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Emperor penguins on Snow Hill Island

Emperor Penguin Quest: Expedition to Snow Hill

Buenos Aires - Buenos Aires - Example 14 Day Cruise aboard Ultramarine
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Set sail on the Ultramarine for a 14-day Antarctic expedition to Snow Hill. Explore a rarely-visited rookery on this one-of-a-kind ship with twin-engine helicopters that take people to the rookery, where they can walk across the thick sea ice to get within meters of the most-wanted species of penguin in the world.
Emperor penguins on Snow Hill IslandEmperor penguins in AntarcticaMidnight sun over the flat-topped icebergs of the Weddell SeaNights in UshuaiaLooking across the Beagle Channel from UshuaiaEmperor penguins on Snow Hill Island
Highlights
  • Experience the most exclusive wildlife viewing on the planet
  • Discover the polar history of Antarctica
  • Visit the remote emperor penguin colony near Snow Hill Island
  • Witness around 8,000 breeding pairs of emperor penguins
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Upon arriving in this fascinating city, known for its architecture and rich European heritage, you will independently transfer to your group hotel (pre-expedition hotel night included in the mandatory transfer package).

Day 2: Fly to Ushuaia and Embark

After an early breakfast at the hotel, your group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. Upon arrival, you will be transferred from the airport to a central downtown location to enjoy time on your own to explore quaint Ushuaia—the world’s southernmost city—before making your way to the pier. After late afternoon embarkation, you will sail along the historic Beagle Channel, which transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Enjoy the air of anticipation as you depart—the next land you see will be the Antarctic!

Day 3-4: Crossing the Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
The unpredictable and exciting Drake Passage, which lies at the confluence of the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Southern oceans, is an adventure unto itself. While being well taken care of by our expert onboard staff and expedition team, you’ll have plenty of time to gaze out at the expansive ocean waters, photograph seabirds as they swoop around the ship, and get to know your Expedition Team and fellow travelers.

Day 5: Navigating into the Weddell Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Onboard presentations by world-respected experts will enrich your polar quest, conveying what it was like a century ago for the brave polar heroes who embraced the unknown. You’ll also learn more about the ice-dwelling emperor penguins.

Day 6-10: Weddell Sea and the Quest to Land at Snow Hill

  • Ship
  • 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
The journey toward Snow Hill Island will put you in explorer mode as the captain and Expedition Leader keep you updated through weather briefings, and meteorological and sea ice condition reports. Ice thickness will determine how close Ultramarine can get to Snow Hill Island, then our twin-engine helicopters will take over.

Like summitting a mountain from base camp, parties will set out from Ultramarine towards the emperor penguin colony. Their adventure begins with an extended helicopter transfer that will reveal a landscape of snow-capped peaks and apartment-building-sized tabular icebergs. The rookery itself is located on the sea ice off the south coast of Snow Hill Island and the landing will be as close to the penguins as possible, yet at a safe distance to avoid disturbing the birds. Upon landing, your party will walk across the ice to the fabled emperor penguin colony.

Day 11-13: Cruising

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
The journey back across the Drake Passage provides a final opportunity to enjoy the invigorating Southern Ocean air. Spend time on the deck watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team, and celebrate the experiences you've shared getting off the beaten track in the remarkable world of Antarctica.

Day 14: Disembark in Ushuaia and Fly to Buenos Aires

  • 1 Breakfast
You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning and disembark after breakfast. The mandatory transfer package includes a tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park for a taste of Patagonia, after which you’ll transfer to the airport for the return group charter flight to Buenos Aires.

Ship/Hotel

Ultramarine

Ultramarine Dining Room
Ultramarine
Ultramarine Cabin

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$27,995
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Solo Panorama
Located on Deck 6, approximately 132 sq. ft. Features a single bed, floor-to-ceiling window, desk, refrigerator, TV, a private bathroom with shower and heated floors.
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Explorer Triple
Located on Deck 3, approximately 285 sq. ft. Features three single beds (two of which can be combined into a double bed), sitting area, picture window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.
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Explorer Suite
Located on Deck 3, approximately 285 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, picture window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.
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Balcony Suite
Located on Decks 4 and 6, with approximately 226 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.
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Deluxe Balcony Suite
Located on Decks 4 and 6, with approximately 299 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.
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Terrace Suite
Located on Deck 6, with approximately 350 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private extra-wide balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.
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Penthouse Suite
Located on Deck 7, with approximately 369 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.
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Owner's Suite
Located on Deck 6, with approximately 446 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds in a private bedroom with walk-in closet, sitting area with sofa bed and additional closet, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors and separate powder room.
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Ultra Suite
Located on Deck 6, with approximately 563 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds in a private bedroom with walk-in closet, sitting area with sofa bed and additional walk-in hallway closet, private balcony, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom.
Included
  • 12 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 13 Dinners
  • 12 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Coffee, Tea and Cocoa Available Around the Clock
  • Leadership throughout the expedition by our experienced Expedition Leader
  • Loan of Waterproof Boots for Landings
  • Official Expedition Parka to Keep
  • Select Beer and Wine During Dinner
  • Photographic Journal Documenting the Expedition
     
  • All Miscellaneous Service Taxes and Port Charges Throughout the Program
     
  • Comprehensive Predeparture Materials, Including a Map and an Informative Antarctic Reader
     
  • Luggage handling from the airport to the ship on the day of embarkation.
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • One 10- to 15-Minute Helicopter Flightseeing Excursion (weather and logistics permitting)
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Internet & Phone Charges
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Mandatory Waterproof Pants for Zodiac Cruising & Any Other Gear Not Specifically Mentioned
     
  • Mandatory Transfer Package fees not included, prices vary by departure

Map

When to Go

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Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
Karen Snider

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