Santa Maria Australis
Opposite of Arktos, the “Great Bear” constellation which dominates the skies of the northern hemisphere, on the southern end of the planet lays Antarktikos.
Described by Schackleton as “the last great challenge left to man”, Antarctica , the planet’s fifth-largest continent is still today, a challenge in many ways.
Our Antarctic Expeditions aim at reviving the manner in which Antarctica was explored first. A smaller vessel, such as SV Santa Maria AUSTRALIS offers enough independence to feel the true sense of exploration. Every year now, thousands of people visit the white continent, and just a few of those can say they have done it with enough freedom to feel they have visited Antarctica in a personal, intimate way.
What makes these Expeditions so special?
They are a chance to experience first-hand the adventure and camaraderie of sea navigation.
Why is it a good idea?
Because individual berths are sold on each trip, giving enough flexibility for different group sizes to join in. Also these Expeditions are a good opportunity to fully explore the area the way not even airplanes or big cruise ships can. Full access to coves and islets are what make “our way”, the unique way in which to carefully unveil the secrets of the area.
Day 1– You reach Puerto Williams, the starting point of your sailing expedition, via:
– Santiago and Punta Arenas — From Punta Arenas you will be boarding the two-engine Twin Otter of the air taxi regional operator DAP, which will take you on a spectacular flight across the Darwin Range into the Beagle Channel to Puerto Williams, the starting point of our expedition (~1-hour trip ~US$125 per person, one way)
– Buenos Aires and Ushuaia — From Ushuaia you will be boarding the boat of the companies Fernandez Campbell or Ushuaia Boating, and will cross the Beagle Channel to Puerto Williams, the starting point of our expedition (~1-hour trip ~US$125 per person, one way)
A member of our Expeditions team will be waiting at the airport, ready to pick you up.
The sailing yacht will reach Puerto Williams in the afternoon of the first day of your sailing expedition, and you will be welcomed on board to begin the voyage. A glass of “pisco sour” at the Yacht Club will round-off our first evening.
Day 2 – Puerto Williams to Drake Passage
Day 3, 4, 5 – Drake Passage South . 2 & 4 hours two-man watches are to be carried by each participant.
Day 6 – Arrival to Deception Island
Day 7– Deception Island South to Enterprise Island
Day 8– Enterprise Island South to Chilean González-Videla Antarctic Base
Day 9– González Videla Antarctic Base ( Chile ) South to Port Charcot
Day 10, 11 – Port Charcot South to the Argentine Islands . Visit to Vernadsky Research Station (southernmost point of our expedition)
Day 12 – Visit North to Peterman Island, anchor at Port Lockroy.
Day 13– Port Lockroy North to Dorian Bay
Day 14– Dorian Bay North to Melchior Islands.
Day 15 – Melchior Islands . Preparations for the crossing N of the Drake Passage.
Day 16, 17, 18 – Crossing of the Drake Channel back North. 2 & 4 hours two-man watches are to be carried by each participant.
Day 19 – Arrival at the Fuegian Archipelago. Anchor at Martial Cove or Lennox Cove.
Day 20 – Rest and relaxation after the crossing of the Drake Passage .
Day 21 – Arrival to Puerto Williams, where the Expeditions celebrates at the legendary Bar Micalvi, the end of an unforgettable expedition.
Day 21 – Disembarking of the vessel. Return to Punta Arenas/Ushuaia by the same means as Day 1.
Please Note that this Itinerary is tentative only. The weather has always the last word. The itinerary is designed in order to leave enough time at the end of the Expedition in case of any delays. The itinerary, if necessary, will be modified by the Captain according to his criteria.
CREW; The unique way to experience first-hand navigation. Team-work, duties, chores, and the traditional sailing spirit are emphasized, encouraged, and expected. Participants join the expedition as crew, getting access to the special opportunity to be part of a revival of the ancient art of sailing-based exploration.
Visit to Puerto Williams, southernmost community in the world. Sail through waters of the ancient Yamana (Yaghan) culture. Pass Cape Horn . Sail across legendary Drake Passage . Visit to Deception Island . Antarctic Peninsula . Enterprise Island . Gerlache Strait . Waterboat Point & Gonzales Videla Antarctic Base ( Chile ). Paradise Bay . Port Lockroy ( UK ). Vernadsky Base ( Ukraine , southernmost place to be visited). Lemaire Channel. Sea Leopards. Gentoo Penguins. Adélie Pengüins. Humpback Whales. Minke Whales. Orca Pods. Abandoned Whaling stations. Icebergs, Bergie Bits & Growlers.
Who can join and participate?
Everyone with an adventurous spirit, and a taste for wilderness.
It must be kept in mind, that this is a sailing expedition, and as such, a good physical condition as well as team work aptitude and a positive attitude in order to be able to spend time with other individuals in enclosed spaces for periods of time are not only desirable, but required in order to participate. All those who join participate in all aspects of the expedition, such as kitchen chores, navigation watch, navigation maneuvers, sailing maneuvers, and other.
It must also be kept in mind that an expedition to Antarctica is no small feat, and even though Victory Adventure Expeditions counts with a high latitude-prepared vessel, and with prepared skippers and sailors, it should be understood that this expedition is to one of the most remote and harshest of places on the planet. Previsions must be taken by participants regarding insurance for emergencies, accidents, evacuations, and other, as well as suitable gear, and correct expectations on the physical demands of an expedition to such a destination.
What can be expected?
Of the destination
Home to the driest, coldest, and windiest conditions on earth, Antarctica remains elusive and inhospitable; this in turn is why hundreds and now thousands of people visit it every year. From timeless ice to penguins, whales, seals, and science, the white continent is maybe the last place where man is still exclusively a visitor.
Of the climate
Antarctica has the characteristics that make it the driest, coldest, and windiest place on earth. Strong UV protection and adequate foul weather gear are a must. It must be taken in consideration, than the crossing of the Drake Passage is commonly what would be considered rough and tiring.
Temperatures in Antarctica, in the places ( Antarctic Peninsula ) and times of the year (December to February) to visit commonly stay above freezing, but the wind chills can be brutal given the strong winds common in the area.
Of the Expedition
Wolf Kloss puts it quite well when he says that “our expeditions are not just about sailing, but mainly about discovery.” Even though the main activity in our expeditions we recognize as sailing, the whole concept of exploration is what we want people to take with them. To achieve this, efforts are made in order to land in places where treks, wild flora and fauna, and even visits to some of the local people are a possibility. In order to keep a schedule that will provide the opportunities to witness the breath-taking landscapes the area has to offer, wind conditions are key, and whenever sailing does not allow for efficient mobility, the vessel will turn to engine power in order to not only make the best of the track, but also to avoid unfavorable weather conditions.
Life on board is to be expected in an atmosphere of expedition. Chores and sailing maneuvers reinforce the camaraderie unique to this type of expeditions. Early mornings are the rule, in order to take maximum advantage of the area’s attractions. The temperature inside the boats can vary depending on the situation, and the climatic and sailing context, typical of a sailing vessel, but inside temperature averages around 16-18 degrees Celsius. Both Vessels have pump-powered toilets and “sailboat showers” available. Please note that even though available, showers cannot be expected everyday given the importance of conserving and efficiently use water. A good recommendation is that each person brings his/hers own sponge in order to better enjoy a “sailboat shower”.
Of the Crew
You can expect a team of friendly and hospitable individuals who will help you out experience the Expedition at its fullest. Also, we have a very “down to-earth” approach towards everyone, making the atmosphere in the boats, the field, or the office, accessible, warm, and welcoming.
At Victory Adventure Expeditions we have worked hard to have our taste for sailing meet our call for exploration and let it become the core of our objective: to provide world-class opportunities to immerse oneself into wilderness, and explore the world in order to discover oneself.