now readily identify the 5 species of penguins we saw, and thanks to our excellent onboard penguin expert Sylvia Stevens, I've become acquainted with and amazed by the life cycle of these funny, delightful birds. I didn't keep a record of all of the birds we saw on land and at sea, but David Fletcher, our expedition leader, did. He gave each of us a log of the wildlife, and it included almost 60 species of birds and 14 species of mammals, including whales, seals, and dolphins. Some memorable wildlife moments include --

  • the rockhopper penguins on New Island -- our first penguins

  • the thousands of downy brown Adelie penguin chicks on Paulet Island and their hard-working parents

  • penguins zooming through the water like football-shaped missiles and then awkwardly waddling up the rocks to feed their chicks

  • magnificent albatrosses soaring behind the ship

  • following a pair of humpback whales for over 30 minutes one twilight night after dinner

  • an up-close moment with a leopard seal

I could go on and on about this memorable cruise. Even my husband, who is much harder to please than I am, had everything he looks for on a cruise vacation--excellent ship, amazing wildlife, interesting history and excursions, and no shopping! As much as I love cruising the world, this experience will stay with me forever--thanks to the captain, crew, and expedition leaders of the Hanseatic!

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary cruise accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.

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