• Fly by specially equipped ski aircraft to the remote Weddell Sea coast and camp with the Emperors
• Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the Emperor colony as thousands of birds call, display, feed their young, and toboggan across the sea ice
• View and photograph penguins by the golden light of the midnight sun, against a spectacular backdrop of ice cliffs, pressure ridges, and icebergs
• 8 land days
• Maximum 10 travelers
• Start and finish in Punta Arenas, Chile
• All meals included
• Included return flights to Patriot Camp and to the remote Weddell Sea coast
• Activity Level: 2
The Emperor Penguin is one of the most fascinating of all birds and one of the hardest birds in the world to see. The only “true” Antarctic bird, Emperor Penguins breed in the middle of winter, when night lasts for months and temperatures reach –76F/–60C.
You will travel with a small group of other adventurers by ski-equipped aircraft to a remote Emperor Penguin breeding colony on the far southern coast of the Weddell Sea. There our experienced guides and staff naturalist will set up a field camp. By camping with the penguins and keeping our group size small, you will be free to immerse yourself in the activity of the colony without crowds or rigid schedules. Each day brings new sights and sounds as thousands of breeding pairs call, feed, and shelter their chicks. For photographers, the golden plumage of adult penguins and the antics of down-covered chicks provide ideal subjects set against a scenic backdrop of icebergs and deep blue ice cliffs.
We visit the colony at the start of the Antarctic season when viewing opportunities and sea ice conditions are at their best. You will arrive in Antarctica as our seasonal base camp at Patriot Hills is being opened and facilities will be basic. Early season temperatures may drop to –22F/–30C.
Weather and sea ice conditions on the shores of the Weddell Sea are unpredictable and travel to the coast requires much patience. The program itinerary includes a “buffer” to allow for weather delays yet still gives you 4-6 days at the colony. Though logistically challenging, this authentic safari offers rewards beyond the mere viewing of Emperor Penguins. You will live among the most majestic of all birds and witness their amazing adaptation to the Antarctic environment.
Arrival in Punta Arenas Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile 2 days prior to your scheduled departure date for Antarctica and make your own way to your hotel to settle in. Contact ANI staff to arrange a convenient time to meet you and give you information on Punta Arenas and surroundings.
The following day is busy with flight preparations. In the morning, you are invited to join us for an Antarctic presentation followed by refreshments. The presentation will include information on your flight south, the current weather situation and what to expect on your arrival in Antarctica. This will be the trip of a lifetime and we want to ensure that you are well prepared to enjoy it to the fullest. There will be time to ask any questions you may have and get to know your fellow travellers.
After the presentation we will agree a time to check your Antarctic clothing to ensure nothing has been inadvertently forgotten, issue you with any rental clothing you have requested, and then collect your checked baggage for loading on to the aircraft ready for departure the following day. Please ensure that your baggage complies with international air transport regulations. No hazardous goods such as fuels may be packed in your checked bags.
You are going to the interior of Antarctica, one of the most difficult places in the world to fly to. Every effort will be made to keep to the scheduled departure date, but please note that all flights are dependent on weather, aircraft serviceability, and local conditions. Days of delay are part of the Antarctic travel experience and should be expected. Our Punta Arenas staff will keep you informed of any schedule changes.
Please also note that in exceptional circumstances, if logistics permit and weather is exceptional, we may depart the evening PRIOR to our scheduled departure date.
No two Antarctic adventures are exactly the same. This is part of the magic and excitement of Antarctic travel. The itinerary below is intended to outline general program objectives and highlight typical activities and experiences. Exact timeline, activities, and program details will vary from trip to trip.