Viking Expedition Team Discovers New Pinguin Colony In Antarctica

Viking has announced its expedition team supported the discovery of a new colony of chinstrap penguins not previously known to science on Diaz Rock, near Astrolabe Island, in Antarctica. The finding took place in January 2024 when Viking’s expedition vessel, the Viking Octantis, visited Astrolabe Island, a three-mile-long island, located in the Bransfield Strait of the Trinity Peninsula in Antarctica. Astrolabe Island is home to a colony of chinstrap penguins that had not been surveyed since 1987. During the visit, Viking’s scientific partner, Oceanites, the leading field research entity in Antarctic penguin monitoring, conducted a visual and thermal aerial survey. The fieldwork documented the first survey in nearly 40 years of the known chinstrap penguin colony of Astrolabe Island and in the process, discovered the additional colony on Diaz Rock. Additional details from the survey will be shared by Oceanites in a scientific paper.

The announcement is an example of Viking’s commitment that every expedition voyage on the Viking Octantis and her identical sister ship, the Viking Polaris, should provide opportunities for meaningful scientific discovery. The findings also come one year after Viking published its first scientific paper in Polar Research, the scientific journal of the Norwegian Polar Institute, following its expedition team’s encounters with rare giant phantom jellyfish in Antarctica.

“With our third season in Antarctica underway, we are pleased to have supported another significant scientific development that will allow for further understanding of the region,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “From the thoughtful design of our expedition vessels, each with a well-appointed Science Lab, to our partnerships with some of the world’s most prestigious institutions, our intention has always been to provide our guests and scientists with opportunities for meaningful discovery during each voyage. We look forward to supporting other critical research opportunities on future voyages.”

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