Antarctic cruises are primarily defined by an exploratory travel programme that spends as much time ashore as possible, combined with educational lectures on board. They are typically flexible, easily changing the course of the vessel and making use of the inflatable Zodiacs to make the most of opportunities to cruise amongst the ice-floes and view the local wildlife. A friendly and experienced nautical crew, international expedition and hotel staff are always on hand to share their enthusiasm and knowledge with you. Whilst on board your cruise ship, there are plenty of optional extra that you can enjoy in addition to your set daily programme. Below is a selection of what’s on offer, most of which can be arranged on board.
On some Antarctic voyages we offer an exciting ‘open air’ camping option, which gives an intensive experience of Antarctic wilderness. Special gear and field equipment will be provided: tents, wind and waterproof bivouac bags (lightweight alternative to tent system). This shelter will protect you from the elements during the night in the open air of Antarctica. Mattresses and polar sleeping bags provide comfort during the night. The maximum number of participants for this camping option is 15 participants per night. One expedition guide will conduct the activity ashore. Camping is always subject to weather, local site and environmental regulations. 1 night has to be booked prior to trip, but any extra nights can be arranged onboard. For prices and more details please contact us.
During hiking voyages we exceed on our normal shore excursion walking programme. In general we plan to offer 3 possibilities to become active ashore. There will be easy, moderate and more demanding walks on offer in the vicinity of the landing sites. There are walks on offer which suit everybody’s capability. In the Antarctic we are aiming at two hikes per day, each 2-3 hours long during morning and/or afternoon landings. In the Arctic we offer several full day walks with packed lunch. The final decision on those hiking options will be met by the Expedition Leader on the day of excursion. We recommend tobring a proper pair of hiking boots and gaiters. Snowshoes will be provided (for hikers only) on board which fit all boot sizes and can be used in combination with the cruise ship’s rubber boots. Hiking is free of charge, more details will be provided in the activity manual and day by day programmes.
In general we plan to offer 4 kayak days at least. Basic kayak experience is required and physical fitness essential. Parallel to all other activities we are aiming at kayak excursions during morning and/or afternoon landings. The final decision on those excursions will be met by the Expedition Leader. The cruise ship will provide kayaks and neoprene wet suits. Kayakers will bring their personal gear. Kayaking is subject to weather and prevailing ice conditions.For prices and more details please contact us.
Divers must be advanced and experienced in dry suit and cold water diving. We hope for 1-2 different dives per day parallel to all other activities. Diving depends on local ice and weather conditions. Dive masters and dive guides are responsible for safety during operation. Basic equipment is onboard (scuba tanks, compressors, weights and diving essentials. Divers bring their personal gear. For prices and more details please contact us.
Ski Trekking – Shackleton Traverse
A group of up to 12 ski trekkers pull their own sledge (20-30 kg) with personal and shared equipment (food, stoves, fuel) in mountainous terrain. The sledge can be carried as a backpack on stretches without snow. Ski trekking involves elements of ski mountaineering, glacier travel and winter camping. In general participants must be physically conditioned and experienced in order to participate in strenuous exercise in alpine environments with sometime extreme weather. In addition, ski trekkers must be familiar with skiing and crevasse rescue techniques that can be learned in Alpine Introductory Courses.
The group will access sometimes difficult, glaciated, heavily crevassed and potentially hazardous alpine terrain. There is no real climbing on this trip, but the extreme weather conditions and very strong winds can make this crossing a very challenging undertaking. There is a possibility that due to stormy weather the expedition must remain in tents for several days at a time.
Fully approved UIAGM mountain and ski guides are responsible for safety and will lead the group during this multiple day expedition. A medically qualified person will be appointed. The minimum client to guide ratio is 1 guide to 4 clients. Basic equipment is available onboard (sledges, snowshoes, field camp and alpine mountaineering essentials). Ski trekkers only bring their own ski equipment (randonées or Telemark skis, skiing boots) and personal expedition clothing. In order to be considered for this ski trekking expedition all participants are required to fill in a Personal Information / Medical form. Furthermore participants need to submit a report summarizing their personal ski mountaineering/trekking history preferably in an expedition setting. Applications will be reviewed. For prices and more details please contact us.