Weddell Sea Emperor Penguins with Helicopters
Weddell Sea Emperor Penguin Voyage with Helicopters 11 days aboard MV Ortelius
In the Weddell Sea area, 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 within about 45 minutes' walking distance of the colonies. If we succeed, this will be a fascinating and a once-in-a lifetime experience. This is just the highlight of a voyage of many discoveries.
During this voyage we will reserve three days to visit the Emperor Rookeries by helicopters. If we succeed the first two days, we may decide to offer an alternative landing in the Weddell Sea on the third day, such as Paulet Island where we can visit a fantastic Adelie penguin colony with approximately 1 million breeding pairs.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
- Great chance of seeing emperor penguins
- Helicopter flight
- Other marine wildlife
- Other penguins and birds
- Spectacular scenery
- Luggage transfer to ship and group transfer from ship
- Full board accommodation on board
- All zodiac excursions and landings with expert guides
- Ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed)
- Programme of expert lectures
- Loan of rubber boots
ITINERARY10 Nights 11 Days
- Day 1 | Ushuaia
- Days 2 - 3 | At Sea
- Days 4 - 7 | Weddell Sea
- Day 8 | Deception Island
- Days 9 - 10 | Drake Passage
- Day 11 | Ushuaia
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.
During these two days we will sail across the Drake Passage and encounter a variety of seabirds, possibly including wandering, grey-headed, black-browed and the beautiful light-mantled sooty albatrosses, southern fulmars, Wilson's storm, Cape, blue and Antarctic petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs.
A typical itinerary in the Weddell Sea could be as follows. This is a sample only. The Expedition Leader on board will determine the final itinerary.
We hope to sail into the Weddell Sea via the Antarctic Sound. Huge tabular icebergs will announce our arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. During these days, we use the ship and the helicopters in our attempts to find individual Emperor penguins. During our previous voyages, we have had a high success rate in locating emperors. We may also offer scenic flights and – if the conditions allow us – possible helicopter landings in locations otherwise inaccessible so early in the season.
The western side of the Antarctic Sound is an area only rarely seen from the air. The scenery is stunning with landscapes of layered sandstones, lava flows, glaciers tumbling into the sea and icebergs and pack-ice as far as the eye can see. We can observe individual Emperor penguins and Adélie penguins on the ice floes; Cape, Snow, and Giant petrels fly high in the sky while Kelp gulls, skuas and Wilson’s storm petrels scavenge below us. The landscape is dominated by Jagged mountains piercing through the ice caps and walls of ice dropped onto the slopes below.
A beautiful helicopter flight over huge icebergs and fast ice can also be made close to View Point in Duse Bay. We may land on a rocky hillock close to an old refuge hut overlooking the bay. There will be still a lot of snow and ice but much of the intended walk on the Antarctic continent will be over a beautiful frost-shattered rock, almost entirely covered with the most fascinating lichen of all shapes and colors.
Seymour Island just north of Snow Hill Island is the place where the Swedish Antarctic Expedition from 1901-04 overwintered under miraculous circumstances. The sedimentary rocks include a large array of fossils and some spectacular views. We may also make use of our flotilla of Zodiacs on board and if the ice-situation allows us we will go further into the Weddell Sea area.
Opportunities for Zodiac activities are very good and may include places like Devil Island, near Vega Island, which is home to a large colony of Adélie penguins and a magnificent view for those hikers who can make it to the top of the hill. Melting ice sometimes provides spectacular waterfall from the cliffs close to point ‘Well-Met’.
Brown Bluff is yet another stunning place on the Continent and home to a large Adelié penguin rookery, Gentoo penguins, and nesting Snow petrels. Gourdin Island, with three penguin species (Chinstrap, Gentoo and Adélie) is yet another option for great adventure. The Argentinean station Esperanza on the Antarctic Continent may also be an option to visit.
In the morning we will sail to Deception Island where we have the last landing of our voyage at Pendulum Cove or Whalers Bay. From there we depart into the Drake Passage around noon.
In the Drake Passage we have again a chance of seeing many seabirds and to take advantage of the knowledge of our lecture team.
Arrive and disembark
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We had the time of our lives on board ship...if anybody wants to go to Antarctica, we will certainly advise to go with you.
Huge congratulations to you and all the team for the perfect organisation throughout the trip. From the early planning to the last transfer, everything went without a hitch.
Now that I am back from my odyssey voyage, I thought I would let you know that after all that planning it really did exceed my expectations – we managed landings everywhere even on Tristan da Cuhna and had great bird sightings. The guides all knew what they were talking about too and made sure I got some great photos – still sorting them all out! Thanks for everything and see you at Birdfair!
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The adventure really was a 'trip of a lifetime' and we are so glad we tagged an extra day in Buenos Aires at either end and that we went Premium Economy, it made all the difference. The ship Sea Explorer was exactly as Simon had described and was very comfortable. South Georgia was the highlight but we were surprised how much wildlife there was to see on the Falklands and we might well book one of your nature trips to the Falklands in the future.
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We've just got back from out trip to Patagonia and the Antarctic and want to say a big thank you to all of you at Wildfoot but specifically you, Tina and Sara, for organising our trip and sorting out all my queries before we went. You've all been thoroughly professional - and friendly with it. I always get concerned that hotels won't have received the booking, the air e-tickets won't be recognised or luggage ends up somewhere other that where we are, but I didn't need to worry as everything was well planned in advance and the various elements, air travel, two cruises, hotels etc, fitted seamlessly. You can take this as a 10 out of 10 satisfaction rating and recommendation for your company. You will certainly be my 'go to' provider if we ever do anything similar in the future. Thanks once again for our trip of a lifetime.
I just wanted to say an enormous thank you for your help with my trip. It was the best two weeks of my life! MS Expedition was amazing – their itinerary, their crew, their spirit. It was truly exceptional.One of the best things was how they arranged the rooms, I just had the best roommates and that really made a big difference to the trip. We got to see some fast ice and got out to walk on it – literally walking on the frozen sea. Amazing! I am saving for my next trip and I would not dream of going with anyone but you guys again. Good work! A dream very much come true.
I hope you’re well. I wanted to drop you a line to say we are back from Antarctica and had a wonderful time with Ponant. The trip exceeded our expectations in every respect, and I haven’t yet found enough superlatives to describe it to friends! Antarctica was breathtaking (as you know), and we loved pretty-much everything about Ponant. It was the perfect fit for us and I’m very grateful to you for taking the time to help with the booking. Having read the nightmares that Silversea have been having with the Silver Cloud, we felt lucky to be onboard Le Lyrial. Of course the only downside of a trip like this is we want to go back - best start saving now! Thanks again for all of your help and support with the booking process. Ponant was exactly as you described it. We have our eye on a couple of other cruises with them so I might be in touch soon.
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