Weddell Sea in search of Emperors with Helicopters

Ship’s helicopter capability allows a bird’s-eye view of Antarctica  |  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

When:              12 – 26 November 2022, 22 November – 6 December 2022, 8 – 22 November 2023, 18 November – 2 December 2023

Guide price:    From £13,625 per person based on twin cabin (private facilities) for 2022 voyages and £13,895 per person for 2023 voyages

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

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