You know that I love the outdoors and adventure. I’ve done my fair share of whale watching experiences whether in Alaska or Hawaii, but I’ve never traveled as far as to Antarctica. However, it is certainly on my wanderlust list. If you have never thought of taking the plunge and adventuring to Antarctica, let me peer travel writer, Katerina, share the best of whale watching in Antarctica.
Here goes…Take it away Katerina!
Fantastic Whale Watching in Antarctica: What, Where, and When
Antarctica… No place on Earth can compare to this vast, surreal white wilderness of four elemental forces: ice, snow, water, and rock. It is simply stunning yet definitely cold. However, when your ship approaches this unique continent, and you first catch sight of its mountain ranges and enormous ice shelves, you will find yourself at a loss for words. The time stopped here a long time ago, so forget about calendars and clocks! Once you are in Antarctica, expect experiences unlike any other, whether spying a penguin rookery, kayaking the glass-like waters, climbing Antarctic peaks, or certainly fantastic whale watching across the open sea. Just imagine a slight disturbance in the icy water followed by a ripple, then a loud splash… What do you see? A huge, dark mass is peacefully swimming next to your ship… It’s not just exciting – it’s hypnotic!
Be ready for the spectacle that won’t leave you indifferent!
So what whales can you expect to see in Antarctic waters? In fact, there are eight species of whales found in cool Antarctica: Blue, Humpback, Orca (Killer), Sei, Minke, Fin, Sperm, and the Southern Right. The most impressive is definitely the Blue Whale reaching a weight of well over 100 tons and a length of over 100 feet. Unfortunately, it is rare and chances you will see one are extremely unlikely. Nevertheless, there is still a plenty of whale watching opportunities, especially when it comes to Orcas and Humpback Whales that usually travel in pods. Now, imagine spotting a fabulous range of whales in just several hours! Nothing compares to that explosive moment when a whale breaks the surface in a spiralling breach jumping out of the water in a cloud of spray and then falls back into the sea – fantastic whale watching at its best!
Discover Wilhelmina Bay!
Once you know what to find, let’s figure out where to find! There is a wonderful 24-kilometre wide bay on the Antarctic Peninsula between Cape Anna and the Reclus Peninsula known as Wilhelmina Bay. However, being the best place for watching whales feasting on krill, it is also called “Whale-amina Bay.” While you are here, you have a chance to see Orcas, Humpback, and Minke, as well as any other Antarctic whales if you are the lucky one, of course. What’s more, Wilhelmina Bay with its diamond-shaped peak visible over the water and impressive steep cliffs is truly an eye-catching spot for photography!
When to visit Antarctica for the best whale sightings?
Poseidon Expeditions recommends a period from mid-February to mid-March as the best time for viewing active whales. That is rightly so, as the mid-to-late Antarctic season is truly the ideal time to visit the seventh continent if you are interested in amazing whale watching expeditions.
Let us just add that it is not just whales you can see on your unforgettable Antarctic adventure! Commerson’s, Peale’s, and Hourglass dolphins, porpoises, seals, penguins, and numerous bird species inhabit Antarctica and its offshore islands and waters. Be sure, the White Continent is worth seeing at least once in a lifetime!
*Collaborative post provided by Katerina Crowder.