Emperors & Explorers
The Antarctic continent is a land mass covered with ice up to 2 ½ miles thick and is the highest, driest, windiest and coldest continent on Earth. With all the islands and ice shelves it is nearly 1½ times the size of the USA, twice the size of Australia, and 58 times the size of the UK and covers 8,500,000 square miles! The lowest temperature ever recorded on earth was -89.2C at Vostok in the Australian Antarctic Territory, in 1983. Winds flow down the coastal slopes up to 200 miles per hour. The continent has about 90% of the world's ice, and thereby about 70% of the world's fresh water and if all of this ice were to melt, sea levels would rise about 60m.
To visit Antarctica is to travel beyond everyday experience and to achieve the extraordinary. Explore a land of stark beauty and unlimited horizons, a world of snow and sky and air so clear you feel you can touch the mountains. There is simply nowhere like it on earth. You would fly by ski aircraft to an Emperor penguin rookery on the remote, south coast of the Weddell Sea where you will spend several days totally immersed in the activity of the rookery. Photograph majestic Emperors against a spectacular backdrop of ice cliffs, pressure ridges and icebergs. Fall asleep to a chorus of trumpeting calls and wake to find curious penguins outside your tent. This authentic journey offers more than just wildlife viewing; you will literally live with the Emperors and witness first-hand their amazing adaptation to the Antarctic environment. After this you fly to the South Pole by ski aircraft, covering in several hours the distance that took the early explorers’ years of planning and months of hardship to achieve. History comes alive as you stand at 90 degrees south and imagine how they felt heading out across the frozen continent and into the unknown 100 years ago.
Union Glacier Camp
The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming at our main Antarctic camp at Union Glacier is the main Antarctic basecamp where you’ll find roomy, double occupancy sleeping tents; a spacious dining hall; fresh delicious meals; and a spectacular setting. You’ll be surprised how comfortable Antarctica can be! Once you head out to the Emperor penguins the field camps are more basic. Equipment must be lightweight and portable, yet still strong enough to withstand Antarctic conditions. You sleep in mountaineering-style tents and eat a combination of fresh-frozen meals, prepared by the chefs at Union Glacier and de-hydrated meals.
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