Popularity of off-ship camping and sea kayaking in Antarctica growing


PROVIDENCE, RI – In Antarctica, Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton are among the adventuring giants whose legends live on. Today intrepid travelers can replicate the spirit of their on-land experiences, albeit more comfortably, while spending a night ashore wrapped in a warm bivvy sack surrounded by ice, snow and sky.

Poseidon Expeditions in response to a growing interest in off-ship excursions makes available 40 on-land camping slots per voyage into Antarctica. “Last year we had only 30 overnight slots per voyage available,” said Steve Wellmeier, managing director of Poseidon’s North American sales and reservation office. “These allotments quickly sold out so this season we decided to offer 40 spaces.”

Sea kayaking is also an activity growing in popularity on expedition cruises to both Polar Regions. Poseidon Expeditions’ M/V Sea Spirit, a 114-passenger luxury vessel, offers optional kayaking excursions through their exclusive Sea Kayak Club in both the Arctic and Antarctica on select voyages.

M/V Sea Spirit provides quality synthetic mummy-shaped sleeping bags rated for temperatures to -18ºC (0ºF). Guests opting to bivouac, dig their own fox hole in the frozen world. They have access to a toilet tent for use during the time spent on shore. However, their last meal on the ship has to last them until their return to the ship the next morning, as no food is allowed ashore.

Neither the date nor the location of camping is known more than a few hours in advance, as a site must be scouted and weather conditions assessed just before venturing out. Guide tents are clearly marked. Children between ages 12 and 18 at the time of their voyage are allowed to participate in Antarctica Camping only if they are accompanied and supervised at all times during their camping activities by their parents or designated representative.