• Antarctic3

Weddell Sea in search of Emperors with Helicopters  |  15 days

A tremendous sense of excitement spreads through the ship as we enter the Weddell Sea on this voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula’s wild side. Ahead are the locations where Shackleton’s and Nordenskjold’s polar survival epics were played out, astonishing vistas and some of Antarctica’s greatest penguin rookeries. Our goal is the famed emperor penguin rookery at Snow Hill Island with around 4,000 breeding pairs. The area is known for its own particular weather and unpredictable ice movements so we pick our landings accordingly.

Possible landings include Snow Hill Island to visit Nordenskjold’s Hut, fossil-rich Seymour Island or Paulet Island, with its huge penguin rookeries and historical remains. As we are unlikely to reach through the ice as far as the emperor penguin rookery south of Snow Hill Island we aim to situate ourselves in or between the Antarctic Sound and James Ross Island, close to the ice-edge where we can observe the penguins on their way to the open water. We will make scenic flights and landings in places otherwise inaccessible this early in the season. However, if ice-conditions favour us, we will reschedule to offer ship-to-shore helicopter transfers, landing around 45 minutes’ walking distance from the rookery.


Ship: Ortelius

12- 26 November 2022

Guide price:From £13,565 per person based on twin cabin (private facilities)

Activities:On-board helicopters

Key info:  Successful landings  at Snow Hill Island made  on a number of occasions - most recently in three consecutive years 2017-2019


Trip Reports for the Antarctic Peninsula


The Antarctic2

Fiona’s travel tips

DON’T MISS: Camping overnight on the peninsula to experience Antarctic weather close up. It might seem tough at the time but you won’t regret it! Don’t forget to pre-book as it’s popular.

LET US KNOW: If you have a former connection with any of the polar regions we visit by ship. Perhaps you or a relative lived on one of the bases, or were a member of a past expedition? We can offer you the chance to share your experiences, diaries or photographs with others on your voyage. In the past we’ve even got the ship to make unscheduled visits to tie in with such an event.

MUST READ: Endurance by Alfred Lansing


Clients’ comments

“The holiday was great and met all my expectations – all the connections worked like clockwork. The cruise was fantastic and we landed on all except the South Orkneys which were ice bound. Food was very good and plenty of it – Iguazu was really good and connections etc worked well – the room was fantastic with Falls view as specified – at the end of the day it was good to relax by the pool and enjoy the Bacardi and coke as you do. Thanks for organising the trip it was one in a lifetime.”

Allen Cooper, The Falklands, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, Antarctic Peninsula discovery cruise


“As you know, I have waited 60 years for this and the whole Plancius experience on the exact centenary of Scott’s last expedition was just magical. Absolutely brilliant.”

John Sharples, Antarctic Peninsula

“In December 2012 I was able to fulfil my dream of setting foot on Antarctica despite my age (83 and eight months) and disability. Thanks to Fiona’s meticulous planning and the resulting support of guides and the Plancius crew at every step en-route and on the boat, I was able to travel there and back alone, and to enjoy shore landings and zodiac rides. A truly stunning experience. I realise how blessed I was to have so much encouragement and help both from Fiona and the expedition team.”

Dr Grete Gross, Antarctic Peninsula voyage

“It was a fascinating voyage with lasting impressions. The wildlife both on the Falklands and on Antarctica is incredibly rich. The organisation on board the ship was very good. Among the talks given by the scientific crew I enjoyed the witty talks by Robert Headland the most. The familiar atmosphere in the lodges on Sea Lion Island and on Carcass Island was very nice indeed. Last but not least I should like to thank you for the impeccable organisation on your part.”

Mr Hubert Kalf, Epic Antarctica icebreaker voyage

“Most helpful, informative, and friendly service at all stages. Absolutely spectacular trip which exceeded my already high expectations. Brilliant value for money, notwithstanding the high cost. It says it all that I was looking at your brochure for a future trip, as soon as I got back!”

Judith Philip, Antarctic Peninsula