Emperor Penguins and Their Furry Chicks are Focus of Scenic’s New Exclusive Helicopter Excursion to Antarctica’s Snow Hill Island

Scenic Eclipse (August 2019, Courtesy Scenic Cruises)For the first time, ultra-luxury discovery yacht “Scenic Eclipse” is offering guests the exclusive opportunity to embark on a unique helicopter excursion to witness first-hand the incredible 5,000 breeding pairs of Emperor penguins of Snow Hill Island.

A colony that was only discovered in the 90’s and situated on the brink of the Antarctic Circle, Snow Hill Island is only accessible by helicopter. Scenic is one of the only cruise lines able to facilitate this rare once-in-a-lifetime moment for guests visiting this region of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Boasting soaring high icebergs and impenetrable walls of Weddell Sea ice, this remote location is often only visited by scientists. From December 2022, subject to weather and operational conditions, guests (chosen in order of suite level) on board Scenic Eclipse’s 16-day Antarctica & The Weddell Sea voyage will have the chance to be some of the few to experience the excursion. Designed by experts in polar expeditions, this brand-new experience gives guests the rare opportunity to witness these magnificent penguins in their natural habitat.

The new excursion has been meticulously planned to coincide with the end of the breeding season, marking the perfect time to spot downy chicks as they shed fluffy grey feathers and prepare for their first forays into the Antarctic Ocean. Guests can watch the chicks’ parents waddle out to sea to hunt, their iridescent orange ear patches glinting in the polar sun.

Every once in a while, new experiences come along that truly raise the bar in cruising and this is one of them. Emperor penguins themselves are a rare sight. Despite being a top Antarctic wildlife attraction, they are a near-endangered species only found in a few specific locations and seasons. This new experience comes hot on the heels of the recently added submarine dives in South Georgia Islands, which see guests witness a diversity of rich marine life unlike anywhere else in the world in an unforgettable way.

On Weddell Sea voyages, guests can also spy rookeries of elephant seals lazing on the beach, or pods of humpback whales, minke and orcas breaching the surface of the water all while enjoying the views of snow-capped mountains and twinkling glaciers in the final continental frontier in all-inclusive, ultra-luxury style.

Jason Flesher, Operations Manager, Scenic Expeditions, offered, “Scenic Eclipse has a Polar Class 6 rating and is custom built for Antarctic exploration, allowing us to go far deeper into the Weddell’s ice than most cruise lines. The ship’s technology enables us to take our guests to the most hidden corners of Antarctica and offer them a once in a lifetime experience.”

With Scenic Eclipse’s dynamic positioning system, fleet of Zodiacs providing multiple daily shore landings, two luxury helicopters, a six-guest submarine and expert Discovery Leaders, and adhering to the IAATO Snow Hill Emperor Penguin Colony Guidelines, guests will be able to take in the majesty of these animals, only yards away.

To be the first to witness the impressive colony, guests can join the 16-day Antarctica & The Weddell Sea voyage, flying to Buenos Aires in Argentina and sailing a round trip from Ushuaia. Prices start at $24,015 per person, double, based on December 20, 2022 departure in a Deluxe Verandah suite.

All Scenic Eclipse voyages are truly all-inclusive, meaning that everything is included. Flights, transfers, fine dining experiences, premium branded beverages, butler service, entertainment, spa usage, and once-in-a-lifetime immersive excursions are all included in the cruise fare. Submarine and helicopter excursions and spa services (massages, etc.) are the only items that are extra.

(Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours)