Global Operator, Pelorus, Offers Remote Heli-Skiing and Scientific Research on Luxury Polar Yacht Expeditions in Antarctica
Austin, Texas (March 1, 2022): Antarctica is considered by many as the most inaccessible place on Earth. Until recently, only a select few scientists and seasoned explorers have experienced this continent. Now with Pelorus as your guide, travelers can discover Antarctica on a memorable life-changing journey. Pelorus specializes in expeditions to the most remote and exciting locations on the planet. By working with a global network of experts, together with their expertise in challenging environments, they are able to create and deliver unrivaled polar yacht expeditions, all within the boundaries of IAATO.
From heli-skiing remote areas on snowy terrain that has never been touched before, to participating in conservation and scientific research, ice climbing some of the oldest glaciers in the world, or kayaking through the icy waters, there is a wealth of activity for every guest. Antarctic charters must take place during the Antarctic summer: December - February and need to be planned 9-12 months in advance to allow for permitting. As there are a very limited number of vessels equipped to make this journey, interested parties are advised to get in touch as early as possible to begin planning and preparations.
There are several yachts that Pelorus charters in Antarctica depending on the interest and adventure level of the guests. The LEGEND yacht that was chartered by the team for a recent voyage was built by the Soviet Union to serve as an icebreaker during the Cold War, LEGEND was re-born as a luxurious expedition yacht in 2015. At 77.4-metres and with a 13.5-meter beam, her capacious interior houses not only 11 individually styled suites, but a fully equipped Balinese style spa, a cinema, a gym, a whiskey bar and a piano lounge, ensuring no shortage of entertainment while cruising off the beaten track. Her vast deck areas offer the perfect platform for observation with plentiful seating and lounging space, outdoor heating, a bar, barbecue, and a 16-person infinity-view Jacuzzi. Purpose-built with expedition cruising in mind, LEGEND naturally carries an impressive selection of tenders, toys, and exploration vehicles, from a helicopter and a submarine to snowmobiles and high-speed tenders. Her fully commercial helideck allows for heli-operations on every charter and her sturdy, ice-breaking hull offers impressive stability even in harsh environments. Combine this with her skilled crew of 22, who prioritize guest safety and comfort, and LEGEND promises thrilling adventure with peace of mind. It holds 22 guests in 11 cabins.
On a recent voyage in December 2021 aboard LEGEND, Pelorus took a group interested in both heli-skiing and scientific research. The clients departed from Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in Chile’s Patagonia region and the gateway to the Antarctic continent to King George Island in Antarctica. This dual-vessel trip allowed clients to stay aboard LEGEND, while support crew, tools, and equipment sailed nearby onboard BETANZOS. Each vessel can house its own helicopter, which allowed for an exclusive heli-ski operation to take place. When traveling to or skiing somewhere like Antarctica, safety is paramount. Traditionally, on single helicopter operations, skiers need to remain in sight of the vessel for safety, enabling rescue operations if needed. However, with a dual helicopter operation, skiers were able to venture further inland to ski mountains that had never been skied before.
Clients saw wildlife including gentoo and chinstrap penguins in their natural habitat on a thermal volcanic beach on Deception Island. Gentoo penguins have recently been discovered further south than ever before with global temperatures increasing, ice sheets, and glaciers rapidly diminishing. A Biologist accompanied the clients and support team on this trip to carry out critical monitoring and research on native penguin colonies. This enabled vital research into the detrimental impact that climate change is having on penguin populations, having previously been halted due to the pandemic.
By pairing scientists and conservation experts with private yacht expeditions, Pelorus supports crucial research in the world's most remote locations. The Pelorus Foundation teamed up with Dr. Mercedes Santos, who specializes in the breeding and feeding ecology of penguins in Antarctica on the recent Pelorus expedition. “We want to build resilience, to protect biodiversity, and to have a strong research plan that can track and follow the changes of fishing activity. If we do not have a better understanding now of the effect then, in time, it’s going to be more difficult, so it’s better to understand this now – sooner rather than later,” Dr. Santos shares.
Conserving Antarctica with
Scientist Dr. Mercedes Santos
Sample 5-Day Itinerary
King George Island
Arrive at King George Island. Head ashore to explore your surroundings and meet your crew, expert guides, and naturalists.
Antarctic Sound & Snow Hill Island
Cruise through ‘Iceberg Alley’, Visit the northernmost emperor penguin colony by helicopter.
Trinity & Spert Islands
Explore Trinity Island and spot Antarctic wildlife including chinstrap and gentoo penguins. Discover amazing rock formations at Spert Island and cruise towards Enterprise Island in search of humpback whales and orcas.
Enterprise Island & Gerlache Strait
Explore the wreck of Norwegian whaler ship, Governoren, and cruise the Gerlache Strait to Cuverville Island. Anchor to sea kayak and paddleboard among huge populations of penguins and seals.
Neumayer Channel & Port Lockroy
Navigate with the captain through the iceberg-filled Neumayer Channel. Hike around Port Lockroy, an old British base turned designated historic site and visit Palmer Station, the US Antarctic program’s base, while keeping an eye out for leopard seals and adélie penguins.