WHICH YACHT DO WE SAIL ON?
We are on one of the best polar vessels in the world, and the Vinson of Antarctica is a purpose-built yacht for working in the Antarctic and Arctic regions. Check out the walkthrough from owner Skip Novak:
THIS IS A WORKING YACHT, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
It means we will need to support the crew at different stages during the expedition, particularly during the crossings. There is some structure to keep things fair. On the passages, everyone will be put on a watch, three hours on, six off.
WHAT ABOUT SEASICKNESS?
It is common to experience seasickness during the Drake Passage crossing. It is essential to be able to manage this, for your own comfort. Speak to your physician to find out which options are available to you. Once we arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula, we will be in calmer waters.
WILL THERE BE ADVICE ON HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE EXPEDITION?
Yes! We will schedule some Zoom meetings so that we can meet our fellow expeditioners, ask questions e.g. about travel arrangements, equipment, clothing, medical fitness, working yacht and general expectations. There will also be emails, and a document with detailed information. Of course you can also reach out to Scott at any time if you have questions.
ARE MEALS INCLUDED?
All meals onboard the yacht are included.
CAN YOU MEET CERTAIN DIETARY REQUIREMENTS?
We will need to know at the time of booking, if you have any allergies or dietary requirements. The food we have onboard will be dependent on local availability at the time of re-stocking in South America.
WHAT ARE THE FITNESS REQUIREMENTS?
A good fitness level is required. Life onboard can be physically demanding, as can snorkeling in cold water, or hiking in snow. There is no access to emergency medical service in Antarctica.
WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE?
The temperature during Antarctic summer is typically -4C to +4C, but can get colder. We may experience all weather conditions from rain, snow, sleet, high winds, to clear and calm days.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE IN MY GROUP?
There will be 9 expeditioners plus 3 crew.
WHAT ARE SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS ON THE YACHT?
The yacht has 6 double cabins with bunks. Although it is comfortably fitted out, you will be living and sleeping in close quarters with fellow expeditioners.
WHAT SORT OF WILDLIFE WILL WE SEE?
Although we cannot guarantee what sort of wildlife encounters we will have, we are highly likely to see: penguins (gentoo, Adelie, chinstrap), seals (Weddell, crabeater eopard), whales (humpback, minke, possibly orca), seabirds (albatross, petrels, skua).
IS THERE INTERNET ACCESS?
There will be no internet access aboard our yacht. To keep in touch with loved ones, we suggest carrying a GPS device (e.g. Garmin), with an active subscription to send text.
DO I NEED AN ADAPTOR FOR THE POWER POINTS?
The yacht has European two pin socket with UK adapters. But recommend you bring a universal adaptor.
WHAT ABOUT FRESH WATER FOR DRINKING / SHOWERING?
Fresh water is at a premium on small boats. Drinking it takes priority, followed by personal hygiene. Expect to shower every 2nd to 3rd day. Wet-wipes come in handy for a full body wash in between showers.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING WITH ME?
We will send you a detailed packing list, but here is a basic summary:
Waterproof outer layers (pants & jacket)
Wool/merino thermal layers
Hat, gloves, buff, socks
Drysuit & undergarments (if snorkeling)
WHAT DO WE WEAR TO GO SNORKELING?
You will need to bring your own drysuit, thermal undergarments, snorkel, mask, fins, gloves & hood.