We are excited to offer this Field Guides tour to the Weddell Sea in search of one of the world's most iconic and difficult-to-reach birds, the Emperor Penguin. Partnering with Oceanwide Expeditions, we will journey south from Ushuaia, Argentina, toward Snow Hill Island in the Weddell Sea, east of the Antarctic Peninsula. We will be aboard the 91-meter-long, ice-strengthened M/V Ortelius, a ship with countless Antarctic voyages under her belt (see a gallery of images of the ship). One of the exciting features of this vessel is its ability to carry two helicopters, which will be used to search for Emperor Penguins. If ice and weather conditions allow, we will use the helicopters to shuttle to a site near an Emperor Penguin colony at Snow Hill Island. We will then hike to the colony and enjoy these magnificent birds (with their chicks) up close and personal. Note, however, that because of the extremely remote destination of this voyage and the varying weather and ice conditions, it is possible that we will not reach an Emperor colony, though we dearly hope for the opportunity. Although there are no guarantees, Oceanwide reports that "during our previous voyages we have had a high success rate in locating Emperors."

This is definitely an adventurous and ambitious itinerary with flexible daily plans structured to take advantage of local conditions. Unlike our longer Antarctica tour (which has a very low probability of seeing Emperor Penguin), this voyage will not visit the Falkland Islands or South Georgia, opting instead to maximize time in the Weddell Sea. After leaving the Weddell Sea, we plan to stop at the South Shetland Islands en route back to Ushuaia. The seabirding and marine mammal possibilities while at sea between Ushuaia and Antarctica are extensive.

We are very excited for this chance of a lifetime to go to the land of the Emperors, and we hope that you'll join us!

Select the KEY INFO tab or click here for our itinerary plus space requests, status, fees, limits, and guides for any departure.