If you headed due west from Macquarie Island and maintained your latitude at 54° south, you would be surrounded by ocean all the way to South Georgia (head due east, and you would have to skirt around Chile’s southernmost archipelago first). These two Sub-Antarctic islands, despite being on nearly opposite sides of the globe, share a number of incredible ecosystems that can be found almost nowhere else on Earth and are home to substantial populations of king penguins, southern elephant seals, and a wide array of other polar species. In Macquarie’s case, this includes the endemic royal penguin, the largest of the crested penguins and one of the most charismatic wildlife stars of the Antarctic region. National Geographic Orion’s landing on Macquarie today coincided with fantastic weather and gave us the opportunity to spend all day photographing, admiring, and, in some cases, sidestepping these amazing and inquisitive island locals as they roamed the beaches with the kings and the seals, stopping often to size up the strangely-colored Homo sapiens that were present. If spending hours amongst penguins on a Sub-Antarctic island is but a dream, there were at least a few of us who were perfectly happy staying asleep.