Let your journey to Snow Hill Island begin!
Your Expedition Leader will keep you updated regarding weather briefings, meteorological and sea ice conditions. The sea, ice and weather must be considered at all times to ensure a safe and sensible experience. The thickness of ice will ultimately determine how close the Ultramarine can anchor near Snow Hill Island.
Over the next couple days, guests will set out in small groups from the Ultramarine to the emperor penguin colony. Your adventure will begin with an extended helicopter transfer, aboard one of the Ultramarine’s two twin-engine helicopters, revealing the landscape’s snow-capped peaks and colossal tabular icebergs from above. Your Expedition Team and helicopter pilot is armed with a wealth of knowledge and expertise, and will make sure to highlight any interesting ice formations and wildlife species en route.
The rookery itself is located on the sea ice just off the south coast of Snow Hill Island. Your pilot will land as close as possible, yet also at a safe distance from the penguins, ensuring not to disturb the seabirds. Upon landing, your group will walk across the ice to observe the colony of thousands and thousands of rarely-seen emperor penguins up-close. Be sure to capitalise on your Expedition Team’s extensive knowledge, learning about the emperor penguins tight-knit community behaviour, how they care for their young, as well as how they can body surf across the ice so efficiently.
When your group is not travelling to Snow Hill Island, you will spend your time aboard the Ultramarine exploring the Weddell Sea. Daily activities include Zodiac iceberg cruises, trekking atop the ice, stand-up paddle boarding, sea kayaking, polar plunges, and engaging with your Expedition Team learning more about Antarctica weather forecasting and the ship’s day-to-day operations.
Join your expedition polar experts, including penguin scientists, biologists and polar historians, for a selection of bespoke educational programmes tailored specifically to your polar quest. Each day they will present on various aspects of emperor penguins and their behaviours, ice formations (such as the tabular icebergs which you’ll see from the ship’s deck), as well as the historic experiences of polar explorers who braved the Weddell Sea over a century ago. An enlightening occasion no doubt.
While on board also make sure to enjoy the ship’s state-of-the-art Ambassador Theatre, library, lounge and bar area, one of two restaurants (Balena Restaurant and Bistro 487), as well as the Tundra Spa and Sauna, and fitness centre.