An exciting exploration in the Antarctic Wilderness

Looking to push yourself a little further on your Polar cruise? Want to travel further and see more than almost anybody else? Mountaineering cruises are the thing for you.

Do I have to be in really goog physical shape for mountaineering?

In terms of physical fitness you’re going to want to be in good enough shape that you’re up to the task of walking for four or more hours over fairly rugged terrain that includes hills. Most people can pick up snowshoeing almost immediately after the first hilariously fun awkward steps. So don’t worry if you don’t have prior snowshoeing experience. Guides reserve the right to refuse somebody a spot on a mountaineering trek if there are concerns about their health.

What’s the difference between mountaineering treks and regular snowshoe hikes?

Mountaineering hikes take you into glaciated areas. These areas can possibly expose you to crevasses, which require a little more caution than non-glaciated ground. As you hit more vertical climbs you’ll switch out your snowshoes with crampons (spikey boot additions) which will be supplied for you. Also, you’ll be roped together for your protection around the glacier crevasses.

How many mountaineering hikes will I get to go on?

Usually you get to choose from one of four or five half or full-day mountaineering treks per cruise. If there are spots available in a later trek you may be able to head out again. Usually there is a limit of 12 passengers per trek – this is a good number for our guides to be able to keep track of you to make sure you’re safe and having a good time. You need to pre-book your mountaineering excursion prior to your ship’s departure. The treks are booked on a first-come first-served basis. The exception is found in the basecamp voyages where one mountaineering hike is included free of charge.

Do I have to bring any mountaineering equipment?

We’re happy to supply you with:

  • snowshoes
  • crampons
  • helmets
  • harnesses
  • ice axes
  • screw-gate carabiners
  • snap links
  • mountaineering ropes
  • tape slings
  • prussic loops
  • snow shovels
  • bivouac bags
  • Thermos bottles
  • biodegradable human waste bags (it’s illegal to leave human waste behind in the Antarctic)
  • basecamp voyagers also receive rubber boots suitable for Zodiac shore landings

Here is what you want to bring:

* Feet

  • gaiters
  • thin synthetic under-socks to prevent blisters
  • synthetic / woolen thin / thick long socks
  • ankle-high sturdy mountain boots that can be fitted to snowshoes and crampons

* Outer layer clothing

  • down jacket o wind and waterproof breathable jacket with hood
  • wind and waterproof pants/salopettes (ski pants)

* Thermal layer

  • synthetic / wool fleece / pile jacket / pull-on
  • synthetic/ wool fleece / pile pants / salopettes
  • fleece jacket or vest
  • Base layer (underwear)
  • synthetic / wool thin top (long/short sleeves / zipped)
  • synthetic / wool thin pants / long johns
  • synthetic / wool balaclava and hat
  • windproof cap with peak/ear protectors
  • sun hat , headband, face mask, neck gaiter / scarf

* Hands

  • ski / mountain gloves
  • windproof over mitts
  • synthetic / wool thermal mitts/finger gloves
  • down mitts
  • thin (base layer) synthetic / wool mitts/gloves
  • mitts/gloves support (around neck)

* Eyes

  • facial protection o sun glasses / glacier glasses with sides
  • spare glasses / lenses

* Skin

  • sun block, sun screen, fatty lip salve (no water)

* Hygiene

  • toilet / hygiene kit : pee bottle (for camping and mountaineering), e.g. wide opening Nalgene bottle (there are special adaptor for ladies in outdoor shops available)

* Miscellaneous

  • personal medication
  • 25 ltr rucksack
  • 1 ltr water bottle
  • waterproof bag (for camera equipment)
  • straps to tie snowshoes on backpack
  • film and memory cards
  • hiking / walking poles
  • binoculars o head torch (flashlight)

Do not wear cotton clothing like t-shirts or jeans. Once they get wet from sweat or outside moisture they will stay wet which can increase chances of hypothermia in sub-zero weather.