Penguin Voyage to the Weddell Sea

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Emperor Penguin Emperor Penguin courtesy Oceanwide

Priced from $11,550   Days: 11

This 11 day Antarctic cruise is for travelers who want to focus on spotting the majestic Emperor penguins well as see several other species of penguins:  Adelie, Chinstraps, Gentoo are all found on the Antarctic Peninsula. This cruise, aboard the comfortable 100 passenger M/V Ortelius, features many helicopter excursions that allow travelers access to remote, seldom seen areas where the landscape is truly otherworldly.

While crossing the Drake Passage, wildlife enthusiasts will see numerous species of seabirds, including Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black-browed Albatrosses, Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels.



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Penguin Voyage to the Weddell Sea

Day 1: Ushuaia

We embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world. In the evening, we sail through the scenic Beagle Channel, headed for Drake Passage.

Days 2 and 3: At sea

We navigate the Drake Passage, crossing the Antarctic Convergence. As we approach, we will spot our first icebergs. We may see several species of albatrosses, including gray headed, wandering, black- browed, and sooty albatrosses. Other seabirds include Cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson's storm petrels, blue petrels and antarctic petrels.

Days 4 to 7: Weddell Sea

We will sail into the Weddell Sea and if the Antarctic Sound is accessible, we should see the large tabular icebergs that are found on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula.

During our stay in the Weddell Sea, we will look for Emperor Penguins during helicopter flights. We will also offer other scenic flights as conditions allow, and may even be able to land on the tabular icebergs.

One possible landing site is Brown Bluff, which many consider the most scenic spot on the northern tip of the Antarctic Continent, with its steep canyon walls and tumbling boulders. Thousands of Adelie penguins nest on the slopes, and the site is home to a few Gentoo penguins as well.

The helicopters greatly expand the areas we are able to visit, and the view from the air is spectacular: layered sandstones, lava flows, glaciers tumbling into the sea, blue icebergs, and pack ice for miles. We should see individual Emperor penguins and Adelie penguins on the ice floes, as well as several species of Petrels and gulls.

Another helicopter excursion, conditions allowing, will be close to View Point in Duse Bay. Here we land on a rocky hillock close to an old refuge hut overlooking the bay. Our walk on the content will be over a rocky landscape, cloaked in unusual polar lichens in all shapes and colors.

If the ice condition allow, we will venture further into the Weddell Sea and visit Devil Island and Vega Island with its large colony of Adelie Penguins and a magnificent view for those hikers who can make it to the top of the hill. If there is melting ice, we will see a spectacular waterfall from the cliffs close to point 'Well-Met'. Further south, we may also visit Seymour Island, where many fossils may be found.

As we make our way north through the Antarctic Sound we may stop at the Argentinean station Esperanza on the Antarctic Continent. Other possible stops are Gourdin Island, home to Chinstrap, Gentoo and Adelie penuins.


Day 8:  Half Moon Island

We plan to visit Half Moon Island, where we will see Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins as well as other species of birds. Half Moon Island is also a good place to observe southern elephant seals and Weddell seals. In the afternoon, we will sail to Deception where we have the last landing of our voyage at Pendulum cove.

Days 9 and 10: At sea

At sea, followed by numerous seabirds as we cross the Drake again, heading north..

Day 11: Ushuaia

We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.

Date & Rates:

Emperor Penguins of the Weddell Sea with Helicopter Excursions

2015/2016 Dates/Rates

Twin Porthole
Twin Window
Twin Deluxe


Nov 26 -

Dec 6, 2015



10/11  $11,550  $12,800  $13,550  $14,150  $14,800  $16,150


 Dec 6 -

Dec 16, 2015



10/11  $11,550  $12,800  $13,550  $14,150  $14,800  $16,150
OTL23-16 Nov 27 - Dec 7, 2016



10/11 $11,550 $12,800 $13,550 on request $14,800 $16,150

Prices are per person based on double, triple or quad occupancy depending on category room purchased. 

Single supplement: 1.7 times share price.

Registration: To confirm your space on these tours, please contact our office. 1.800.808.4492 or 206.463.1943

Deposit: 30% of trip cost

Cancellation Policy: In the event you must cancel your reservation, refunds will be made according to the following schedule: Deposit is nonrefundable. 90 to 61 days prior to departure, 50% of total is nonrefundable; less than 60 days prior to departure, 100% nonrefundable.

Fuel surcharge: If world fuel prices reach or exceed US Dollar $120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure then the boat operator reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of $25 USD per night per passenger to be paid prior to travel.

Insurance: Because many advance logistical arrangements have been made prior to the running of this trip, we must adhere to the above policy. Cancellation/medical evacuation is required up to $100,000 per person. An application form will be sent to you upon request, or you may purchase it on your own. Because of the remote location, emergency medical evacuation insurance is required. Please check your personal insurance coverage and make sure it is applicable in foreign countries. Emergency medical evacuation insurance is a component of the insurance program IWA offers.