Antarctica and remote islands of the South Atlantic are home to some of the largest wildlife colonies found anywhere on Earth. On the dark sand beaches and in the tussock covered dunes of South Georgia, King Penguin colonies contain more than 100,000 adult birds and their young. To the south, in the remote Weddell Sea region of Antarctica, we find Adelie Penguin rookeries of a similar size and scale. These ‘mega colonies’ are the focus of this unique voyage – a world first in polar expedition travel.
In March 2018, scientists from the esteemed Stony Brook University and their international colleagues announced the discovery of a previously unknown penguin colony, estimated to contain more than a million Adelie Penguins. Studying detailed satellite imagery of the remote Danger Islands, researchers visited and confirmed the astonishing find. These islands sit at the remote and little-visited northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. While the mega fauna colonies are a highlight of this voyage, history can be found at every turn, and we visit several important locations containing relics from early exploration and the whaling era. The waters are full of life, and we anticipate encounters with both whales and seals. We explore each day off the ship, in the Zodiac boats, by sea kayak and by hiking on shore – all in the company of expert guides who interpret and educate us about our fantastic surroundings. We invite you to join us on what promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime voyage.
King, Emperor (rare), Gentoo, Adelie, Chinstrap, Southern Rockhopper, Macaroni & Magellanic Penguins; Flying, Fuegian & Falkland Steamer Ducks; Upland, Kelp & Ruddy-headed Goose; Yellow-billed Pintail; Wandering, Southern Royal, Northern Royal, Light-mantled, Black-browed & Grey-headed Albatrosses; Wilson’s, Grey-backed & Black-bellied Storm Petrels; Southern & Northern Giant Petrels; Southern Fulmar; Antarctic, Cape, Snow, Blue, White-headed, White-chinned, Kerguelen & Great-winged Petrels; Antarctic, Slender-billed & Fairy Prions; Sooty & Great Shearwaters; Magellanic, South Georgia & Common Diving Petrels; Rock, Imperial, South Georgia & Antarctic Shags; Snowy Sheathbill; Magellanic & Blackish Oystercatchers; Two-banded & Rufous-chested Plovers; Dolphin Gull; Chilean, South Polar & Brown Skuas; Striated Caracara; Blackish Cinclodes; Dark-faced Ground Tyrant; Grass & Cobb’s Wren; Austral Thrush; Correndera & South Georgia Pipits; Black-chinned Siskin; Long-tailed Meadowlark; White-bridled & Black-throated Finches.
Humpback, Fin, Sei & Minke Whale, Orca, Commerson’s & Peale’s Dolphin, Weddell, Crabeater, Leopard, Southern Elephant & Antarctic Fur Seal
coastal and pelagic waters, sub-Antarctic islands & Antarctic Peninsula, pack ice
temperate to subzero, sunny and calm to gale force conditions can be expected
easy pace, mostly undemanding walks
spectacular sub-Antarctic scenery, the most remote continent, icebergs and pack ice, nesting albatrosses, vast penguin colonies