Dreaming of skiing the Wildest Place on Earth?...check out www.ski-antarctica.com
Some spots available...... Get in Quick! and contact us for further info. Or arrange your own private expedition to Antarctica, Cape Horn, South Georgia or the Patagonian Fjords.
THE COMING SEASON - austral summer 2014- 2015
OCTOBER- on Spirit of Sydney - SOUTH GEORGIA-KAYAK EXPEDITION with Expedition Leader Justine Curgenven - October 11 to November 8 read more Contact us
OCTOBER- on Icebird - SOUTH GEORGIA - SKI and SAIL EXPEDITION with Mountain Leader Phil Wickens and Born Riis- Johannessen - October 4-November 1 read more about skiing Contact us read more about sailing
NOVEMBER on Icebird - Falkland Islands to Ushuaia - Nov 3 to Nov 18 - explore the amazing wildlife of the Falklands outer islands and sail up the Beagle Channel to Ushuaia.
DECEMBER- on Spirit of Sydney - SKI and KAYAK with Mountain Leader Phil Wickens Nov 23 - Dec20. read more, contact us OR Phil Wickens
DECEMBER- on Icebird - Ski-Mountaineering Expedition Nov 25 to Dec 20 with Bjorn Riis- Johanessen read more about sailing
JANUARY – on Spirit of Sydney Private ski-mountaineering Expedition ... a group of friends chartered the yacht and organized their own Expedition. Congratulations!
JANUARY- on Icebird - Sail in/Fly out - Ski Trip -- Dec 27 to Jan 13 - maximum time skiing, less time sailing the Drake
JANUARY -on Icebird - Fly in/Sail out - Ski Trip -- Jan 13 to Feb 1 - sail in only one direction across the Drake
FEBRUARY -on Spirit of Sydney- Sea Kayak Expedition with Justine Curgenven - Feb 8th to March 6th. After the success of last season's trip we are keen to go again! read more and contact us for a brochure and application form. Are you up for 26 days of Adventure and in your face wildlife at the seventh continent?
FEBRUARY on Icebird – Trip1 - 19 days Feb 8 to Feb 28th - Sight seeing, Photography and Sea kayaking – sail the Drake Passage one direction, Charter flight back. contact us.
FEBRUARY on Icebird– Trip2 - 19 days- Feb 28 to Mar 18 - Sight seeing, PHOTOGRAPHY with Matthias Breiter and Sea kayaking – Join us by Charter flight, explore Antarctica and sail the Drake Passage via Cape Horn, back to Ushuaia. OPEN TO INDIVIDUALS – contact us
MARCH- Patagonian Fjords - Mar 16 to Mar 30 - 14 days Cape Horn and Patagonian Fjords. contact us
Patagonian Fjords, Cape Horn, Chilean Channels...contact us to design your own trip.
- Sea Kayak, Photography and Sight Seeing aboard Spirit of Sydney -26 days of adventure and in your face wildlife. Spaces available Contact us
FEBRUARY trip 1- 19 days - Feb 2 to Feb 19 Sea kayaking, Snow shoeing and Photography. Sail from Ushuaia aboard Icebird and return by flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas. same number of days in Antarctica...less Drake Passage. Contact us
FEBRUARY trip 2- 19 days - Feb 19 to Mar 8- Sea kayaking, Snow shoeing and Photography. Fly from Punta Arenas to King George island meet Icebird and explore Peninsula, sail across Drake Passage to Cape Horn and return Ushuaia..........same number of days in Antarctica...less Drake Passage. Contact us
MARCH Patagonian Fjords and Glaciers- Mar 16 to Mar 29 - 14 days Contact us
MARCH- Patagonian Fjords - contact us
MARCH / APRIL - 12 DAY GLACIERS OF THE BEAGLE CHANNEL- relaxed cruising in sheltered waters and spectacular scenery, awesome kayaking...read below: *******PLACES AVAILABLE !!! Or create your own Itinerary including Cape Horn.
Sail / Kayak / Hike
Patagonian Fjords and Glaciers of the Beagle Passage
Join Spirit of Sydney in Ushuaia, Argentina for a 10 day trip exploring the Glaciers of the
Beagle Passage and the Chilean Fjords
This is an amazing wilderness where glaciers cut swathes through lush Antarctic beech forests to calve dramatically into deep fjords at the base of the Cordillera Darwin. Over 10 days we will explore much of the Beagle Channel where Darwin and Fitzroy spent 2 years exploring and charting aboard the HMS Beagle. Today we sail the same waters, as pristine and untouched, as they were in 1833, and still as rarely visited.
Spirit of Sydney is a 60 ft aluminium expedition yacht specifically equipped and fitted for southern ocean sailing. She is heated through out and provides comfortable expedition style accommodation for 6-7 guests. Up to 6 sea kayaks are carried on deck and Spirit’s stern platform provides easy access. Sailing in the Beagle Channel and Cape Horn Archipelago is relatively sheltered and easy going, while a good anchorage is never far away.
Relaxed cruising in the Beagle with Isla Gordon up ahead
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, where the famous “Micalvi” is a yacht club bar in a sunken ship and famous for pisco sours and memorabilia from southern ocean sailors. Take an afternoon walk up Cerro Bandera to immerse yourself in the spectacular views down the Beagle Channel and the maze of islands laid out before you. One can’t help wondering at the lives of the Yagan Indians who travelled these waters in mere dugout canoes, carefully guarding their embers for the camp fires that gave the region its name of Tierra del Fuego
Day 2 – After clearance formalities with the Chilean Armada, we gain our cruising permit for the Ventisqueros (Glaciers) region and make an early start for the western end of the Beagle Channel. Sailing back down the Beagle, we are often accompanied by hourglass dolphins, peales dolphins and occasional pods of orcas. We head for an anchorage at Navarino and take to the kayaks for an afternoon paddle.
With any luck we’ll meet some fisherman and barter for some of their catch - Centolla (Patagonian King Crab)
Day 3– sailing west down the Beagle Channel it begins to narrow dramatically and close in around us, as the mountainous Cordillera Darwin rises to the north, and the steep sided Isla Gordon to the south. Glaciers start to appear and glisten blue in the shafts of sunlight.
Darwin wrote of this area:
"...Early in the morning we arrived at the point where the Beagle Channel divides into two arms ; and we entered the northern one. The scenery here becomes even grander than before. The lofty mountains on the north side compose the granitic axis, backbone of the country and boldly rise to a height of between three and four thousand feet, with one peak above six thousand feet (This is probably referring to Mount Darwin, the highest peak in Tierra Del Fuego and capped with ice 300+ feet thick). They are covered by a mantle of perpetual snow, and numerous cascades pour their waters, through the woods, into the narrow channel below. In many parts magnificent glaciers extend from the mountain side to the water's edge. It is scarcely possible to imagine anything more beautiful than the beryl-like blue of these glaciers, and specially as contrasted with the dead white of the upper expanse of snow. The fragments which had fallen from the glaciers into the water were floating away, and the channel with its icebergs presented, for the space of a mile, a miniature of the Polar Sea..."
An easy morning sail finds us at Caleta Olla and the afternoon is spent hiking in the hills or preparing a beach bbq under the lengua trees inhabited by abundant birdlife. Perhaps we’ll see the Andean condors soaring overhead. Our anchorage, tied stern to the trees, and sheltered by the high cliffs and forests is serene and picturesque.
Caleta Olla …and beach with Guanaco tracks
Day 4 – A whole day at Caleta Olla to explore the surrounds, hike to the hanging lake, check the beach for guanaco tracks and kayak in the bay.
Day 5 - Caleta Morning – a small cove set in an amazing amphitheatre of rock with waterfalls gushing in and an atmosphere reminiscent of a grand cathedral. We spend the day exploring in kayaks. The serenity and over powering ‘presence of place’ make the noise of an outboard engine seem like an obscenity…. kayaking is the way to go here.
Seno Pia …a symphonic landscape
Day 6 We wind our way through brash ice up the15 km fjord of Seno Pia and witness the glacier calving great chunks into the sea. Now is your chance to kayak through the ice! Our anchorage here this night will resound with crashing ice, but hopefully the smell of Patagonian lamb roasting on the bbq and good argentinean Malbec will compensate.
Day 7 - Bay of a Thousand Waterfalls… what more can one say! The afternoon is free to walk up to the glacier snout, go paddling and general exploring
Day 8 – Seno Foque - one of the longest fjords in this region and an excellent place to explore by kayak, or scramble up the hills to numerous glaciers. Last visit here we sighted the very rare Chilean black dolphins whose rarity is matched by their playfulness.
Day 9 – Back to Pto Williams and a celebratory pisco sour at the Micalvi!
The Micalvi , most southern Yacht Club The Yelcho which rescued Shackleton’s men from Elephant Island
Day 10 Pto Williams to Ushuaia and a hotel for the night!
Please note this Itinerary is subject to change according to weather or the desires of guests aboard. As a small independent yacht there is opportunity for flexibility. For example extended kayaking trips, multi day excursions and the like are easily catered for. Also Cape Horn and islands may be included.
24 DAY ANTARCTIC PENINSULA EXPEDITION SAIL - KAYAK - SKI
Join Spirit of Sydney in Ushuaia, Argentina for a 24day trip to the Antarctic Peninsula AND THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME! This is your chance to experience Antarctica as one of just 6-7 guests aboard a thoroughbred sailing yacht, where you will be wowed by the spectacular scenery and amazing wildlife of one of the last wildernesses on earth. As a small flexible group we can tailor-make our adventures and adapt itineraries to satisfy even the most seasoned adventure traveller. A cruise to Antarctica to see its dazzling landscapes and plentiful wildlife should be on everyone's "to-do" list, but this adventure simply beats them all!
Day 1- Board Spirit in Ushuaia, stow your gear and take in the briefings before sailing down the spectacular mountain lined Beagle Channel, to the tiny Chilean Naval outpost of Puerto Williams, where the yacht club bar in a sunken ship has fascinating memorabilia from many 'larger than life' southern ocean sailors who’ve called there in the past. Perhaps you’ll add your own!
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 where an impressive monument stands mute testament to sailors through the ages, who have struggled rounding the notorious landmark.
Days 3-6 - Depending on weather windows, we head out into the Drake Passage to commence our 550nm 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 Spirit of Sydney 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 - and you’ll find that with the routine of watches at sea, the time passes quickly.
Spirit of Sydney is an ocean greyhound and her origins as a southern ocean 'round the world' racing yacht reflect in her thoroughbred handling and the chance to steer a real racing yacht in the southern ocean is an exhilarating experience in itself, an exhilaration matched by the soaring flight of wandering albatrosses as they lift off the wave tops and soar above the yacht. Adventurous guests of all abilities are catered for, (you don’t need to be an experienced sailor to lend a hand) as the yacht is easily shorthanded, and even non-sailors have returned as seasoned veterans of southern ocean sailing.
Our arrival in Antarctic waters is heralded by porpoising penguins and the fantastical shapes of weird and wonderful icebergs, with anchorage perhaps at Whaler’s Bay in the sunken caldera of volcanic Deception Island - home to 300,000 pairs of bustling noisy chinstrap penguins. Perhaps we’ll wash off the last few days at sea with a dip in the volcanic hot springs at Pendulum Cove where steam rises eerily from the shore obscuring the dark brooding volcanic landscape.
Days 6-21 Our next days merge into each other as we cruise the relatively sheltered waters of the Antarctic Peninsula, exploring the wild and beautiful landscape and fascinating plethora of animal life.
Now’s your chance to take to the kayaks and slip along the side of an iceberg as lazy crab-eater seals plop into the water beside you, or perhaps to just drift along, -wondering at the sheer immensity of the glacier wrapped mountains that loom over you.
Perhaps you’d like to take the snow-shoes and hike up a snow hill to take in the view that literally extends for 50 miles or more in the clear crisp Antarctic air.
Paradise Harbour, Lemaire Channel, Neumayer Channel, all offer dramatic scenery, but we will have the chance 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.
This Expedition would not be complete without an overnight camp at ‘Jonathan Island’,…. An ultimate spectacular destination for an overnight kayak trip. The snow hill islet is set in an amphitheatre of jagged glacier clad mountains and sheltered by Leif Bay within the magical Paradise Harbour.
Spirit of Sydney is equipped with snow shoes and toboggans. Imagine tobogganing down virgin snow slopes, where surprised penguins gawk at ungainly humans!
Days 21- 26 After a couple of exciting cruising….exploring….kayaking… weeks, we begin to watch for a weather window to sail back across the Drake and make a sailor's 'Rounding of the Horn'. Weather permitting, we may shelter behind the Cape and drop the kayaks in for the ultimate ‘tick of the box’…. A chance to paddle around the notorious landmark. Its also possible to land and visit the Monument.
As we sail up the Beagle Channel, the verdant green magic of Patagonia with its lush Antarctic beech forests and cascades will delight senses accustomed to sea ice and snow. Our first night in 'Civilisation' will be a debrief at Puerto Williams, where a 'pisco sour' or two will help provide a fitting ambience to celebrate the end of a fabulous adventure. Our return to Ushuaia the next day is an easy 24 nm.
Approaching Cape Horn from the South
This is a real ‘hands on’ expedition and everyone will need to be active in making the trip work. While there is a lot of planning and preparation put into these trips, we will be visiting places where the unexpected and unplanned will be part of the fun and excitement. Our aim is to take like-minded people on an experience of a lifetime. The trip will work best if everyone is prepared to lend a hand and be a part of the crew.
When you steer the yacht around Cape Horn and return to South America, you will have a real sense of achievement knowing you have been a part of a small team that has not just ‘been to Antarctica’, but you actually did it with your own hands! You get out of the expedition as much as you put in.
About Spirit of Sydney
Spirit of Sydney, an icon of Australian yachting, was originally designed and built for the 1986 BOC single handed around the world race by America’s Cup winner Ben Lexcen. Spirit is an ocean greyhound with real sailing ability and thoroughbred performance, and has been sailing the Southern Ocean and plying Antarctic waters every summer since 1994. Spirit of Sydney regularly supports expeditions in all parts of Antarctica with groups such as scientists from Australian Antarctic Division, (albatross research) Oregon State University Marine mammals Institute (tagging humpback Whales ) ,University of British Columbia, (Orca study), as well as television documentaries, like Animal Planets Steve Irwin The Croc Hunter, or “2 Below Zero” where Spirit of Sydney delivered 4.5 tons of equipment from Hobart to Commonwealth Bay for a 12 month winter-over near Mawson’s Hut. Other expeditions have included, National Geographic photographers, mountaineers, dry suit divers and kayaking expeditions including Andrew Mc Cauley’s epic “John Rymill Memorial Expedition”, the longest unsupported sea kayaking expedition in Antarctica. Spirit of Sydney has also sailed to Macquarie Island, Ross Sea, Weddell Sea, South Georgia Island and to the Magnetic South Pole.
Spirit has been meticulously maintained and refitted, so that she has evolved on a yearly basis. For example, in 2002 Spirit had a major refit which included a new engine, new mainsail, installation of a Plexiglas cockpit dodger and other work. In 2004, Spirit sailed to Buenos-Aires for another full refit, gaining at that time a new saloon and navigation area. More recently, central heating, a full hot water system and a custom water maker designed specifically for Antarctic waters have been installed to add greatly to high latitude voyage comfort levels. During this austral winter Spirit is once again visiting Buenos Aires for maintenance and refit.
Spirit of Sydney has 'state of the art' weather and communications systems. Individual email accounts are provided for guests and daily uploads are possible via the Iridium sat phone network. She is also equipped with Xaxero’s Sky-Eye System for real time satellite image downloads of weather systems which can be cross referenced with weather information from Global Marine Network.
Mind and Body Fitness levels - These trips are designed for fit, agile and active people who have adventurous and positive outlooks. Participation is the key to enjoyment. No sailing experience is required but an understanding of expedition mentality is. Its one of life's great privileges to be alone with nature in such an environment and if you have to pay for it with living in confined space and the occasional discomfort, then it makes the satisfaction that bit better.
There is no age limit as we have had fit and active people of all ages, even a 77year old sea kayaker who was out paddling almost every day!
All expeditioners will need to have a medical before departure as we are operating in a remote area, and its best for all concerned to have no surprises.
Once you step aboard ‘Spirit of Sydney’ all food, drinks including local beer and wine, port fees and permits are supplied. You need only bring some US dollars for buying souvenirs at Antarctic bases we may visit and for gratuities. You may also wish to bring a bottle of whiskey etc for nightcaps.
What’s not included:
Personal clothing and equipment, Travel insurance, Entry visa for Argentina, Hotel and meals in Ushuaia, Travel to and from Ushuaia. Iridium communications while on board. Cost of Medicals.
Sea kayaking option Drysuit US$200.00
Sea Kayaking option
Current Designs ‘Storm’ kayaks ,paddles with pogies , spray deck, pump, lifejacket.
We also have 7 hand held VHFs, 2 hand held GPS, Personal EPIRBs and flare kits.
Drysuits – you may bring your own, or hire from us for $200US for the duration of the trip.
Antarctic Hitch- hiker
Sea Kayaking option
Spirit of Sydney owns 6 Current Designs ‘Storms’ making it possible for you to not only cruise the Antarctic Peninsula but drop your kayak in the water and paddle it. This is a popular activity as there is no better way to see this place than from a kayak. It holds a power over everyone who paddles in this area. You may want to paddle for a few hours, or a few days,- may be camping over on an Island for the night .Spirit of Sydney Expeditions is the only company working in Antarctica that can offer the equipment, the time and flexibility for extended paddling that is not possible on a ship based trip. Sea kayaking is highly recommended as the ultimate way to experience Antarctica ‘up close and personal’.
Lan Chile and Aerolineas Argentinas has regular flights to Buenos Aires with connection to Ushuaia. Hotel accommodation in Ushuaia is relatively inexpensive at around 200 pesos per night,
Click Here to contact usfor more booking information and costs