Antarctica…by private jet and luxury yacht
A day-by-day Example Expedition to Antarctica
For many, the 7th continent conjures up images of human endurance against all odds, as only the toughest of adventurers face a barrage of truly inhospitable elements for the chance to see something very, very few have seen.
The latest partnership between Chapman Freeborn and EYOS Expeditions allows for quite a different reality, combining the comforts and luxuries of private air and expedition yacht charter to offer those that aren’t aspiring Polar explorers a truly remarkable Antarctic experience.
We decided to give you an idea of what you might expect on a typical expedition. Whilst the following is an example experience, it has been based on an actual expedition carried out by EYOS Expeditions to the Antarctic region. Thanks to the Fox family for the generous use of their photos from Antarctica.
You arrive at New York Teteboro Airport and relax with a drink as your baggage is taken away and loaded onto your aircraft. You board your Gulfstream G550 and prepare for take-off.
Once in the air, rest in complete peace and privacy in the spacious reclining chairs, kick back on the comfortable lounge sofas and enjoy something on the in-flight entertainment system, or use the aircraft’s on board WiFi to keep up to date with the world. Meanwhile, savor a glass of champagne and some delicious food as you enjoy the flight.
Freshen up in the aircraft’s luxurious bathroom as the pilot informs you that you will shortly be beginning your approach to Punta Arenas. You’ll get chance to take in the marvellous views of the remote wilderness surrounding the city as you make your descent to the airport.
After a smooth landing, you are collected by a car as soon as you exit the aircraft and taken to clear customs and exit the airport. You’ll then spend a night in Punta Arenas so that you can rest and prepare for a morning flight to the most remote continent on the Earth.
You return to the airport and board a specially equipped aircraft, and prepare for an unforgettable flight to Earth’s seventh continent.
After a 90 minute flight, you arrive at King George Island airfield and board your luxury expedition vessel – If you’re not on the Hanse Explorer, you’ll be part of ENIGMA XK’s maiden season.
Having just been completely re-fitted, the ENIGMA XK is pristine and luxuriously appointed, while possessing the rugged capability needed in an expedition yacht. The Owner’s Suite, located just forward of the bridge, has stunning 180-degree views. An expansive upper saloon has dramatic windows that frame the passing scenery, and a small spa pool is located immediately aft of a protected alfresco dining area.
After a tour of your incredible expedition vessel, you settle in and rest for the night in superbly cosy and comfortable bedroom.
You wake up to your first, possibly ever, morning in Antarctica! You’ll begin to understand the character of your captain and his ship as you explore a small harbour that is virtually uncharted – with only a single line of depth readings made by a ship more than 50 years ago.
Your expectations are already changing as you inch closer to gigantic icebergs that make you feel positively minute.
You’ll have the chance to board a Zodiac and get up close to the scenery and wildlife that surrounds you. Below, a party sit only metres away from a Leopard Seal resting on floating sea ice in the harbour.
You’ll have the opportunity to breathe in scenery normally reserved for explorers and scientists. You might find yourself relating to Captain James Clark Ross’ comments: “We gazed with feelings of indescribable delight upon a scene of grandeur and magnificence far beyond anything we had before seen or could have conceived.”
After lunch, you make a Zodiac landing and climb a snow hill, where you are treated with spectacular vistas.
Set foot on the 7th continent proper and with the help of your guide, explore the snowy landscape that surrounds the bay. You return to the vessel for dinner, and then make use of nearly 24 hour hours of daylight as you set back out to explore a tabular iceberg as the sun reaches its lowest point.
You wake up in Paradise Bay to glorious sunshine, and immediately appreciate the reasoning behind the name.
Your on-board naturalist expertly guides you as you get the chance to see and photograph incredible wildlife.
You receive confirmation that your group has received one of the coveted few invitations to visit Palmer Station, the US scientific research centre. Once you land, you are greeted by the station managers, who give you a tour and an overview of the work being done at the station.
The crew invite you to dinner, and you get the chance to hear remarkable stories of overwintering at the South Pole Station.
Waking up near Petermann Island, you’re able to get up close to more incredible wildlife, like this Adelie penguin:
You head to the bow with your camera to witness your vessels passage through the Lemaire Channel, a berg-riddled passage less than a mile wide.
More opportunities to get up close and personal to penguins present themselves – here we see a penguin caring for its chicks
Take the opportunity to experience an Antarctic midnight, as your Zodiac glides over a glass smooth sea, you’re greeted with a truly breath-taking sight.
Long past the point where most ships turn back and explore the upper peninsulas, you continue south, heading further into the utterly isolated Antarctic wilderness.
After a satisfying lunch and a relax in the on-board sauna, you venture out onto deck as you sail ever southward towards the Gullet, once again taking in the sensational scenery
You prepare yourself for the nights adventure – ice camping! This is no ordinary camping trip as your tent is pitched on a sheet of ice four feet thick and floating at about 1 mile per hour.
You wake up to a thermos of hot chocolate delivered by one of the crew, who informs you that you have traveled several miles in your tent whilst sleeping! You board your yacht and head to the next stop – Detaille Island – an abandoned British base.
In 1959 the bay where the base is located was completely impassable and filled with Icebergs that presented a huge problem for getting supplies in and people out. The base staff were given one hour to pack up and abandon base. Nearly everything is exactly as it was left by the staff as they scrambled to evacuate. The result is an incredible snapshot of the past that still only a handful of people have been privileged to witness.
You have the chance to explore your surroundings, either on a Zodiac with your guide or on Kayaks.
Here we see a Weddell seal on the sea ice
Your captain finds a safe place to land on the island so that you can enjoy a short hike and take in some of the sights and wildlife.
Here, two baby Gentoo penguins huddle under their mother for warmth.
Returning to the yacht, you have the chance to pilot your Zodiac through the Antarctic waters. As you reach your vessel, you are greeted with a rare whale sighting
Your guide spots some whales and asks you to get ready to board the Zodiacs as quickly as possible. You then head out to sea for the close-up encounter of a lifetime, where the whales feed about 30 metres away from your boat.
Your next stop is Deception Island, the caldera of an active volcano. After eruptions in 1967 and 1969, all that remains are the decaying remnants of human inhabitancy, with decaying storage tanks dotted around the otherwise Martian landscape
You are then be given chance to explore the island and experience the sensation of utter isolation found in few places on earth
On your last day, you take a hike to see penguins in their natural habitat. Get up close and personal with the endearing creatures as they show little fear toward you, rather genuine curiosity.
You head back to your vessel where you will spend your last night, before flying back to Punta Arenas the next morning.
When you arrive in Punta Arenas, tired yet elated, your private jet is waiting for you. Dodging queues and avoiding anything resembling a crowd you board your aircraft completely relaxed as you head home.
Contact us here if you’re interested in visiting Antarctica with EYOS Expeditions and Chapman Freeborn