Diving with Leopard Seals in Antarctica

Nature is cruel.

It’s a lesson I’ve had to explain to my young daughters when we came across a dying lion cub while on safari in South Africa.

But nowhere is this more evident than Antarctica in mid-February and March. Buoyed by the sunny and (relatively) warm summer days, young penguins venture into the water to test out their swimming skills.

All this action is bound to attract attention. And when that attention is from a number of 1000 lb. leopard seals, the ending isn’t pretty.

WARNING – If you’re squeamish, you should stop reading here.

Note: These photos are real and have not been photoshopped. They were taken on a previous Antarctic expedition by a professional photographer.

A curious leopard seal.

Our small ship cruise in the Antarctic to view orcas.
Colony of Emperor Penguins.

A leopard seal snagging a penguin.

Leopard seals: friend or foe?

Leopard seals have a reputation for being aggressive, yet those that have been in the water with them describe them as gentle, curious creatures.

Unless you’re a penguin. Leopard seals are ferocious hunters and lie in wait for the penguins. Their attack is merciless and the predators have been known to shake the penguins back and forth so vigorously that they seemingly turn the chicks inside out.

Do you want to watch it happen?

We have special access to a 26-day trip in February 2016 aboard a 74-foot live-aboard expedition vessel. You’ll spend time viewing the hunt underwater as well as walking among a penguin colony on the ice. You’ll also follow a resident orca pod while they chase down their prey.

But this trip is not for the faint of heart. Even in Antarctica’s summer, the water is bitterly cold. Above the water, it’s even colder.

Trust me. It’s not the weather that’ll give you the chills. You’ll come face-to-face with Mother Nature’s cruelty with a front row seat to the carnage.

Leopard seal hanging on to an Emperor Penguin in the Antarctic.

Leopard Seal Biting Camera
Diving with Leopard Seals.

A tasty Emperor Penguin.

Photos © Amos Nachoum

Mother Nature isn’t always pretty.

I realize this type of trip may sicken some people. Watching baby penguins get swallowed up by large predators may not be your idea of a vacation. But for those that can accept nature in its most cruel form, this is a trip you’ll never forget.

How much does this 26-day trip to Antarctica cost?

Of course, the biggest question on your mind is, “How much does a trip like this cost?” Maybe you’re just curious or maybe you want to take the trip yourself! Either way, click on the link below to find out.

How much does it cost?

What do you think? Would you take this trip? Or are you disgusted by it? Let me know in the comments below!