Snow Hill Island

Get to know what it’s like to visit this destination.

Getting To Know Snow Hill Island – Expedition Cruise Guide


Destination Snapshot

Snow Hill Island is a remote and relatively inaccessible island located in the Weddell Sea off the northeastern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. It is known for its large and iconic Emperor penguin colony, making it a destination of interest for wildlife enthusiasts and researchers.

It’s important to note that Snow Hill Island expeditions require careful planning, coordination, and expertise in navigating Antarctic waters. Passengers interested in participating in such an expedition should choose a reputable cruise operator with experience in polar travel and a commitment to responsible and sustainable tourism practices.

Snow Hill Island is situated in a remote and challenging part of Antarctica. It can be inaccessible for much of the year due to sea ice, making expedition cruises to this location relatively rare and dependent on ice conditions.

Weather and Ice Conditions: Weather and sea ice conditions play a significant role in the success of a Snow Hill Island expedition. Itineraries may need to be flexible to accommodate changes in ice patterns and ensure the safety of passengers and crew.

Limited Access: Due to its remote location and the challenges posed by ice and weather, access to Snow Hill Island is limited. Expeditions are typically offered during the Antarctic summer months (November to early February) when ice conditions are more favorable. In order to visit the Emperor Penguin colonies of the Island you will need to travel from your expedition ship by helicopter or the ship have full ice-breaking capacity, typical ice-strengthened hulls of most expedition ships up to 1A won’t suffice here.




Key highlights of Snow Hill Island

  • Emperor Penguin Colony: Snow Hill Island is home to one of the northernmost Emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica. These majestic birds are the largest penguins and have a unique breeding cycle. Visiting the colony offers a rare opportunity to observe these birds in their natural habitat.

  • Expedition Cruises: Expeditions to Snow Hill Island typically depart from Ushuaia, Argentina, and involve a voyage through the icy waters of the Weddell Sea. The cruise may also include visits to other points of interest along the Antarctic Peninsula and nearby islands.

  • Emphasis on Wildlife and Photography: The primary focus of the Snow Hill Island expedition is to provide passengers with the opportunity to witness the Emperor penguin colony and other wildlife in the area. Photography enthusiasts can capture stunning images of the penguins against the backdrop of the icy landscape.

  • Zodiac Landings: Once the cruise ship reaches the vicinity of Snow Hill Island, passengers are transported to the island’s shores using inflatable Zodiac boats. Landings are carefully coordinated to minimize disturbance to the wildlife and their fragile habitat.

  • Guided Visits and Interpretation: Expedition staff and naturalists provide guided visits to the Emperor penguin colony, offering insights into the penguins’ behavior, life cycle, and the challenges they face in their harsh environment

Tallin cruise port ship

Regular expedition cruise line visitors

  • Ponant
  • Quark Expeditions




Snow Hill Island


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