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Antarctica: Discover a Penguin Colony

National Geographic Adventure picks the 25 best new outfitted trips.
Text by Bonnie Tsui   Photograph by Zegrahm Expeditions

Photo: Penguins

Weddell Sea emperor penguins

WHAT'S NEW: Two years ago a new emperor penguin colony was discovered on the south side of Snow Hill Island. You can be among the first to witness this 4,000-breeding-pair rookery of majestic birds on Zegrahm Expeditions' October journey aboard the icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov. Setting sail from Ushuaia, Argentina, the icebreaker will cruise the 500-mile (805-kilometer) Drake Passage—where guests on deck can photograph whales and swooping albatross—and crash through frozen waters to reach the Antarctic Peninsula and Weddell Sea. There, giant tabular icebergs dot the horizon and crabeater seals drift by on ice floes. "Emperor penguin colonies are usually much harder to reach," says Zegrahm spokesperson Casey Marker. "That's what makes Snow Hill so special."

ON THE GROUND:
Once on the island, if weather permits, helicopters will carry you to the rookery to watch newborn penguin chicks cluster and brood at their parents' feet. You'll also have a chance to make a Zodiac landing at the Trinity Peninsula's Brown Bluff and set foot on the Antarctic landmass itself.

Vitals

Outfitter:
Zegrahm Expeditions (www.zeco.com)

Length:
15 days

Price:
$16,980

Difficulty:
Easy

Departs:
October



Cover: Adventure magazine

Our November 2006 issue features the best new adventure travel trips; an exclusive look inside Iran; a Greenland global warming report; backcountry spas; digital cameras; travel Web sites; weekend getaways; and more.

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