FrontRunners: Close Encounters
Those interested in something perhaps not as cool but certainly much colder might consider a trip to Antarctica. In 2004, a naturalist discovered an unrecorded emperor penguin rookery on Snow Hill Island in the Weddell Sea. Quark Expeditions (www.quarkexpeditions.com) offers a chance to view these 4,000 breeding pairs up close during a two-week trip that casts off from Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. You will travel aboard the Russian polar icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov and visit the rookery a number of times. The voyages, which take place during the austral summer, begin October 8, October 20, and November 1. The price starts at about $8,500 per person. . .
The Hanseatic, one of four ships operated by the German company Hapag-Lloyd Cruises (www.hl-cruises.com), also offers penguin adventures, along with visits to other remote regions. Passage on this exploration vessel averages about $375 per person per day. Lectures on some cruises are in both English and German, on others in German only.