Ice can be devastating to living tissue – that’s why much of Antarctica’s marine life lives deep in the sea where the temperatures are slightly warmer. Intrepid travellers can brave the frigid waters in an insulated polar diving suit to appreciate the smaller marine creatures not visible from the surface. Antarctic fish might not be as colourful as their tropical brethren, but the invertebrates are just as bright and varied. Plus, there’s no doubt that diving in Antarctica earns you a certain cachet!
There are, however, plenty of other creatures you can see from the land or a boat, without having to take a polar plunge. Eight species of whale - blue, fin, minke, humpback, southern right, sperm, orca, and sei - swim in these waters and seeing them crashing through the waves is a highlight of any Antarctic cruise.
Around the Falkland Islands you might well be followed by pods of Commerson’s dolphin, and in certain areas there are Peale’s and hourglass dolphin, too. When you climb up to the 360 degree observation decks, sighting whales and dolphins is possible, even from quite a distance.