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9 Days* Emperors & Explorers


Travel date: 27 Nov - 5 Dec 2013


Day 1: Fly to Antarctica

Fly from Chile to Antarctica by private transport jet. Jet will land on ice runway. Settle in at Union Glacier Camp.

Day 2: Acclimatize to Antarctica

Today is an easy day to acclimatize to Antarctic conditions. We will have an orientation to camp and life in Antarctica, review expedition logistics with our guide, and enjoy a presentation by our staff naturalist about coastal wildlife and wildlife viewing procedures.


Days 3-5: Living with the Emperors

After a leisurely breakfast, we pack up and fly by ski aircraft to the remote south coast of the Weddell Sea. We land on multi-year sea ice near the Emperor rookery, and our guides will set up a cosy field camp beside the aircraft. The rest of the day is ours to explore and we will have our first audience with the Emperors.

Experience the rhythms of the rookery at your own pace over the next three days. Take guided walks with our ANI naturalist or do your own thing. Meal times are flexible so you can photograph and explore when the lighting and mood are just right. Meals are prepared by our guides and include hot meals and portable snacks.

Watch adults display and feed their young. Listen to the trumpeting and whistling calls as parents and chicks search for one another. If we are lucky, we'll photograph the Weddell seals lazing by the tide cracks. And at every step, we'll marvel at the magnificence of where we are. Each night, you will fall asleep to the mingled calls of thousands of Emperors.

At the end of our third day, we pack-up the aircraft and fly back to Union Glacier Camp.

Day 6: Union Glacier

We take a day to enjoy the comforts of Union Glacier Camp and prepare for the next leg of our journey.


Day 7: In the footsteps of the Explorers

Today, we fly to the South Pole, the holy grail of polar explorers. A 4-5 hr flight brings us to our destination and as we step off the aircraft, we are immediately struck by the significance of this place and our journey. We have arrived at the heart of the 7th continent and at the axis of the earth. Here, all 360 lines of longitude meet, and the ice is nearly 10,000 ft (3,000m) thick. This last great geographical prize captured the imagination of a generation of explorers, who suffered extreme hardship and even gave their lives to claim it as their own.

We will take plenty of time for photographs and reflection at the Geographic South Pole and the colourful Ceremonial Pole, which commemorates the signing of the Antarctic Treaty. Inside Amundsen-Scott station, we will learn what makes the South Pole a unique scientific laboratory and visit the store to buy souvenirs. After our visit, we re-board the ski aircraft and return to Union Glacier Camp, where we will toast to our achievement and enjoy a celebratory meal prepared by our chefs.

The South Pole has been designated an Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA #5) to conserve the environmental, scientific and historical values of the area. We seek your cooperation in respecting visitor guidelines during any time spent at the South Pole.


Day 8: Union Glacier

On our final day, we will have a chance to explore the scenic Union Glacier. This day also provides a second opportunity for our South Pole flight, in case of poor weather on Day 7.

Day 9*: Return to Punta Arenas, Chile

The aircraft from Punta Arenas will arrive with a new group of avid explorers, and you will depart for the final leg of your Antarctic experience. Our ANI staff will meet you at Punta Arenas airport and transfer you to your hotel.

* Schedule
No two Antarctic experiences are exactly the same. This is part of the excitement and adventure of Antarctic travel. The itinerary above highlights typical activities and experiences. Exact timeline and details will vary from trip to trip. Trip length may vary by departure

Please anticipate delays and do not plan anything for at least a week after your scheduled return. Allow yourself to enjoy this unique experience without the stress of pending commitments.


Experience includes:

  • Transfers to and from Punta Arenas airport, Chile
  • Briefing with refreshments in Punta Arenas one day prior to departure
  • Round trip flights from Punta Arenas to Antarctica
  • All flights within Antarctica as shown in your itinerary
  • Meals and accommodation while in Antarctica
  • Expedition Guide(s) (and naturalist or lecturer on some Experiences)
  • Use of recreational equipment at Union Glacier Camp
  • Official and personalised ANI Certificate of Achievement
  • A Baggage allowance of up to 55lbs (25kg) on Punta Arenas-Union Glacier flight

(Baggage allowance of up to 66lb (30kg) for Ski South Pole Hercules Inlet, Messner and Footsteps of Amundsen Expeditions)


Experience DOES NOT include:

  • Commercial flights to and from Punta Arenas
  • Flights within Antarctica, other than those shown in itinerary
  • Meals and accommodation in Punta Arenas
  • Airport transfers other than in Punta Arenas
  • Personal equipment and clothing (polar clothing is available for rent from ANI for some Experiences)
  • Expenses incurred in Punta Arenas due to delays
  • Any excess baggage costs over confirmed baggage allowance
  • Cost for the use of satellite phone whilst in Antarctica
  • Insurance coverage – personal, medical, evacuation or otherwise