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If you have any questions about my tours or require further information, I am always happy to hear from you. Feel free to contact me by email or phone.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Trebrown Farm, Horningtops, Liskeard, Cornwall PL14 3PU. UK.

Email:
Telephone: 01503 240170
(International +44 1503 240170)

Weddell Sea - In search of the Emperor Penguin incl. helicopters

Holiday for 10 days (9 nights) aboard the ship m/v Ortelius departing on Sun 18 Nov 2018 and returning on Wed 28 Nov 2018. You will embark the ship at Ushuaia visit the Weddell Sea - In search of the Emperor Penguin incl. helicopters and then disembark at Ushuaia.

  • Other dates are available
  • OTL23-18 (9 nights) on board m/v Ortelius
  • For Cabin Prices Scroll to the bottom of the page

See the Antarctic from the vantage point of a true expedition leader – from the air. Our helicopter capability on the Ortelius provides you the unique chance to view an emperor penguin rookery numbering upwards of 4,000 breeding pairs, located just south of Snow Hill Island. Heavy ice may prevent entrance from the Weddell Sea, and ice at the rookery itself might break up and start to melt earlier than expected. With this in mind, the aim is to stop the vessel between the Antarctic Sound and James Clark Ross Island, close to the ice edge, and find emperor penguins on their way to the open water. The helicopters make this search possible – and thrilling – as you embark on scenic flights, as well as landings in places otherwise inaccessible so early in the season.

Itinerary

PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The on-board expedition leader will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Average cruising speed of m/v Ortelius is 10.5 knots. If ice conditions are favorable and the route to Snow Hill Island is free of multi-year pack ice, you have the chance for ship-to-shore helicopter transfers to Snow Hill Island – roughly 45 minutes walking distance from the emperor penguin rookery. If successful, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. (Even so, remember that nature writes the final itinerary out here: Attempts to reach Snow Hill Island during the voyages of 2012 – 17 did not always succeed. In 2013 and November 2017 conditions were favorable to land by helicopter on Snow Hill Island and to visit the emperor penguin rookery.

Day 1

Your voyage begins where the world drops off: Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego – nicknamed “The End of the World” – and sail the scenic, mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the rest of the evening.

Day 2 - 3

Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you catch a taste of life from the perspective of the polar explorers who first braved these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale blasting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer subantarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too: A variety of albatrosses and petrels show up, along with Cape pigeons and southern fulmars . Then, near the South Shetlands Islands, the first icebergs flash into sight.

Day 4 - 7

You may sail into the Weddell Sea via the Antarctic Sound. Here huge tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. During this part of the cruise, the search is on for emperor penguins. Using both the vessel and helicopters, there’s a good chance you’ll find them.

You might also enjoy scenic flights and – if conditions allow – helicopter landings in locations otherwise out of reach this time of year. Helicopter flights are a true trip changer, and may include:

Antarctic Sound – The western side of this area is only rarely seen from the air, though the landscape is truly worth the flight: Layered sandstones, lava flows, glaciers and icebergs and pack-ice extend as far as the eye can see. There are often individual emperor penguins and Adélie penguins on the ice floes, as well as kelp gulls, skuas, and various breeds of petrel. Jagged mountain peaks stab through the snow, and enormous walls of ice lie shattered on the slopes below.

Duse Bay – A soaring helicopter flight may deposit you on a rocky hillock close to an old refuge hut overlooking the bay. There is still a lot of snow and ice, but much of the walk on the Antarctic is over frost-shattered rock covered with lichen of all shapes and colors.

Seymour Island – Here’s where the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901 – 4 wintered under harrowing circumstances. Sedimentary rock, fossils, and great views define this location.

If conditions allow for deeper ventures into the Weddell Sea, Zodiac trips may include:

Devil Island – Home to a large colony of Adélie penguins, this island offers a magnificent view for hikers willing to foot it to the top of the hill. Melting ice sometimes forms a waterfall dropping from the cliffs close to Cape Well-met.

Brown Bluff – Maybe the most scenic location in the entire northern tip of the Antarctic Continent: sheer canyon walls, fallen boulders, beautiful volcanic creations capped with ice. A large Adélie penguin rookery lives here, with gentoo penguins and nesting snow petrels also to be found.

Gourdin Island – Chinstrap, gentoo, and Adélie penguins like this place, yet another option for your continuing Antarctic adventure.

Esperanza Base – This Argentine research station may be another landing site.

Day 8

In the morning, you sail to Deception Island for the last landing of the voyage – at Pendulum Cove or Whalers Bay. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.

Day 9 - 10

Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.

Day 11

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Day 5 - 6

Helicopters provide a great advantage in reaching the emperor penguin colony, but nature rules the itinerary. If conditions are favorable, you spend the first two days at the penguin rookery. The helicopter operation takes a full day, and the flight duration approximately 15 minutes. Each helicopter can accommodate 4 – 6 passengers per flight. The landing site is carefully chosen, making sure the emperor penguins are not disturbed. Upon arrival, you can continue on foot. After a walk of about 45 minutes, you encounter the emperor penguins, one of the Antarctic’s prime wildlife attractions. Keep in mind that you are in the world’s most remote area: There are no guarantees. Conditions may change rapidly, which can have a profound impact on helicopter operations. Please understand and respect this. Safety is the greatest concern, and no compromises can be made.

  • Other dates are available
  • OTL23-18 (9 nights) on board m/v Ortelius
  • Duration 10 days, 9 nights
  • Location Weddell Sea - In search of the Emperor Penguin incl. helicopters
  • Included
    • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
    • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
    • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
    • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
    • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
    • During voyages Weddell Sea voyages: ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (with no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed)
    • Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia.
    • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
    • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
    • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
  • Excluded
    • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights.
    • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
    • Passport and visa expenses.
    • Government arrival and departure taxes.
    • Meals ashore.
    • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
    • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
    • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
  • Fitness Level
    • Easy. Easy walking for the most part.
  • KAYAK Search flights
  • The best Antarctica books to buy:
    The Complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife
    Lonely Planet Antarctica Travel Guide
    Antarctica books at the Book Depository

Activities You Can Participate In

Helicopter Tours

Helicopter Tours FREE

Take a flight above the ice of the Weddell Sea or Ross Sea and enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Antarctic wilderness.

On selected Ortelius voyages we use helicopters to get even closer to the heart of untouched wildlife, allowing to set foot onto some of the world's most remote landscapes. You will fly to the Emperor Penguin colony.

Cabins & Prices

The prices offered here are the lowest available anywhere and are updated directly from the shipping company. Updates happen live as the new discount prices become available. Discounted berths sell out quickly and may disappear from this page at any time. 'Requests' require the shipping company's confirmation. Those labelled 'Book now' are instantly available. You pay later when invoiced. Invoices are charged in British Pounds Sterling (GBP). Other dates are available at the top of this page. EUR and USD prices are based on today's exchange rates and provided only as a guide for your convenience.

Quadruple Porthole

Quadruple Porthole Cabin
Windows Windows Info Info
  • 2 portholes
  • 2 upper & lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone and Internet connection
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space
InfoInfoInfoInfo
Sharing berth

Share your cabin with others for the best price

£8,175
(USD $11,400)
(EUR €9,100)
InfoInfoInfoInfo
Complete cabin

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

£32,699
(USD $45,600)
(EUR €36,400)

Twin Porthole, deck 4

Triple Porthole

Triple Porthole Cabin
Windows Windows Info Info
  • 2 portholes
  • 1 upper berth & 2 lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone and Internet connection
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space
InfoInfoInfo
Sharing berth

Share your cabin with others for the best price

£8,803
(USD $12,277)
(EUR €9,800)
InfoInfoInfo
Complete cabin

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

£26,410
(USD $36,831)
(EUR €29,400)

Twin Porthole deck 3

Twin Porthole deck 3 Cabin
Windows Windows Info Info
  • 2 portholes
  • 2 lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone and Internet connection
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space
InfoInfo
Sharing berth

Share your cabin with others for the best price

£9,387
(USD $13,091)
(EUR €10,450)
Info
Single cabin

Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

£15,958
(USD $22,255)
(EUR €17,765)
InfoInfo
Complete cabin

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

£18,775
(USD $26,182)
(EUR €20,900)

Superior

Superior Cabin
Windows Windows Info
  • 2 windows (minimum)
  • 1 double bed
  • 1 single (sofa) bed
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone and Internet connection
  • Refrigerator
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space
Info
Single cabin

Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

£18,173
(USD $25,343)
(EUR €20,230)
InfoInfo
Complete cabin

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

£21,380
(USD $29,815)
(EUR €23,800)