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Polar Trans-Antarctica Driving Expedition

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We are delighted to continue our series of Participatory Trans-Antarctic Driving Expeditions.

Background

The journeys are designed to touch on the route to the South Pole taken by Sir Vivian Fuchs and Sir Edmund Hillary in the three years 1955-58.

Our Partners, Arctic Trucks, have been operating in the Arctic for some years from their HQ in Iceland, including all the logistical organisation for the BBC "Top Gear" North Pole journey. However over the last few seasons the company have completed over quarter of a million kms of travel on the Antarctic Ice Cap, mainly supporting scientific, record-attempt and the well documented Walking With The Wounded charity South Pole expedition, for which they did all the logistics.

They have also supplied vehicles to seasonal and permanent bases on "The Ice" and are instrumental in positively changing the way that travel takes place in such extreme locations. In so doing, Arctic Trucks have created an enviable reputation for reliability and safety and we have for several years enjoyed the unique opportunity to turn this expertise to the advantage of a very select number of our clients.

 

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The Journey: to the South Pole!

For the 2019/20 there will be two expeditions one starting on 5th December 2019 in Punta Arenas, Chile, and the other on 7th January, 2020. Both trips last approximately 13 days, returning to Punta Arenas on 18th December and 20th January respectively.

NOTE that we suggest flights home (and personal plans for the next few days) are kept flexible so that weather interruptions on the ice do not cause inconvenience with short-term planning following the scheduled end of the trip.

On arrival in Punta Arenas you will receive a full briefing and then depart by Ilyushin 76 cargo aircraft, flying the 4 or so hours over the Drake Passage directly to Union Glacier Camp, the main logistical entry point to Antarctica. After vehicle familiarisation and loading the expedition will then route out to Constellation Inlet, on the Ronne Ice Shelf and where Fuchs started his expedition. After the first camp the teams then track back to head out (and up!) to the South Pole. It will take about 4 days to reach the Pole, camping en route, where there will be a 24 hour break in which time it is usually hoped to obtain an invitation to visit the permanent National Science Foundation station at the Pole. The trip then routes back to Union Glacier with, time allowing, opportunities to explore the glaciers and mountains locally from Union Glacier Camp before flying back to Punta Arenas.

These are once-in-a-lifetime trips: utterly spectacular and the event of a lifetime.

Brief Additional Information:

These journeys are quite different from normal Antarctic tourism (which is centred on the western peninsular) and therefore are indeed expeditionary, as opposed to "normal" tourist events.

Our partners are very experienced indeed and it is quite possible to negotiate extra experiences as additions to the main trips - or to tailor unique, one-off-expeditions to order.

The usual maximum number of client participants per return trip is 6 and the absolute maximum is 8. There are normally 3 staff leading/guiding the expeditions with 3 vehicles being driven, at least one towing a specialist trailer.

Accommodation for most nights is in special expedition tents; food is designed to be as good as possible and to meet the calorific and storage/preparation demands of expeditionary polar travel. The vehicles are 4x4 and 4x6 highly adapted twin-cab pickups, uniquely designed and specially built in Iceland and having an enviable reliability record in both polar environments.

These are participatory expeditions and a reasonable level of fitness is required including a pre-departure medical check. The driving and daily logistical input is shared between all the participants. A flexible tac-plan is in place for emergency medevac case need and comms include email and text facilities (data is not guaranteed and, if possible, will require special arrangements).

All logistical equipment is provided, clients only need bring a check-list of clothing and personal items.

The two departure dates are:

Trip One:

5th December 2019                           Clients assemble in Punta Arenas

18th December 2019     Flight back from Union Glacier to Punta Arenas

Trip Two:

7th January 2020            Clients assemble in Punta Arenas

20th January 2020      Flight back from Union Glacier to Punta Arenas

Antarctica

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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore – Dream – Discover - Mark Twain - You can view clips of some of our own favourite discoveries here.


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Explore with The Exploration Company

By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017

Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...

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