During the ANT XXIII/8 cruise (November 26th 2006 to January 29th 2007) the German research vessel ‘Polarstern’ surveyed Antarctic waters from the eastern Weddell Sea to the South Shetland Islands. Helicopters on board were used to conduct dedicated surveys for cetaceans and in part pinnipeds. Helicopter surveys followed line transect distance sampling protocol flying ‘ad hoc’ survey patterns as ... well as pre-designed tracklines covering in total about 9000km of on effort tracklines. Environmental information was collected continuously during the surveys and included parameters such as cloud cover, sea state, glare on water and percent ice coverage. Cetacean species identified during both aerial and shipboard effort included Humpback whales, fin whales, sei whales, Antarctic minke whales, Arnoux’s Beaked Whales, Strap-toothed Whales, Gray’s Beaked whales, Southern Bottlenose Whales and Killer Whales.