Weddell Sea: In search of the Emperor Penguin
DURATION:11 Days/ 10 NightsREGION:AntarcticaSHIP:Ortelius
This 11 day voyage aboard the ice-strengthened Ortelius offers a unique opportunity to be part of a true expedition. The Emperor Penguin rookery is situated south of the Weddell Sea's Snow Hill Island. Although it might not be possible for Ortelius to reach that far through the ice (about a 50% chance based on the voyages in the last three seasons), the idea is mainly to situate the ship in or between the Antarctic
Sound and James Ross Island. From close to the ice-edge it will be possible to observe the Emperor Penguins on their way to the open water. Ortelius travels with three helicopters which will aid the search for individual Emperor Penguins. Apart from the Emperors you can also expect to encounter Chinstrap, Gentoo and Adélie penguins, along with myriad other wildlife.
We have multiple departure dates for this cruise. Select a year and month to view itineraries for alternative departure dates.
Operated by: Oceanwide Expeditions
Ortelius was built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989 and served as a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. She is an ice-strengthened small ship (rated to the equivalent of 1A; the highest ice rating) designed for polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica. Limited to no more than 116 passengers and 53 cabins, her size ensures a flexible polar experience with maximum wildlife opportunities. Ortelius carries ten high-powered zodiacs for landings and exploration. A $1.5 million cabin reconfiguration in 2014 (Deck 5) and 2016 (Deck 4) completed the vessel’s refurbishment program, bringing Ortelius to an upscale hotel standard. The refurbishment featured brand new furnishing including beds, wardrobes, desks and chairs. The cabins and corridors feature new carpets, ceilings, piping and wallpaper.
Your cruise price includes
- 10 night expedition voyage aboard the Ortelius
- All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
- All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
- Ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (with no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed)
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
- Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes
- 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
Your cruise price does not include:
- Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
- Pre- and post- land arrangements
- Passport and visa expenses
- Government arrival and departure taxes
- Meals ashore
- Travel Insurance (highly recommended - SAVE 20% when purchased with your expedition)
- Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges
- Gratuities at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard - The cruise line recommends $8-10 per passenger per day
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Please note: This cruise is sold in USD
The itinerary described is for guidance only. Programmes may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. If ice-conditions are favorable and the route to Snow Hill Island is free of multi-year pack-ice, we will reschedule our voyage and offer ship-to-shore helicopter transfers to Snow Hill Island (as carried out successfully in 2013) at approx. 45 minutes walking distance from the emperor penguin Rookery. If we succeed, this will be a fascinating and a once-in-a lifetime experience. However, we made attempts to reach Snow Hill Island during our voyages in 2012 - 15. We only succeeded in 2013 and 2015; therefore the chances to reach Snow Hill Island are indeed around 50 %. Weather and ice conditions dictate the success of this adventure.
You must be in good general health and you should be able to walk several hours per day. The expedition is ship-based and physically not very demanding. Although as much time as possible is spent ashore, travellers are welcome to remain aboard the ship if they like. To join most excursions, travellers must be able to get up and down the steep gangway from the ship to the water level to board the Zodiacs. Staff will assist travellers in and out of the boats. This will become progressively easier with practice. Ashore it can be slippery and rocky. You are travelling in remote areas without access to sophisticated medical facilities, so you must not join this expedition if you have a life-threatening condition, or need daily medical treatment.
A single supplement of 70% applies for sole use of cabins.