Jump to content

Camping on the White Continent


skrink
 Share

Recommended Posts

Has anyone done a camping excursion while cruising to Antarctica?  I’m booked on a January 2022 small ship trip and as a Midwest winter camper, am seriously considering doing the camping excursion.  What gear is provided?  What did you have to bring?  Are there  women-specific temperature ratings on the provided gear?

 

I’m hoping that sleeping bags and sleeping pads are provided as bringing my own would take up too much space in the luggage.

 

Thanks!

Edited by skrink
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/22/2021 at 7:35 AM, skrink said:

Has anyone done a camping excursion while cruising to Antarctica?  I’m booked on a January 2022 small ship trip and as a Midwest winter camper, am seriously considering doing the camping excursion.  What gear is provided?  What did you have to bring?  Are there  women-specific temperature ratings on the provided gear?

 

I’m hoping that sleeping bags and sleeping pads are provided as bringing my own would take up too much space in the luggage.  Also, have you checked on Google?

 

Thanks!

 

Have you contacted your TA or the relevant cruise company?  They should know or should be able to find out for you.

 

DON

Edited by donaldsc
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, donaldsc said:

 

Have you contacted your TA or the relevant cruise company?  They should know or should be able to find out for you.

 

DON

This is key.  For the amount of money you are paying, you should be getting VERY solid info and quick answers from your TA or cruiseline.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No expedition ship will expect you to bring your own camping gear. All you are responsible for is the warm clothing. The actual gear will depend on the company, since they operate camping differently. Some use bivvy bags, G Adventures had actual tents, etc. considering the bio security regulations in place, using your own gear would be a bit difficult and require some serious pre-shore cleaning activities, so it may not even be allowed by some operators.

 

Another thing to note is that different operators and trips handle camping differently. Some require you to book in advance, some trips include it as an activity for everyone, and some like Hurtigruten book it on board via a lucky draw. Travel agents are NOT always aware of these differences, so I would contact the operators directly for camping details. I missed out on camping on my first (what I assumed incorrectly would be my only) trip, because my agent gave me incorrect information!

 

Also, remember that everything in Antarctica is dependent on conditions, and camping even more so. No trip can guarantee that it will happen.

 

If you do miss out, you can take comfort in knowing that almost no one gets much/any sleep, and I’ve heard plenty of passengers grumbling about the experience the next day. For the most part it’s a “do it once” kind of experience, so most of the expedition staff I know hate it! 😂

Edited by kaisatsu
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, I appreciate the input!  I’m booked with the brand new Atlas cruise line and they are still getting up and running, so details aren’t yet available.  Hadn’t considered disinfection, so my (expensive high end) gear will stay home!  

 

I imagine I’ll need a sleep mask since it won’t get dark out.  Long daylight hours certainly convinced my circadian rhythms to keep me awake when I went to Alaska.  Would love to be joined by seals!  😍

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
On 5/25/2021 at 5:55 AM, skrink said:

Thanks, I appreciate the input!  I’m booked with the brand new Atlas cruise line and they are still getting up and running, so details aren’t yet available.  Hadn’t considered disinfection, so my (expensive high end) gear will stay home!  

 

I imagine I’ll need a sleep mask since it won’t get dark out.  Long daylight hours certainly convinced my circadian rhythms to keep me awake when I went to Alaska.  Would love to be joined by seals!  😍

I'm booked on Atlas in December, and signed up for the overnight experience. Thanks for the tip about the eye mask. I always bring one for the plane, but I'll be sure to carry it ashore. Truthfully, not expecting to get much sleep, but I am eager to experience it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The website is pretty clear - as with all expedition companies the team will lay out the site and leave you with the required gear. There is usually a per person total of expedition team members who stay on shore with the passengers to ensure rules are abided by. 
 

https://atlasoceanvoyages.com/off-ship-on-water-on-land/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/25/2021 at 10:55 PM, skrink said:

 

 

I imagine I’ll need a sleep mask since it won’t get dark out.  Long daylight hours certainly convinced my circadian rhythms to keep me awake when I went to Alaska.  Would love to be joined by seals!  😍


You won't be far south enough for 24 hours of daylight. Depending on where they decide to set up camp you will likely get darkness from around 10 or 11pm til 3 or 4 am. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/25/2021 at 5:55 AM, skrink said:

Thanks, I appreciate the input!  I’m booked with the brand new Atlas cruise line and they are still getting up and running, so details aren’t yet available.  Hadn’t considered disinfection, so my (expensive high end) gear will stay home!  

 

I imagine I’ll need a sleep mask since it won’t get dark out.  Long daylight hours certainly convinced my circadian rhythms to keep me awake when I went to Alaska.  Would love to be joined by seals!  😍

 

If I was camping on Antarctica, I think that I would be up all night just to be sure that I didn't miss anything.  I could always sleep once I was back on the ship.

 

DON

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/8/2021 at 2:08 AM, PerfectlyPerth said:

The website is pretty clear - as with all expedition companies the team will lay out the site and leave you with the required gear. There is usually a per person total of expedition team members who stay on shore with the passengers to ensure rules are abided by. 
 

https://atlasoceanvoyages.com/off-ship-on-water-on-land/

I did see where Atlas finally updated their website with excursion info.  $500 per night?  Ouch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/9/2021 at 10:19 AM, donaldsc said:

 

If I was camping on Antarctica, I think that I would be up all night just to be sure that I didn't miss anything.  I could always sleep once I was back on the ship.

 

DON

I'd be up all night making sure I wasn't eaten!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, SFtraveller said:

I'd be up all night making sure I wasn't eaten!

 

By what?  There are no 4 legged carnivorous mammals on Antarctica so you only have to worry about seals and your fellow campers.  Unless you want to worry about South Polar Bears - LOL!!

 

DON

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/8/2021 at 3:11 AM, PerfectlyPerth said:


You won't be far south enough for 24 hours of daylight. Depending on where they decide to set up camp you will likely get darkness from around 10 or 11pm til 3 or 4 am. 

In July you get 24 hour daylight in Iceland and that is equally as far from the Circle as this expedition is likely to be, so I do expect no darkness for these lucky folks

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/21/2021 at 10:11 PM, Nitemare said:

In July you get 24 hour daylight in Iceland and that is equally as far from the Circle as this expedition is likely to be, so I do expect no darkness for these lucky folks


I have been below the circle many many times. Well below it - for weeks at a time. Including as far South as 78 degrees 32 min South - a record for 2015. 
As a chronic insomniac I am generally out on the decks at all hours of the night. 
I can assure you from experience that the Peninsula trips are not south enough for 24/7 daylight. Even those that have a crossing the circle promise. I checked time stamps from some of my sunset photos on a particular crossing circle day and it was 9.30pm during dinner. 

On one trip we were well down in the Weddell Sea ice heading to Atka Ice Port before we were in 24/7 daylight. No passenger ships go into that region any more. 
In the 70degree regions along East and West Antarctica and down in the Ross Sea we had 24/7 daylight. Sometimes half an hour of dusk/dawn combo which made for lovely colours. 
 

On the peninsular trips it's well worth being out on deck after dinner for some excellent sunset colours. And sunrises are beautiful for the late night folk or very early risers. 
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

We just returned from Antarctica with Polar Latitudes and we did the camping one night.  We were surrounded by very friendly penguins who waddled through our camp to inspect us!  

 

We left the ship at 9pm and took zodiacs to shore.  We were mostly outside in bivvy bags - you got a tarp, then an air mattress, -35C sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner and a bivvy bag to shove it all in, and a pillow.  It was sunny and not windy at all, so everyone got really hot setting up camp and we were all taking off our parkas.  Everyone settled into their bivvy bags around 11:30pm and it was still light out.  It never got really dark - a little dusky, but you could still see perfectly without a light.  

 

It started to rain, and then snow, and at 2:30am the guides woke everyone up and said we were going back to the ship.  It was a bit of a scramble to get out of the bivvy/sleeping bag combo, get your winter/waterproof gear back on (waterproof pants, boots, parka), in the snow, and then pack up your stuff (really just jam into a waterproof bag) in a snow storm.  It was light enough out that we could see fine.  The expedition team had to drag all of our wet gear back to the ship, lay it all out to dry for a day or two and then repack it up; lots of work for them.

 

A couple of other notes:

  • The sleeping bags were really warm, so most people just slept in a base layer, with maybe a hat on.
  • The bivvy bags are meant to be zipped up, like a full body bag.  Some people were a little too big to zip theirs up, so they slept in a tent, inside the sleeping bag.  Tents seemed to be an option for those who wanted them, but more work for the expedition team. 
  • It never really got dark, just a bit dusky.  
  • You cannot bring any food or drinks ashore, but there will be a toilet to use.  You are only really on shore from 9pm to 5am or so, so it's not a big deal to not have food or drinks.  
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...