Journey to the Antarctic Peninsula - Weddell Sea

Famous for its enormous icebergs, towering glaciers and shimmering summer light, Antarctica offers some of the planet's most awe inspiring landscapes. The North Atlantic and Arctic evoke images of sparse snow covered lands, but when summer comes it bursts with colour and life.

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Journey to the Antarctic Peninsula - Weddell Sea

Postby travelbug88 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:11 am

Can anyone who has been on this trip help me out with some information as I'm struggling to decide which trip to book!!

I definitely want to make the most of my trip to Antarctica seen as it's probably the only time I'l ever go there, and seeing as the longer trips to South Georgia and the Falkland are out of the running due to the higher costs I thought 'Journey to the Antarctica Peninsula' might make a good compromise!

I know you can't predict the weather/conditions/animal sightings but does anybody know if there is a reasonable chance to see Emperor Penguins on this trip? Does the ship make it down to Snow Hill Island?

With 8 days in Antarctica I figured it would give me a much better chance of seeing the wildlife rather than the 4/6 days trips! I read somewhere that ships visiting the Weddell Sea area don't manage to make as many Zodiac landings as trips to the Western side of the Peninsula? But it looks like this trip aims to visit both the Eastern and Western side so in my mind it's the best of both worlds!

Anyone who has been on this trip, any advice/info would be extremely helpful!! We'd be booking the trip from 19th Dec '15 - 2nd Jan '16...so hopefully we'll get to see some baby penguins too!
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Re: Journey to the Antarctic Peninsula - Weddell Sea

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:03 pm

It doesn't look to me like this will get far enough south to see Emperors but you should see King Penguins.

https://www.gadventures.com/trips/antarctic-peninsula-and-the-weddell-sea/XVAWSX/2015/itinerary/
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Re: Journey to the Antarctic Peninsula - Weddell Sea

Postby tabitha1300 » Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:39 am

Hello,

We didn't do our Antarctica trips through this group, but it does sound like a good option. We did two separate trips, one to the east side of the peninsula and one predominantly on the west. The west side, the Weddell sea one in November/December 2012, was when we hoped to see the emporers, but even with helicopters on board that could take us in from some way out, we could not get close enough to the colony because the sea ice was too extensive. We did see one or two lone emporers, so we did at least see one. There will never be any guarantee that you will reach the emporers, and I believe that at end December/ start of Jan, you could be chancing that they will already have left the colony anyway. We still lived our west side trip, and the crew changed course and took us along the east side and to deception island. We saw lots of gentoos, adelies and chinstraps (nesting at this time), as well as whales and seals.

Our east side trip was a March one, so the gentoos had slightly older chicks, which were great as they are very curious so come up close to see you.

Another poster suggested you may see king penguins, but as far as I know there aren't any in Antarctica itself. We saw them on the Falklands, and there is a huge colony on South Georgia.

I think the trip you are considering sounds great, but I don't think you should bank on being able to see the emporers. Even without getting to the colony, we loved the Weddell Sea as the sea ice and huge tabular icebergs are so beautiful.

Hope this helps and that you have a great trip.
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Re: Journey to the Antarctic Peninsula - Weddell Sea

Postby celestial-navigation » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:47 am

Hi haven't done this exact trip, but I did the Antarctica classic in depth last year that ended up in the Weddell sea because of heavy ice on the Eastern Peninsula.

I think our most southerly point was Seymour island which is just a touch further north than Snow Hill, but it was still ice bound and there was no way to reach it, and even if we had I believe the emperor colonies are still out of reach from shore unless you have a helicopter. We all kept an eye out for rogue lone lost penguins, but never saw anything that large.

I would say, albeit with no comparison, that while the landscapes may not match the postcard version of Antarctica you've seen, they're still spectacular, and being amongst the enormous bergs of Antarctic Sound is unparallelled.

If you want a guide on what you might expect to see on that side - then photos from my trip are here - https://www.flickr.com/photos/gengen/se ... 295492373/

We had a trip with unbelievable wind speeds meaning that as well as heavy ice, we were more limited on how often we made it to shore, and the zodiac rides to get there were somewhat... exciting. I think that we had 8 landings in all, out of a likely 15 or so, but it's still something I wouldn't have missed for the world and have no regrets about.
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