See also Cape Horn circumnavigation
Sailing expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula from Puerto Williams, with Sonabia 2.
Antarctic, ice and wild life
The Antarctic continent is the Ice World. It is also a world of sea wild life, e.g., whales, seals, penguins, due to the abundance of nutrients in its waters, e.g. kril.
The Antarctic Peninsula faces South America. It can be sailed during the austral summer, from the end of december to the end of march.
We sail between islands covered with ice or snow, in the middle of floating ices (growlers), often shaped as fantastic animals.
Paradise Bay, base Videla
Port Lockroy, Goudier Island
The Drake Passage
Between America and Antarctica is the Drake Passage, one of the most fearful seas of the planet, because of its strong gales and its waves.
Today the navigation tools (electronic charts, weather forecasts, communications) allow crossing the Drake safely when the weather allows it.
“safely” does not mean “quietly”. We must sometimes sail in heavy weather otherwise the waiting time is unreasonably large.
In the Antarctic
In several sites it is possible to go aground to watch animals. Often there is no need to go aground, we can watch animals from the boat or the tender.
The behavior rules are strict, set by the Antarctic Consortium (you can read them aboard Sonabia 2).
Obviously, a sailship with few crews causes less pollution and disturbance to the animals than the big vessels that disembark hundredth of tourists. However this is no reason to skip the rules.
2022 02 13 – Port Lockroy and Goudier Island.
- 1 week to cross the Drake southwards.
- 2 weeks in the Antarctic Peninsula.
The actual route depends on the weather, the ice and/or the wishes of the people. There is no strict planning. It is the anti “organized tour”
- 1 week to cross back the Drake.
If we have to wait, we stay in the Melchior Islands, a spectacular site.
Sailing season? End of December to end of March.
Weather? Cold, sometimes below zero. There are warm sunny days but also chilly winds and snow.
Outdoor, we need warm clothing. In the cabin it is OK, the boat is heated 24/7.
How many people? 3 to 5 people + captain + crew
Who can go? Highly motivated, healthy and mentally strong people (we observed psychotic episodes due to the stress). Age is not really important.
Budget, travel, accomodation? contact us
Legal aspects. Sonabia 2 is affiliated to the non-profit association Navigation, Mer et Nature.