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Basecamp Antarctica

Camping in Antarctica Camping in Antarctica Richard Wadey

Priced from $7,950  

Basecamp Antarctica is our most active Antarctica cruise. It is designed for travelers who are want to really experience Antarctica in the way Shackleton in early 20th Century. Your ship will be your basecamp as you venture ashore for longer excursions.  We will stay for two or three days at each location to allow plenty of time for a wide variety of activities: mountaineering, hiking, photography, camping, kayaking and zodiac excursions - all activities are included in the price.  Polar diving is also offered for certified divers at an additional fee.

Passengers who do not wish to be as active will be able to enjoy our zodiac excursions and the regular shore program and land excursions of easy to moderate walks and hikes with the focus on wildlife spotting.

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The vessel will stay for two or three days at specific locations to serve our active passengers as a comfortable hub to allow more time than usual for wide ranging activities: mountaineers to climb mountain ranges (soft climbing), hikers to participate in long walks, photographers to explore photo opportunities, campers (on Antarctica only) to enjoy life at shore base camps, kayakers and zodiac passengers to explore near shores where the ship cannot go. 

Passengers who do not wish to become physically active will enjoy our zodiac excursions and follow the normal shore program and land excursions (easy to moderate walks and hikes with focus on wildlife). 

We aim for visiting active and manned research stations in the Antarctic and Arctic.

Passengers who want a less active experience will be able to enjoy our zodiac excursions and follow the normal shore program and land excursions, consisting of easy to moderate walks and hikes with a focus on wildlife viewing.  We plan to visit active, manned research stations as well.

On this voyage, you'll spend less time at sea in order to spend as much time ashore as possible.

These voyages are offered aboard the M/V Plancius and the M/V Ortelius, both ice-strengthened expedition class ships that offer comfortable and safe accomodations.  Your guides and expedition staff are among the best and most experienced in the business. These trips are for more active travelers who like a little adrenaline with their ice.

  • Itinerary
  • Date & Rates
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Basecamp Antarctica

NOTE: During our “Basecamp” departures, all offered activities (including camping, kayaking, snowshoe/hiking, mountaineering, as well as our standard included shore excursions and zodiac cruises) are free of charge. Diving is extra.

Day 1: Ushuaia

We embark in Ushuaia, Argentina, the planet's southernmost city. This evening we sail through beautiful Beagle Channel as we head for Drake Passage.

Days 2  - 3: At sea

We navigate the Drake Passage, crossing the Antarctic Convergence.  Here, we will see our first icebergs as well as many seabirds:  albatrosses, Cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels and antarctic petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs.

Days 4 – 9:  Basecamp Antarctica

We will sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior Islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island.  We will position our ship in the protected waters surrounding Wiencke Island, where we will establish our basecamp for exploring this unusual alpine environment.  We will have opportunities to hike and snowshoe, to kayak, and to explore by Zodiac. Mountaineers may climb hills to spectacular viewpoints further inland.

Conditions permitting, we plan to stay two overnights at anchor so we have  two camp nights and two full days of activities. We will visit Port Lockroy on Goudiere Island,  the site of a British research station and post office. We also plan to offer a landing on Jougla Point where we should see gentoo penguins and imperial shags. We will sail through the beautiful Lemaire Channel to Booth Island, Pleneau and Petermann Island where we may see Adelie penguins and blue-eyed shags, as well as humpback, minke, and fin whales.

For our second basecamp night, we move nearer to the Continent and select a suitable site. Activities include options for climbing Mt. Demaria at Waddington Bay. We will visit a research station to gain insight into the day to day life of those who live and work here on the world's most remote continent.

In the afternoon at Neko Harbour we will have the opportunity to set foot on the the Continent.  Mountaineers may climb up on higher grounds of the glacier. We will spend the night at Neko or near Paradise Bay with a camp erected ashore.  In the morning, we leave Neko Harbour and sail toward the open sea of the Drake Passage.

Days 10 – 11: At sea
Day 12: Ushuaia

We arrive in Ushuaia and disembark.

Date & Rates:

Basecamp Antarctica 

2018/2019 Rates
Tour Code
Ship Dates Embark/Disembark N/D Quad Porthole Triple Porthole Twin Porthole Twin Window Twin Deluxe Superior
Ortelius Mar 3 - 14, 2018 Ushuaia/Ushuaia 11/12 $7,950 $8,950 $9,650 $10,250 $10,850 $11,850
Ortelius Nov 7 - 18, 2018 Ushuaia/Ushuaia 11/12 $7,950 $8,950 $9,650 $10,100 $10,850 $11,700
Ortelius Nov 28-Dec 9, 2018 Ushuaia/Ushuaia 11/12 $7,950 $8,950 $9,650 $10,100 $10,850 $11,700
OTL26 C,K,M,P,S, Ortelius Dec. 18-29, 2018 Ushuaia/Ushuaia 11/12







Ortelius Dec. 29, 18-Jan 9,  2019 Ushuaia/Ushuaia 11/12 $8,250 $9,250 $9,950 $10,500 $11,250 $11,950
Plancius  Feb. 17-28, 2019 Ushuaia/Ushuaia 11/12 $7,950 $8,950 $9,650 $10,100 $10,850 $11,700
OTL32  C,H,K,M,P Ortelius Mar 7-18, 2019 Ushuaia/Ushuaia 11/12 $7,950 $8,950 $9,650 $10,100 $10,850 $11,700

C: Camping: minimum of 8, maximum of 30 campers. Camping is free on Basecamp voyages.

D: Diving: minimum of 8, maximum of 24. Supplement is $530 per person must be certified dry suit diver.

K: Kayaking: group size minimum of 4 with max of 14 kayakers. Free on Basecamp trips

M: Mountaineering is free of charge

P: Photo workshop free of charge

S: Snowshoeing: free of charge, inlcudes showshoes

Prices are per person based on double, triple or quad occupancy depending on category room purchased. 

Single supplement: 1.7 times share price.

Registration: To confirm your space on these tours, please contact our office. 1.800.808.4492 or 206.463.1943

Deposit: 30% of trip cost

Cancellation Policy: In the event you must cancel your reservation, refunds will be made according to the following schedule: Deposit is nonrefundable. 90 to 61 days prior to departure, 50% of total is nonrefundable; less than 60 days prior to departure, 100% nonrefundable.

Fuel surcharge: If world fuel prices reach or exceed US Dollar $120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure then the boat operator reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of $25 USD per night per passenger to be paid prior to travel.

Insurance: Because many advance logistical arrangements have been made prior to the running of this trip, we must adhere to the above policy. Cancellation/medical evacuation is required up to $100,000 per person. An application form will be sent to you upon request, or you may purchase it on your own. Because of the remote location, emergency medical evacuation insurance is required. Please check your personal insurance coverage and make sure it is applicable in foreign countries. Emergency medical evacuation insurance is a component of the insurance program IWA offers.





Basecamp voyages are offered on two ships

Click for details:  M/V Plancius

Plancius in the ice

Click for details:  M/V Ortelius

OceanwideOrteliusatOrneIslandcElkeLindner-Oceanwide-Expeditionselke  dsc7921

Code Planned Route

Basecamp Antarctica


Antarctic Peninsula Plancius


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