There are reasons we go to far-off places and days we defy our sleep schedules to rise and see the sun burst from the horizon. Today was one of those days—a day like no other. The call came early that an emperor penguin had been spotted from the Bridge of National Geographic Explorer, and with that call, everyone rushed to see it, knowing how rare such an encounter can be. Yet the day was only beginning to show its bounty.
Before long, we lost count of the number of emperor penguins we laid our eyes on. Cut loose upon the sea ice, our guests took to skiing and snowshoeing to explore the icy landscape and spend time with a gaggle of the largest penguin species on our unique planet.