Cuverville Island, Antarctica


Cuverville Island is an island off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. It lies at the entrance of the Errera Channel and is surrounded by the mountains and glaciers of the Antarctic mainland. The island is dominated by a steep-sided dome, two-thirds of which is covered by permanent ice. The northern shore has a shingle beach backed by steep vegetation-covered cliffs. It is home to a large population of gentoo penguins and is a designated Important Bird Area. The island is also home to rare Antarctic flora such as Antarctic hairgrass and pearlwort, and is often used as a haul-out point for weddel and fur seals.

Average rating: 5.0 (very good)

Average cost: getting to this remote and spectacular island is not easy and it is not cheap. The only way to visit is through organised cruises which are likely to start at a minimum of around $12,000.

Best time to visit: the best time to visit Antarctica is from October to March. For the rest of the year, it is pretty much inaccessible for all but the most intrepid of explorers. December and January are usually the prime penguin viewing months.

How to get there: there are no scheduled passenger flights or ferries to or from Cuverville Island. Most visits are arranged through cruise liners which typically leave from the southern Patagonian port of Ushuaia and stop off at a number of key spots in the Antarctic region. For more information on arranging a trip to the Antarctic check out this resource.

Typical activities: bird watching, boat trip

Number of reports: 1

Last update: 2022

WILDLIFE IN Cuverville Island

According to reports submitted to WildSide, the most popular species that can be seen here are:

Gentoo Penguin – 100% OF wildside users (1/1) REPORTED SIGHTINGS

wildlife sightings south georgia wildside world wild webThe main draw to Cuverville Island is the large population of gentoo penguins. Around 6,500 breeding pairs of gentoos call Cuverville home, making it the largest rookery on the Antarctic Peninsula. You can tell them apart from other penguins by the white stripes running from eye to eye across the tops of their heads. You can’t miss them on a trip to the Island as they cover most of the available space. Look out for meals stealing stones from nearby nests and using them to court favours from the females! You can also check out a short video of the gentoos of Cuverville here.

Photo Credit: Robin Capper under a Creative Commons licence from Flickr

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