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Emperor penguins, Snow Hill, Weddell Sea, Antarctica

Weddell Sea

First discovered by James Weddell in 1823, the Weddell Sea is home to vast tabular icebergs, colossal landscapes and some of Antarctica’s greatest penguin rookeries.

We have been specialising in expeditionary cruises to the Southern Ocean for over 15 years and offer a selection of voyages in the Weddell Sea. Travel aboard small expeditionary boats or ice-strengthened ships to some of the most challenging regions on Earth.

First discovered by James Weddell in 1823, the Weddell Sea is home to vast tabular icebergs, pack ice, a barren landscape, grand vistas and some of Antarctica’s greatest penguin rookeries. The south-western and southern borders of the sea are formed by the Larsen and the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelves which produce the huge tabular icebergs that are so abundant in the Weddell Sea.

Emperor Penguin, Snow Hill, Antarctica
Emperor penguin, Snow Hill, Antarctica

Snow Hill Penguin Colony

The Snow Hill penguin colony, only recently discovered, offers a chance to see emperor penguins which you would normally have to travel to the Ross Sea to experience. Cruises with onboard helicopters will give the best chance of getting close to the colony. Epic stories of endurance and survival, such as Shackleton’s and Nordenskjold’s, will be fresh in the mind, but you will have the comfort of a well equipped expedition ship to return to each day.

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Emperor penguins and their chicks, Antarctica
Emperor penguins and their chicks, Antarctica

Cruise & Helicopter: In Search of the Emperors

An extraordinary expedition cruise to the ice-chocked Weddell Sea and the far side of the Antarctic Peninsula, this is an adventure-filled trip that is synonymous with British polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men. Focusing on exploring the range of the emperor penguins near Snow Hill Island, board helicopters to fly inland and land at their remote rookeries.

11 days

from £10,550 pp

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Antarctica, Uncovered
Browse the Great White Continent

We have created and curated these voyage ideas to get you inspired. Browse through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure to Antarctica.

Experiences

Things to do, places to explore and moments to experience.

Scroll to discover some of our most remarkable travel experiences in Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, from diving to photographing busy penguin rookeries.

Penguins of the Weddell Sea

Discover the clearest sea waters on earth, home to millions of penguins that include Adélies and emperors.

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The Polar Plunge

Plunge in the icy Antarctic waters of Paradise Bay, a completely exhilarating (and somewhat bonkers) way to experience the cold continent.

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Icy Water Kayaking

Navigate alongside icebergs in Wilhelmina Bay, looking out for curious penguins and whales, or embark on an overnight camping expedition.

Diving in Antarctic Waters

Don a dry suit and take a dip in the icy cold waters of Antarctica to dive or snorkel with curious penguins and marvel at the ice beneath the surface.

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Aperture on Cuverville Island

Head out on a photography tour on Cuverville Island, known for its deafeningly noisy penguin rookeries.

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Camp near the South Pole

For a truly extraordinary and utterly unique experience, fly in to a specially constructed camp near the South Pole.

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Explorers of Antarctica

Learn the fascinating history of the early explorers, perhaps visiting both the iconic huts and graves (and snow tombs) of Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott.

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Falkland Battlefields

Explore the battlefields of the 1982 conflict.

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Navigate the Ross Sea

Sail through the remote ocean region that is home to emperor penguins, orca whales, and leopard seals, and see the largest floating body of ice in the world.

Snow Adventures in Antarctica

Try snowshoeing across the icy white plains of Antarctica, a challenging but exhilarating sport.

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Photography in the Falklands

Make the most of the light clarity in the Falkland Islands, as it provides wonderful opportunities for photographers and artists.

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Walk on Gypsy Cove

Explore the stunning coastal paths and inland hills for magical sea views.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Sue Grimwood

The vast continent of Antarctica is Sue’s happy place. Immune to the pungent smell of penguin poo and the halitosis of elephant seals, she fell in love with its seemingly endless snowscapes, icebergs the size of stadiums and fascinating history of the explorers.
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  • 01285 601 784

James Armitage

James has been lucky enough to visit Antarctica by boat, crossing the infamous Drake Passage and flying down to Antarctica, allowing time to visit the 7th white continent, observe charismatic penguins and kayak beside a breaching humpback whale.
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  • 01285 601 784

John Faithfull

It is not often that John struggles with words, but this is a destination that left him speechless.
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  • 01285 601 784

Let’s chat

Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.

Enquire

Sue’s extensive first-hand knowledge of Antarctica was so apparent from our first phone call. She was able to help us select the ideal route and vessel for our needs, and with her guidance we were able to see the emperor penguins!

Destination: Antarctica
Travel Expert: Sue

Sue forewarned us that there would be no words to describe South Georgia and that our photos wouldn’t do it justice, and how right she was. All we can say is “see for yourself”. Thank you, Sue, for your indispensable advice.

Destination: Antarctica
Travel Expert: Sue

We were blown away by Sue’s in-depth knowledge of everything from endemic species to the history of Shackleton and his men. No question we had went unanswered, and no little detail was missed.

Destination: Antarctica
Travel Expert: Sue

Sue's in-depth knowledge of Antarctica, the route options and each of the vessels was invaluable in our preparation for the trip and was a strong differentiator when we were choosing a travel agent. When talking with Sue, we quickly got an honest perspective.

Destination: Antarctica
Travel Expert: Sue

Both telephone and e-mail responses were excellent and all of Sue's expert advice was very much appreciated. She was prompt, supportive and engaging throughout and our expedition to Antarctica was spectacular.

Destination: Antarctica
Travel Expert: Sue

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?


Why Steppes