Antarctica Shackleton's Way


'You wait. Everyone has an Antarctic' - Thomas Pynchon V 

Antarctica is like no other place on earth. Once you have visited her pristine shores, life will never be the same. I first breathed in her invigorating air when I was hitching hiking my way through South America in 1991. I stood on the shores of Terra Del Feugo and saw the ice strengthen research vessels steaming away down the Beagle Channel around Cape Horn and onto Antarctica. I vowed in that moment that I would return and visit Antarctica for myself.

Since 1996, I have been 12 times to the white continent on vessels ranging from 47 foot yachts to 285 foot Russian Ice breakers. My greatest pleasure now is not of planting a flag in a mountain peak or undertaking a solo skiing trip to a pole. Rather, my passion is to introduce my dearest friend Antarctica to those who thought they would never experience it or be brave enough to tackle its immense glory. I love the challenge of preparing these novices physically, mentally and emotionally to fully immerse themselves in the journey there right through to every extraordinary activity that we undertake on Antarctica's shores. 

My love and contribution to the continent over the years has allowed for me to acquire special permits and insurances which allows for each and every one of our guests to experience the real Antarctica, as I have come to know it. Together we ice climb, snow shoe, kayak and camp on the ice. Antarctica is amazing no matter how you see it. However our guests are always overjoyed when they discover that we are the envy of other travelling companions. This journey begins here in Australia where we prepare you to undertake a journey of a life time where anything is possible. 


Preparation in Australia:

We embark on an an extraordinary eight month long leadership program offering you the opportunity for you to grow as well as contributing to others. Antarctica Shackleton's Way is delivered to you in a kaleidoscope of beauty including the Australian bushland, the Argentinian Andes and the majesty of Antarctica.

In the months leading to our departure, we host weekend camps, visits to outdoor stores in Australia, access to world class personal development programs and online conference calls all to ensure that you have all the skills and knowledge that we will apply on the ice. This is a vital and legal requirement which allows the Leadership Group to participate in the activities we offer on the ice. 

We cover areas such as how to tie a figure eight knot, abseil in preparation for ice climbing, horse ride through a mountain pass or paddle a sea kayak. It is also vital for you to know that no experience in the above will in no way restrict you from participating in this adventure of a life time. 

What we ask of you is a promise to remain open to being coached along the way and your word in being the best you can be as we help you create the most extraordinary journey of your lifetime. 

Preparation In Australia

Preparatory Training Camp 1

Snowy Mountains, 3rd - 4th September 2016

Activities: Camp on ice, snow shoe, orienteering, mountaineering, building snow shelter

Includes: Camping and snow shoe equipment, meals.

Preparatory Training Camp 2

Mt Macedon, Vic 22 - 23 October 2016

Activities: Camping, horse-riding, abseiling, bushwalking, swimming and orienteering. 

Includes: Camping, meals and all equipment.

Personal Development

Lucky Life Formula personal development program

12 CD - 12 DVD 12 chapter work book program

Online conference calls fortnightly post training camps

Clothing & Equipment

A comprehensive list will be provided on signing up for all camps and expedition

Visits to outdooor climbing stores by arrangement to help select your gear

Branded Expedition Jackets and Beanies will be provided.


Day 1 - Thursday 2nd March 2017

Departure from Australia - Sydney - BuenosAires/Argentina

Description:

Flights depart from Sydney Airport. Make our way to the International terminal where we all meet for a roll call.  

Our international flight is via Auckland, to Santiago.  We cross the International Dateline and gain a day, arriving in Santiago the same day we depart.

On arrival at Santiago Airport, change aircraft and wait in transit to connect with your international flight to Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina. Buenos Aires is a charming, sophisticated city with a strong European influence and culture. With its blend of Spanish, French and Italian architectural styles, its great variety of nightspots, and its cultural life, it is often referred to as the ‘South American Paris’.

Transfers are arranged - We are met on arrival at Buenos Aires (EZEE) Airport and taken to our hotel located in the central city.

Our Hotel:                   

Hotel Panamericano

Carlos Pellegrini 551, 1009 Capital Federal, BuenosAires/Argentina Tel: (54 11)4348 5000

http://panamericano.us/2015/en/

Meals:

Own cost that evening either with group or free leisure evening. We recommend a good night sleep!





Day 2 - Friday 3rd March 2017

Buenos Aires/Argentina- Transfers included

Arrangements:               

Half Day Buenos Aires City Tour (Private)

Esquina Carlos Gardel Tango Show (Shared)

Accommodation:           

Hotel Panamericano (Standard Room)

Meal Plan:                       

Breakfast/Dinner included 

Description:

Morning free to roam and explore around the CBD and waterfront.

Meet at the hotel mid morning for a half-day city sightseeing tour visiting Plaza de Mayo (May Square) around which are El Cabildo (City Hall), the Cathedral and Casa Rosada(Government House).  Also visit the colourful district of La Boca, Recoleta Cemetery, Plaza San Martin, Avenida Santa Fe and the Colon Opera House. 

After the tour, you will be dropped off back at your hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure.  

Estimated: Pick up time: 7pm. This evening, enjoy dinner and a night of music and tango at Esquina Carlos Gardel, one of the excellent venues where typical songs and dances are performed. Transportation to/from the tango house is included.


Day 3 - Saturday 4th March 2017

Ushuaia/Argentina

Arrangements:              

Transfer from Hotel to Buenos Aires Airport (Private)

Transfer from Ushuaia Airport to Hotel (Private)

Walking Tour of Ushuaia

Accommodation:           

Albatros Hotel (Standard Room)

Meal Plan:                        

Breakfast – if available 

Description:

Meet at your hotel for transfer to Buenos Aires (EZE Ezeiza) Airport for your domestic flight to Ushuaia.

Ushuaia is the southern most city in Argentina.  Located on the banks of the Beagle Channel and surrounded by mountains, many of its houses are built of wood giving it a picturesque appearance.  Ushuaia is the main tourist centre for Tierra del Fuego, where you can enjoy excursions to the National Park and Lapataia Bay, the beautiful lakes of Escondido and Fagnano, sailing the Beagle Channel and fishing, and skiing in winter. Ushuaia is also the main point of departure for many Antarctic cruises.

Met on arrival at Ushuaia Airport for transfer to your hotel.

This afternoon, set off on a walking tour of Ushuaia with a local guide followed by this evening’s dinner a local restaurant (dinner is at own expense). Enjoy a drink at the bar or relax in the spa.

Your Hotel:  Albatros, Maipu 505, Ushuaia/Argentina, Tel: (54 2901) 437 300

http://www.albatroshotel.com.ar


Day 4 - Sunday 5th March 2017

Ushuaia/Argentina

Arrangements:               

Glacier Martial and Canopy Flying fox

Accommodation:           

Albatros Hotel (Standard Room)

Meal Plan:                       

Breakfast/BoxLunch

Description:

Today’s activity is a trip to Martial Glacier - named in honour of explorer Luis Fernando Martial, leader of the French scientific expedition which arrived in 1883. To reach the glacier, you will go up a winding street up a mountain. The road curves around with great views, and at some point turns into Calle Luis Fernando Martial. The trail for Martial Glacier starts here.

Here you will also be able to participate in zip-lining, which lets you slide through the canopies of ancient woods. We also trek up the glacier. 

Enjoy Lunch (included) before returning to Ushuaia. We can either take a transfer or trek down to the town.

Continue exploring the town, enjoy a hot chocolate or do some shopping. 

This evening dinner will held at a seafood Restaurant Kuar overlooking the Beagle Channel. (Dinner is at own expense)


Day 5 - Monday 6th March 2017

Depart Ushuaia /Argentina

Arrangements:               

End of the World Museum Visit (Entrance fee not included)

Commence Antarctica Voyage

Accommodation:

MV Plancius – 11 nights 12 days

Meal Plan:                       

Breakfast/Dinner

Description:

Morning at leisure.

Suggestion: This morning walk to the nearby End of the World Museum (Fin del Mundo). The museum has very interesting displays of the history and development of the island, including photos depicting the lives of the now extinct local Indians and many of their artefacts which archaeologists have studied.

Departure for Antarctica: This afternoon, meet back at the hotel by 3:45pm where you will then walk down to the pier to embark MV Plancius. 

Set sail, through the scenic Beagle Channel for the rest of the evening.

*Note: You will be required to check out of the hotel by 11:00am. When you check out of the hotel, you will leave your luggage to be collected by the cruise operator to be transported to the ship or we walk it down across the road to the port.


Day 6 - 7 - Tuesday 7th - Wednesday 8th March 2017

At Sea crossing the Drake Passage

Arrangements:              

Antarctica Voyage

Accommodation:          

MV Plancius

Meal Plan:                      

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Description:

During these two days, we sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area, we may see Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black- browed Albatrosses, Light- mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs.

Settle into your cabin and join the captain for drinks. The boat will also host various talks, photographic courses and all staff are experts in Antarctica. You may wish to attend the viewings and talks. Periodically, we will have a group check in to discuss our next activities, play games and discuss various leadership topics.


Day 8 - 13 Thursday 9th –Tuesday 14th March 2017

Antarctic Peninsula

Arrangements:                

Antarctica Voyage

Accommodation:           

MV Plancius

Meal Plan:                       

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Description:

Sailing directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. On Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Danco Island, we will find a large colony of Gentoo Penguins and breeding pairs of Brown Skuas. If we land on Danco Island, we can observe Chinstrap Penguins and possibly Weddell and Crabeater Seals.

In Neko Harbour. we will have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers calving at sea level.

We enjoy the landscape surrounded by alpine peaks during zodiac cruises. In Paradise Bay with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, we have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent again. Zodiac cruising between the icebergs in the inner parts of the fjords is another possibility. In this area, we have good chances to see Humpback Whales and Minke Whales. 

We sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Pleneau and Petermann Island where we can find Adelie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. In this area, there are good chances to encounter Humpback Whales, Minke Whales and Fin Whales. A visit to one of the scientific stations in Antarctica will give you an insight about the life of modern Antarcticans working on the White Continent. 

Further south, we may visit the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station, where we will receive a warm welcome from the station crew. Sailing north through Neumayer Channel, we hope to get permission to visit the British research station and post office Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy, we may also offer a landing on Jougla Point with Gentoo Penguins and Imperial Shags.

On our way North through the Gerlache Strait, we finally arrive at the South Shetland Islands. We will sail to Deception Island. Our ship braves its entrance into the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellow into the ring of Deception Island. We hope for a good long walk and kayak trip which will depend on site availability and weather conditions. Like Shackleton, we will endeavour to have a game of football as he did to entertain his men.

Deception is a sub-ducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbour for the ship. Here we find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape Pigeons and many Dominican Gulls, Brown and South Polar Skuas and Antarctic Terns. Wilson’s Storm Petrels and Black-bellied Storm Petrelsnest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. Last but not least, we will brace ourselves for the ultimate plunge in the Antarctica seas. Together, we create an unforgettable moment.

Over the last 15 years, Peter has kept secret notes in my private charts of where the best ice climbing walls, safest harbours for kayaking and best non crevassed glaciers are. Depending on the changing weather, our vessel will follow the itinerary as we have planned. Unlike any other destinations in the world, our adventurous activities sometimes require some serious late night "negotiating" with the expedition leaders of the boat to to ensure that our group gets to maximize time and access to special areas non accessible by others. 

Towards the end of the week, we leave for Half Moon Island, where we will find a variety of Chinstrap Penguins. Seals often haul out on the beach. These volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist and fog, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses,lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as Gentoo Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins and Southern Giant Petrel.

Whilst we are on the ice daily, you will also get to indulge in warm central heated boat and cabins, steaming showers, housekeeping and incredible food and wine options. Bread is baked freshly daily, wines are put aside for you if not complete and beautiful buffet and a la carte menus are on offer. The bar is a popular place as is the deck for a whiskey and cigar at the appropriate time. The staff are terrific and know you by your first name after a day of being there.

*Note: Itinerary may differ to that described based on weather conditions. 


Day 14 - 15 Wednesday 15th – Thursday 16th March 2017

At Sea/Drake Passage

Arrangements:               

Antarctica Voyage

Accommodation:          

MV Plancius

Meal Plan:                     

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Description:

On our way north, we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage. Satisfied, we are now making our homebound journey back to the shores of Ushuaia where we celebrate our successful expedition on arrival.


Day 16 - Friday 17th March2017

Ushuaia/Argentina

Arrangements:               

Antarctica Voyage Concludes

Accommodation:          

Albatros Hotel (Standard Room)

Meal Plan:                      

Breakfast

Description:

Arrive back into Ushuaia early this morning and disembark.

We collect our luggage and walk to our hotel, located a short distance from the pier. Remainder of the day at leisure to relax, take a sauna or explore the town.

This evening, we celebrate the conclusion of our Antarctic expedition with dinner at Patagonian Red Crab Santorini Restaurant.(Dinner is at OWN expense).

Your Hotel:     

Albatros Maipu 505 Ushuaia/Argentina Tel: (54 2901)437 300


Day 17 Saturday 18th March 2017

Ushuaia/Argentina

Arrangements:               

Horse Riding/Trekking in the Andes

Accommodation:           

Albatros Hotel (Standard Room)

MealPlan:                       

Breakfast/Dinner

Description:

Today’s activities will include a day of horseback riding and trekking through the Andes Mountains to the Chilean/Argentine border and then down to the beagle channel. A range of horses are matched up to your experience from beginners to experience. A lunch is provided. With some time, a friendly game of polo between Australia and Argentina will be organised. 

During the course of the late afternoon and evening,  we enjoy more games, incredible Argentinian BBQ and a very special evening full of surprises to conclude your expedition.


Day 18 - Sunday 19th March 2017

BuenosAires/Argentina

Arrangements:              

Transfer from Hotel to Ushuaia Airport (Private)

Transfer from Buenos Aires Airport to Hotel (Private)

Accommodation:  

Hotel Panamericano, Carlos Pellegrini 551,  1009 Capital Federal, 

Buenos Aires/Argentina, Tel: (54 11) 4348 5000

Meal Plan:              

Breakfast

Description:

Met at your hotel this morning for transfer to Ushuaia Airport for your domestic flight to Buenos Aires. Wander the streets of Buenos Aires at leisure. Meet for dinner and dancing in local authentic tango club.


Day 19 - Monday 20th March2017

Depart Buenos Aires

Arrangements:              

Transfer from Hotel to Buenos Aires Airport arranged

Meal Plan:                      

Breakfast

Description:

Met at your hotel (approx. 3pm) for transfer to Buenos Aires (EZE Ezeiza) Airport for your international flight to Santiago.

On arrival at Santiago Airport, change aircraft and connect with your international flight, via Auckland, to Sydney

*Note: Late check-out has not been included at your hotel in Buenos Aires.

Day 20 - Tuesday 21st March 2017

Arrive Sydney

Description:

On arrival at Sydney International terminal, collect your luggage and clear Customs and Immigration, then make your way to the Qantas Transfer Desk. Check in and collect your boarding pass, then take the free shuttle service to the domestic terminal.  Make your way to the departure gate to connect with your domestic flight .

In the following weeks. we will have follow up phone calls to check in and see that all is well with you, as you share with the world that was here when you left, what you have experienced and learned in the past 7 months. 


Graduate Program - Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th April 2017

Arrangements:        

Arrive at Mt Macedon by 10 am at own expense

Meal Plan:               

All meals  and accommodation will be provided

Description:

Graduates of the Shackleton Expedition 2017 are invited to attend a graduate weekend at Peter Bland's farm, Mt Macedon, Victoria. Graduates are encouraged to bring a guest that they wish to share in the celebration and to witness the magical transformation we have created individually and collectively.

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