Trip Overview

Length:

13 days

Difficulty:

3/5

Price:

Starting from $11,975 USD.

Location:

Antarctica Peninsula

Dates:

Dec 20, 2023 to Jan 1st, 2024

What makes this trip special

Experience the antarctic aboard our “Adventure” vessel, where the focus is on outside adventures, as we ski, kayak and hike our way along the Antarctic Peninsula. Ski the Glaciers and rugged mountains of the southern most continent. Tour past vast penguin colonies. Witness awe inspiring vistas of an ocean of icebergs as you descend on skis from rugged peaks. Enjoy the solidity of the Polar Pioneer, an ice strengthened vessel, as we make our way between ski objectives. This is the opportunity of a lifetime to ski where very few have skied before.

The Tour

Using the Polar Pioneer,  an ice-strengthened “Research” vessel, outfitted for adventure cruises, we will confidently make our way from Ushuaia to the Antarctic Penninsula and back. The Polar Pioneer is touted as being small enough to feel like a true expedition boat, but large enough to reach remote destinations. The expedition will begin and end in true adventure style, crossing the Drake  passage, a badge of honour for any  true expeditioner.

The Antarctic Peninsula will be our playground for 6  days, as we work with the weather and conditions to explore this area by ski. Each day will find us ski touring new objectives, often past penguin colonies, on glaciers, and up rugged mountain peaks.

With so many adventure activities onboard the Polar Pioneer,  its easy for non-skiing family or friends to join on this adventure. From sea kayaking, to hiking, to zodiac tours, there is something for everyone on this Expedition Trip.

The Place

Nowhere on Earth compares to the Antarctic Peninsula, a place of ice, rock and ocean. It is vast, remote and spectacular.

It’s the most northern region of Antarctic, granting it a relatively mild climate and making it more accessible than other parts of Antarctica.

The mountains on the Peninsula rise straight up out of the ocean, the highest of which is Mount Jackson at 3184m. The extent of glaciation in Antarctica is the highest in the world, it is spectacular to witness these massive glaciers that descend down the mountains and terminate in the fiords.

Wildlife is abundant, large populations of humpback, minke and fin whales migrate down to the Peninsula to feed on the rich plankton blooms every summer. Orcas are commonly sighted as they ply through the rich polar waters for seals. There are numerous penguin colonies dotted throughout the Peninsula, the spring and early summer is nesting time for the pelagic birds. It’s a hive of activity in these colonies as the parents of the newly born chicks return from hunting escapades. The penguins have no fear of humans allowing us to get very close to them without disturbing them. Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals are abundant and we often see them lazing on ice flows completely oblivious to our presence.

Icebergs fill the fiords, each is unique having been shaped differently by the elements. Paddling or cruising close to these icebergs is an experience like no other. The Peninsula will leave an impression on you, it’s an experience you won’t forget.

The Weather

Generally the weather in Antarctica is stable in the summer with sunny days and light winds, it can however be overcast or even stormy. Temperatures hover between -10C and +5C.

This trip is suited for skiers, kayakers as well as those who do not want to ski or kayak, making it the perfect vacation for couples or families looking to do different things while in Antarctica. Generally the skiers will look to go skiing on days when the skies are clear and the visibility is good, however we will try to go skiing at every opportunity. The kayakers are looking for less windy days, and visibility or some wind isn’t a problem. With the skiers and  kayakers out on their own adventure the non-activity based guests will  have a dedicated zodiac and driver/interpretative guide to take you to penguin colonies, historic sights, go for a short hike or cruise around in a zodiac getting really close to icebergs interacting with incredible wildlife or exploring glacier fronts.

 

The Activities

Ski touring will be the focus for Expedition  Engineering guests on this expedition trip. The skiing  here is almost all done on  glaciers, and  the  peaks are rugged-generally rising to 1500m above sea level. Guests need to be proficient skiers have previous ski touring experience. With a ration of 1 guide to six  guess, we can accommodate differing  abilities with multiple ski groups.  We will often be roped up as we ascend the peninsula’s glaciers. The conditions can be anything from powder to spring like corn skiing, depending on the conditions of the week.

Sea Kayaking is another activity option during the trip. Sea kayak with whales, penguins, leopard  seals, and icebergs. Truly immerse yourself in the aquatic world of the Antarctic. Minke whales, humpback whales are orca are regular paddling companions.

Zodiac Tours are another option  for those looking for slightly less  physical excursion but still want to enjoy all the incredible experiences of the Antarctic.  Visiting penguin colonies,  historical sites, and tidewater glaciers,  you won’t miss out!

What's Included

  • First night accommodation in Ushuaia – Twin Share
  • Transfer from  hotel to ship
  • Transfer from Ship  to Ushuaia at the finish  of the trip
  • 11 nights ship accommodation. All public areas  are open to all passengers
  • All meals on board the ship
  • All shore excursions from the ship including  zodiacs
  • Expedition Guide Services
  • Port taxes and charges imposed by government authorities
  • Medical services-resident doctor and well equipment medical room
  • Tips for on board crew and service personnel

What's Not Included

  • Any flights  unless listed in itinerary
  • Single Supplements
  • Visas, passport and  vaccination charges and airport departure tax
  • Hotels and meals not included in the voyage itinerary
  • optional excursions not included in the  voyage itinerary
  • Laundry,  personal clothing,  medical expenses, personal travel insurance and items  of  a personal nature  such as bar charges and phone/email charges
  • Emergency evacuation charges
  • Alcohol

Trip Itinerary

This is a 13 day expedition trip, with the first night spent in a hotel in Ushuaia and the rest of the nights spend on the Polar Pioneer. This itinerary is subject to weather and ocean conditions for the duration of the trip.

20 Dec: Overnight in a group hotel in Ushuaia.

21 Dec: Embark Polar Pioneer at 4pm and set sail.

22 Dec: Crossing the Drake Passage.

23 Dec: Arrive in Antarctica.

24 – 29 Dec: Explore the Antarctic Peninsula. Daily ski objectives depending on weather and conditions. We will integrate our itinerary with the kayakers and zodiac passengers onboard.

30 Dec: Crossing the Drake passage.

31 Dec: Bring in the New Year on the Beagle Channel, Argentina.

01 Jan: Disembark Ushuaia at 9am. Trip concludes.

Accommodation

The Polar Pioneer was a Russian research vessel built in 1982. The boat was turned into a Polar Cruise Vessel, and with an ice strengthened hull,  she is the perfect boat to explore the Antarctic.  The Polar Pioneer can accommodate up to 50 guests, allowing flexibility, lots of time spent on excursions, and a family feel.

The Polar Pioneer has gone through a full refit in 2021. There are four different cabin types to choose from and can be seen below.

 

Triple Share Cabin

One bunk (one upper and one lower berth) and one additional lower berth, a writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private wash basin. Nearby shower and toilet facilities are shared with other main deck cabins. This cabins has a porthole. Size: 10.2 m2.

 

Twin Share Cabin

Two lower berths and a sofa, a writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private washbasin, hairdryer. Nearby shower and toilet facilities are shared with other main  deck cabins. These cabins have a porthole. Size: 9.8m2.

 

Twin Private Cabin

Two Lower berths, a  writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom, hairdryer. These cabins have a window, a private bathroom, 2 lower berths. Cabin  #402 and #403 have upper and lower bunks and a couch. Size: 12 m2.

 

Mini Suite

A double bed and separate lounge area, a writing desk, wardrobe and drawers.  Private bathroom with hairdryer. These cabins have a window. Size: 16.8m2.

 

Captains’ Suite

A double bed and separate lounge area, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with hairdryer. Forward and port windows. Size: 22.5m2.

Lounge and Dining Room

 

Route Map

Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of weather can expect?
Usually the summer brings higher pressure and settled weather but be prepared for everything from dead calm and sunny days to blizzard conditions and lots of snow. The average temperature is 0 degrees C during January.
Is there communication onboard the boat?
There is satellite communications onboard through satellite phones and an onboard satellite email service.
Do we ski really steep slopes?
Generally no, Antarctica is incredible glaciated. Anything that is really steep is normally very crevassed. We look for fun skiing in the 28 to 40 degree rage
Are Split boarders welcome?
Yes, of course as long as you have experience in the backcountry as a split boarder
Can I charge my electronics onboard the boat?
Yes, the boat has multiple 220 volt outlets. There is plenty of opportunities to charge your electronics.
What is the food like onboard?
The Food is excellent. Meals are hearty and made with local Argentine produce and ingredients as much as possible. We are happy to cater for vegetarians and other special dietary requirements. Please let us know at the time of booking. It’s a good idea to bring along some of your own dietary substitutes if you have a specialist diet.
Do I need to be an expert skier?
Skiers should be of an advanced standard and have completed multiple ski tours to feel comfortable on this trip. You should be able ski tour up about 1000 meters/3600 feet per day and be able to ski down black diamond runs comfortably. You should also have an adventurous spirit and recognize that the weather will influence greatly what we can and can't do.
Is the ski gear and avalanche gear provided?
No, all guests must bring their own ski and avalanche gear. Guests should be familiar with their avalanche equipment and have used their ski equipment before the trip begins.
What is the skiing like the Antarctic?
Normally the skiing is very good. The conditions can be highly variable, we can be skiing powder, corn snow and everything in between but with a lot of different aspects and terrain to use we can almost always find some great skiing.
Is there a high avalanche risk?
Not normally. Being a coastal snowpack with mild temperatures most instabilities settle out quickly.
Do I need a Visa to enter Antarctica?
No, we will take care of all the required Antarctic permits.

Trip Reviews

Such an incredible experience, like nothing I’ve ever done before

James Costa USA

What a place, what an adventure. We’ll definitely be back

Jim Doffe Canada

Skiing in Antarctica gives you a completely different perspective of this incredible place. Looking down on hundreds of icebergs surrounded by towering mountains and massive glaciers is something I’ll never forget. Oh good skiing too

Sharon Costa – Switzerland

A wonderful week of skiing, so much fun. Polar Pioneer is the perfect boat for this trip.

Cameron Keith UK

Application Form

13-Day Antarctica Ski Trip


Please include as much information in this booking form as possible so we can answer your questions to the best of our ability. The more detailed information you include the better we can help you choose an adventure that is suited to your needs.

Once you’ve filled out our online booking form we will contact you within 24hrs. Our follow up email will include the detailed trip notes.

We’ll also send you a medical form, this helps us make any necessary preparations it does not exclude you from the trip. To secure the booking we require a 1000 USD deposit for each person. If you’d prefer to contact us directly we can be reached at info@expeditionengineering.com or at +12502662515

We’d be happy to discuss different trip options and help you find the perfect expedition holiday.

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