Waterproof Cruises

March with the Penguins

One of the most unique and least seen wilderness experiences on earth. A photographers paradise!

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March with the Penguins

If you have ever seen ‘March of the Penguins’ then you will have a clear appreciation of how spectacular the Emperor penguins are. To visit one of the large colonies of thousands of penguins and their young chicks is one of the greatest and yet, least seen wildlife events on the planet. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the Gould Bay Emperor penguin colony on the remote coast of the Weddell sea. The Emperors are totally unafraid of humans and will come within a few meters of the group. Immerse yourself in the noise, the smell, commotion and the sheer beauty of it all. It will not disappoint you!

"I had high expectations of this trip, but never thought it would touch me as much as it did. Thank you for organizing such an amazing experience!"

- Bill M.

Photograph majestic Emperors and their chicks against a spectacular backdrop of ice cliffs, pressure ridges, and icebergs. Spot petrels and seals amongst the endless white expanse. Fall asleep to a chorus of trumpeting calls and wake to find curious penguins outside your tent.

  • Arrival day

    We ask you to arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile at least two full days prior to your scheduled Antarctic flight in order to fully prepare you for your upcoming experience. These days also allow a buffer for flight and luggage delays, should your travels to Chile not go as scheduled. We do not hold Antarctic flights for delayed passengers or luggage.

  • Getting ready: Luggage Pick-Up & Briefings

    On the morning before your Antarctic flight, we will come to your hotel at your scheduled luggage pick-up time.
    Be ready in the lobby with ALL of the luggage you will be taking to Antarctica including checked luggage and items that will be carried on. We will weigh everything and use these weights to calculate cargo totals for the ski aircraft flight to the penguin colony.

  • Day 1 Fly to Antarctica

    Today is the day your expedition realy takes off! At the Punta Arenas airport, we board our chartered jet for the 4¼ hour flight to Antarctica. Our route crosses the Drake Passage, then follows the west side of the Antarctic peninsula and the spine of the Ellsworth mountains. We land on a naturally occurring blue-ice runway on Union Glacier where you will take your first steps on Antarctica. Climb aboard one of our specially-adapted vans for the 5 mi (8 km) shuttle to our main camp. Our friendly staff will provide a welcome tour of the camp and show you to your tent.

  • Day 2 Exploring Union Glacier

    Guests usually enjoy a few days at Union Glacier as part of their experience. A typical day at Union Glacier starts with a briefing after breakfast where you’ll meet with your guide to discuss the day’s options and choose an activity tailored to the weather and the group’s interests. Union Glacier excursions can include any of the following destinations:
    Elephant’s Head-
    Ride in one of our vehicles to this dramatic marble buttress overlooking the blue-ice runway. Beautiful ice pools and moraines offer endless opportunities for photography. If you’re looking for something more active, you’ll have the opportunity to hike up to the base of Elephant’s Head or all the way to the top of Rhodes Bluff for panoramic views of Union Glacier and the Heritage Range.
    Drake Icefall-
    Named in the 1960s after geologist Benjamin Drake IV, this impressive icefall tumbles off the polar plateau into Union Glacier. Winds from the South Pole carve huge waves into the blue-ice and polish the surface into a high shine.

  • Enjoying Union Glacier

    Charles Peak Windscoop-
    Discover the power of wind on ice as you wander through a sparkling turquoise corridor. If you’re truly adventurous, this is a prime place to try ice climbing with one of our experienced guides. For the less vertically inclined, you can rock hunt to your heart’s content. Just remember to leave them in place, as nothing may be removed from Antarctica.
    The Beach at Rossman Cove-
    Another spectacular setting for blue-ice photography and panoramic views! Take cross-country skis with you or a picnic lunch and enjoy Antarctica’s version of a glacial beach getaway.
    Hidden Valley-
    Our staff’s favorite getaway—this secret canyon opens up to a beautiful valley prime for hiking, climbing, and backcountry skiing. If you’d prefer to stay closer to camp, we have a variety of activities for all abilities. You can check out a pair of cross-country skis or a fat-tire bike and take a spin around our groomed 10k loop or you can enjoy a cup of tea, an Antarctic book, or a fun game in our camp library. In the evenings, we regularly offer lectures and films tailored to your experience.
    Before you depart for the colony, we will review the Emperor Penguin Colony Visitor Guidelines.

  • Day 3 Flying to the Colony

    As soon as weather conditions permit, we will fly to the colony. The flight takes about 4 hours, travelling north-eastward over the Ronne Ice Shelf and Berkner island where we may stop to refuel if necessary. We land on sea ice where our staff has prepared a field camp 1-2 mi (2-3 km) from the colony.
    Our Emperor field camp manager will give you a tour of the camp and review safety procedures for travel to and from the colony. In this unfamiliar environment and remote location, it is vital that you follow the instructions given by our experienced staff. Your safety and the protection of wildlife are our top priorities.

  • Day 4-6 Live amongst the Emperors

    Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and rhythms of the colony. Walk to the colony with our experienced field guides to photograph penguins, seals, and seabirds. We provide small sleds and walking poles to help transport your camera equipment between camp and the colony. The sea ice generally provides a hard surface to walk on.

  • We make every effort not to disturb wildlife and strictly adhere to Emperor Penguin Colony Visitor Guidelines. These guidelines include maintaining a precautionary distance of 17 ft (5 m) away from all wildlife. Our guides are on hand to answer any questions you may have about the wildlife and their unique adaptations to the Antarctic environment.

  • 24-hour daylight allows us to adapt our schedule to the best weather and lighting for photography. While our guides are happy to accommodate individual requests, keep in mind this is a group activity and we may not always be able to offer 1 on 1 guiding. Please discuss your wishes with the guides in advance so they can tailor the camp schedule to include meals and sleep for everyone.

  • Day 7 Return to Union Glacier

    Our field staff will stay in close contact with Union Glacier camp to identify the best ‘weather window’ for your return flight.

  • Day 8 Enjoy Union Glacier

    Depending on flights, you may have a few days at the end of your experience to explore more of Union Glacier. You will also enjoy a celebration dinner and receive a certificate to commemorate your Emperor Penguins Experience in Antarctica.

  • Day 9 Return to Chile

    When weather and runway conditions permit, our intercontinental aircraft will arrive at Union Glacier to transport you back to Chile. Our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you back to your hotel.

  • Going Home

    We recommend booking your flight home one week after your return flight from Antarctica. If you purchase a full-fare ticket, most airlines will allow you to move your departure date. It is important to give yourself a buffer as delays are common in Antarctic travel. Our Punta Arenas team can provide a list of local tour operators and excursions if you wish to explore Chile before you return home. When it is time for your flight home, our staff will provide transportation from your hotel to the Punta Arenas airport.

Camp on the same sea ice where thousands of birds come to raise and feed their young and wake to find curious penguins outside your tent.

Union Glacier Camp

The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming at our main Antarctic camp at Union Glacier.

You’ll find roomy, double occupancy sleeping tents; a spacious dining hall; fresh delicious meals; and a spectacular setting. You’ll be surprised how comfortable Antarctica can be! Our full-service camp is designed for Antarctic conditions and with the best environmental practices in mind. It operates during the Antarctic summer (November through January) and is dismantled at the end of each season.


Field Camps

Our Gould Bay (Emperor penguin), ski expedition, climbing and other field camps are more basic. Equipment must be lightweight and portable, yet still strong enough to withstand Antarctic conditions. We sleep in mountaineering-style tents and eat a combination of fresh-frozen meals, prepared by our chefs at Union Glacier; and de-hydrated meals.

  Union Glacier Camp

Call us today on +31 (0) 858 771 583

Dates & Rates

Please for further details on current schedules, rates and special offers.


Call us today on +31 (0) 858 771 583