Camping Out in the Antarctic!

By Expeditions / 07 February 2019

Camping Out in the Antarctic!

If you’re looking for an experience that truly breaks the mould of traditional cruise line activities then we’d like to introduce you to one of our most unique offerings – camping out under the Antarctic skies.

How does camping in Antarctica work?

After dinner you’ll leave your cruise ship and zip ashore via a Zodiac. An experienced guide will choose the campsite spot and instruct everybody in how to set up their tents and sleeping bags. The next morning everybody will help to break down the camp, making sure that no gear or garbage gets left behind, and clean the camping gear. The location for camps and the amount of camp nights offered depends on the weather and location of the ship. One night of camping to accommodate all of our passengers is our goal; additional nights are offered whenever we can manage in, subject to conditions.

Do you have to be an experienced camper?

Not at all. Your guide will be there to lend a helping hand every step of the way. This activity is also one that can be shared by all of our passengers; you don’t need to be a rugged survivalist or particularly athletic to join the camp.

Is it safe?

In terms of wildlife you’ll be perfectly fine – since the camping activity only takes place in Antarctica and not the Arctic you won’t have to worry about polar bears.  You do however have to be prepared for a night out in the South Pole. Regulations forbid taking any fuel or artificial heating equipment on shore. That means bringing along:

  • Thermal underwear
  • Sunblock
  • Fleece vest or jacket
  • Sunglasses
  • Thick socks (with spares)
  • Down jacket
  • Warm gloves or mittens
  • A breathable (e.g. Gore-Tex) jacket and trousers
  • Thermal under-gloves (fleece finger gloves)
  • A turtle-neck or neck gaiter
  • Warm hat

In addition to the appropriate clothing you’ll want to bring a proper urination bottle (e.g. a wide-opening Nalgene bottle – such bottles for ladies are sold in outdoor shops) and a torch/flashlight or a headlight which will come in handy since morning departures in February through March are made while it’s still dark out. Also in terms of safety there is a maximum of 30 passengers per camp. This lets us keep a safe ratio of passengers to experienced field guides (1 guide per 20 passengers). The field guides maintain constant radio contact with the cruise ship.

bivy-bags.jpg

Do I have to bring a sleeping bag?

We’ve got you covered. You will be provided you with a polar synthetic sleeping bag that has a cotton inner liner. We’ll also provide:

  • Breathable bivouac bag
  • Tents that fit up to 3 people (weather-permitting you may choose to sleep without the tent)
  • Mattresses
  • A portable field toilet (one per group)
  • A waterproof transport bag
  • A battery-powered lantern for your tent
  • Insulated waterproof rubber boots

Is this bad for the environment?

Your field guide will situate the camp so that it does not disturb any wildlife in the area (though the penguins may disturb you with their chatter). Aside from that international organisational bodies have set up strict regulations when it comes to human interaction with Antarctica. We follow those regulations to the letter which means that in the morning nothing gets left behind – all gear and human waste is brought back to the ship, leaving the environment in the pristine and beautiful state that brought us there for our adventure together.

setting-camp.jpg

Please note

Cotton clothing like normal t-shirts and jeans are not advisable as cotton tends to get wet and stay wet while moving in a cold environment. Use thermal underwear. Exploring remote and wild regions like Antarctica requires a sensible and flexible approach. Although there can be bright skies with sunshine the weather is unpredictable. Catabatic winds, caused by the icecaps and glaciers, can pick up suddenly and are a fierce opponent for polar travellers. This might lead to the cancellation of planned camp nights as field camping can and will only take place in safe weather conditions

Following is a selection of Antarctic trips with camping option:

Early Booking Bonus 2021/22

Antarctic Explorer: Ultramarine

An 11 day expedition with the pioneering new vessel, Ultramarine discovering the 7th Continent, offering an unmatched Antarctic experience

FROM 11995.00
Find Out More

15% Early Booking Offer

Crossing the Antarctic Circle: Seaventure

A 15 day in-depth Antarctica cruise with crossing of the Polar Circle. Sail on board the super ice-class, Seaventure

FROM 13135.00
Find Out More

M/V Plancius Antarctic Adventure

A 9 or 10 night voyage aboard the ice strengthened expedition ship Plancius to the magnificent, wildlife-rich Antarctic Peninsula

WAS7950.00
NOW 7600.00
Find Out More

Wild Antarctica Air-Cruise: Greg Mortimer

Delve into the Weddell Sea's ice-filled waters, with vast tabular bergs and breaching whales before the Antarctic Peninsula's west coast

FROM 11800.00
Find Out More

Antarctic Basecamp M/V Plancius

An Antarctic expedition cruise onboard M/V Plancius with a greater variety of included activities such as climbing, kayaking, hiking and diving

WAS7950.00
NOW 7600.00
Find Out More

Early Booking Offer

Antarctica South Georgia Odyssey: Greg Mortimer

22 amazing days exploring the wildlife extravaganza that is South Georgia and Antarctica with the state-of-the-art new expedition ship Greg Mortimer

FROM 19400.00
Find Out More

Antarctic Explorer: World Explorer

An 11 day expedition on board the luxurious new World Explorer discovering the amazing Antarctic Peninsula

FROM 9995.00
Find Out More

Antarctica In Depth - M/S Expedition

This 13-day itinerary with the M/S Expedition spends two extra days exploring the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

FROM 7399.00
Find Out More

Antarctica Classic - M/S Expedition

This 11-day itinerary with the M/S Expedition will introduce you to the magic of the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula

FROM 6899.00
Find Out More

Antarctica - Discovery and learning voyage

A 9 or 10 night Classic Antarctic route on the brand-new expedition ship M/V Janssonius, the first-registered Polar Class 6 vessel in the world

FROM 6650.00
Find Out More

Antarctica - Discovery and learning voyage

A 9 or 10 night Classic Antarctic route on the brand-new expedition ship M/V Hondius, the first-registered Polar Class 6 vessel in the world

FROM 6650.00
Find Out More

Early Booking Offer

Holidays in Antarctica: Seaventure

Explore Antarctica in peak season on board Super-Ice-Class MS Seaventure, discover the great white continent’s striking shores and endless vistas

FROM 10945.00
Find Out More

Quest for the Antarctic Circle: M/S Expedition

This 14-day adventure itinerary with the M/S Expedition spends seven full days exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, including past the Polar Circle

FROM 9799.00
Find Out More

Early Booking Offer

Epic Antarctica: Ocean Diamond

A 23 day Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica cruise on board the luxury Ocean Diamond - including a crossing of the Antarctic Circle

FROM 19495.00
Find Out More

Antarctic Peninsula: M/V Ortelius

A classic Antarctic Peninsula expedition cruise on the ice-class expedition ship M/V Ortelius

FROM 8050.00
Find Out More

Spirit of Shackleton: M/S Expedition

This 21-day comprehensive itinerary with the M/S Expedition gives you all the major Antarctica highlights including amazing South Georgia

FROM 16999.00
Find Out More

Special Offers

Antarctica Explorer: Ocean Adventurer

A 10 or 11 day expedition on board the elegant M/V Ocean Adventurer discovering the amazing Antarctic Peninsula

FROM 9995.00
Find Out More

Early Booking Bonus 2021/22

Antarctica Cruise: Ocean Diamond

An 11 day Antarctica cruise on board the luxury M/V Ocean Diamond exploring the amazing Antarctic Peninsula

FROM 7995.00
Find Out More

Early Booking Offer

Adventures in Antarctica: Seaventure

A classic expedition to the amazing Antarctic Peninsula on board the luxurious MS Seaventure

FROM 8995.00
Find Out More

Antarctic Basecamp M/V Ortelius

An Antarctic expedition cruise onboard M/V Ortelius with a greater variety of included activities such as climbing, kayaking, hiking and diving

FROM 7950.00
Find Out More

Expeditions Online Newsletter

Sign up to be an Expeditions Online insider and receive info on exclusive deals, discounts and more!