Top 5 Wildlife Expeditions

November 26, 2015

 

When you join us for the trip of a lifetime, there are some things you can count on:

  • You will have a spectacular adventure.
  • You will travel in safety and comfort.
  • You will see the most spectacular scenery in some of the most remote places on Earth. And you will without question see wildlife, some of it so rare you won’t see it anywhere else!

Check out these 5 top expeditions for wildlife:

1. Galapagos Expedition: Darwin’s Playground, Far West

Located at the confluence of three ocean currents, the Galapagos Islands have been described as a ‘living museum and showcase of evolution’. Comprised of 19 volcanic islands, the extreme isolation of the Galapagos has led to the development of unique animal life, 20% of which can only be found here.

Photo credit: Ecuador Ministry of Tourism
Photo credit: Ecuador Ministry of Tourism 

One of the most interesting species is the endangered blue-footed booby, one of the most popular inhabitants of the islands. Another iconic resident of the islands is the giant Galapagos tortoise, which can live 100 years. 

Another is the Galapagos sea lion, the largest mammal in physical size and sheer number (more than 50,000) on the islands. On the smaller end of the scale, there are three species of Galapagos land iguana.

 

2. Intimate Falklands: Bespoke Expedition 

Nature and wildlife are what bring most people to the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), an archipelago in the South Atlantic which consists of two main islands and more than 750 smaller ones. This is the place for birders and photographers; colonies of king, rockhopper, gentoo and Magellanic penguins can be found throughout the Falklands.  

Magellanic penguins at Carcass Island
Magellanic penguins at Carcass Island

Carcass Island (named after a vessel of the same name) has no natural predators, allowing the songbird population to flourish. There are also penguin colonies and black-crowned night herons. West Point Island has been identified as an important bird area for the many significant species in the area, and is a potential landing site.

3. South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula: Penguin Safari

During the summertime, there isn’t a beach in South Georgia that isn’t teeming with wildlife. King penguins, elephant and fur seals return from the sea for the mating season, and the air fills with the sounds of socialization.    

Photo Credit: Glen Crombie
Photo Credit: Glen Crombie

With a long and interesting history, South Georgia is often referred to as the Galapagos of the Poles. Outside of the penguins and seals, this area is rich with skua, South Georgia pintail, sheathbill and the giant petrel. 

4. Galapagos and Antarctica: Equator to Pole 

Snorkel with sea lions, marine iguanas and seas turtles while visiting the Galapagos Islands, one of the most iconic wildlife areas of the world. You’ll have a chance to hike volcanic islands, see the giant Galapagos tortoise in its natural habitat and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about the area’s conservation efforts. 

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From the Galapagos, you’ll cross the famous Drake Passage to explore the Antarctic Peninsula. On your way, on-board experts may tell you about Antarctic krill, a tiny but essential part of the ecosystem. Krill is food for hundreds of polar animals including whales, seals, penguins, squid and fish. You’ll almost certainly catch sight of an albatross, which at 12 feet has the largest wingspan of any bird.

5. Spitsbergen Circumnavigation: Big Island, Big Adventure 

If there’s such a thing as a classic arctic expedition, this is it. Spitsbergen is the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago, and also one of the best destinations for viewing polar bears, the world’s largest carnivore. While on your Spitsbergen cruise, you may also see whales, and reindeer, arctic fox and seabirds, whether hiking or on snowshoes.

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Contact an experienced Polar Travel Adviser today to learn more about the best expeditions for wildlife on land and sea.

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