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Photo Dispatch: Antarctica Among the Penguins

Explore the icy wilds of Antarctica and meet its cutest residents in the second photo dispatch from Crystal Endeavor which just returned from its inaugural 11-night expedition to Antarctica, ushering in a new level of luxury in remote polar exploration.

This spectacular collection of photos was taken by Renato Granieri – Travel & Wildlife Photographer and one of the talented members of the Expedition Team – which also included noted marine biologists, ornithologists, geologists, and more – leading guests on up-close adventures in Antarctica.

Photo Credit: Renato Granieri

Crystal Endeavor guests arrive at Cuverville Island, one of Antarctica’s Important Birding Areas (IBA) known for breeding colonies of gentoo penguins and nesting sites for southern giant petrels and “blue-eyed” cormorants.

Photo Credit: Renato Granieri

A curious gentoo penguin surveys the new arrivals on Cuverville Island. Penguins are not generally fearful of humans and so it is not uncommon for a curious penguin to waddle over for a closer look.

Photo Credit: Renato Granieri

A “blue-eyed” cormorant, also known as an Antarctic shag or imperial shag, surveys the scene from above. The only cormorant species to inhabit Antarctica, these colorful, graceful creatures feature striking black and white coloring, bright blue skin around their eyes, yellow carbuncles, and bright pink feet.

Photo Credit: Renato Granieri

Like most penguin species, gentoo penguins are known to be fairly awkward on land but fiercely fast in the water. However, this feathered fellow has no trouble putting his best foot forward!

Photo Credit: Renato Granieri

Guano happens! As penguins gather in a waddle (yes, a group of penguins is a waddle!) and penguin guano naturally starts to accumulate, the darker color absorbs the sun’s rays faster than the surrounding snow. All this guano indeed has a purpose, accelerating snowmelt and exposing the rocky terrain below that penguins need for building their nests.

Photo Credit: Renato Granieri

A pebble and a plan. During courtship, male penguins carefully seek out the smoothest pebble they can find and present it to their prospective mate. If she accepts the pebble their courtship begins and together the new couple collect more pebbles to build their nest.

Photo Credit: Renato Granieri

Birds of a feather nestle together in this close-up image of a breeding pair. Gentoo penguins are monogamous creatures and learn to identify their partner’s voice or “call” during courtship.

Photo Credit: Renato Granieri

Two penguins set off across the snow on a sunny day on Cuverville Island. Winter in the Northern Hemisphere is austral summer in Antarctica – the perfect time for an expedition voyage to the White Continent.

Photo Credit: Renato Granieri

The still waters of Paradise Bay reflect the snow-covered mountain majesty of the Antarctic Peninsula. The harbor is known for its reflective waters and an atmosphere of peaceful, almost otherworldly serenity.

Photo Credit: Renato Granieri

We don’t know what this penguin is thinking, but we’d like to imagine he’s stopped in the snow to admire the glittering view around him on another spectacular day in Antarctica.

Photo Credit: Renato Granieri

Crystal Endeavor’s luxurious season of Expedition Voyages in Antarctica continues with departures through February 15, 2022, featuring free charter air and luxury pre- and post-cruise hotel stays, as well as a $1,000 shipboard credit per person!

Up-close encounters with penguins and seals, sea kayaking, Zodiac landings, and the chance to venture beneath the surface in a submersible, pair with Crystal’s award-winning hallmarks including Michelin-level cuisine, plush, well-appointed suites, diversions including the Crystal Life Spa & Fitness Center and the only casino aboard an expedition ship and, of course, the unmatched personalized service that has made Crystal the World’s Best.

There’s never been a better time to live your dreams of Antarctica!  

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PHOTO DISPATCH: EXPEDITION ANTARCTICA

Posted on November 23, 2021

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