Emperors & Explorers

Land Based Trips
Land-Based
South Pole, Emperor Penguins

Two extraordinary experiences in one action-packed adventure

Fly by ski aircraft to an Emperor penguin rookery on the remote, south coast of the Weddell Sea.  Here we set up camp for our small group and spend several days totally immersed in the activity of the rookery. Photograph majestic Emperors against a spectacular backdrop of ice cliffs, pressure ridges and icebergs. Fall asleep to a chorus of trumpeting calls and wake to find curious penguins outside your tent.

Camping on-site offers the freedom to enjoy the wildlife spectacle at your own pace with the support of our experienced Antarctic guides and staff naturalist, who will make sure we do not disturb the rookery. This authentic safari offers more than just wildlife viewing. You will literally live with the Emperors and witness first-hand their amazing adaptation to the Antarctic environment.

Next we fly to the South Pole by ski aircraft, covering in several hours the distance that took the early explorers years of planning and months of hardship to achieve. History comes alive as we stand at 90 South and imagine how they felt heading out across the frozen continent and into the unknown 100 years ago. We feel the spirit of determination and discovery that has inspired a century of Antarctic exploration and scientific research. And we sense that a journey to the South Pole is as significant today as it was so many years ago.

Accommodations

Union Glacier Camp
The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming at our main Antarctic camp at Union Glacier. You’ll find roomy, double occupancy sleeping tents; a spacious dining hall; fresh delicious meals; and a spectacular setting. You’ll be surprised how comfortable Antarctica can be! Our full-service camp is designed for Antarctic conditions and with best environmental practices in mind. It operates during the Antarctic summer (November through January) and is dismantled at the end of each season.

Field Camps
Our Gould Bay (Emperor Penguin), ski expedition, climbing and other field camps are more basic. Equipment must be lightweight and portable, yet still strong enough to withstand Antarctic conditions. We sleep in mountaineering-style tents and eat a combination of fresh-frozen meals, prepared by our chefs at Union Glacier; and de-hydrated meals.

Day 1 – Fly to Antarctica

Fly from Chile to Antarctica by private transport jet. Land on ice runway. Settle in at Union Glacier Camp.

Day 2 - Acclimatize to Antarctica

Today is an easy day to acclimatize to Antarctic conditions. We will have an orientation to camp and life in Antarctica, review expedition logistics with our guide, and enjoy a presentation by our staff naturalist about coastal wildlife and wildlife viewing procedures.

Days 3 to 5 - Living with the Emperors

After a leisurely breakfast we pack up and fly by ski aircraft to the remote south coast of the Weddell Sea. We land on multi-year sea ice near the Emperor rookery and our guides set up a cozy field camp beside the aircraft. The rest of the day is ours to explore and we have our first audience with the Emperors.

Experience the rhythms of the rookery at your own pace over the next three days. Take guided walks with our ANI naturalist or do your own thing. Meal times are flexible so you can photograph and explore when the lighting and mood are just right. Meals are prepared by our guides and include hot meals and portable snacks.

Watch adults display and feed their young. Listen to trumpeting and whistling calls as parents and chicks search for one another. If lucky, we'll photograph Weddell seals lazing by tide cracks. And at each step we'll marvel at the magnificence of where we are. Each night, fall asleep to the mingled calls of thousands of Emperors.

At the end of our third day we pack-up the aircraft and fly back to Union Glacier Camp.

Day 6 - Union Glacier

We take a day to enjoy the comforts of Union Glacier Camp and prepare for the next leg of our journey.

Day 7 - In the footsteps of the Explorers

Today we fly to the South Pole, the holy grail of polar explorers. A  4-5 hr flight brings us to our destination and as we step off the aircraft, we are immediately struck by the significance of this place and our journey. We have arrived at the heart of the 7th continent and at the axis of the earth. Here all 360 lines of longitude meet and the ice is nearly 10,000 ft (3,000m) thick. This last great geographical prize captured the imagination of a generation of explorers, who suffered extreme hardship and even gave their lives to claim it as their own.

We will take plenty of time for photographs and reflection at the Geographic South Pole and at the colorful Ceremonial Pole which commemorates the signing of the Antarctic Treaty. Inside Amundsen-Scott station we will learn what makes the South Pole a unique scientific laboratory and visit the store to buy souvenirs. After our visit we re-board the ski aircraft and return to Union Glacier Camp, where we will toast our achievement and enjoy a celebration meal prepared by our chefs.

The South Pole has been designated an Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA #5) to conserve the environmental, scientific and historical values of the area. We ask for your cooperation in respecting visitor guidelines during any time we may spend at the South Pole.

Day 8 - Union Glacier

On our final day we have a chance to explore scenic Union Glacier. This day also provide a second opportunity for our South Pole flight, in case of poor weather on Day 7.

Day 9 - Return to Punta Arenas, Chile

The aircraft from Punta Arenas will arrive with a new collection of avid explorers and you depart for the final leg of your Antarctic experience. Our ANI staff will meet you at Punta Arenas airport and transfer you to your hotel.

Please Note:

No two Antarctic experiences are exactly the same. This is part of the excitement and adventure of Antarctic travel. The itinerary above highlights typical activities and experiences. Exact timeline and details will vary from trip to trip. Trip length may vary by departure

Please anticipate delays and do not plan anything for at least a week after your scheduled return. Allow yourself to enjoy this unique experience without the stress of pending commitments.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

These Experiences have a minimum number requirement. We reserve the right to revise our prices in the event of significant changes in the price of aviation kerosene and aircraft charter rates.

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

These Experiences have a minimum number requirement. We reserve the right to revise our prices in the event of significant changes in the price of aviation kerosene and aircraft charter rates.