ANTARCTIC ADVENTURE SKI CRUISE
28 October - 9 November 2017
Starting at $9995.00 per person
Antarctica. The coldest, windiest, driest, and highest (average elevation) and most remote place in the world. Sometimes it doesn't even make it onto map projections. I've been traveling to Antarctica since 1996, spread over 10 expeditions. Typically I guide small geology research teams in remote deep field locations. I've also successfully guided Mt Vinson three times and ski guided it twice. But this trip is different: its a more affordable, comfortable and unique opportunity to experience skiing in Antarctica.
I'm teaming up with Ice Axe Expeditions, who has sub-chartered a 132 passenger ship, the Sea Adventurer, for a 13 day, 12 night expedition. It is a great mix of international and local adventurers, explorers and humanitarians.
There are 3 levels of activity available on the trip. The first level consists of light hiking and sightseeing. The second level consists of longer trekking and sea kayak tours. The third level, which is the focus of my trip, is ski mountaineering. Participants in this third level also have the choice to participate in the first and second level activities.
Once we reach the peninsula, at each location, there are ski objectives for all abilities; from truly beginner backcountry terrain to objectives that require glacier travel or expert ski ability. You'll be asked to fill out a detailed questionnaire describing your mountaineering, skiing, and backcountry skiing experience before the expedition. Aboard the ship, clients will be placed into groups of similar experience and guided at each location. Its a priority to allow all guests to ski at their abilities, whether moderate or extreme, and in most terrains you will not be able to visually see other teams. Teams will have the option of staying out all day, and daylight lasts about 19 hours at the latitude we're touring in, so there is a long window of opportunity for teams to go out.
All guides carry thorough first aid kits, radios and will be able to communicate with the ship. Inflatable boats called Zodiacs are used to travel between ship and shore; the ship provides experienced drivers (coxswains).
Ski conditions will vary, from feet of fresh powder to very hard packed snow. Its is a maritime climate, not unlike Alaska or Norway, so you will see a lot of variability in a given day. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to ski Antarctica and regardless of the conditions, in my 20 years of Antarctic travel I've never seen anyone not struck by the magnitude and unique nature of the experience.
Most ski objectives can be accessed without glacier travel or crampons, almost directly from the landing site. Peaks range from 500ft - 3000 ft (150m - 1000m) straight out of the water. There are some peaks that require significant glacier travel and crevasse hazard management.
In the evenings are are slideshows, lectures or entertainment and I guarantee some entertaining characters!
If you choose not to ski for a day or a half-day, you can also join the first or second level activities. There is a naturalist, marine biologist, ornithologist, and historian onboard to answer any questions and to teach us about the history and landscape of this amazing place. There are as many activities for those not skiing as for those skiing, so this is truly a trip for everyone - feel free to contact me about pricing if you want to join me for the skiing and bring a friend or family to participate in non-skiing activities!
Day 1 - Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina. Orientation with me. Welcome Dinner. Overnight in Ushuaia.
Day 2 - Board the Sea Adventurer and set sail through the Beagle Channel.
Day 3-4 - Cross the Drake Passage. Sperm, fin, humback whales, along with skies filled with seabirds, will accompany our passage.
Day 5 - Ski and trekking objectives at Neko Harbour. Zodiac cruises, penguin rookery visits, and hiking also available.
Day 6 - Ski and trekking objectives at Anvers and Wenke Islands. Port Lockroy scientific base and museum visit; gentoo and adelie penguin rookery visits also available.
Day 7 - Ronge Island and Mt Britannia ski tours. Georges Point penguin rookery visit also available.
Day 8 - Ski and trekking objectives in Paradise Bay. Ski descents on Lemaire Channel, Mt Scott, Mt Demaria, and Mt Mill. Visits to the Vernadsky Station (Ukraine) available. Killer whale and leopard seal sightings possible.
Day 10 - New ski descents possible in Charlotte Bay; start sailing north in the evening.
Day 11-12 - Sail the Drake Passage, pass the cliffs of Cape Horn.
Day 13 - Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina. Disembark the Sea Adventurer, say our good-byes and make our way home!
*Flexibility is necessary for all Antarctic travel. This program is subject to change throughout the journey depending on sea ice, weather, and local conditions.
Lower Deck Twin - $9995.00
Main Deck Twin with Porthole - $11,995.00
Main Deck Twin with Window - $12,165.00
Main Deck Twin, single occupancy - $19,690.00
Upper Deck Superior - $14,090.00
Upper Deck Deluxe - $15,180.00
Suite Cabins - $17,490.00
Captain's Suites $19,690.00
*Exceptions. All pricing is per person. Airfare not included. Emergency medical and evacuation insurance is not included and required. Please contact me for pricing for activity level one (sightseeing and light hiking) participation and children.
- Extensive pre-departure information package.
- 1 night pre-expedition shared hotel accommodation in Ushuaia, Argentina. This room includes a continental breakfast.
- Group dinner in Ushuaia.
- Group transfers from the hotel to the ship on embarkation and from the ship to the airport on disembarkation and all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges.
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board the Sea Adventurer.
- Shore landings and Zodiac excursions as permitted by weather and local conditions.
- Presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers.
- Use of rubber expedition boots for shore landings when required.
- Photographic DVD chronicling the expedition.
- Expedition certificate.
- Any ski or trekking equipment.
- Emergency medical and evacuation insurance, which is required.
- Travel insurance, including baggage or cancellation.
- Airfares to or from Ushuaia, whether on scheduled or chartered flights.
- Any excess and/or overweight baggage charges.
- Passport and visa expenses. Tourist entry fees may apply depending on your nationality.
- Any government arrival and departure airport taxes.
- Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel and the Welcome Dinner on the evening prior to departure.
- Laundry, bar, beverage and any other personal charges onboard the ship or at the hotel.
- Telecommunication charges.
- Customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for guides, stewards, and other hospitality staff or service personnel.
How do I reserve my trip? My normal reservation and deposit requirements do not apply to this expedition. Contact me here: LINK. A 50% deposit is required to secure your spot. Final balance is payable 100 days prior to departure. Berthing is reserved on a first-come, first-served basis depending on the date of your completed Registration application and signed Terms and Conditions of Sale document. THIS TRIP WILL SELL OUT!
What is the weather really like? Weather in Antarctica is extremely unpredictable. Heavy rainfall is unusual, but heavy winds are relatively common, so its important to pack accordingly! The average temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula during the summer months can range from 23° to 41° F (-5° to °5 C). The weather in Ushuaia is a bit warmer and can have heavier rains.
What if there are any delays? If the expedition is delated due to bad weather, cancelled or delayed transportation, sickness or any other situation for which Ice Axe Expeditions cannot make provisions, all costs incurred during such delays must be the responsibility of guests.
Then what if I need to cancel? My normal cancellation policies do not apply to this expedition. All cancelations must be received in writing. Cancellations received up to 150 days prior to departure are refunded less an administrative fee of $500 per person. If cancellation is received between 149 and 100 days, the deposit is forfeited. If cancellations are received within 99 days prior to departure, all deposits and tariffs are forfeited. If full payment is not received by 99 days prior to departure, your reservation will be considered canceled and you will loose all deposits and tariffs. If cancellations are received within 99 days prior to departure and full payment has not been received, the full penalty will still apply and unpaid monies are due immediately. For these and other reason, you are strongly, strongly, STRONGLY encouraged to obtain trip cancellation insurance. Prices quoted are based on group participation and no refunds will be made for any part of the program in which you choose not to participate.