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World's Great Animal Migrations

David Tipling / Alamy

Emperor Penguin Migration, Antarctica

As portrayed so fetchingly in the documentary film March of the Penguins, some 200,000 pairs of elegant-looking (but ungainly-footed) emperor penguins make a punishingly long, arduous trek from the Antarctic coast to inland laying grounds each year. The journey culminates in the hatching of thousands of chicks at the beginning of the Southern Hemisphere summer.

When to Go: November and December.

How to Go: Quark Expeditions offers a once-in-a-lifetime, break-the-bank 31-day cruise, Antarctica's Far East, that brings travelers to a remote emperor penguin rookery on the sea ice of Amanda Bay. Cruise-goers also visit myriad historic landmarks, islands, and seal and bird colonies while aboard the icebreaker ship Khlebnikov (from $38,490 per person). For those not wedded to seeing emperors, Lindblad Expeditions runs 14-day Antarctic icebreaker cruises that visit colonies of gentoo penguins instead (from $10,580 per person).

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