One of the big selling points of a South American cruise is, of course, penguins. Penguin related shore excursions are a big seller, as is an assortment of penguin related stuff – t-shirts, stuffed animals, hats, you name it.
Our first opportunity to see penguins came when we stopped in Punta Arenas, which is located in Southern Chile on the Straits of Magellan. Our tour was to take us to Magdalena Island, which has a protected colony of Magellanic penguins. We were met at the pier and loaded into buses for a two minute trip to another pier, where the local inter-island ferry awaited us. We were handed pack lunches and then we walked aboard, settling ourselves in a vey comfortable lounge for the 1.5 hour ride to the island.
In this picture the ferry has just docked at Magdalana Island and everyone is standing on the car deck waiting to unload. We had a great day weather wise – no rain, light wind, very comfortable. But here’s what we’re here to see:
Penguins on the beach.
Penguins on the path.
Penguins in a burrow.
Penguins on a rock.
And lovey dovey penguin families with chicks – awww! So cute!
After an hour walking on the island, watching the penguins do penguin business we got back on our ferry and headed off – even if it looked like some of the penguins were thinking of hitching a ride: