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Come and visit them at Polar Adventure!

  • SEA LIFE, Polar Adventure

Meet the coolest colony!

'Penguin Point’ is a magical opportunity to get to know our amazing Gentoo Penguins! Gentoos are the third largest species of Penguin in the world after the Emperor and Kings.

Gentoo Penguin Diving

Feel the chill

The Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) is the third largest species of penguin, with only the Emperor and King penguins being larger. They are the fastest species of penguin, capable of reaching speeds of 22mph underwater.


Winter is coming!

During the winter months, you will notice that the lights in our penguin habitat will be in low light or going into a sunset cycle of reds and that the penguins will be settling in for a night’s sleep. This is to ensure we closely match the conditions found in the Southern Hemisphere – where Gentoo penguins are found. The variation in light cycles and temperature is designed to encourage their natural seasonal behaviour including a yearly moult, nesting, and breeding. At this time of year, that means the sun sets earlier at Penguin Point. This practice is based on years of worldwide experience in maintaining the best possible conditions and to ensure that Gentoo penguins breed successfully.


Love is in the air

The Gentoo Penguin is monogamous, so two penguins will pair for a breeding season and share all the responsibilities of nest building, nest guarding, egg incubation and the rearing of offspring equally, and they are found to bow to each other to cement their pair-bond. It is not uncommon for penguins to mate for life, but on average a pair will stay together for around three breeding seasons before finding a new partner.

Penguins for Christmas

Penguins are playful!

They love to slide down icy patches on their bellies and take turns to dive into the ocean. Did you know their black and white pattern is a form of camouflage? It helps them blend in with the water and keep safe from predators.

Penguin Behaviours!

Penguins are extremely active and social creatures and display lots of different behaviours. Discover some of the natural behaviours you may spot of colony displaying on your next visit!

Penguins Moult 2020 2

Feathers off

The Gentoo’s go through a process called a "catastrophic moult". Once a year they lose all their feathers all in one go, and replace them with a brand new set. During this period, they may not eat for around 2 weeks. They eat lots of extra food and gain a lot of weight beforehand to make sure they have adequate energy reserves for this process.

Swimming penguins

Let's swim

Penguins are found almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere. They are ‘flightless’ birds but they can soar through the water like a torpedo to catch fish! They eat fish, squid and shrimp in the wild. The colour in the shrimp they eat is what makes their feet and beaks orange. They also They feed their chicks by regurgitating partially digested food straight into their mouths. YUCK!

800Px Falkland Islands Penguins 40

Penguins in danger

Over half of all penguin species are listed as endangered. Penguin populations are threatened by oil spills, bycatch, overfishing, habitat loss and climate change.

There are a number of threats to Gentoo penguins in particular - namely unsustainable fishing practices depleting their food sources and marine pollution (causing them to ingest plastics). 

To help our feathered friends, be sure to choose sustainable seafood and reduce single use plastic by switching to reusable products. 

gentoo penguins

Life in the cold

Gentoos in the wild live in one of the harshest landscapes on the planet, so this species is specially adapted to life in the cold. Their body is covered in an insulating layer of blubber and they eat lots of fish to maintain it. They also have a layer of woolly, insulating feathers covered by a second layer of smooth, waterproof feathers which helps to keep the warm in and the cold water out. Our penguin home has been specially designed to keep Gentoo Penguins cool and comfortable.

Penguin In Antartica


Gentoo penguins live on sub-Antarctic islands that are quite mountainous and surrounded by low lying pebble beaches. It is on these beaches that the penguins make their home - however due to climate change that is now under threat. As the ice caps melt and the sea levels rise, these pebble beaches become slowly but surely covered leaving the penguins with a smaller and smaller space to live. We can all do our bit to reduce the impact of climate change. Switch off electronics when they are not in use, turn off lights and use alternative transport options like a bike or train. 

Ticket information

  • Entry at your chosen 15-minute time slot
  • Discover species from around the world in 14 themed zones and interact with them at our public feeding, diving displays and touch pools

Ticket information

  • Arrive at any time on the day of your choice