The Cuteness of Antarctic Penguins

I spent some time in Antarctica earlier this year and next to photographing landscapes, I couldn’t help but document the cute penguins. I quickly got addicted to photographing them as they’re just so nice to watch — the funny movements they make, the cute interactions they make with their little chicks, and even their funny way of walking.

A Gentoo penguin chick in front of a dark backdrop peak. Most scenery in Antarctica is icy and white, but some parts have these black (volcanic) sand and rugged peaks.
Seeing penguins walk is something you can observe for hours. They’re just too funny.

I could sit there and just watch them for hours. Being on the islands of Antarctica with the penguins and other wildlife like the seals and especially the whales was just magical. The whole experience of being there was something unreal.

We went there during a time when there were many penguin chicks so I was able to photograph a lot of penguins with their chicks. Cuteness overload.

Magdalena penguin and her chick.
When we were going around with zodiacs, there were always penguins jumping out of the water. It’s not easy to capture them because they’re very fast. Penguins can’t fly, but if you see this photo you might think they can.
A gentoo penguin feeding her two chicks.
Adelie penguin chicks are just so fluffy.
Gentoo penguin mom watching her two little chicks playing and catching snow flakes from the sky.
Portrait of an Adelie penguin chick.
Chinstrap penguin group that looks like a gang.
Adelie penguin posing.
Can you spot the different one?
Jumping penguins in front of a giant piece of ice
Adele penguins annoying each other’s nests.
Gentoo penguin in front of the giant peaks of Antarctica
Adelia penguins with a huge piece of ice in the backdrop.
Gentoo penguin feeding her baby chick
Adelie penguin with her chick. The chick is already almost bigger than his mom.
A funny ritual when a group of adelie penguins run into the water one after another.
A portrait of a Magdalena penguin. Magdalena penguins can already be found on the Magdalena island close to Punta Arenas in Chile.
Penguin highways are a thing. Penguins use certain paths to go to the water and back. They walk behind each other and follow the leader!
A Gentoo penguin having fun in the snow.
Magdalena penguin posing. Notice all the white bokeh dots in the background. These are all other penguins.
Chinstrap penguin posing in front of a glacier.
Chinstrap penguin walking up rocks during this moody afternoon
Magdalena penguin chick portrait.
Two magdalena penguins having the talk of the day.
Magdalena penguin calling.

One week after I returned home, the highest temperature ever (18.3°C/65°F) was recorded. When I was there, the temperature was rather normal for summer (around 0-5°C). I do hope climate change will have a limited effect on Antarctica and its wildlife and that our future generations can still go there in the future to see this magical side of our planet.

I feel so blessed that I managed to do this trip before COVID-19 and I hope to be able to do it again next year. This ship has also been in the news because it’s currently stuck at Uruguay because of quarantine and people onboard having the virus.


About the author: Albert Dros is an award-winning Dutch photographer. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. His work has been published by some of the world’s biggest media channels, including TIME, The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, and National Geographic. You can find more of his work on his website, or by following him on Facebook and Instagram.