The emperor penguin is the largest of all penguin species and one of the world’s most spectacular animals. Seeing the emperors in their natural habitat on the sea ice is the ultimate bucket list item for many wildlife lovers and photographers. Emperor colonies are located in very remote locations that are challenging to access.

There are two types of emperor penguin trips offered:

Land Based Fly in Trips: The most reliable way to see the emperors is a specialized fly in trip with land based accommodations in the interior of Antarctica. From the camp guests take a flight to a colony to spend time photographing and observing the birds. These trips operate each November from either Punta Arenas, Chile or Cape Town, South Africa. A visit to the geographic South Pole can also be combined with the emperor penguin colony. Prices for these specialty trips start around US$60,000/person for emperor only trips and $92,000/person for emperor & South Pole expeditions.

Ship Based Trips: Each November typically there are at least a couple voyages that will attempt to visit the emperor penguin colony at Snow Hill Island in the Weddell Sea. The eastern side of the Peninsula is heavily iced so whether or not the ship will make it to the colony will depend on the ice and weather conditions. The voyages depart from Ushuaia, Argentina sailing across the Drake Passage and start at US$12,000-13,000/person or $25,000-30,000/person depending on the ship.