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Antarctica Wildlife

Interested in Seeing the Animals of Antarctica?

Be sure to visit our Antarctica cruises page for detailed information about trips to Antarctica, or call us at 800-368-0077 M–F, 8AM–5PM Pacific Time and talk with one of our Antarctica cruise specialists. (Outside the US and Canada call 206-463-5362)

Antarctica's wildlife is legendary. The animals of Antarctica—penguins, seals, whales, albatrosses and others—are typically the main attraction for people taking an Antarctica cruise. The list below includes many of the Antarctic species you will see when traveling to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands—the destinations that most of our Antarctica cruises visit. Some of the species listed below include a link to a page with detailed descriptions of the species.

Note: Next to each species listed below you will find a letter, or letters, in parentheses. These letters indicate the area(s) where each species is likely to be seen on an Antarctica cruise. The letters represent the following areas:

A = Antarctic Peninsula*
S = South Georgia
F = Falkland Islands
P = Pelagic (open ocean)

* Includes the South Shetland and South Orkney Islands

Marine Mammals of Antarctica

Baleen Whales

Toothed Whales

  • Orca whale (A, S, F)
  • Southern bottlenose whale (A, S, F)
  • Sperm whale (S, F)
  • Peale's dolphin (F)
  • Commerson's dolphin (S, F)
  • Dusky dolphin (F)

Seals & Sea Lions

Birds of Antarctica



  • Royal albatross (P)
  • Wandering albatross (S, P)
  • Black-browed albatross (S, F, P)
  • Gray-headed albatross (S, P)
  • Light-mantled sooty albatross (S, P)


  • Southern giant petrel (A, S, F)
  • Northern giant petrel (P)
  • Prions (as a group) (S, P)
  • Cape (pintado) petrel (A, S, P)
  • Wilson’s petrel (P)
  • White-chinned petrel (P)
  • Shearwaters (as a group) (P)
  • Snow petrel (A, S)
  • Southern fulmar (A, P)
  • Antarctic petrel (A, P)

Gulls & Terns

  • Brown skua group (A, S, F)
  • South polar skua (A)
  • Kelp gull, (aka Southern black-backed gull, Dominican gull) (A, S, F)
  • Antarctic tern (A, S)
  • Arctic tern (A, S)
  • South American tern (F)

Cormorants & Shags

  • Imperial shag (F)
  • South Georgian shag (S)
  • Antarctic shag (A)


  • Upland goose (F)
  • Kelp goose (F)
  • Falkland (flightless) steamer duck (F)
  • Flying steamer duck (F)

Birds of prey

  • Striated caracara (F)
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