Northern Arctic Ocean 
The Arctic Ocean, is the northernmost of the world's five oceans. It is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean and extends around the North Pole, surrounded by the coastal countries of Russia, Norway, Canada, Denmark (due to Greenland) and the United States (Alaska).

This body of water is of crucial importance for understanding climate change and has a unique ecology and geopolitical significance. The Arctic Ocean is known for its extensive pack ice, which covers almost the entire sea in winter and melts and partially disappears in summer. This sea ice is an important indicator of climate change, as it has declined drastically in recent decades due to rising temperatures and the increased greenhouse effect.

Numerous animal species live in the region, including polar bears, seals, whales and many species of fish. During your sailing trip on the Antigua, you will enjoy unforgettable experiences provided by Mother Nature. One of these beauties is undoubtedly the discovery of the impressive whales that live in the Arctic waters. From the famous orcas to the humpback whale, they all swim under the keel of the Antigua.

Killer whale

Killer whales are easily recognised by their unmistakable colour and distinctive dorsal fin. These gallant mammals have black and white markings.

In terms of size, the males beat the females. The male orca's triangular dorsal fin is also higher than that of a female. The length of a male orca is up to 9 metres and weighs up to 5,500 kg. A female orca is up to 7.7 metres long and weighs up to 3,800 kg. Orca calves are around 2 to 3 metres long and weigh up to 200 kg at birth. In terms of appearance, the calves are the same as their parents, although some colours are less bright than those of their parents.

Sperm whale

The sperm whale is the largest toothed whale in the whale family. Males of this whale species can reach a length of up to around 17 metres, while females grow up to around 12 metres long.

Sperm whales are dark grey in colour and have a bump on their back instead of a flipper. The skin of the sperm whale is wrinkled to maximise the thermoregulation of these animals. The square-looking head of the sperm whale covers about a third of the entire body length. The well-known s-shaped blowhole of these mammals is the front part of the head. The teeth of the sperm whale contain about forty to fifty teeth, which are only present in the lower jaw.

Humpback whale

Humpback whales are predominantly grey, with a white colouring on the bottom of their fins, flippers and belly. The flippers are very characteristic of humpback whales because they are extremely long. The total length of the humpback whale is up to 15 metres.

Humpback whales are very active animals, they often slap the surface of the water with their flippers. They also blow more frequently than related whale species. Humpback whales often gather in large groups and are known for their vocalisations.

Males produce a long series of sounds that are easily audible during the breeding season in winter. The males repeat their songs many times in succession, creating a beautiful concert. Humpback whales form a musical family with their conspecifics, who also exchange songs with each other. When a song changes, all whales up to 5000 kilometres away sing the same song! Researchers are not yet sure why humpback whales sing. The most obvious theory is that male whales attract the females or demarcate their territory.

Blue whale

The blue whale has a striking and slender body, especially compared to other members of the whale family. The head is flat and has a U-shape.
At the front of the blowholes is a spherical keel that extends to the front of the snout. This spherical shape serves as a kind of splash guard to prevent water from the sea from running into the blowholes of this impressive mammal.

Male blue whales are on average around 25 metres long, females often reach a length of up to 27 metres. Blue whale calves are born with a length of around 5 metres and a weight of 900 to 1000 kilos. Blue whales can reach a swimming speed of around 50 kilometres per hour during a sprint. When they cover longer distances, these mammals swim at around 20 kilometres per hour. Normally, these whales swim at a depth of around 13 metres. If they undertake a longer dive, they can dive as deep as 506 metres.

In contrast to the humpback whale, blue whales often live alone or with a mate. It is not clear how long these pairs stay together before continuing their journey alone. In small, nutrient-rich areas, whole groups of blue whales are occasionally sighted, but they never stay together for long in this formation.
Curious about our trips in the Northern Arctic Ocean? Please take a look at our travel program.
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