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See 8,000 emperor penguins in Antarctica with Scenic Eclipse

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours will take you to meet emperor penguins with their two helicopters and expert discovery team.

Located in the Weddell Sea off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, Snow Hill Island is a remote, almost completely snow-capped island home to a breeding colony of 4,000 pairs of emperor penguins. Depart on Scenic Eclipse in November and December for the best opportunity to see the 8,000 emperor penguins closer than ever before, thanks to Scenic’s expert polar discovery team and custom-built helicopters.

Onboard Scenic Eclipse

During sea days, make the most of Scenic’s Discovery Yacht, Scenic Eclipse and its wide range of offerings, including the Senses Spa, yoga classes and included meals and beverages at the ship’s many dining options. You will be well and truly revitalised and ready to explore Antarctica. Equipped with zodiacs, a submersible, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and two helicopters, you will have no trouble making the most of your voyage in this bucket list destination.

Scenic Eclipse in the Weddell Sea © Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours

Heli excursion to Snow Hill Island

As Scenic Eclipse is a small ship with a guest capacity of 200 people, itineraries are flexible, giving the ship’s captain the freedom to add detours or surprise experiences. One particular adventure includes a helicopter excursion to view the famous emporer penguin colony on Snow Hill Island. Scenic’s two helicopters allow for the opportunity to get closer to these elusive birds. These custom-built Airbus H130 aircraft are the quietest in the sky and ensure minimal disturbance to wildlife and the environment, meaning it is possible to land on sea ice about one kilometre from the penguin colony.

Once disembarking, the Scenic Eclipse discovery team will lead you on a short snow hike for views of the vast expanse of Emperor penguins below. Ornithologist, Dr Maricel Grilli is among this team and has been working with Scenic in Antarctica since 2020, he is an expert on the behaviour and ecology of Antarctica’s wildlife and the ideal specialist to have on site.

Why cruise Antarctica with Scenic Eclipse

  • 1:1 staff-to-guest ratio to ensure an intimate cruising experience.
  • Site landings in Antarctica are restricted to 100 people at a time. With a maximum of 200 onboard Scenic Eclipse at one time, this means there is plenty of time for multiple landings a day, with longer time spent at each site and less waiting.
  • Scenic Eclipse is purpose-built with a Polar Class 6 rating and custom-built stabilisers to enable safe and comfortable navigation through Antarctic waters.
  • Scenic’s submersible, the Scenic Neptune and helicopters allow the discovery of Antarctica above and below.
  • Included specially curated discovery excursions such as kayaking around icebergs to observe whales or a visit to the final resting place of Ernest Shackleton in South Georgia.
  • The expert discovery team lead excursions and engaging lectures onboard.
Snow Hill Island heli excursion
Snow Hill Island heli excursion © Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours

Featured Itinerary

Antarctica, South Georgia & The Falkland Islands

Scenic Eclipse | Buenos Aires > Buenos Aires | 27 November 2024 

This 20-day expedition voyage will offer the best opportunity to see penguins on Snow Hill Island taking place at the beginning of Scenic’s Antarctic season. Other highlights for this itinerary include:

  • Visit the remote Falkland Islands and discover the capital Stanley and its rich history. Explore the outer islands where albatross and as many as a million penguins nest, including King, Rockhopper and Gentoo species.
  • Discover the stunning landscapes of South Georgia, with up to three potential landing sites home to large amounts of wildlife such as elephant and fur seals.
  • Explore Antarctica over five days under the expertise of Scenic’s Polar Discovery Team who will organise excursions and activities to ensure you get the most out of your time there.