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Custom Expeditions

Bring us your Antarctic dream and we will help make it a reality

Custom Expeditions

Bespoke ANI Experiences: for when the itinerary doesn’t quite match your dream …

Our scheduled trips are a starting point, a sampler of Antarctic Experiences. You can combine trips, add-on a sightseeing flight, build in favorite activities or bring us your own idea for a truly unique Experience. Our polar experts will work with you to create a custom itinerary that suits your needs and achieves your goals.

We have supported virtually every private expedition that has ventured into the interior of Antarctica. We have worked with television and movie crews, physically challenged adventurers, families, individuals, scientists and national operators.

Our safety standards are second to none, our staff are among the most experienced polar guides, our resources are tailored to the Antarctic environment and our enthusiasm for this icy continent is as broad as its horizons. Adventure Network International provides the logistics, the guides, the equipment and the transport. You need only bring us the dream and we will make it a reality. Contact us today to begin planning your Bespoke ANI Experience.

Expedition Logistics: for non-guided expeditions

Logistic support for non-guided expeditions is offered by our parent company Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE). ALE has the capability and experience to provide reliable support for a range of non-guided expedition options. An extensive knowledge of expedition planning, Antarctic air operations and environmental issues enable us to work with you to develop a workable expedition plan that is geared for success.

We operate intercontinental flights from Punta Arenas, Chile to the Ellsworth Mountains, West Antarctica, using heavy transport aircraft with a payload of up to 17 tonne. All flights within Antarctica are by twin engine, ski aircraft.

ALE is the only private company that maintains a seasonal camp infrastructure and pre-placed fuel caches to support South Pole and other expeditions. During the Antarctic operating season (November through January) we have a fully operational base camp with a staff of approximately 30 people.

Emergency Response

Should you need emergency assistance, ALE is ready to respond at any time, you can call us day or night.  We maintain 24-hour emergency response stations, both at our main Antarctic camp on the Union Glacier and in Punta Arenas, Chile.

Additional Services

ALE is able to supply a number of additional services such as expedition re-supply, pulk or other equipment rental, experienced field guides, or support for film crews. Let us know your needs and we will work together on a plan.

Polar Logistics Experts

Our logistics personnel are among the most experienced in the polar travel business. They will help you fine tune your plans to fit your budget, time-line, abilities and Antarctic conditions.

Expedition Starter Pack

Our Expedition Starter Pack provides an orientation to Antarctica and the expedition planning process. It includes information about the services we offer; expedition planning and preparation; environmental guidelines; as well as a list of resources.

Contact us today for a copy of our Expedition Starter Pack and to find out more about Logistic Support for your non-guided expedition.

Guided Expeditions and Expedition Training Courses

We value your success and safety. We recommend that non-guided expeditions only be undertaken by those with polar experience. We offer guided expeditions and custom training courses in Antarctica to help you develop the experience to plan and undertake your own expedition.

 

Activity Level

Easy to Extremely Strenuous
Easy

Easy trips offer comfortable adventure under normal polar conditions. They include gentle activities like scenic tours, short treks, talks and skills sessions. If you want more adventure, we can offer that too! You can participate at your own pace and to be as active or relaxed as you wish.

Moderate

Moderate trips offer adventure with a bit more challenge. They may include walking up to several miles/kilometres on uneven snow and ice; staying in remote field camps; extreme temperatures (–40°F / –40°C); or light activity at altitude (11,000ft / 3350m).

Strenuous

Strenuous trips include skiing, climbing, and trekking trips where you spend several days or more in remote field camps and you are active for 6-8 hours a day over steeper, more rugged terrain. They can involve climbing and camping at altitude and in extreme weather conditions. These trips can be tailored to your skills and abilities, however a good level of fitness is essential and some technical skills may be required.

Extremely Strenuous

Extremely strenuous trips include skiing and climbing expeditions in the most remote corners of Antarctica, where physiological altitude may exceed 11,000 feet (3350m) for many days in a row, and temperatures may drop below (–40°F / –40°C), with severe wind chill and storms. You will be active for 8-12 hours a day carrying or hauling heavy loads for many days in a row. You must have the physical ability to cover a minimum daily distance and the mental stamina to continue in extreme conditions when you are physically tired. Technical skill, a high level of strength and aerobic fitness, and commitment to a dedicated pre-trip training program are required.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this Experience. More FAQ's can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Weather and Environment

Will it be cold?

All of our journeys take place in the Antarctic summer (November through January) when the weather is at its best. We advise on suitable clothing so that you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.

The interior of Antarctica has a cold, dry, windy climate. Average mid-season temperatures at our base camp range from 10F to 25F (-12C to -4C ). On a sunny windless day it can feel quite warm but, when the wind blows, you will be glad of warm layers and a wind jacket. Temperatures can drop as low as -22F (-30C) in early November.

  • At the South Pole temperatures rarely climb above -13F (-25C) with light winds and wind chill of -40F (-40C).
  • Weather at the Emperor rookery is highly variable and influenced by coastal systems. Temperatures range from
    -22F (-30C) to near 32F (0C) with sunny and overcast skies and the possibility of heavy snowstorms.
  • Mount Vinson climbers and skiers heading to the South Pole should prepare for extreme temperatures -40F (-40C) and severe storms.

Do I need to ski?

The snow around Union Glacier Camp is generally firm and fine for walking. The same is true at the South Pole, Emperor penguin rookery and other fly-in destinations. We have skis for recreational use, but you do not have to ski.

We do not usually use skis to ascend Mount Vinson. The snow is generally quite firm and well-suited to cramponing. Experienced skier mountaineers may contact us to discuss the option of a ski ascent. (See Can I ski Mount Vinson)

Other climbing Experiences may involve skiing to speed up travel on the glaciers. We normally use Alpine Touring (AT) ski equipment. You don’t have to be a good skier, as skiing on flat terrain with AT gear is akin to walking, but those who have some Nordic or downhill experience will obviously find it easier. Guidelines are provided for each Experience.

Safety, Medical and Insurance

Do I need travel insurance?

All ANI guests are required to provide cover for medical evacuation, due to the high cost of evacuation from Antarctica.

We also strongly recommend that you consider Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance, to protect you in case you need to cancel for any reason. ANI Experiences are non-refundable within 90 days of departure.

Find more information and links to purchase travel insurance on our Travel Insurance pages.

Schedule and Itinerary

Will the itinerary be exactly the same as shown on the website?

Our itineraries are meant as a guide, to give you an idea of the kinds of activities and the flow of each Experience. However no two trips are exactly the same - and that is part of the excitement and adventure of Antarctic travel. Your unique itinerary will be tailored to your interests and abilities, weather conditions and coordination with other groups on the ice. Flight schedules are flexible and you should expect delays due to the unpredictable nature of Antarctic weather, runway conditions and other logistics.

When should I arrive?

For most Experiences we ask that you arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile at least two full days (48 hours) before your scheduled departure. This allows time for clothing and equipment checks and provides a buffer in case you should miss a flight connection or have lost luggage. An environmental and logistics briefing will be held in the morning, on the day prior to departure. We will collect your luggage and load the aircraft that afternoon, ready for an early flight the following day.

Guests on longer ski traverses should arrive at least four full days prior to departure. We will spend the additional two days getting to know the team, reviewing expedition plans, making any last minute adjustments to equipment and finally packing our sleds ready for departure.

Please note that we cannot hold Antarctic flights for guests who are delayed arriving or who have lost luggage. We recommend that you give yourself plenty of time to enjoy your trip, without the stress of tight timelines.

Trip Planning

Can I fly my drone/UAV in Antarctica?

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, has the potential to disturb wildlife, interfere with aircraft operations, or cause other negative impacts. For this reason the following requirements apply to all guests. Further guidelines and procedures are expected from IAATO and some governments in the future

  • All guests, including expeditions, research teams, mountaineers, adventure tourists, must inform ANI prior to departure for Antarctica whether they intend to use a UAV.
  • Use of UAVs at all ANI locations must be cleared with ANI Operations before flight. Permission will not be granted if there is any likelihood of interference with wildlife, local aircraft activity, communications or electromagnetic frequencies in use in the relevant area.
  • All users must be able to demonstrate to ANI that they have adequate training or, where relevant, certification for operating a UAV.
  • UAVs should only be flown in areas where recovery of a downed vehicle is possible. Flights over hazardous areas, such as crevasses or steep terrain, must be discussed and agreed with ANI's Travel Safety Manager prior to launch. Adequate recovery systems must be in place, including homing UAV devices and/or a suitably qualified recovery team.
  • UAVs must not be flown in or near to any Protected Areas or Historic Sites or Monuments, where “near” means any possibility of the UAV accidentally flying or drifting into the area.

Clothing and Equipment

I'm not sure I have the correct equipment?

We provide detailed clothing and equipment lists for all of our Experiences. If you still have questions after reading our equipment lists and overview just drop us a line and we will be more than happy to help.

Can I rent clothing from you?

Guests on non-technical Experiences have the option to rent custom-designed Antarctic parka and windpants, boots and polar sleeping bag from us. This may be the most practical option if you think you will not use these specialized items again. Please let us know well in advance if you would like to rent any items, as we have limited stocks and items are available on a first-come first-served basis. Our rental clothing is not suitable for technical climbing and ski expeditions.

The clothing rental form appears on the Requirements & Forms tab for each Experience where clothing rental is an option.

Booking and Payment Information

I'm ready to book. What do I do?

Please email or call our office to confirm availablity on your chosen Experience and departure. We will ask you to fill out a medical form (and resume of experience for climbing and ski expeditions). Please fill these forms out completely and honestly. If we have any questions or concerns, we will work with you to resolve them. Once these have been approved, we will ask you send a deposit of $US 5000 to confirm your reservation.

More Frequently Asked Questions.

Skills and Experience

Bespoke Experiences can include everything from gentle adventures needing no special skills or experience, to the most extreme expeditions which require skills and dedicated training. Contact us to discuss your plan.

Visitor Guidelines

Our guests play a crucial role in helping us care for the Antarctic environment. Please review the guidelines below as part of your pre-trip preparation.

Forms

We ask all guests to fill out the following forms. 

 

Our Commitment to Safety

Your safety is very important to us and we work closely with you to make sure you are well prepared for your Antarctic Experience.

All our activities are subject to detailed risk management and contingency planning that allow for the remote and harsh Antarctic environment. Our preparations include detailed emergency planning and equipment to deal with all eventualities.

Our team are known for their experience and expertise and we encourage a culture of safety by providing training and support. Our Union Glacier camp has a basic medical clinic staffed by a doctor and medic who specialize in emergency and remote medicine. We keep a 24-hour watch during our operating season and are ready to respond - day or night - in case of emergency.

We maintain other camp facilities and pre-placed fuel caches in the interior of Antarctica to support our flights. Established procedures and communication protocols and continued investment in equipment and technology all contribute to safe and enjoyable Experiences.

Environmental Ethic

IAATO logoANI’s mission is to set the highest possible environmental standards and to use best practices. We believe in responsible and sustainable tourism where our guests leave Antarctica with a greater appreciation of its remarkable natural values.

We encourage a culture of environmental stewardship through training and our activities are planned to have the minimum effect on the environment.