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Pelorus Antarctica Penguins Ice

Yacht Experiences

Explorer Experience in Antarctica

An action-packed expedition into Antarctica to discover its landscape, wildlife, and potential for adventures. You’ll fly in a helicopter above imposing glaciers before camping out in the untamed wilderness.

When to go:
December – February

ICEBERG ALLEY & EMPEROR PENGUINS

Arrive at King George Island to meet your expedition leader as well as your science, naturalist, kayak, climbing, and mountain guides—all leaders in their fields with global reputations for excellence. Discover this Antarctic satellite by hiking and traveling by tender into its bays to see its wildlife.

Have breakfast onboard your yacht as you look out at the passing icebergs of ‘Iceberg Alley’, as the Antarctic Sound is also known. Cruise to Brown Bluff and take your first footsteps on Antarctica’s soil.

In the afternoon, board your private helicopter at Snow Hill Island to transfer to the continent’s most northerly Emperor Penguin breeding colony. Begin a week-long collaborative research project with your resident naturalist to collect data on the hunting grounds and migratory routes of penguins and whales.

Take in the astonishing panoramas as your travel to Trinity Island. Drop anchor at Mikkelsen Harbor—a key anchorage for 19th and 20th-century whaling vessels—before a penguin safari with your guides. In the afternoon, travel by tender to see the basalt geological formations at the incredible Spert Island. Back on your yacht, cruise to Enterprise Island while keeping an eye out for humpbacks and orcas in the waves.

WRECK & PALMER STATION

From your tender, observe the eerie remains of a whaling shipwreck that sank over a century ago off Enterprise Island. If experienced, dive below for a closer look. You’ll see cold-water coral, and watch the Antarctic terns.

Cruise to the biodiverse Cuverville Island. Transferring by tender to shore, you’ll observe the animals from a respectful distance while snowshoeing with your guide, spotting leopard seals, southern giant petrels, and a sea of Gentoo penguins.

On to Neumayer Channel and its sculpted icebergs and glaciers that often block this waterway in winter. Dock at Port Lockroy, a former British Research Station that is now the world’s southernmost public post office. Afterward, travel to the south side of Anvers Island to visit Palmer Station—the US Antarctic Program’s base. After learning about daily life for the researchers permanently based there, travel to nearby Torgersen Island to see the Adélie penguin colony and lurking leopard seals.

Travel through the Lemaire Channel or ‘Kodak Gap’ keeping an eye out for humpback whales and icebergs. Arrive at the long-running Vernadsky Research Base, where the hole in the ozone layer was first identified. Set your pulse-racing afterward with an ice climb of Mount Shackleton alongside your guide, arriving at the top in time for a south pole sunset.

COOL CAMPING & DECEPTION ISLAND

Travel to Neko Harbor to see its playful Weddell Seals, Minke Whales, and an immense glacier. Conditions providing, you’ll trek the glacier and thrillingly rappel into an icy crevasse.

Leave your yacht behind and with your kayak guide navigate to an “unknown island” where you’ll unload your supplies and camp for the night. Under the guidance of your expert Pelorus guide, you’ll set up your own camp. Come evening, and by a crackling campfire, listen to stories of explorers—such as Shackleton—who have shared the experience of overnighting on Antarctica’s ice.  

In the morning you’ll pack up the site, ensuring no trace remains in keeping with IAATO guidelines. You and your team will rope together before making the return journey to your kayaks wearing snowshoes, your gear pulled behind you on sleds.

Your next destination is Deception Island. Once you’ve reached shore, either by kayak or tender, make your way over the ice to see one of the world’s largest Chinstrap penguin colonies. After this personal encounter with the local wildlife, take a swim in the geothermally heated shallows. You’ll be transferred by air afterward to the summit of a glacier and a panoramic sunset over the White Continent.