September 16, 2008

Photos: The Royal Tour for Penguin Lovers!

NORWALK, Conn., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The ultimate expedition for Penguin lovers will take place in November 2009 when Quark Expeditions' Kapitan Khlebnikov cuts the ice and journeys to Snow Hill Island and South Georgia seeking the world's two largest penguins. On board the 22-day "Emperors & Kings: Snow Hill and South Georgia" expedition will be internationally acclaimed wildlife artist Robert Bateman and renowned wildlife photographer Birgit Freybe Bateman.

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Robert Bateman is one of the world's most celebrated contemporary wildlife artists and conservationists. His work is showcased in private collections and museums around the world. This year his art will be exhibited at the San Diego Natural History Museum from Nov. 1, 2008 to Jan. 31, 2009. The exhibit will be sponsored by Quark Expeditions. His wife, Birgit, is a professional artist and photographer whose images have appeared in books and such national travel magazines as Conde Nast Traveler, Outside Magazine and National Geographic Adventure. Both dedicated conservationists and artists will speak about environmental and preservation issues while visiting the world's most remote continent.

Taking place from Nov. 15, 2009 to Dec. 6, 2009, this voyage explores the rookeries of 4-feet tall Emperor Penguins and 3-feet tall King Penguins while providing opportunities to encounter six additional penguin species. The icebreaker will sail from Ushuaia, Argentina to Stanley, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), crossing the Drake Passage and then on to the South Shetland Islands where the first sightings of Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie Penguins will take place. Six days into the trip, the Kapitan Khlebnikov will arrive at the Snow Hill Island Emperor Penguin rookery. Identified by Quark Expeditions in 2004, the rookery is home to more than 4,000 pairs of Emperors.

For the next two days, passengers will board Kapitan Khlebnikov's onboard helicopters to shuttle within a mile and a half of the rookery. In order to protect the birds, passengers will then walk the final distance to the Emperors' breeding ground. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is only possible with the use of a polar icebreaker and its onboard helicopters..

The Kapitan Khlebnikov will then sail to South Georgia via the South Orkney Islands. South Georgia is home to more than 200,000 pairs of King Penguins. As King Penguins breed year round, a visit to their massive rookery is a sight to behold as one can view these impressive birds in all stages of development.

From South Georgia, where Ernest Shackleton is buried, the Kapitan Khlebnikov will sail to the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). Three hundred miles off the coast of Argentina, this unique set of Islands is home to Rockhopper and Magellanic Penguins.

During the voyage, Robert and Birgit Bateman will speak about their lives as conservation activists and wildlife artists. Robert Bateman was named Officer of the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian award in 1984 in recognition of his lifetime of work. He has been awarded the Rachel Carson Award by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), the Human Rights Defender Award by Amnesty International and one of the 20th Century's Champions of Conservation by the United States National Audubon Society.

He was commissioned by the Governor General of Canada to create a painting as the wedding gift for HRH Prince Charles from the people of Canada, and his work is also represented in the collections of HRH Prince Philip, the late Princess Grace of Monaco and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. His art reflects his commitment to ecology and preservation. Since the early 1960s, he has been an active member of naturalist and conservation organizations.

"Emperor & Kings: Snow Hill and South Georgia" expedition ranges in price from $21,890 to $35,890 per person. For more information, call Quark Expeditions at 800-356-5699 or visit

About the Kapitan Khlebnikov

The polar-class icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov is renowned in the field of adventure travel and polar navigation. It is one of the few ships in the world that can take travelers through pack ice in remote high latitudes. Amenities include outside cabins, two helicopters, a fleet of Zodiac landing craft, a presentation room and a well-stocked bar. The ship's chefs will not repeat a menu during the entire expedition.

About Quark Expeditions

Since 1991, Quark Expeditions has established a tradition of firsts in polar expedition travel. The company was the first to transit the Northeast Passage with commercial passengers; the first to take travelers to the "far side" of Antarctica and the first to circumnavigate the Antarctic continent with guests, twice. Quark is also recognized for its diverse passenger fleet; the largest in Antarctica -- including the only polar-class icebreaker operating as an expedition ship there. The fleet enables Quark to offer the widest variety of polar itineraries of any other adventure company in the world, and the greatest number of departures to Antarctica. In October 2006 and 2007, Quark was named a recipient of National Geographic Traveler's "50 Tours of a Lifetime" for their "Emperor Penguin Safari" and the "Far Side" respectively. In the March 2006 edition, Outside magazine named the "Emperor Penguin Safari" as one of the New Trips of a Lifetime.


Quark Expeditions

CONTACT: Rebecca Werner of Werner Public Relations, Inc. for QuarkExpeditions, +1-312-440-3075, +1-212-355-5131, [email protected]

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