Travel ▻ Polar ▻ Antarctica11-Day Emperor Penguin Voyage in the Weddell Sea
11-Day Emperor Penguin Voyage in the Weddell Sea

11-Day Emperor Penguin Voyage in the Weddell Sea

11 days

11-Day Emperor Penguin Voyage in the Weddell Sea
from $11350 USD

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An Emperor Penguin rookery is situated south of Snow Hill Island. The captain of the vessel will do his utmost to position the vessel close enough to Snow Hill Island in order to enable us to offer ship-to-shore helicopter transfers to approx. 45 minutes walking distance from the Emperor Penguin Rookeries. If we succeed, this will be a fascinating and a once-in-a lifetime experience. During this voyage we will reserve three days to visit the Emperor Rookeries by helicopters. If we succeed the first two days, we may decide to offer an alternative landing in the Weddell Sea on the third day, such as Paulet Island where we can visit a fantastic Adelie penguin colony with approximately 1 million breeding pairs.

2018-2019 Departures

  • November 18-28, 2018 (Ortelius)
  • November 14-24, 2019 (Ortelius)

*** NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

Full Itinerary expand all collapse all

Day 1: Embark from Ushuaia

This afternoon, make your way to the port and board the ship. We embark from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening. *** Please note that we strongly recommend you fly into Ushuaia the day before your expedition and overnight. There are a number of 3-star and higher properties to choose from.

Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: M/V Ortelius

Day 2: Sailing the Drake's Passage / At Sea

During the next two days, we sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area we may see Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black- browed Albatrosses, Light- mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson's Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: M/V Ortelius

Day 3: Sailing the Drake's Passage / At Sea

Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs. The chances are good that we see the South Shetland Islands in the evening of day 3 steering past Nelson Island through Nelson Strait in order to reach King George Island. The South Shetland Islands are windswept and often hide in the fog. There are a wide variety of flora to see (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna (Gentoo Penguins, Chinstrap penguins, and giant petrels) to admire.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: M/V Ortelius

Day 4: Enter Weddell Sea if accessible

A typical itinerary in the Weddell Sea could be as follows. This is a sample only, the final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. We will sail into the Weddell Sea and if the Antarctic Sound is accessible and the ice does not prevent us to sail further, we might see the huge tabular icebergs that announce our arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. We plan to offer an Antarctic Continent landing at Brown Bluff.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: M/V Ortelius

Day 5: Weddell Sea - Helicopters to Emperor Penguins

The use of helicopters has a great advantage and can support us in our goal to reach the Emperor penguin colony, but the itinerary is ruled by the forces of nature, ice and weather conditions. If the conditions are favorable, we intend to spend the first two days in the Emperor Penguin rookery. The helicopter operation will take a full day and the flight duration takes approximately 15 minutes. The helicopter can accommodate 6 passengers per helicopter flight. The landing point of the helicopters will be carefully chosen and we will make sure that the Emperors are not disturbed or stressed by helicopter noise. Therefore, after arrival, the passengers continue their expedition on foot. After a walk of approx. 45 minutes, passengers will experience one of the greatest moments in their life, a rendezvous with the magnificent Emperor Penguins. Keep in mind that we are in the world's most remote area and there are no guarantees, including a specific amount of helicopter time. Conditions may change rapidly, having its impact on the helicopter operation and passengers should understand and accept this. Safety is our greatest concern and no compromises can be made.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: M/V Ortelius

Day 6: Weddell Sea - Helicopters to Emperor Penguins

A second day of visiting the Emperor Penguins.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: M/V Ortelius

Day 7: Weddell Sea - Devil Island, Vega Island, or Hope Bay

If conditions were favourable on both day 5 and 6 and we have successfully visited the Emperor Penguins, we may decide to visit Devil Island, Vega Island or Hope Bay. If we have not reached the Emperor Penguin colony on one or two of the previous days, we will try again offering ship-to-shore helicopter flights to Snow Hill Island.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: M/V Ortelius

Day 8: Explore Antarctica

In the morning we plan to visit Half Moon Island where we can see Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins, various other bird-species and Southern Elephant Seals and Weddell seals. Early in the afternoon we will sail to Deception where we have the last landing of our voyage at Pendulum cove.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: M/V Ortelius

Day 9: Sailing the Drake's Passage / At Sea

On our way north, we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: M/V Ortelius

Day 10: Sailing the Drake's Passage / At Sea

At Sea.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: M/V Ortelius

Day 11: Disembark in Ushuaia

We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.

Meals included: Breakfast

Pricing

11-Day Emperor Penguin Voyage in the Weddell Sea
from $11350 USD

NOTE: Prices are per person in U.S. dollars based on double/triple occupancy. All quotations are based on the current rates of park fees, VAT, other government taxes, and current exchange rates. Should any of these be increased or a new tax introduced, these increases will be added on even if your trip has already been paid for.

INCLUDES:
  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary
  • Voyage aboard an ice-hardened expedition vessel
  • Free use of rubber boots and snow shoes
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the ship to the Ushuaia airport (directly after disembarkation)
  • Helicopter excursions (scenic flights plus trips to the penguins as conditions allow)
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac 
  • Lecture program by noted naturalists and experienced staff
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges during the program
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material
EXCLUDES:
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Optional tours
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)

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