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The most exclusive way to see Antartica’s Emperor Penguin Colony.

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A wildlife photographer’s dream. This trip offers unique access to a magnificent penguin colony when the chicks are taking their first steps off their parent’s feet.

You will start in Cape Town which is home to award-winning vineyards and stunning ocean vistas. It is often tipped as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

You will be host to a safety briefing the day before the flight where staff will explain all kit requirements, assist with any last minute preparations and update you as to the latest weather forecasts in Antarctica.

We travel in uncompromised comfort across the mighty southern ocean in a Gulfstream private jet. During the 5hr flight, the African night turns to day as we soar over thousands of icebergs and pass into 24hrs of continuous sunshine.

Destination: Wolf’s Fang runway and then onto Whichaway Camp.

Whichaway Camp is unique and the perfect place from which to base your adventure. There are six state-of-the-art sleeping pods that are heated and designed for two people in each. At just over 6m (20ft) in diameter, they are also spacious, with a writing desk, wash area and toilet.

The rest of the camp comprises a shower pod, kitchen and three centralised pods that make up the reception, lounge and dining room. While the exterior is made from cutting edge materials, the interior has an old-world feel with rich textures. Here you can relax and enjoy the food from our award-winning chef.

Two hours flight in a Basler BT-67 from our main camp and you are at a site of over 6,000 penguins and their young chicks. Both are totally unafraid of humans and will come within a few meters of our group, immersing you in the noise, commotion and the sheer beauty of it all. This is one of the greatest, and yet least seen, wildlife events on the planet.

Tour Dates: 2019

18 – 23 November – 10 spaces left

23 – 28 November – 8 spaces left

Price per person: CHF 55 000

(USD to CHF is quoted as 1 – 1. This may change due to currency fluctuations)

Included:

1. Safety briefing in Cape Town.
2. Return transfers for Antarctica flights.
3. Return flight to Antarctica (inc. a 30kg baggage allowance).
4. All accommodation, food and drink (including all alcohol) in Antarctica.
5. All guiding fees, support of field guides and logistics staff.
6. The use of certain items of polar
clothing, as denoted on equipment list.
7. Payment by White Desert Ltd of a ‘Carbon Tax’ for offsetting emissions created by all logistics associated with Antarctic travel.

Excluded:

1. Commercial flights to and from Cape Town, South Africa
2. Accommodation and meals whilst in Cape Town (please note, these can be organised through our Cape Town office).
3. Polar clothing (please note, these items can be purchased on your behalf by a member of White Desert team).
4. Comprehensive insurance cover. (White Desert staff can advise you as to the appropriate cover required.)
5. Additional expenses incurred in Cape Town due to any delay.
6. Additional baggage costs over the agreed amount.
7. Cost of the use of a satellite phone whilst in Antarctica.

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South Pole & Emperor Penguins

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CM Travels: Antartica - Wildlife - White Desert Camp  - Emperor Penguin Colony - landscape -Flags

This luxury adventure takes you into the heart of Antarctica to see the Emperor Penguins.

Then it’s to the lowest point on earth – the South Pole!

Start Point: Cape Town, South Africa.

You will attend a safety briefing the day before the flight where you will be welcomed. You will also be updated as to the latest weather forecasts in Antarctica and assist with any last minute preparations.

SOUTH AFRICA TO ANTARCTICA

On the flight from Cape Town, you will pass into the Antarctic Circle and into 24hours of continuous sunshine. The plane you will be using is a Gulfstream G550 with return range. All carbon is offset with fully accredited projects.

Once landed you will then board a short DC3 half hour flight to Whichaway Camp. Whichaway Camp is unique and the perfect place from which to base your adventure. There are seven state-of-the-art sleeping pods that are heated and designed for two people in each. At just over 6m (20ft) in diameter, they are also spacious with a writing desk, wash area and toilet.

The rest of the camp comprises a shower pod, kitchen and three centralised pods that make up the reception, lounge and dining room. While the exterior is made from cutting edge materials, the interior has an old-world feel with rich textures. Here you can relax and enjoy the food from our award-winning chef.

Even now, reaching the lowest point on earth is a feat that very few people have achieved. During the 7 hour flight, you will land on the polar plateau to refuel and you will have a chance to walk around this vast, foreboding wilderness getting a real taste for the immense scale of Antarctica.

Back on board, continue to the South Pole, landing at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station. At the designated marker, you will be at the lowest point on earth. A place with no more East, South or West – only North and you will be able to walk around the world in just a few paces!

On one of the following days you will head on a two hour flight via Basler BT-67 from our main camp and reach the site of over 6,000 penguins and their young chicks.

Both are totally unafraid of humans and will come within a few meters of your group, immersing you in the noise, commotion and the sheer beauty of it all. This is one of the greatest, and yet least seen, wildlife events on the planet.

Tour Dates: 2019

Trip 1: 28 Nov – 6 Dec 2019 1 SPACE

Trip 2: 6 Dec – 14 Dec 2019 9 SPACES

Trip 3: 14 Dec – 21 Dec 2019 FULLY BOOKED

Trip 4: 21 Dec – 29 Dec 2019 FULLY BOOKED

Trip 5: 29 Dec – 6 Jan 2020 FULLY BOOKED

Trip 6: 6 Jan – 14 Jan 2020 8 SPACES

Trip 7: 14 Jan – 22 Jan 2020 6 SPACES

Per person in double pod: CHF 89 000

(USD to CHF is quoted as 1 – 1. This may change due to currency fluctuations)

Included:

1. Safety briefing in Cape Town.
2. Return transfers for Antarctica flights.
3. Return flight to Antarctica (inc. a 30kg baggage allowance).
4. All accommodation, food and drink (including all alcohol) in Antarctica.
5. All guiding fees, support of field guides and logistics staff.
6. The use of certain items of polar clothing, as denoted on equipment list.
7. Payment by White Desert Ltd of a ‘Carbon Tax’ for offsetting emissions created by all logistics associated with Antarctic travel.
8. Flights to reach the South Pole and penguin colony.

Excluded:

1. Commercial flights to and from Cape Town, South Africa
2. Accommodation and meals whilst in Cape Town (please note, these can be organised through our office).
3. Polar clothing (please note, these items can be purchased on your behalf by a member of White Desert team).
4. Comprehensive insurance cover. (We can advise you as to the appropriate cover required.)
5. Additional expenses incurred in Cape Town due to any delay.
6. Additional baggage costs over the agreed amount.
7. Cost of the use of a satellite phone whilst in Antarctica.

cm-travels-antartica-wildlife-nature-white-desert-camp-emperor-penguins-ulitmate-luxury-private-south-pole-flags cm-travels-antartica-wildlife-nature-white-desert-camp-emperor-penguins-ulitmate-luxury-private-south-pole-guest-portrait cm-travels-antartica-wildlife-nature-white-desert-camp-emperor-penguins-ulitmate-luxury-private-south-pole-guestscm-travels-antartica-wildlife-nature-white-desert-camp-emperor-penguins-ulitmate-luxury-private-landscapes-ice-waves

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Weddell Sea – Searching for the Elusive Emperor Penguins including helicopters

Weddell Sea – In search of the Emperor Penguin incl. helicopters

Duration: 10 nights
Ship: m/v Ortelius
Embarkation: Ushuaia
Disembarkation: Ushuaia
Language: English speaking voyage

A true expedition, our Weddell Sea cruise sets out to explore the range of the Emperor Penguins near Snow Hill Island. We will visit the area via helicopter and see a variety of other birds and penguins including Adélies and Gentoos.

Day 1: End of the world, start of a journey

Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.

Day 2 – 3: Path of the polar explorers

Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. Wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds you might see.

Day 4 – 7: Entering Antarctica

You may sail into the Weddell Sea via the Antarctic Sound. Here huge tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. During this part of the cruise, the search is on for emperor penguins. Using both the vessel and helicopters, there’s a good chance you’ll find them. You might also enjoy scenic flights, and if conditions allow, helicopter landings in locations otherwise out of reach this time of year.

Helicopter flights are a true trip changer, and may include:

The west slopes of the Antarctic Sound – The western side of this area is only rarely seen from the air, though the landscape is truly worth the flight: Layered sandstones, lava flows, glaciers, icebergs, and pack-ice extend as far as the eye can see. There are often individual emperor penguins and Adélie penguins on the ice floes, as well as kelp gulls, skuas, and various breeds of petrel. Jagged mountain peaks stab through the snow, and enormous walls of ice lie shattered on the slopes below.

Duse Bay – A soaring helicopter flight may deposit you on a rocky hillock close to an old refuge hut overlooking this bay. There’s still a lot of snow and ice this time of year, but much of the walk in this location is over frost-shattered rock covered with lichen of all shapes and colors.

Seymour Island – This is where the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901 – 4 wintered under harrowing polar conditions. Sedimentary rock, fossils, and expansive views define this location.

If conditions allow for deeper ventures into the Weddell Sea, Zodiac trips may include:

Devil Island – Home to a large colony of Adélie penguins, this island offers a magnificent vantage point for hikers willing to foot it to the top of the hill. Melting ice sometimes forms a waterfall dropping from the cliffs close to Cape Well-met.

Brown Bluff – Maybe the most scenic location in the entire northern tip of the Antarctic Continent: sheer canyon walls, fallen boulders, beautiful volcanic creations capped with ice. A large Adélie penguin rookery lives here, with gentoo penguins and nesting snow petrels also to be found.

Gourdin Island – Chinstrap, gentoo, and Adélie penguins love this island, which is yet another landing option for your continuing Antarctic adventure.

Esperanza Base – This Argentine research station, which operates year-round and is one of only two civilian settlements in Antarctica, could serve as an alternative landing site.

Day 8: Drake via Deception Island

In the morning, you sail to Deception Island for the last landing of the voyage, either at Pendulum Cove or Whalers Bay. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.

Day 9 – 10: Familiar seas, familiar friends

Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.

Day 11: There and back again

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Day 5 – 6: (Alternate program if the route to Snow Hill Island is free of multi-year pack ice – less than 50 % probability)

Helicopters provide an advantage in reaching the emperor penguin colony, but nature makes the rules in Antarctica. If conditions are favourable, you’ll spend the first two days at the penguin rookery. The helicopter operation takes a full day, and the flight duration is approximately 15 minutes. Each helicopter can accommodate 4 – 6 passengers per flight, and the landing site is carefully chosen so that the penguins are not disturbed. Upon arrival to the site, it is about a 45-minute walk to the rookery. Please keep in mind that you are in the world’s most remote area: There are no guarantees. Conditions may change rapidly, which can have a profound impact on our helicopter operations. It is important to understand and respect this. Safety is our greatest concern, and no compromises can be made.

Dates: 14 Nov – 24 Nov, 2019

Quadruple Porthole – Euro 9300 per person sharing (CURRENT SPECIAL Euro 7900)

2 portholes
2 upper / lower berths
Private shower & toilet
Desk & chair
Flatscreen TV
Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
Hair dryer
Ample storage space

Triple Porthole – Euro 9950 per person sharing (CURRENT SPECIAL Euro 9300)

2 portholes
1 upper / lower berth + 1 single lower berth
Private shower & toilet
Desk & chair
Flatscreen TV
Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
Hair dryer
Ample storage space

Twin Porthole – Euro 10650 per person sharing (CURRENT SPECIAL Euro 9300)

2 portholes
2 lower berths
Private shower & toilet
Desk & chair
Flatscreen TV
Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
Hair dryer
Ample storage space

Twin Window – Euro 11 100 per person sharing

2 windows
2 lower berths
Private shower & toilet
Desk & chair
Flatscreen TV
Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
Hair dryer
Ample storage space

Twin Deluxe – Euro 11 550 per person sharing

3 windows
2 lower berths
Private shower & toilet
Desk & chair
Small sofa
Refrigerator
Coffee & tea maker
Flatscreen TV
Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
Hair dryer
Ample storage space

Superior – Euro 20 740 per person sharing (CURRENT SPECIAL Euro 18 870)

2 windows (minimum)
1 double bed
1 single (sofa) bed
Private shower & toilet
Desk & chair
Flatscreen TV
Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
Refrigerator
Coffee & tea maker
Hair dryer
Ample storage space

Included in this voyage

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
Ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (with no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed)
Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia.
Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
Comprehensive pre-departure material.

Excluded from this voyage

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights Pre- and post- land arrangements.
Passport and visa expenses.
Government arrival and departure taxes.
Meals ashore.
Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

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PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. The on-board expedition leader determines the final itinerary. Itineraries may mention places that require permission to land, which must be granted by the relevant national authorities. Such permission is not granted prior to the publishing of these itineraries. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Average cruising speed of m/v Ortelius is 10.5 knots. If ice conditions are favourable and the route to Snow Hill Island is free of multi-year pack ice, you have the chance for ship-to-shore helicopter transfers to Snow Hill Island (roughly 45 minutes walking distance from the emperor penguin rookery). If successful, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But please remember that nature writes the final itinerary out here: Attempts to reach Snow Hill Island during the voyages of 2012 – 17 did not always succeed. In 2013 and November 2017 conditions were favorable to land by helicopter on Snow Hill Island and to visit the emperor penguin rookery.

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