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.

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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.

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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:

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

Antarctic Explorer: World Explorer

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

FROM 8495.00
Find Out More

Early Booking Offers

Antarctic Explorer: Ocean Endeavour

An Antarctica cruise with the Ocean Endeavour with convenient flight package ex Buenos Aires

FROM 6695.00
Find Out More

Early Booking Offer

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 6350.00
Find Out More

Antarctica Explorer: Ocean Adventurer

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

FROM 7895.00
Find Out More

Free camping and kayaking

Antarctic Pioneering Voyage: M/V Plancius

An exciting 11 day voyage of exploration to attempt Antarctica landings that have rarely if ever been offered by any cruise operator

WAS7250.00
NOW 6950.00
Find Out More

Special Offers

Antarctica Adventure - Akademik Sergey Vavilov

A 10 night voyage aboard the powerful, ice class expedition ship M/V Akademik Sergey Vavilov to the magnificent, wildlife-rich Antarctic Peninsula

FROM 9095.00
Find Out More

Early Booking Offers

Antarctica Cruise: Ocean Diamond

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

FROM 7295.00
Find Out More

Early Booking Offer

Ultimate Christmas in Antarctica: Vavilov

An unique 11 night Antarctic expedition with charter flights exploring the Peninsula, Weddell Sea and Falklands aboard the ice-class Akademik Vavilov

FROM 12595.00
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

FROM 7950.00
Find Out More

Crossing the Circle: Ocean Endeavour

A 14 day Polar Circle expedition with the new ship Ocean Endeavour with flight package available ex Buenos Aires

FROM 8795.00
Find Out More

Special Offers

Ultimate Antarctica, Weddell Sea and Falklands

An unique 12 night Antarctic expedition with charter flights exploring the Peninsula, Weddell Sea and Falklands aboard the ice-class Akademik Vavilov

FROM 13795.00
Find Out More

Crossing Circle Express: Ocean Adventurer

A 10 or 11 day air/cruise expedition on board the luxury M/V Sea Adventurer to the Antarctic Circle. Fly direct and skip the Drake Passage

FROM 17495.00
Find Out More

Special Offers

Quest for the Antarctic Circle: Vavilov

A 10 night air-cruise aboard the powerful, ice class expedition ship M/V Akademik Vavilov with the goal of reaching the Antarctic Circle at 66°33'S

FROM 11695.00
Find Out More

Early Booking Offer

Crossing the Antarctic Circle: Island Sky

A 15 day in-depth Antarctica cruise with crossing of the Polar Circle. Sail on board the small, luxury ship, Island Sky

FROM 10995.00
Find Out More

Early Booking Offer

Antarctic Peninsula In-Depth: Hebridean Sky

An extended 14 day expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula on board the luxurious M/V Hebridean Sky. Enjoy two extra days in Antarctica!

FROM 10995.00
Find Out More

Early Booking Offer

Epic Antarctica: Ocean Endeavour

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

FROM 14995.00
Find Out More

Special Offers

Antarctica Marine Mammals - Akademik Vavilov

A 10 night Antarctic Peninsula voyage aboard the ice class M/V Akademik Sergey Vavilov focussing on whale and other marine mammal sightings

FROM 9095.00
Find Out More

SAVE UP TO 20%*

Discover Antarctica: Ocean Endeavour

An shorter expedition with the impressively comfortable Ocean Endeavour discovering the 7th Continent, Antarctica

FROM 4990.00
Find Out More

Antarctic Peninsula: M/V Ortelius

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

FROM 7950.00
Find Out More

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