Emperors & South Pole - Inspiring Expeditions by Geoffrey Kent (2022)

Follow in the footsteps of legendary adventurers on this encore expedition to the South Pole, travelling in a style that the early polar explorers could have only dreamed of.

Journey Overview

Follow in the footsteps of legendary adventurers on this encore expedition to the South Pole, travelling in a style that the early polar explorers could have only dreamed of. Geoffrey Kent, who travelled on the inaugural departure in December 2018, is on hand to welcome you in Cape Town and see you off on your departure to Antarctica. From there, fly with Otavia Kent across the Southern Ocean to your luxury wilderness camp, your home base for your days of discovery and adventure in the Antarctic. This expert-led, 12-day adventure takes you into the heart of the White Continent to meet emperor penguins, walk a natural ice tunnel and stand at the lowest point on earth — the South Pole, where only a very few are privileged to go.

Journey Highlights

  • Meet A&K Founder Geoffrey Kent for a kickoff of wine tasting (arriving at your vineyard by helicopter) and a motorcycle sidecar tour of the city
  • Stay in a state-of-the-art sleeping pod at luxe Whichaway Camp, with views of a 200-foot icefall and frozen lake
  • Walk through a 200-yard-long tunnel of iridescent blue ice, carved by meltwater into a breathtaking work of natural art
  • Reach the holy grail for explorers, the South Pole, followed by a visit with the scientists of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Science Station
  • Camp overnight and in style on the high polar plateau, one of the most remote camping sites on earth
  • Visit a colony of 6,000 emperor penguins and spend the day observing and photographing them and their newly hatched chicks
  • Ascend a summit never climbed before, with expert guides leading the way. You even earn the right to name the peak for the history books
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: December 11

On arrival in Cape Town, you’re met by one of the A&K team for your private transfer to The Silo Hotel, one of Cape Town’s most exciting hotels. With only 28 individually designed rooms, it is located over six floors above the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA).

This evening, gather with Geoffrey and Otavia Kent at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art for cocktails, followed by a private dinner at the hotel.
The Silo Hotel

Day 2: December 12

This morning, after meeting your expedition team, head out with Geoffrey and Otavia from your hotel in style, driving along the coast in a classic two-seater open-top Cobra. Drive past the picture-perfect beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay, beautifully located at the base of the towering Twelve Apostles Mountains. Continue driving to Groot Constantia, the oldest wine estate in South Africa. From here, depart on a scenic helicopter flight to the elegant vineyards of Stellenbosch. Arrive at the Delaire Graff Estate, a world-class winery and luxury lodge. Enjoy lunch on the grounds, and afterward begin a breathtaking journey in a vintage World War II sidecar, meandering through superb mountain ranges. Continue by helicopter to Cape Town and transfer to your hotel.
The Silo Hotel

Day 3: December 13

Bid farewell to Geoffrey and, joined by Otavia, depart around 10:00 a.m. from the private jet facility at Cape Town International Airport, where your Gulfstream pilots are waiting for you. Fly for five and a half hours across the mighty Southern Ocean, high above thousands of icebergs floating across the sea. Halfway through the flight, cross the polar circle and enter 24 hours of continuous daylight.

Landing on your private ice runway (named Wolf’s Fang), you’re struck immediately by the vastness of your surroundings as the horizon stretches into the distance, punctuated only by a row of jagged mountain peaks.

A separate ski-equipped aircraft then ferries you the short 25-minute hop to the luxury camp, Whichaway, which has been diligently designed and meets A&K’s strict criteria. Set out on a gentle trek around this snowy oasis to orientate yourself to the new surroundings.
Whichaway Camp

Day 4: December 14

Head to the 200-yard-long ice tunnels made of iridescent blue ice, a setting as surreal as it is unique. Walk through their extraordinary length, breathing in the still air and marvelling at the bizarre ice formations carved by meltwater. On the way back, drive by 4x4 to the nearby science base to meet some of the scientists who have been conducting research throughout the winter.
Whichaway Camp

Day 5: December 15

Depart early in the morning in a BT-67 turboprop plane and fly five hours across the High Polar Plateau, landing at 83-degrees south to refuel. Take the opportunity to walk around and experience this daunting environment for yourself before continuing on for another two hours to the South Pole. This is the lowest point on earth, the holy grail for explorers. Here you are standing at a place that has no more east, south or west — the only direction from here is north.

At the South Pole marker, you can walk around the planet in just a few steps. After a special ceremony, visit the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Science Station to witness firsthand the often groundbreaking research conducted at this U.S. facility. Camp for the night at 83 degrees south in a full-height tent with camp bed, mattress and polar sleeping bag, making you among the select few who have spent a night in the beauty of the Polar Plateau, one of the wildest places on earth.
South Pole Camp

Day 6: December 16

After a hearty breakfast, board the plane once again for the flight back to camp, the perfect chance to truly appreciate the immense scale of Antarctica. Arrive at the Whichaway Skiway airstrip and transfer in 4x4 vehicles back to camp.
Whichaway Camp

Day 7: December 17

Today, drive by 4x4 to a vast rock cliff overlooking the ice waves. Your guides have established a rope walk over the cliff edge. Crossing it is technically easy, but thrilling nonetheless. There may be time for lessons in skiing, snowmobiling or, with expert tutelage, you may choose to abseil off the nearby nunatak, a mountain surrounded completely by an ice field.
Whichaway Camp

Day 8: December 18

Fly two and a half hours across Antarctica, skimming across the spectacular coastline before landing at an emperor penguin colony. Yours is the only group to visit this specific colony. Surrounded by approximately 6,000 emperor penguins and their newly hatched chicks, get up close and personal to these real-life stars of March of the Penguins. At this time of year, the chicks are still covered in their grey down feathers and you can spend the day photographing them and their doting parents. There are occasionally Weddell seals in the area as well, lying next to their breathing holes, entirely unafraid of the proximity to humans. Fly back to camp in the late afternoon.
Whichaway Camp

Day 9: December 19

A short 45-minute flight brings you to the Drygalski mountain range, an area that consists of huge monoliths of rock rising vertically out of the ice and often reaching 9,000 feet in height. Take the opportunity to achieve something truly unique: Climb a virgin summit in Antarctica, with your expert guides leading the way. Build a rock mound (or cairn) on the highest point to prove you were there; you even earn the right to name the mountain for the history books.
Whichaway Camp

Day 10: December 20

In addition to the numerous planned activities (subject to local conditions), your journey also includes a number of informal, riveting talks by polar experts. One such talk is a presentation by a record-breaking polar guide about the history of the race to the South Pole. Told in the most evocative setting imaginable, the tale transports you back to the time of Scott and Amundsen as they risked everything to be the first to reach the lowest point on earth.

Today may also be a great day to picnic on the summit of a small ridge a short way from camp. The location offers the most spectacular views out across the frozen icebergs on the coast. Retrace your steps with a short drive to Whichaway Skiway to board your 25-minute flight to Wolf ’s Fang, where your private jet is waiting.

In the evening, catch your flight back to Cape Town.
Whichaway Camp

Day 11: December 21

Arrive Cape Town early this morning and transfer to your hotel, The Silo, where you have a chance to relax in a hot bath while reminiscing on your once-in-a-lifetime adventures.
The Silo Hotel

Day 12: December 22

After a good night’s rest, continue your onward journey.

Journey Details

This is an active program that requires all participants to be in active good health, and to be ready to experience difficult terrain and a hostile environment. A doctor’s authorisation is required to participate in this journey.

This itinerary is entirely subject to weather conditions in Antarctica and is meant as a day-by-day guide of what guests can expect. Exact dates and types of plane can vary.

Please bear in mind that the South Pole is situated at an apparent altitude of 3962 metres with an approximate ambient temperature of -25˚C. Those with preconditions of altitude sickness should not travel on this journey. If you are unsure in any way, please contact A&K for any advice or further information.

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Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Dec 11, 2022 - Dec 22, 2022
Price AU$337,840pp Single Supplement AU$337,840 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Call for Availability Enquire
Notes:

Availability shown here is updated weekly and indicative only. Availability on any product or journey shown here is not specific to a category of travel and may not denote availability at the cheapest ‘From’ price. For real time availability, talk to your travel agent or call Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 851 800.

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  • Emperors & South Pole - Inspiring Expeditions by Geoffrey Kent