A visit to the world renowned Emperor Penguin colony is without a doubt an adventure of a lifetime!
It’s a 2.5 hour flight from our luxury Antarctic camp to Atka Bay, where our guests will experience one of nature’s most spectacular – and least viewed – wildlife events.
Our guests have exclusive access to this impressive colony at Atka Bay, and our ability to reach the colony early in the season affords them the rare opportunity to watch as the chicks step off their parents’ feet for the very first time – a wildlife photographer’s dream!
As there are so few visitors to this colony, the curious chicks often waddle close by, entirely unafraid of humans and ready to face the cameras!
Breeding begins in Autumn when the sea ice becomes thick enough to support the thousands of penguins that gather.
During the long, dark winter months, the male penguin carries a single egg on his feet until it hatches, while the female hunts out at sea. While incubating their eggs during the long winters, male Emperor penguins form ‘huddles’ to protect themselves from the harsh weather conditions along the coast that see temperatures drop to -50°C and winds of 200km/h.
Towards winter’s end, the chicks hatch and stay on their parents’ feet for almost 2 months.
During summer the chicks begin their “catastrophic moult” – a period of 3-4 weeks, which sees their adorable fluffy feathers giving way to sleek adult feathers. Once summer starts to come to an end, the Emperors journey out to sea ahead of the next breeding season.
Best Times to Visit:
Viewing the newly-hatched chicks:
November – December 2021
Viewing the colony of 28,000 penguins:
January – February 2022