Polar Regions Antarctica Cruise

Weddell Sea—Emperor Penguin Voyage

The Weddell Sea—Emperor Penguin Voyage is one of the most spectacular Antarctic adventures around. This 11-day expedition cruises aboard the 116-passenger ship M/V Ortelius and offers the unique experience of close emperor penguin encounters at their more secluded rookeries via exciting helicopter rides. Finish the voyage passing through the South Shetland Islands. 

An emperor penguin rookery is situated south of Snow Hill Island, below Hope Bay on the Antarctic Peninsula and James Ross Island. The captain will do the utmost to position the vessel close enough to Snow Hill Island in order to enable ship-to-shore helicopter transfers to approximately 45-minute walks to the emperor penguin rookeries. 

Hope to see the western side of the Antarctic Sound, an area only rarely seen from the air with stunning landscapes of layered sandstones, lava flows, glaciers tumbling into the sea and icebergs and pack-ice as far as the eye can see. Observe individual emperor penguins and adélie penguins on the ice floes; cape, snow, and giant petrels flying overhead; and kelp gulls, skuas and Wilson’s storm petrels scavenging below. Walk over frost-shattered rocks covered in fascinating lichen and visit Seymour Island, where the Swedish Antarctic Expedition from 1901-04 overwintered under miraculous circumstances.

Within the 11-day itinerary, the Weddell Sea Emperor Penguin Voyage reserves four days to visit the emperor penguin rookeries by helicopter. Note that this expedition may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. This is a true Antarctic expedition, so flexibility is paramount.

Read on for details about this trip, or view all of AdventureSmith’s Antarctica cruises.