In the Weddell Sea area, an emperor penguin rookery is situated south of Snow Hill Island. The captain of the vessel will do his utmost to position the vessel close enough to Snow Hill Island in order to enable us to offer ship-to-shore helicopter transfers to within about 45 minutes' walking distance of the colonies. If we succeed, this will be a fascinating and a once-in-a lifetime expe...
An accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country.
In 1981 Toni moved to Namibia with her family and from then on her love of the outdoors and all things nature grew and grew. Her father was an exploration geologist who travelled extensively around Southern Africa, living in small mining towns and managing bush camps where Toni would spend her school holidays camping in the bush, or visiting private farms and reserves. Toni’s father passed on to her his unparalleled knowledge of all things Namibia, and she carried this with her as she became a manager and guide at some of the most remote lodges in the extreme North West of Namibia. Toni has travelled expansively across Namibia and its neighbouring countries, making regular visits to all of the National Game Reserves and developing her photographic skills which she takes great pleasure in passing on to visitors to the region.
Her deep love and knowledge of the Namibia, coupled with her infectious passion and enthusiasm to want to share it, make her one of the country’s top guides and ambassadors for this beautiful country. More than just a guide who simply points from a vehicle, Toni becomes fully involved in the experiences of her fellow travellers and places a great emphasis on finding the best adventures, wildlife encounters and photo opportunities for her tour groups. As a Managing Tour Consultant she plans safaris for a wide range of interest groups but her main focus is on birding and photographic small group tours, where she delights in each visitor gaining an up-close and personal experience of all that the country she loves and knows so well has to offer.
Born in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. She spent 11 years on Sea Lion Island as Manager of the Lodge, Warden of the Nature Reserve and as the principal tour provider, meaning her knowledge of Sea Lion Island in particular is second to none. Having spent so much time here, as expected her wildlife speciality is Elephant Seals, but she is also well versed in the ways of the seabirds, penguins, whales, dolphins and sea lions that call the Falklands their home.
After her time on Sea Lion Island Jenny moved to Stanley to work for the Falkland Islands Government and became manager of a local travel firm assisting with travel arrangements for incoming visitors, before taking semi-retirement to spend more time with her family and enjoy more time further exploring the lands she knows so well. Jenny is extremely passionate about sharing the hidden nature secrets of the Falklands with those who come to visit her homeland and will be looking forward to accompanying you and passing on her unsurpassed knowledge of the areas you will be visiting.
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.2 - 3Days
During these two days we will sail across the Drake Passage and encounter a variety of seabirds, possibly including wandering, grey-headed, black-browed and the beautiful light-mantled sooty albatrosses, southern fulmars, Wilson's storm, Cape, blue and Antarctic petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs.
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A typical itinerary in the Weddell Sea could be as follows. This is a sample only. The Expedition Leader on board will determine the final itinerary.
We hope to sail into the Weddell Sea via the Antarctic Sound. Huge tabular icebergs will announce our arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. During these days, we use the ship and the helicopters in our attempts to find individual Emperor penguins. During our previous voyages, we have had a high success rate in locating emperors. We may also offer scenic flights and – if the conditions allow us – possible helicopter landings in locations otherwise inaccessible so early in the season.
The western side of the Antarctic Sound is an area only rarely seen from the air. The scenery is stunning with landscapes of layered sandstones, lava flows, glaciers tumbling into the sea and icebergs 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 below us. The landscape is dominated by Jagged mountains piercing through the ice caps and walls of ice dropped onto the slopes below.
A beautiful helicopter flight over huge icebergs and fast ice can also be made close to View Point in Duse Bay. We may 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.
Seymour Island just north of Snow Hill Island is the place where the Swedish Antarctic Expedition from 1901-04 overwintered under miraculous circumstances. The sedimentary rocks include a large array of fossils and some spectacular views. We may also make use of our flotilla of Zodiacs on board and if the ice-situation allows us we will go further into the Weddell Sea area.
Opportunities for Zodiac activities are very good and may include places like Devil Island, near Vega Island, which is home to a large colony of Adélie 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’.
Brown Bluff is yet another stunning place on the Continent and home to a large Adelié penguin rookery, Gentoo penguins, and nesting Snow petrels. Gourdin Island, with three penguin species (Chinstrap, Gentoo and Adélie) is yet another option for great adventure. The Argentinean station Esperanza on the Antarctic Continent may also be an option to visit.
In the morning we will sail to Deception Island where we have the last landing of our voyage at Pendulum Cove or Whalers Bay. From there we depart into the Drake Passage around noon.9 - 10Days
In the Drake Passage we have again a chance of seeing many seabirds and to take advantage of the knowledge of our lecture team.11Day
Arrive and disembarkSee All Itinerary