PONANT adds new Emperor Penguin itineraries

Three departures to Snow Hill Island released for 2025

Emperor Penguin, Snow Hill Island ©StudioPONANT Morgane Monneret

As World Penguin Day approaches on 25 April, PONANT has unveiled exclusive voyages to the majestic Emperor Penguin colonies of Snow Hill Island during their 2025 Antarctic season.

With only three voyages available, each sailing aboard the luxury icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot, guests are encouraged to book now to secure the best pricing for this once-in-a-lifetime exploration of the Emperor Penguins’ habitat.

On three exclusive departures in 2025, guests will walk the same ice fields as the magnificent Emperor Penguin colonies. Le Commandant Charcot is the only commercial vessel that can navigate through heavy drift ice into the Southern reaches of the Weddell Sea ensuring a truly authentic polar expedition unlike any other. Guests will enjoy the exceptional privilege of visiting these colonies on foot, approaching as close as five meters — an exclusive experience offered only by PONANT.

Le Commandant Charcot, Snow Hill Island, Antarctica ©StudioPONANT Romain Farge

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They will have the opportunity to linger for hours amidst this awe-inspiring landscape, free from any time constraints, immersing themselves fully in the wonders of Antarctica before returning to the warm and comforting amenities of the world’s only luxury icebreaker.

Guests can expect to observe not only Emperor Penguins but also Adelie, Gentoo, and Chinstrap penguins among other diverse wildlife, and will also have opportunity for kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing and even taking part in a polar plunge* on these 12-night itineraries.

“As an expedition leader with Ponant, I’m thrilled to be able to offer guests the exclusive opportunity to explore Snow Hill Island aboard Le Commandant Charcot,” said Ryo Ijichi, Commercial Manager Japan, Korea and Antarctica Expedition Leader at PONANT.

Emperor Penguins, Snow Hill Island | ©StudioPONANT Morgane Monneret

“Our exclusive 2025 departures offer more than just observation; they provide an immersive, authentic polar expedition. Guests have the privileged opportunity to encounter these colonies in person venturing into the Weddell Sea from the Drake Passage, to an area that is inaccessible to other vessels”.

The Emperor Penguin of the Weddell Sea

Ushuaia – Ushuaia

Includes 12-night expedition, overnight in Santiago, return flights and transfers*
Departs 30 October, 11th and 22nd November 2025
Aboard Le Commandant Charcot

Details here.

Highlights

  • An exploration into the almost inaccessible Weddell Sea, in search of majestic emperor penguins, amidst immaculate and dreamlike landscapes.
  • Inclusive expert-led daily shore visits and outings in a zodiac*
  • The eye and the advice of photo ambassador, Cindy Miller Hopkins, a privileged opportunity to immortalise your trip with, in the programme: workshops, conferences and personalised advice to improve your photographic skills.
  • Conferences and information meetings on board with our passionate experts, specialists in the fauna, flora and history of the polar regions.
  • Landscapes: immense glaciers, table top icebergs, immersion in the heart of the ice floes.
  • Wildlife: the possibility to observe emperor, Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins; Weddell, leopard and crabeater seals; humpback, Minke whales and orcas.
  • Opportunity for kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing and polar plunge*
Antarctica from Le Commandant Charcot ©StudioPONANT Romain Farge

PONANT continues to offer opportunities to witness a variety of penguin species in their natural habitats in its 2025/26 Antarctic season.

Departing from Dunedin New Zealand, on the Scott & Shackleton’s Antarctic – Ross Sea Expedition, guests can explore Macquarie Island, a haven for Royals, Kings, Gentoos, and Rock Hoppers, where over 3.5 million seabirds thrive. Stepping foot on Ross Island unveils the historic legacy of polar explorers like Sir Ernest Shackleton, guests can visit the historical hut where fewer than 1,000 people have been able to reach, amidst remarkable diversity of penguins, including the elusive Adélie and the iconic Emperor.

Alternatively, journeying on The Great Austral Loop Expedition to South Georgia and the Falkland Islands reveals colonies of Gentoo, King, Macaroni, Adélie and Rockhopper penguins amidst breathtaking landscapes, providing unforgettable encounters for penguin enthusiasts and wildlife lovers alike.

Scott & Shackleton’s Antarctic – Ross Sea Expedition

Dunedin – Dunedin
One departure only in 2025 aboard Le Soléal
Departs 26 January 2025, 21 Nights

Details here.

The Great Austral Loop

Ushuaia – Ushuaia
Includes 17-night expedition, overnight in Buenos Aires, return flights Buenos Aires / Ushuaia and transfers*
Departs, 10 November, 12 and 20 December 2025 aboard Le Lyrial

Details here.

* Each departure is unique. The itinerary, landings, wildlife encounters and activities are subject to weather and ice conditions.

^Ponant follows IAATO biodiversity regulations in Antarctica.

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