Antarctica in Photos: Icebergs, Glaciers and Penguins

Posted on December 3, 2012 by

Ice in various shapes and shades of blue sparkle and shimmer under the midnight sun. A few crabeater seals and Gentoo penguins squawk and wiggle on the ice floes nearby, surrounded by water so crystal clear the reflection of the sun’s rays is almost blinding. It’s fiercely quiet; all we can hear are the crackling of the glaciers in the far distance and the snap and pop of the melting ice around us.

This is Antarctica. It’s harsh, remote, and truly far beyond. One can really get a sense of being at the edge of the world here – there’s hardly any sign of humanity, and we only saw one other ship during our 11-day expedition. Antarctica makes you feel like you’re the first person ever to have arrived, even on a ship with 120 other passengers. Aboard the G Adventures MS Expedition, we are voyeurs – taking a peek into a different world, one that belongs to Mother Earth.

Each day of our Antarctic expedition was better than the previous: from sailing into a playground of icebergs and glaciers at the start of the voyage, to watching Antarctica light up in bright vermilion at midnight the next, and cruising alongside playful whales towards the end of the trip. Through our cabin windows, I awoke to mammoth icebergs and jagged sharp peaks surrounding us.

As I piece together the memories from this trip, here are some of my favorite shots from the Antarctic Peninsula (click for more). Over the next few weeks, I’ll be recounting my trip here each step of the way, from the start to the end.

Our first landing on Dangor Island

Our first landing on Danco Island and we were surrounded by rookeries of Gentoo penguins.

An enormous iceberg with arcs and curves

On our way back to the Drake Passage, we came across these massive icebergs that were bigger than our ship. This one in particular had beautiful arches and curves.

Cruising in Lemaire Channel

Cruising into Lemaire Channel aboard the MS Expedition

One of the glaciers that fall off the edge of the Antarctic continent

 A close up on one of the glaciers that spill out from the Antarctic continent

An iceberg in turquoise water

The water is so clear that you can see the extension of the iceberg deep into the water

Kayakers paddling through ice

Kayakers paddling through ice at Paradise Bay

Wedding photo

This couple from Hongkong are on their honeymoon and had the brilliant idea of bringing their wedding suits along for an impromptu photo shoot.

Crabeater seals

The silky fur of the crabeater seal shimmers under the bright sunlight

Zodiac right next to the Weddell Seal

Look how close we got to the crabeater seal on our zodiac – the seal could barely be bothered by us and continued snoozing


This elephant seal on King George Island belched and burped over a dozen times as I watched it in awe

Minke whale at Paradise Bay

Several minke whales playfully swam alongside our zodiac at Paradise Bay

A gentoo couple in love

Holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes, this pair of Gentoo penguins look like they’re in love

A chinstrap penguin

 A chinstrap penguin waddles along the beach at Turret Point on King George Island.

The Penguin Highway

At the penguin highway, watching the gentoos busy at work.

Spectacular sunset off Dangor Island

 Antarctica on fire as the sun washed everything in vermilion that evening at Port Lockroy

Midnight at Lemaire Channel

Midnight at Peltier Channel – both the sun and moon made an appearance that night.

Disclaimer: I traveled with G Adventures on the Antarctica Classic In Depth (XVAESX) trip as a part of the Wanderers In Residence program, but all opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Follow my journey on this blog, or on Twitter with the #WJAntarctica hashtag. 

About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

24 Responses to “Antarctica in Photos: Icebergs, Glaciers and Penguins”

  1. Kellie Netherwood December 3, 2012 4:40 pm #

    These images are stunning! I am heading to Antarctica in a few weeks, so seeing these are making me even more excited than I already was!

  2. Amanda December 3, 2012 7:48 pm #

    Wow wow wow!! Such stunning photos, especially those first two! I literally have goosebumps looking at these. Antarctica is SO on my bucket list!

  3. Delhi Information December 4, 2012 2:23 am #

    The photography looks stunning. All the pictures looks wonderful. It seems that the pictures are taken by the professional photographer. Antarctica is most amazing and rare place on the earth. I have a dream to visit Antarctica, let's see when my dream become true!

    • Nellie December 5, 2012 5:46 am #

      Thanks for the very kind words. I am far from being a professional photographer, but really glad that you enjoy my shots. It is hard to get a bad photo with all that sunlight and beautiful landscapes in Antarctica. Hope you get there soon!

  4. Shivya December 4, 2012 4:40 am #

    Stunning shots, Nellie! Hope to make it there someday!

  5. Encarna Jurado December 4, 2012 9:04 am #

    Nellie ¡Que fantástico viaje! y ¡Que bonitas fotos!

  6. Dean December 5, 2012 1:56 am #

    Love the penguin shots! This must have been an incredible experience.

  7. crazysexyfuntraveler December 14, 2012 12:31 pm #

    All the photos are stunning and those animals are super cute :)

  8. Migration Expert January 4, 2013 12:27 am #

    The seal and penguins are very cute!

  9. Ian Ord January 17, 2013 10:56 pm #

    What time of year did you go?? The weather is phenomenal! I went in Feb and it was overcast for almost the entire trip, making for some pretty washed out photos! (I suppose that's what Antarctica is like most of the year though, right?)

    • Nellie January 18, 2013 6:18 am #

      I went in November and yes the weather was spectacular! We had sunshine almost everyday and it was just perfect for photography. I even came back with a tan! It was so hot on one of the islands that I had to peel off my jacket. I was very lucky indeed!

  10. Sam March 15, 2013 5:25 pm #

    Wow, Antartica looks stunning. What was the general consensus regarding climate change and global warming amongst the group?

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  14. Rafting Wales March 27, 2013 8:52 am #

    What stunning images, it looks as though you had an amazing trip. Its always something that I've looked into doing.

  15. maximuz04 April 7, 2013 12:32 pm #

    This is #1 on my bucket list. The expense has always kept me away. Is it true its at least 5,000 USD?
    Nevertheless, pretty awesome. I have to ask, the people who have their wedding clothes on, is that a pool of blood they are standing on?

  16. ausglobetrotter February 27, 2014 11:02 pm #

    Oh I am truly jealous, I can't wait to hit this continent this year. Looks like you really loved it, I can't see why anyone can't

  17. Spa in Pune May 12, 2016 6:43 am #

    Aww i just love these pictures of penguines.


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