Overview

In 2004, Quark Expeditions made polar history when they conducted the first-ever ground visit to the remote emperor penguin colony near Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Driven by a true expeditionary spirit - and guided by years of polar expertise – our team sailed past masses of dense ice and thick, tabular icebergs in the Weddell Sea to experience the legendary rookery, which now numbers 4,000 breeding pairs of Emperor Penguins. Today, it is one of the most exclusive wildlife viewing experiences on the planet. We invite you - almost two decades after our milestone visit of 2004, to embrace the thrill of the search as we once again set out to visit to the emperor penguins at Snow Hill Island.

Experience a true polar quest as we journey on our new ship, Ultramarine, which is equipped with two twin-engine helicopters that will fly guests to the vicinity of this rarely-visited rookery, whereupon they will walk across the thick sea ice to stand within meters of the most coveted penguin species on the planet. Anticipate scenes reminiscent of “March of the Penguins” and BBC’s “Frozen Planet.” Just imagine the penguins tobogganing across the ice towards the sea. Such wildlife moments are too precious for words!

Tour Facts Top Birds
Emperor Penguin; Chinstrap, Gentoo & Adelie Penguins; Wandering & Light-mantled Albatrosses; Snow & Antarctic Petrels; Snowy Sheathbill.
Top Mammals
South American & Antarctic Fur Seals; South American Sea Lion; Leopard, Weddell, Crabeater & Southern Elephant Seals; Burmeister's Porpoise; Southern Bottlenose, Long-finned Pilot, Killer, Antarctic Minke, Sei, Fin & Humpback Whales; Peale's, Hourglass & Commerson's Dolphins.
Habitats Covered
coastal and pelagic waters, sub-Antarctic islands & Antarctic Peninsula, pack ice
Expected Climate
temperate to subzero, sunny and calm to gale force conditions can be expected
Max Group Size
150 with 140 Staff & Crew
Tour Pace & Walking
easy pace, mostly undemanding walks
Accommodation
comfortable expedition cruise ship
Ease of Birding
easy
Other Attractions
spectacular sub-Antarctic scenery, the most remote continent, icebergs and pack ice, Emperor Penguins
Photographic Opportunities
phenomenal
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

We had the most incredible trip, with perfect attention to every possible detail, and to have the added trip to the Penguin Colony on the Falklands was a cherry on the top. The guides were both attentive, and engaging at all levels with every member of the group, as well as helpful to non Rockjumper guests, which made a great impression on them too. Thank you for an overwhelmingly awesome tour.

An expedition of a lifetime well worth every penny! As a member of the Survivors of 2019 Club it was a very special tour. From the outstanding service by the expedition staff and crew on the extremely comfortable Quark Ocean Diamond to the always fabulous Rockjumper guides including Glen and Keith Valentine and Mark Beevers, it was the trip of a lifetime. The totally unexpected closeup sightings of Emperor Penguins and the tens of thousands of the six other penguin species was so much fun. Fur Seals and Elephant Seals sunbathed on the beaches as the many species of seabirds flew overhead. The trip to the Black-browed Albatross nesting sight was like something you only expect to see on tv. I felt the Quark crew and the Rockjumper guides went out of their way to make sure everyone had the perfect and safe trip.

A very successful and amazing trip! Many thanks to Daniel and Adam for all of the hours they spent on deck identifying birds (many of them requiring a photo to be sure)! The Ocean Victory is a stable and extremely comfortable vessel - great staff and good food. I truly appreciate that Rockjumper arranged the special trip for the N. Rockhopper Penguin. It was truly a trip of a lifetime!

Holly was great! I hope to travel with her again.

I want to thank Rockjumper for doing a charter trip to Antarctica, the Falklands and South Georgia! To me sharing the trip with a ship full of birders was the best; 150 birders what could be better... The guides were accessible and helpful, ship was comfortable, food was good, the Quark expedition folks were excellent, the weather cooperated. All around it was a wonderful trip. Worth the wait! Thank you!

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2023 DEPARTURES
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