Antarctica Transportation

  • Transportation
    by LynCod
  • Twin-Otter on the Bowden névé Antarctica
    Twin-Otter on the Bowden névé Antarctica
    by XenoHumph
  • Refueling of a Twin Otter plane
    Refueling of a Twin Otter plane
    by XenoHumph

Antarctica Transportation

  • Helicopters

    Helicopter are used in McMurdo for short-range field delivery, for example in the part of the Transantarctic Moutains that are close to McMurdo or trips to Ross island locations such as Erebus volcano. And of course they are used to lift and move heavy pieces of equipment like shown in the first picture. There is a helipad in McMurdo next to Ob...

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  • Hercules LC130 plane

    The military cargo plane Hercules, or C130, is used extensively for transport by Americans in Antarctica. It is called LC130 when it has skis on it to land on ice and snow. It is slower then the C17 and has 4 propellers. Sometimes, it is even used for transport from New-Zealand (an 8 hrs flight to McMurdo from Christchurch). Same story as the C17,...

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  • New Zealand- McMurdo: C17

    The main type of plane used to reach McMurdo in Antarctica from Christchurch in New Zealand is a military cargo plane, a C17. It takes 4-5 hours to make the trip. The Americans have their own terminal in the Christchurch airport for their flights to Antarctica. A trip in a C17 is not the greatest ever as passengers are treated like cargo, and seats...

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  • Skidoo

    Skidoo or snow-mobile is the vehicle of choice in the field in Antarctica. We spent hours driving skidoos on the ice in search of meteorites. It is quite bumpy as the ice is sculpted by the wind. Before being allowed to drive one, you have to go to skidoo school in McMurdo where they show you how to maintain and repair a skidoo. No garage to call...

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  • The weird vehicles of McMurdo

    There are a lot of weird looking vehicles in McMurdo. All are adapted to the harsh conditions, being able to drive on ice, snow and mud. This generally involves huge tires or cater-pillar style traction. See the pictures for examples! Ivan the Terra bus is the bus that transports passengers to and from the airport on the Ross sea ice. It may be...

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  • Twin-Otter plane

    The Twin-Otter plane is used for short trips by Americans in Antarctica (a couple hours flight or less). Twin-Otters brought us to our field locations. It is quite small and you can only fit one skidoo in it at a time. For us, with 8 skidoos for our 8-people expedition, that is already 8 trips just for the skidoos! It is also noisy, cold but it has...

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  • Bark Europa - mainly for sailing-fans

    Making an Antarctic-cruise onboard of the Bark Europa certainly makes sense for every sailing-fan, but for all the others it might be good to think about another ship !The best about this small sailing-ship is certainly, that you will be able to land and go ashore anywhere with all of the passengers at the same time, because according to the...

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  • The Polar Star

    The Polar Star is a former icebreaker and it is one of the ships that obviously offers also some cheaper inner-cabins without private facilities. I saw an announcement of "last minute" antarctic cruises for 4500 US $ in a travel agency in Ushuaia and when I asked for it, they said they would call the shippingcompany of the polar Star for free...

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  • Midships : The only place for smokers...

    Smoking was not allowed anywhere onboard except out on deck, midships, and it was also not allowed to throw the remains of any cigarette overboard. Out on deck, midships we also had a few board-parties and lunch-buffets,that was a lot of fun, although there were never enough seats there for everybody. So we mostly were standing with our plates in...

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  • The foreship

    The forship was certainly the best place to enjoy the landscape and icebergs passing by, but unfortunately it was quite small for all of us passengers at the same time and besides of this its floor was not totally even, but had several fixtures for sailing-gear, so it was always a certain danger to stomble, when steppig back or on the side, while...

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  • National Geographic Endeavour

    The National Geographic Endeavor is a traditional expedition-ship with a maximum-capacity of only 110 passengers, so it has the perfect size for a ship cruising in Antarctica. The Endeavor was formerly known as "Caledonian Star" and we met her in the Antarctic at Vernadsky Point, where they had some scientists onboard that started their turn for...

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  • Le Diamant

    Le Diamant is a cruiseship with ice-classification of 1D and it is carrying 220 passengers as a maximum. All cabins are outside and they have twinbeds or kingsize-beds,TV sets,minibar and a lot more storing-space than our small sailingship, the Bark Europa.Some of the cabins even have their private balcony, there is a panoramic observation lounge,...

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  • MS KAPITAN KHLEBNIKOV Quack expeditions

    This ship of Quack expeditions is certainly the best possibility to do cruises in Antarctica and it is also the most expensive way to explore this remote part of the world.M/V Captain Chlebnikov is the name of this russian Icebreaker, that was built some years ago and had done several cruises directely to the Northpole and nowadays it offers...

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  • Zodiaks - the best boats to land in...

    Zodiaks are the best boats to explore Antarctica, and most probably also the only ones beeing allowed there, where almost at none of the places, where you can land, there will be a pier. Instead you will have to try to find a sandy and flat beach, where you may land the zodiak and when stepping in or out the zodiak you will hardly every may avoid...

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  • S/Y Sarah Vorwerk - another sailingship

    The54 ft steel yacht S/Y Sarah W. Vorwerk is a small sailing-yacht based in Ushuaia and they also offer cruises to the Antarctic ! Sarah W. Vorwerk is sailing with a total of 8 guest-berths. I have not done it and I certainly will never do it, but it might be interesting for you to take it into considderation. S/Y Sarah Vorwerk is doing cruises of...

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  • The Sea Spirit - another expedition ship

    As you know, if you've been reading my pages, WE traveled to Antarctica on the M/V Ushuaia. It was a wonderful ship and a great choice.During our visit to the peninsula, we actually crossed paths with another expedition ship, The "Sea Spirit". I thought I'd post a couple of photos in case someone out there is considering this ship and would like...

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  • The M/V Ushauaia

    The M/V Ushuaia is not a luxury vessel. She's comfortable, the staff is friendly and warm, and you'll be well taken care of. But if you are looking for "crystal glasses at dinner, six ballrooms, orchestras, duel steamship rounds being carved at dinner, a bar stocked with thousands of rare wines, etc", this is not your ship. BUT, if you want a solid...

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  • Antarctic Expeditions/Antarpply

    We traveled to Antarctica with Antarpply Expeditions. We'd originally zeroed in on the M/V Ushuaia as a ship that we'd want to know more about. Additionally, the itineraries were what we were looking for. A number of travel companies sold space for this ship, and over the period that we were researching, I eventually learned that Antarpply actually...

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  • Luxury Expedition Ships

    TThe last class is the Luxury Expedition ShipsThis is a supper soft posh cruise ships with hardened hulls for ice but still a luxury cruise vessel with all the goodies you know the has 5**** stuff like fresh flowers in Antarctica, gleaming brass, polished wood and works of original art.. These are the big one with almost 200 on board. The have 15...

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  • Polar Star Ice Breaker

    Every summer, the Coast Guard moves this breaker south to clear out the path to McMurdo. It is critical to the winter operations at McMurdo. Only one cargo ship arrives here each year, keeping the station running during winter.

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  • Getting to Ushuaia/Tierra del Fuego

    Getting to Antarctica is a challenging venture.All Antarctica cruises originate in Ushuaia, Argentina, Terra del Fuego due to calmer waters. Since I live in Texas, I flew to Miami where I connected on the Brazilian airline TAM to Sao Paulo then to Buenos Aires where I connected on the Aerolinas Argentinas flight to Ushuaia, Argentina at the tip of...

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  • Plancius expedition ship

    We used Oceanwide Expeditions for the trip. They have specialized expedition staff that were expert in the history, geology and wildlife of Antarctica. When we were crossing Drake's Passage they organized 1 hour lecture sessions on various topics that were well presented, informative, engaging as well as entertaining. The company is clearly very...

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  • Unreliable flights to Ushuaia

    Hi,I travelled with Aerolineas when I went to Antartcica. At the time they were having strikes and not all flights were gettng out. My friend and I about a month before we left decided to move our flight from BA to Ushuaia back a day and have 2days in Ushuaia - it was a very good idea!!!!!!!. there were several passengers who missed to crusise to...

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  • Last Minute to Antarctica

    We just came back from a trip to Antartica and I recommend you to book in advance via Internet but as a last minute fare. We did this with the travel agency Ushuaia Turismo in Ushuaia (Av. Gobernador Paz 865). They have a fantastic service, are very reliable and Daniela, one of the owner, is extremely helpful. She answered all our questions in...

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  • The MV Fram, via Vantage Travel

    I spent 8 days on the Fram, a Hurtigruten ship. Cabins were compact but comfortable, and shore excursions were very well organized. Although there were 260 passengers, we all got ashore on each landing, usually 2 sites per day. They use Polar Cirkel boats for landings--you sit inside them on a wooden bench instead of up on the rubber tube like the...

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  • Before you board

    Most cruise ships to the Big A leave from Ushuaia, Argentina, so this is for those who are arriving at that airport. It's a small enough town so the best form of transport from airport to hotel is by taxi. It takes all of 10 minutes. Unlike in Buenos Aires, I have yet to hear of bad taxi drivers who will rob you. So no need to look for "Radio Taxi"...

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  • Inquire about your ship

    I found it very difficult to discern differences between ships that travel to Antarctica via the web. I was presently surprised with how nice the Clipper Adventure was appointed. I learned that if it looks like a boxy icebreaker, it is likely to have boxy appointments with a "working ship" feel. If the ship is sleeker looking, it is not an...

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  • Hurtigruten Explorer voyages

    I travelled with Hurtigruten to Antarctica Feb 2008 on Ms Nordnorge. No complaints at all only praise for a wonderful trip. Ms Fram is the fleet's newest ship so should be equivalent or better. Lots of information on my VT pages, hope you have a super trip. All the best LynCod

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  • Ms Nordnorge

    It is a long trip to Antarctica from wherever you are in the world. From the UK travelled from London to Madrid 2hrs+ then onto Buenos Aires 12hrs+ then after a 2 day break onto Ushuaia 3hrs at the southern tip of Argentina where we embarked on the ship.Ms Nordnorge is a medium size ship, plus points more comfortable than a smaller ship, a smoother...

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  • Research Icebreaker class of ship to...

    The next class of ship is about twice the size as the Research class and it is know in the Polar areas of the world as a Research Icebreaker they have more stuff like a sauna, workout room, pool. They carry about 100 passengers and because the ships are icebreakers they can go deeper into Antarctica’s waters. This is the class of vessel that can do...

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  • Expedition Cruise Ships

    The next is the Expedition Cruise Ships this is a cruse ship that has been strengthen for ice but built for cruising so they are more plush bigger smother with a fully equipped lecture hall and theatre, bar and lounge, Antarctic library and gym with a view. You also get European chefs international cuisine you know the stuff one get on a ship built...

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  • Zodiacs

    Zodiacs...the only way to go, when getting to landing sites! The Aurora crew were always there, to assist us getting on and off the zodiacs, safety always being their first priority. The zodiacs are quite comfortable really. Large, black rubber dinghy, with wooden & metal floor and rope around the outside for hanging onto! Got into the swing of...

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  • Zodiac Rides

    Most of the landing all are done in Zodiacs since due to the flow of ice no permanent piers are available in Antarctica. If you travel to Antarctica you should be fit to a certain degree since it means jumping into Zodiacs and sliding out of them at the landing site. Also - make sure you wear water proof shoes or better boots since at times you may...

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  • Polar Circle Boats

    Instead of the traditional Zodiac boats we took the more modern Polar Circle Boats, which can take eight passengers and the driver. It is necessary, of course, to wear a life-vest and it is advisable to have waterproof clothes and backpacks on you!

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  • MS Nordnorge

    The MS Nordnorge was built in 1997. The ship complies with all safety requirements and is classified as a polar vessel suitable for sailing in icy waters, equipped with a fleet of polar circle boats for excursions. The ship offers a comfortable restaurant, two well-stocked bars, lounges and a conference room. She also offers a library with a...

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  • Zodiacs

    To get from your cruise ship to the various landing places you need to take to the sea in a Zodiac. These are small inflatable boats each holding about a dozen passengers. Despite appearances, they are very sturdy and cope well even when the sea is a bit rough.No more than 100 people from each ship are allowed on the ice at any one time, so if like...

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  • Cruising

    I’d never really thought of cruising as a holiday choice, but for a trip to the Antarctic it’s the most obvious way to go. The decision then is whether to take a fairly large regular cruise ship or one of the smaller, expedition type vessels. Both have their advantages. The larger ships tend to be more economical (because they can take so many more...

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  • Cruise the 7th continent

    Getting to AND around Antarctica can really only be done by ship, at least for the majority of people. I was lucky enough to work on the Marco Polo in 2000 and we went there for 7 weeks. Even though i was working alot on the shore i have to say, i loved every bit of it. Every year in January-February the Marco polo cruise ship takes passengers from...

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  • Zoadic cruises

    Zodiacs are the only vessels that are suitable for tourist landings on Antarctica. Zodiacs are inflatable boats with a very shallow draught. They are very safe because of the many different air compartments. Even if the majority of the compartments are damaged, they keep on floating. Depending on the wave height and wind (force and direction), the...

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  • Choose your type of ship

    Realistically, the only way for most tourists to reach Antarctica is by ship. Even that was not possible before 1968, when the Lindblad company first chartered the Magga Dan for tourist cruises from Australia and New Zealand. Now many companies are operating ships of many types. Which you take will depend on your interests, your comfort...

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  • Go there in a zodiac

    If your ship has provision for excursions in the Antarctic, it is almost certain that you will be making them in a zodiac: they are used for transport to and from shore, and for general sightseeing. Zodiac travel is enjoyable and invigorating. On our cruise, some people were concerned about stepping from the ship's gangway into and out of the...

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  • research class of ship to Antarctica

    The research class of ship is is, a friendly, and interactive ship where as a general rule you can wonder onto the bridge and interface with the crew. The Officers and crew are Russian and the Ships were made for the former Soviet Union by Finland as Ice strengthened research vessels to sail in the treacherous waters of the USSR's Artic Coast and...

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  • Zodiac Boat

    Either by air like DAP (details in other tips in this report) or by ship the way around once you are in “Warm” Northern Antarctica it is by Zodiac Boat. Most Vters get to know and love there Zodiac. Another popular way to get around is by sea kayaking for the young and healthy.

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  • USNS CHATTAHOOCHEE

    The Chattahoochee was the ice breaker that brought supplies in to Antarctica when my husband was there in the early 60's. The hull is massive....and rightfully so, I guess. Not sure I'd want to go in on an ice breaker...but to each his own! Anyone out there ever serve on an ice breaker? Or..the Chattahoochee?

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  • The Explorer

    Some facts about the GAP Explorer (little red ship) - It was build in 1969 - It is registered in Monrovia, Liberia - It is 75m long and 14 m wide - It can carry 108 passengers and 53 staffIt also has an ice stenthened hull, so it can navigate icy waters and it is also very manouverable which is also good for getting out of icy waters and doing...

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Antarctica Transportation

Reviews and photos of Antarctica transportation posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Antarctica sightseeing.
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