Weddell Sea - In Search of the Emperor Penguin

Weddell Sea - In Search of the Emperor Penguin– Antarctica –11 days / 10 nights, Ushuaia - Drake Passage - Weddell Sea - Antarctic Peninsula - Brown Bluff - Snow Hill Island - Half Moon Island - UshuaiaDuring the Weddell Sea - Emperor Penguin Voyage we will reserve three days to visit the Emperor Rookeries by helicopters. If we succeed the first two days, we might offer an alternative landing in the Weddell Sea on Paulet Island, where we can visit a fantastic Adelie penguin colony. An Emperor Penguin rookery is situated south of Snow Hill Island, where the captain will try to position the vessel close enough to offer ship-to-shore helicopter*.

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OTL23, Rates in USD, per person

Operation November 27 - December 7, 2016
Departure OTL23, November 27 - December7, 2016 (10 nights)
Voyage includes helicopter
Price from $11,550 per person, Quadruple Porthole
Included Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
Free use of rubber boots aboardOrtelius
Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation)
All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
During voyage OTL23: 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
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
Comprehensive pre-departure material
Not Included Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
Pre- and post land arrangements
Transfers to the vessel
Passport and visa expenses
Government arrival and departure taxes
Meals ashore
Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended)
Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges
Customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided)
Service fee $25
Please Note All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

All rates are quoted per person in US Dollar, based on twin occupancy. US Dollar rates apply for all sales outside Europe. 5% discount will be granted for bookings for one or more consecutive voyages (except on legs within the Atlantic Odyssey). Please note that all dates & rates are subject to change. All voyages will operate subject to a minimum of 70 participants on Plancius and 60 participants on Ortelius.

Single occupancy: All cabins 1.7 times the share price.

It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed US Dollar 120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure Oceanwide Expeditions reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $25 per passenger per night, to be paid by the contracting party of Oceanwide Expeditions.

HELICOPTERS: For voyages OTL23 and OTL27 & 28, the vessel will be equipped with a minimum of two helicopters. The use of helicopters has a great advantage and can support us in our goal to reach the scheduled landing sites, that otherwise are inaccessible. But, we are operating our voyages in the world's most remote areas, ruled by the forces of nature. Providing the conditions, such as but not limited to ice and weather conditions, are suitable, the captain of the vessel will position the vessel at a safe and (for the helicopters and helicopter pilots) feasible distance from the intended landing site. Ship-to-shore helicopter transfers will enable us to offer the scheduled shore excursions, but every passenger who participates in those mentioned voyages, understands and accepts that no guarantees can be given, including a specific amount of helicopter time. For further information please consult the publications of Oceanwide Expeditions, such as the Helicopter Manual and the day-by-day itineraries.
More Information Weddell Sea map
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Day 1 ARRIVAL 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.

Day 2 & 3 AT SEA - DRAKE PASSAGE During these two days we will sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area we may meet 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.

Day 4 - 7 WEDDELL SEA - ANTARCTIC PENINSULA A typical itinerary in the Weddell Sea could be as follows. This is a sample only, the final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board.

We will sail into the Weddell Sea and if the Antarctic Sound is accessible and the ice does not prevent us to sail further, we might see the huge tabular icebergs that announce our arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula.

During these days we use the helicopters in our attempts to find individual Emperor Penguins. During our previous voyages we were always able to locate emperors. We will also offer scenic flights and - if the conditions allow us - helicopter landings on tabular ice-bergs and locations otherwise inaccessible so early in the season.

Possible landing sites is for example Brown Bluff, probably the most scenic spot in the entire northern tip of the Antarctic Continent. With steep canyon walls and tumbled boulders, an ice-cap looming above, beautiful volcanic creations and the scene is complete with thousands of Adélie penguins nesting on the slopes, and a few Gentoo's mixed in for fun.

Helicopter flights are a great contribution to the voyage, for example on the west side of the Antarctic Sound, an area usually only rarely seen from the air. The scenery is stunning with landscapes of layered sandstones, lava flows, glaciers tumbling into the sea and ice-bergs 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 down below us. The landscape is dominated by Jagged mountains pierced through the ice-caps and walls of ice dropped onto the slopes below.

A beautiful helicopter flight over huge blue icebergs and fast ice can also be made close to View Point in Duse Bay. We 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.

If the ice-situation allows us to go further into the Weddell Sea area, we will visit Devil Island and Vega Island with a large colony of Adelie 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'. Further south, we may also visit Seymour Island, where many fossils can be found.

On our way north through the Antarctic Sound we might pay a visit to the Argentinean station Esperanza on the Antarctic Continent. We will still look out for Emperor Penguins on the ice-floes. In the afternoon we may visit Gourdin Island, with three penguin species; Chinstrap, Gentoo and Adelie.

Day 8 HALF MOON ISLAND - DECEPTION ISLAND In the morning we plan to visit Half Moon Island where we can see Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins, various other bird-species as well as a chance for Southern elephant seals and Weddell seals.

Early in the afternoon we will sail to Deception Island where we have the last landing of our voyage at Pendulum Cove or Whalers Bay.

Day 9 - 10 AT SEA - DRAKE PASSAGE In the Drake Passage we have again a chance of seeing many seabirds and to take advantage of the knowledge of our lecture team.

Alternative program if the route to Snow Hill Island is free of multi-year pack-ice (less than 50 % chance):
Day 5 - 6: The use of helicopters has a great advantage and can support us in our goal to reach the Emperor Penguin colony, but the itinerary is ruled by the forces of nature, ice and weather conditions. If the conditions are favourable, we intend to spend the first two days in the Emperor Penguin rookery. The helicopter operation will take a full day and the flight duration takes approximately 15 minutes. The helicopter can accommodate 6 passengers per helicopter flight. The landing point of the helicopters will be carefully chosen and we will make sure that the Emperors Penguins are not disturbed or stressed by helicopter noise. Therefore, after arrival, the passengers continue their expedition on foot. After a walk of approx. 45 minutes, passengers will experience an amazing rendezvous with the magnificent Emperor Penguins. Keep in mind that we are in the world's most remote area and there are no guarantees, including a specific amount of helicopter time. Conditions may change rapidly, having its impact on the helicopter operation and passengers should understand and accept this. Safety is our greatest concern and no compromises can be made.

Day 8 HALF MOON ISLAND - DECEPTION In the morning we plan to visit Half Moon Island where we can see Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins, various other bird-species and Southern Elephant Seals and Weddell seals.
Early in the afternoon we will sail to Deception where we have the last landing of our voyage at Pendulum cove.

Day 9 & 10 AT SEA - DRAKE PASSAGE In the Drake Passage we have again a chance of seeing many seabirds and to take advantage of the knowledge of our lecture team.

Day 11 USHUAIA DISEMBARKATION We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.

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