Active Travel – Your Antarctica & Arctic Specialists!
A voyage to the Polar regions is one of the world’s great adventures and it’s not surprising that the fascination of these extreme and remote destinations, sheathed in layers of ancient ice, has attracted many of the world’s great explorers and scientists. For those lucky enough to experience it first-hand, a ship-based adventure is a remarkable journey that stays with you for the rest of your life.
Our expeditions operate during the Antarctic and Arctic summers. This is a time of great activity with seabirds swooping through the skies and whales feeding on vast schools of krill, while polar bears and penguins rear their young. We spend as much time off the ship as possible exploring in our zodiac boats, going ashore for walks, visiting historic sites, scientific bases and wildlife colonies. In Antarctica, the towering icebergs, in all shades of blue, will take your breath away.
Our longer Antarctic expeditions take you below the Antarctic Circle, into the icy Weddell Sea and on to South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. These remote island groups are home to some extraordinary wildlife, beaches covered in King penguins, elephant and fur seals, and an abundance of sea birds of all shapes and sizes. Our Arctic trips explore Greenland, Baffin Island and the fabled Northwest Passage.
Together with One Ocean Expeditions we are offering an outstanding range of voyages with an emphasis on adventure, education and conservation. We hope to see you on the ship this season!
[testimonial by=”Andrew Prossin, CEO, One Ocean Expeditions”]“I established One Ocean Expeditions in 2007 and from the outset Australia’s Active Travel has been one of our biggest supporters. It’s a small company, but they are true specialists, with a deep interest and knowledge of the Polar regions. I have had the pleasure to travel with many of their staff and I’m proud to be associated with such a professional and well-informed organization. One Ocean operates the best expedition ships and together with Active Travel we offer exceptional customer service. It’s a winning combination!” [/testimonial]
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Experience & Reliability
Over the past 20 years, the staff of One Ocean Expeditions have amassed a broad scope of expertise in Polar eco-systems. Our expedition team has an in-depth knowledge of the full range of wildlife and plants, enabling us to offer a truly nature-based approach to tourism. One Ocean Expeditions is arguably the most experienced and reliable Polar expedition team afloat these days, with an unblemished track record in regard to quality and safety.
There are no compromises here. Our expedition staff and crew have the deepest respect for Polar weather and the varying sea and ice conditions in these regions. That respect is apparent in every decision we make. We carry the most extensive inventory of safety equipment on all excursions and require our leaders to undergo vigorous and effective safety training programmes. We are well prepared, so you can relax and enjoy your voyage.
We have renowned wildlife experts on our team who have been instrumental in mobilizing some of the world’s most notable organisations to better protect Polar regions. We are dedicated to minimizing our impact on the areas we visit as well as the areas in which we command our supplies. This shows in our purchasing policies which cover provisioning, supply and waste management.
One Ocean Expeditions is unquestionably the most innovative operator in the business. Andrew Prossin was the first to operate overnight camping trips on the peninsula and it was also his idea to introduce sea-kayaking. The 2012/13 season sees new low impact initiatives, such as snowshoeing and overnight kayaking, as well as significant changes on board our ships. See page 6 for more details.
Expedition Staff & Crew
We have two of Australia’s most experienced leaders on board including Australian Polar Medal recipient, Ray McMahon and well-known historian, photographer and writer, David McGonigal, who co-authored the best-selling Complete Story of Antarctica. To make your journey even more enjoyable, we have the highest staff-to-client ratio in the industry so you are extremely well looked after throughout your trip. Typically, we have at least 15 expedition staff on board in addition to the ship’s operating crew.
The Akademik Ioffe and her sister ship, Akademik Sergey Vavilov are highly regarded as two of the best expedition vessels in the world. Fast, stable and quiet – and with a passenger capacity of less than 100 – they suit our purposes admirably. More of the technical details and benefits can be found opposite and the final pages of the brochure.
Travelling to the Polar regions is a privilege and we want you to experience something special when you choose One Ocean Expeditions. That is why we offer the best value for travellers. Our well-priced expeditions boast a high level of customer service including tasty meals, the widest possible range of activities and a host of pleasant onboard distractions.
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The easiest way to describe it is to imagine our expedition ship as a ‘floating wilderness lodge’. It is a moveable base from which we explore the fantastic landscapes that surround us. Our days are filled with exciting activities; zodiac cruises to look at icebergs, excursions ashore with short and longer hiking opportunities, visits to penguin rookeries and seal colonies, combined with plenty of ship-based activities, including an entertaining and informative presentation series. At the end of each day we enjoy a fantastic dinner, great conversation and perhaps a glass of wine as we reflect on another incredible day.
Our guests really matter on our expeditions and we show this at every opportunity, particularly by allowing them to have a say in how their experience unfolds. We provide plenty of options and choices throughout the voyage and this becomes apparent from the moment you step onboard. This really sets us apart from other polar operators. We also have the highest staff-to-guest ratio in the industry and our expedition ‘philosophy’ is unique in the polar travel industry.
Polar weather gear package included
A journey to the Polar regions requires a fair bit of planning and some special items of clothing and equipment are needed. Unlike many polar operators we lend you a wet weather gear package free of charge, which includes a quality waterproof/windproof jacket and bib-pants as well as insulated, comfortable rubber boots, designed for extended walking. This saves you buying expensive items you may only ever use once, and eliminates the need to carry such cumbersome gear all the way from Australia. If you do have your own gear, of course you are welcome to bring it.
More than a cruise
Our Antarctic expeditions depart from the Argentine town of Ushuaia, at the southern tip of South America. Most travellers elect to spend a few days in the lively capital of Buenos Aires en-route and we recommend you do – it’s a fantastic city with great restaurants, superb colonial architecture and friendly locals. You can do this either before or after your Antarctic expedition. The pretty town of Ushuaia is also worth exploring for a day or two. It is also possible to travel to other parts of Argentina, neighbouring Chile, or more widely in South America. Contact us with your ideas and we can design a specific tour programme for you or ask for our new South America brochure for inspiration.
Our Arctic expeditions depart from various ports and will involve special charter flights to meet the ship in western Greenland or the remote town of Kugluktuk (Coppermine) in the far north of Canada for the Northwest Passage voyage.
Important pre-tour information
Naturally, you expect detailed information about your polar expedition to help prepare. We provide plenty of pre-trip advice and documentation based on more than more than 15 years experience in arranging travel to Antarctica and the Arctic. We are always available to answer questions about your journey and staff in both our Sydney and Canberra offices have visited both Antarctica and the Arctic on a frequent basis for more than a decade. It is your holiday and we want you to enjoy every moment from start to finish.
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A defining feature of One Ocean Expeditions and our voyages to polar regions is summed up in a single word, choice. It has always been our philosophy that this is your holiday and you should be able to choose the sorts of activities that interest you and that you find enjoyable. Some days, due to weather or ice conditions, our options may be limited, but other days (and most of the time), you will have a fantastic choice of activities to consider.
Such activities could include short walks ashore to visit penguin rookeries or seal colonies with a naturalist guide. Or maybe a walk to an old scientific hut with our historian. We also love to get ashore and stretch the legs on an extended hike of up to a few hours, with our hiking guide.
Cruising in the zodiacs to look out for pods of whales or simply to take photos of the impossibly blue icebergs is always a great experience.
For the keen photographers, we might choose to focus our attention on a group of blue eye shags, sunning themselves on a rock, the light catching their eyes and plumage perfectly. What does it matter if you fire off a hundred frames to get that perfect shot. Our photographic guide will be there to offer advice and help you get the best angle.
On both our ships we have an onboard wellness program complete with qualified fitness trainer, massage therapist and Jacuzzi. This innovation has been a hit with every single massage session being booked out on every voyage since we introduced this!
We also offer the opportunity to spend a night onshore, camping in Antarctica – which we hope to do on every voyage, though cannot always guarantee it due to weather conditions. We have all he required gear and our camping option is included in the cost of your voyage, and not a paid option as it is with other Antarctic companies.
For the adventurers, our sea kayaking program is always an exciting option. In 2011 we’re introducing an overnight sea-kayaking/camping option on our early November voyage – another Antarctic first for One Ocean Expeditions!
Sea kayaking is a paid option and must be booked in advance. You can expect to paddle 7-8 times over the course of your voyage. There are enough boats for 15 kayakers per voyage. The price for kayaking is $US750 per person.
Contact us if you would like a booklet containing additional information about our exciting range of activities while in Antarctica. If you have any questions about our programmes, please contact us to find out more.
Start planning your adventure now! Find your dream Polar voyage by clicking the links below.