Trip Overview

Length:

22 days

Difficulty:

3 / 5

Price:

$ 12500 USD

Location:

Antarctica

Dates:

Dec 31st to Jan 21st 2019/20 - Full

What makes this trip special

The Antarctica Ski Adventure uses a 60 foot sailboat to access and explore one of the most remote and beautiful places in the world. The coastal mountains of the Antarctica Peninsula have hundreds of incredible ski possibilities. Many are virgin descents, providing an excellent opportunity for adventurous ski tourers. Summits range from 500 meters to 2000 meters. The terrain is highly varied from mellow wide open bowls to steep faces. This is a twenty day adventure that starts and finishes in Ushuaia Argentina. We will have access to a fleet of kayaks which we’ll use when the weather does not allow for skiing.

  • A real ski touring adventure in one of the most remote places in the world
  • 20 days on board an expedition sailboat, surrounded by stunning mountain scenery
  • Skiing down the ocean at the end of every day
  • Lots of different terrain choices to suit all levels of ability
  • Spectacular scenery
  • Incredible wildlife interactions, whales, penguins and seals
  • Explore the area by kayak as well as skis

The Tour

The Antarctica ski and kayak adventure starts in Ushuaia Argentina.  We begin the trip by crossing the Drake Passage a journey that takes between 3 and 4 days. If the weather does not look good we will delay our departure and explore the fiords in and around Cape Horn.

After completing the crossing we will spend 12 days skiing and kayaking in the northern section of the Antarctic Peninsula. This area is extremely wild and except for a few bases is completely free of people. There are numerous virgin summits in the area many with fantastic ski lines. Our daily ascents will range from 1000m to 2000m. There are a lot of opportunities to complete longer tours. The wildlife interactions are the best in the world, the area hosts large populations of humpback, minke, orcas and fin whales. Penguins are a regular feature as are crabeater, weddell and leopard seals

The warm sailboat is a welcomed reward after a hard day of skiing. The yacht comes with a dedicated crew and captain. The group is joined by a fully certified guide who will run the ski and kayak program and decide on all safety matters.

The Route

We start in Ushuaia, the town is a meeting point for adventurers from all over the world which provides a fun and energized atmosphere.  We will meet you at the hotel the day before departure. We will then board the boat the following morning and after completing final preparations plan the crossing of the Drake Passage. 

Once we’ve arrived in Antarctica our exact route will be determined by the weather, sea ice and the desires of the group. Our most southern point is normally Pleneau Island just south of the Le Maire Channel.

After 16 days of exploring the Peninsula we will start heading north and make the transit back to South America, finishing the trip sometime on day 22 in Ushuaia.

The Place

The Antarctic Peninsula, a place of ice, rock and ocean, there is nowhere on Earth that can compare. 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 pry through the rich polar waters for seals. There are numerous penguin colonies dotted throughout the Peninsula, the spring and early summer is nesting time. It’s a hive of active 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.

What's Included

  • 20 nights on the yacht
  • All meals while onboard
  • Kayaks, paddles, lifejackets, skirts, drysuits and safety equipment
  • Dedicated ski guide
  • Experienced Skipper   
  • Antarctica permits
  • Beer and wine while on trip

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation in Ushuaia
  • Meals while in Ushuaia
  • Travel insurance
  • Ski or avalanche equipment ( can be rented)

Trip Itinerary

Day 0

Meet in Ushuaia, go over gear, practice crevasse rescue techniques and transceiver training.

Accommodation and meals not provided.

Day 1

Come aboard, stow your gear, take in the briefings, and we set off to sail down the spectacular mountain lined Beagle Channel to the tiny Chilean Naval outpost of Puerto Williams. Here the yacht club bar in a sunken ship has fascinating memorabilia from many ‘larger than life’ southern ocean sailors who’ve called here in the past. Perhaps you’ll add your own!

Yacht. L-D

Day 2

We make an early start for Cape Horn, sailing the length of the Beagle Channel, and subject to weather conditions, may land and visit the legendary Cape. An impressive monument stands mute testament to sailors through the ages, who have struggled rounding the notorious landmark.

Yacht. B-L-D.

Day 3 – 5

Depending on weather windows, we head out into the Drake Passage to commence our 550 nautical mile ocean passage, where landfall will be the snow, rock and ice of the Antarctic Peninsula. We are sailing the “furious fifties” with landfall in the “screaming sixties”, but thankfully the ‘state of the art’ weather systems aboard enable us to negotiate the deep lows the Drake Passage is legendary for. Often we are able to choose weather windows that provide a safe comfortable and fast passage across. You will find that with the routine of watches at sea, the time passes quickly.

Yacht. B-L-D.

Days 5 – 19

Our next days merge into each other as we cruise the relatively sheltered waters of the Antarctic Peninsula. This allows us to explore the wild and beautiful landscape and fascinating plethora of animal life. Each morning we’ll decide to go skiing or paddling, weather helps with this choice, during periods of sunny skies we’ll take to the slopes and if it’s overcast or snowing we’ll go for a paddle. 
Paradise Harbour, Lemaire Channel, Neumayer Channel, all offer dramatic scenery, but we will have the chance to cruise these and many other less visited places, in depth. The chance to see this “Last Paradise” as part of a small and flexible group offers opportunities for adventures that are beyond the realms of travel by any other means. As an independent yacht we are able to visit tiny coves and shallow anchorages where one can enjoy the magnificent solitude of one of the remotest places on earth, while watching close-up the antics of the local inhabitants, curious leopard seals, playful humpback whales, or frenetically busy penguins. You are part of the landscape! – And we have the time and flexibility to stop and enjoy it. This is an expedition and you are a participant. As we sail through spectacular islands and straits you may take the helm or climb the mast to look for leads in the ice. Imagine yourself as one of the first visitors, early explorer or whaler, pushing into new territory, dwarfed by the awesome majesty of the landscape, and astonished by the amazing wealth of animal life.

Yacht. B-L-D.

Days 19 – 22

After a couple of exciting weeks cruising, exploring, skiing and kayaking we begin to watch for a weather window to sail back across the Drake and make a sailor’s ‘Rounding of the Horn’.  Arriving back in Ushuaia on Day 20.

Yacht. B-L-D. Final day only breakfast is provided.

Yacht

The Yacht – The Spirit of Sydney 

Antarctica boat based ski and kayak adventure

The Spirit of Sydney is the perfect expedition yacht. She is a 60 foot, aluminium hulled, fully rigged, motor sailor ,registered as a commercial – Category 0 (zero – Unrestricted) vessel. She carries a comprehensive range of safety, operational and navigational equipment. A 130hp turbo diesel engine powers the vessel and she is equipped with 1 zodiac tender.. She is an ocean greyhound with long clean lines and flared bow sections for surfing the big rollers of the southern ocean, offering an exhilarating experience.
Spirit of Sydney offers a reasonable level of comfort with heated insulated interior, antarctic specified water maker and hot fresh water showers, however the emphasis is on safety, adventure and hands on experience.
The pleasant raised saloon with windows at eye level has a diesel drip heater in-set in the saloon table and offers a cosy social environment, while the aluminium and plexiglass ‘ bomber style’ dodger over the cockpit keeps the crew relatively warm and dry whilst on watch. The large sugar scoop or stern platform is an ideal platform for kayaking, diving or just boarding the zodiac.
Spirit has been meticulously maintained and refitted, so that she has evolved on a yearly basis.

Yacht Specs

Yacht type – Bermuda Sloop
Length – 18m or 60ft
Breadth – 5m or 16ft
Number of Guest Births – 9
Number of Bathrooms – 1

Antarctica adventures

 

Ski adventures Antarctica

 

Photo Gallery

Route Map

Expedition Engineering Route map for Antarcitca

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to cross the Drake Passage?
Between 3 and 4 days. If we get a really good crossing it is possible to make the transit in 2 days.
What sort of weather can expect?
Antarctica can experience very mixed weather. 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 but temperatures can get much lower.
Is there communication onboard the boat?
There is no mobile coverage once we leave port in Ushuaia. For emergencies there is a satellite phone service onboard the yacht.
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. The cuisine is almost entirely Russian, which means lots of carbs and delicious soups. 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.
Do I need a Visa to enter Argentina?
Citizens from most Western Nations don’t need a Visa to enter Argentina, it’s best to check with the Argentinian consulate well before departing.
What language do they speak on the yacht?
The captain and crew are Russian but speak good English.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews Coming Soon.

Application Form

Once you’ve filled out our online application form we will contact you within 24 hours. 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 500 Euro 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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Antarctic Ski and Kayak Adventure Application Form


We are happy to cater to special dietary needs, please include as much as information as possible.
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.

 


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Antarctica ski adventure