Whale Watching in Antarctica

Thursday, 6th September 2018

Liz Lunnon

Whale watching

As the austral summer draws to a close and penguin chicks start heading out to open sea, the busy Antarctic waters welcome an increasing number of whales. March is an ideal month for whale watching in Antarctica due to a higher concentration of these giants of the sea as they return each year to favoured feeding grounds, before migrating to warmer climates.

If you’re after a deeper insight into cetacean activity then a special focus voyage is highly recommended! Travelling with a team of expert marine biologists, you can witness their research first hand and even play a part in collecting essential data.

Join the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on board the Island Sky

Four scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will welcome you on board the Island Sky for a Classic Antarctica voyage with a twist in March 2019.

Ground-Breaking Research through Whale-Watching

Humpback whales migrate thousands of miles to their feeding ground in the Southern Ocean, yet nothing is known about how these whales find the krill that they consume. WHOI’s ground-breaking research aims to understand how global warming, which is impacting the distribution and volume of krill in our oceans, will affect large whale populations.

Get Involved

All guests will have the opportunity to participate as the scientists on board track whales and collect data. In addition to ongoing briefings on the study’s progress, there will also be a panel discussion on The Future of the Antarctic. The panel will feature the WHOI team, the Island Sky’s on-board whale expert Annette Bombosch PhD, and special guest Peter Neill, the founding Director of the World Ocean Observatory.

Along the way, you will also explore the spectacular Antarctic Peninsula, enjoying Zodiac cruises and shore landings in search of seals and penguins. Marvel at immense glaciers, snow-capped peaks and floating icebergs and uncover the history of Antarctic exploration with your expedition team.

Blue Planet Live

A film crew from the BBC will also be joining this voyage, gathering footage of the whale study for inclusion in the forthcoming production of Blue Planet Live.

Ship:  Island Sky
Departs:  02 March 2019
Duration: 14 days

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antarctica bransfield strait humpback tail istk

Assist with Scientific Fieldwork on board the Akademik Sergey Vavilov or RCGS Resolute

Operating in March 2019 and 2020, these special interest Classic Antarctica itineraries will visit several known feeding grounds along the Antarctic Peninsula. These areas are the focus of long-term research projects by esteemed academic institutions including the Australian Antarctic Division’s Marine Mammal Centre, the University of California, and the California Ocean Alliance.

Scientific Research led by Experts

Several world-renowned cetacean experts will be on board the ship, offering the chance to observe their scientific fieldwork in close proximity. They will share unique underwater footage and scientific data and interpret the behaviour, migration characteristics and feeding patterns of adult whales and their calves.

You will also enjoy all the highlights of a regular Classic Antarctica voyage, with the chance to encounter penguins, seals and countless pelagic bird species against the spectacular backdrop of the Antarctic Peninsula. Daily shore landings or Zodiac cruises will open up a wealth of unforgettable Antarctic experiences.

Ship: Akademik Sergey Vavilov
Departs:  03 & 23 March 2019; 05 March 2020
Duration: 11 days

Ship: RCGS Resolute
Departs:  18 March 2020
Duration: 11 days

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