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.
ANTARCTICA – WEDDELL SEA, EMPEROR PENGUIN
Day 1: Ushuaia
Arrival at Ushuaia Airport and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
Day 2: Embark Ortelius Cruise – Antarctica
Transfer to the pier. 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 3 & 4: At Sea – Drake Passage
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.
Days 5: Weddell Sea
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 6 & 7: Emperor Penguin Colony
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.
Day 8: Weddell Sea
If conditions were favorable 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 9: Weddell Sea
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.
Day 10-11: At Sea – Drake Passage
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 12: Arrival at Ushuaia
We arrive at Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark.
End of our services.
Suggested Itinerary. You can add extra overnights in Punta Arenas pre or post cruise.