Emperors Adventure

Whichaway Land-Based Antarctic Specialty Trips
Whichaway Camp from Cape Town
12 Passengers
South Pole & Emperor fly-in

This luxury 6-day adventure takes you into the heart of Antarctica to see the Emperor Penguins.

With only 12 clients on each adventure and professional polar explorers as your guides, the day’s itineraries are tailored to each individual. From gentle treks and picnics overlooking the ice waves, to more adrenalin fueled activities, such as kite-skiing and ice climbing.

At the beginning of the adventure we fly 2hrs along the coast to an emperor penguin colony of over 3,000 breeding pairs and their newly hatched chicks. We are the only tourists to visit this colony, and as a consequence the chicks are entirely unafraid and often waddle right up to you. It is one of the greatest thrills on earth to witness such a rare and secluded wildlife spectacle.

This itinerary is entirely subject to weather conditions in Antarctica and is meant as an approximate guide of what clients can expect. The highest priority is given to visiting the Emperor penguin colony.

Day Prior to Departure

After lunch, we will transfer you to the stunning winelands of Constantia – located about 25 mins drive from the city center. At our offices, we will host a safety briefing where we will check through all your items of polar clothing and ensure they are right for your journey. There is a small clothing shop where you can purchase or exchange items should you need. We will also explain the latest weather forecasts and providing the latest information as to our estimated time of departure.

First Day

We aim to depart at 10:00 from the private jet facility at Cape Town International. Your car will bring you to Execujet’s hanger and reception area where our Gulfstream pilots will be ready to receive you and welcome you onboard. After passing through customs, where you will be officially stamped out of Africa, we will head 5.5hrs across the mighty Southern Ocean, passing a myriad of icebergs along the way.

Halfway through the flight, we cross into the polar circle and into 24hrs continuous daylight. The plane we are planning to use for this specific itinerary is a Gulfstream 550 business jet and so your journey into Antarctica’ interior will be done in luxury and style.

Landing on our specialist ice runway, named ‘Wolfs Fang”, you will immediately be able to appreciate the vastness of your surroundings as the horizon seems to infinitely stretch off into the distance, punctuated only by a row of jagged mountains peaks.

A separate BT-67 ski-equipped aircraft will then ferry you 25mins to our luxury camp situated on the edge of the Schirmacher Oasis.

Settle In

Settle into 'Whichaway' Camp. There are six state-of-the-art sleeping pods that are heated and designed for two people in each. At just over 20-feet (6m) in diameter, they are also spacious, with a writing desk, wash area and toilet.

The rest of the camp comprises a shower pod, kitchen and three centralised pods that make up the reception, lounge and dining room. While the exterior is made from cutting edge materials, the interior has an old-world feel with rich textures.

This is where you will base your stay, overlooking an immense 200ft icefall and frozen lake that dominates our view.

Each day the certified high mountain guides will offer a variety of activities that can be as hard or relaxed as you wish.

We will head to the 650-foot (200m) long ice caves. The tunnels are made of iridescent blue ice that is as surreal as it is unique. You are able to walk right through them and experience the still air and bizarre ice formations that are carved by melt water.

In the afternoon, you will hear about the incredible lifecycle of the Emperor Penguins in preparation for the visit the following day.

Emperor Penguins, Day 1

We fly two hours across Antarctica, skimming across the spectacular coastline before landing at the Emperor Penguin colony. We are the only tourists to visit this specific colony and surrounded by approximately 6,000 emperor penguins and their newly hatched chicks, you will be able to get up close and personal to these real life stars of March of the Penguins.

At this time of year, the chicks are still covered in their grey down feathers and we spend the day photographing them and their doting parents. There are occasionally Weddell seals in the area as well, and they lie next to their breath holes cut from the ice by their own teeth, entirely unafraid of their proximity to humans.

That night we camp, expedition style, at the colony of penguins. This is a truly spiritual experience falling asleep to the chirps of the most majestic and regal birds on the planet.

Emperor Penguins, Day 2

We spend the morning with the penguins, photographing them early in the morning when the sun is low and the light perfect. You will have plenty of time to achieve the perfect shot and spend uninterrupted time amongst these incredible birds.

We fly back in the late afternoon to Whichaway Camp and a nice warm shower!

Rock Cliffs

Today, we use our specialist 4x4s to drive to vast rock cliffs that overlooks the ice waves. Our guides have established a ‘via cordita’ or ‘rope walk’ where you follow a path that winds right over the cliff edge. It is technically easy, but more than a little exciting!

Settle in to camp this afternoon hearing recounts of some one of the greatest tales of survival, Shackleton’s Endurance expedition.

Glacier Traverse

Our high-mountain guides are some of the most skilled mountaineers with world record setting expeditions all over the world.

Today they train you in the art of glacier traverse and you will learn first hand how to handle yourself on a glacier. Complete with ice axe and crampons you will traverse a mini glacier to the top of a nearby rock formation called a “Nunatak”. At the summit you can either walk back down the other side, or abseil (rappel) off the top, a thrilling end to a gentle expedition.

Scientific Base

We have very good relationships with the local scientists and today we use our specialist 4x4s to drive to the nearby science base. Meeting some of the scientists that have been there all winter performing their groundbreaking research gives you an appreciation for the different existence these scientists live in.

This is a first hand experience of how polar research is conducted and it is very interesting to hear the human element of over-wintering on a science base.

Drygalski Mountain Range

We fly for about 45 mins to the Drygalski mountain range. This is a bizarre area that consists of huge monoliths of rock rising vertically out of the ice and often reaching to over 3,200ft (1,000m) in height. It is a scenic journey with very little physical effort.

Final Day

In the morning, we will prepare for your flight back to Cape Town. We leave after breakfast and transfer back to Wolfs Fang runway for the 5.5hrs flight home. Arriving in the afternoon, you will be transferred to your hotel where you will have a chance to relax in a hot bath while reminiscing on once in a lifetime memories.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Per Person USD
Rates Antarctica 2019-20
Sleeping Pod
Camp, Mountaineering
$92,500Limited
Camp, Mountaineering
$92,500Full
Camp, Mountaineering
$92,500Full
Camp, Mountaineering
$58,000Limited
Camp, Mountaineering
$92,500 
$38,500 
$38,500 
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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.