Emperor Penguin Voyage in the Weddell Sea

 

Overview

Location: Antarctica
Destination: Antarctic Peninsula Cruises
Starting at: $11,300

 

Description

Snow Island in Antarctica is the most accessible place on Earth to see emperor penguins in the wild. Using onboard helicopters, this cruise endeavors to give participants just such an opportunity.

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Ship

Ortelius Ortelius
Expedition Ships
Capacity: 106

Cabin description & deck plan

 
 
 

Rates & Dates Prices are per person and shown in USD.

QUADRUPLETRIPLETWIN PortholeTWIN WindowTWIN DeluxeTWIN Superior
Nov 25, 2014 - Dec 5, 2014$11,300
 
$12,500
 
$13,250
 
$13,550
 
$14,250
 
$15,700
 
Dec 5, 2014 - Dec 15, 2014$11,300
 
$12,500
 
$13,250
 
$13,550
 
$14,250
 
$15,700
 
 

Itinerary

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.

Day 1

In the afternoon, we embark in 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.

Days 2–3

During these two days we will 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 meet 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.

Day 4

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.

Days 5–6

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 favourable, 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.

Day 7

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.

Day 8

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.

Days 9–10

In the Drake Passage we have again a chance of seeing many seabirds and to take advantage of the knowledge of our lecture team.

Day 11

We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.

Included

  • Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • Ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (with no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed)
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation)
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
  • Ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (with no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed).
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material

Highlights

  • An extraorinary opportunity to see the largest species of penguin—the regal emperor penguin—in its natural habitat
  • Cruise the seldom-visited Weddell Sea on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula
  • See several other penguins species including chinstrap and Gentoo as well as a variety of seals, whales and seabirds
  • Travel with expert naturalist guides who help you interpret the wildilfe and natural history of all we see

 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of expedition cruising, itineraries are subject to change due to weather, ice conditions, natural and cultural events, wildlife viewing opportunities and other logistical considerations. In general, a ship's crew will endeavor to complete the itinerary provided, but the ultimate decision lies with the ship's captain and expedition leaders.

 
 
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