Emperors and South Pole

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

This luxury adventure takes you into the heart of Antarctica to see the Emperor Penguins. Then its to the lowest point on earth - the South Pole! Trip lengths vary as listed in the pricing chart.

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.

We later journey the 1,500mi (2,400km) by plane to reach the South Pole — the lowest point on earth and the holy grail of early explorers. At the designated marker there is no more east, south or west on the planet, only north and you will be able to walk around the world in just a few paces! We then have the chance to enter the Amundsen-Scott American Science Station to learn about their, often ground-breaking, research

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 and the South Pole.

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 & Scientific Base

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!

On the way back, we use our specialist 4x4s to drive to the nearby science base to meet some of the scientists that have been there all winter performing their ground-breaking research.

South Pole, Day 1

You will leave early on the morning in the BT-67 Turbo prop plane. The plane will fly for 5 hrs across the infinite landscape of the High Polar Plateau before landing at 83 degrees South to refuel. You will have a chance to walk around and experience for yourself this daunting environment before we continue on for another 2 hrs to reach the South Pole itself. This is the lowest point on earth – the holy grail of the old explorers – and it is a bizarre concept to be standing at a place that has no more East, South, or West – the only direction on the planet is North.

At the South Pole marker, you can walk around the planet in just a few steps and after photos, we take you into the American Science base for an exclusive tour of their outstanding facility and even a chance to buy souvenirs.

We will then camp the night near to the South Pole itself. The campsite consists of modern tents that you are able to stand up in and camping beds, mattresses and specialist sleeping bags. While it is not as luxurious as our main camp, our guides will take excellent care of you and you will be kept warm and safe.

South Pole, Day 2

After 8-10hrs camping, you will be given a hearty breakfast, before boarding the plane once again for the flight back to our camp. The flight is the perfect chance to really appreciate the immense scale of Antarctica, before you return to our camp for a three-course dinner and a champagne reception to celebrate your achievement.

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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Rates Antarctica 2019-20
Sleeping Pod
Camp, Mountaineering
Camp, Mountaineering
Camp, Mountaineering
Camp, Mountaineering
Camp, Mountaineering
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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.