Crabeater Seal
Crabeater Seal

Crabeater Seal

This large seal has an amazing specialization that has allowed it to thrive

Our Expert Says… "It's very rare to see Crabeaters on the shore, they much prefer to socialize on ice floes. As adults age, they get paler in color. Some so much so that in the past they were mistaken for another species that was named the White Seal until it was understood that these were elderly crabeaters."

Many people are surprised to learn that the crabeater seal doesn’t actually eat crabs! In fact, it’s a specialist feeder on Antarctic krill. Its teeth act like sieves, and they are perfectly shaped for straining the small crustaceans out of the water so they can be swallowed down.

What you will see
Highlights
Our trips

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Crabeater Seal

Highlights where the Crabeater Seal can be seen

Whalers Bay

Whalers Bay is a small natural harbor on Deception Island, one of the South Shetland Islands. An active volcano, the crater forms a natural sheltered inlet that was historically used by sealers and then whalers from the 1820s. The geography makes it a perfect place for ships to shelter in rough weather, and Whaler’s Bay contains some of the most significant whaling artifacts and remains to be found in the whole of Antarctica. As your ship sails through the narrow “break” in the volcanic caldera known as Neptunes Bellows, the wide, circular beach of Whaler’s Bay is found to the right. The beach runs uninterrupted for one and a quarter miles and was used as a runway in the 1950s and 1960s when the site was the main hub of British Antarctic air movements. The hangar that was built in 1960 can be visited at the northern end of the beach where you can also see a roller that was used to maintain the runway. At the southern end of the beach are large, rusted oil tanks, and behind them are buildings from the period 1906 to 1931. There was a significant whaling industry here, with the sheltered and shallow beach making it an ideal place to land whale carcasses and process them. While you explore all this remarkable human history, please remember that you are standing on an active volcano! The instruments you may see around the beach in the Whalers Bay area are seismic monitors, and the island is monitored for activity 24 hours a day. The last eruption was in 1969, and this was responsible for some of the mudflows and damage to the buildings and metal tanks that you see here. The penguins don’t seem to be worried, though! Chinstraps and Gentoos can always be seen along the beach here, and it’s not unusual to encounter fur seals who have hauled out to rest and watch the humans. There are also plenty of Antarctic seabirds to see, including petrels, skuas, Antarctic terns, and kelp gulls.

Our trips to spot the Crabeater Seal

Price
Minimum Price

USD 4400

Maximum Price

USD 18000

Duration (days)
Minimum Days

5

Maximum Days

26

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