The Poles Luxury Yachting Guide

Visiting the world’s southernmost or northernmost regions by yacht promises to be an experience like no other. An unfathomable expanse of icebergs, glittering glaciers and frozen ravines, the Arctic and Antarctic have fast become the world’s hottest (or rather, coldest) new explorer yachting spots.

Expeditions
Although Antarctica is a vast, relatively uninhabited continent in its own right (at over 14 million kilometres squared it is larger than the entire continent of Africa), the Arctic typically describes the North Pole as well as a cluster of regions including parts of Alaska, Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. The Arctic Sea makes for sublime cruising, littered with sea ice and unreal areas of natural beauty.

Remote conditions have fostered these areas of extreme natural beauty, forming large parts of their appeal - but for these reasons, guests looking to visit the Arctic or Antarctic by superyacht should be sure to take extra precautions.

Modern explorer yachts are equipped with an arsenal of features which ready them for the brutal conditions of the Arctic and Antarctica. Ice-class hulls, sheltered spaces and wide beams are common visible features on explorer yachts, but unbeknownst to the inexperienced eye, these vessels also come with huge amounts of storage space for supplies and safety equipment. Plan your routes well in advance, discuss it with your charter manager, and consider bringing an experienced guide with you on your trip.


Routes
Antarctic
A private yacht charter is by far the best way to explore the North and South Pole. Escape the tourist crowds and delve into an expanse of otherworldly natural beauty in true style. Although these regions are by no means easy to access, the experience that awaits those daring enough to take the plunge is certainly worth the payoff.

Antarctica can be accessed by sailing the Drake Passage from Argentina down to the Antarctic Peninsula. This is a favourite for purists visiting the region, following in the footsteps of Scott Drake on the first ever expedition.

Also on the list is Paradise Harbour, whose spectacular glacial scenery makes the title self-explanatory, and the Lemaire Channel, a narrow waterway between Antarctic cliffs and the rugged coastline of Booth Island nicknamed ‘Kodak Gap’.

Arctic
There are several popular cruising routes to discover the Arctic. Delve into the sublime abyss of the Central Arctic Ocean, also known as the ‘Arctic Donut Hole’, or take a week trip around the scenic coast of Finland or Greenland.

Every landscape and creature in the North and South Poles will thrill and excite, while the responsibility of protecting and preserving these pristine frozen deserts will alter your mindset forever.

Wildlife
The North Pole is inhabited by the renowned and endangered polar bear species, making an Arctic trip truly unforgettable for the chance to see one of these incredible creatures in its native habitat. Also native to the region are reindeer, Arctic foxes, narwhals and walrus

It is a common misconception that Antarctica is inhabited by the endangered polar bear species. Although polar bears are native to the Arctic, there is absolutely no shortage of fascinating and rare wildlife species in this frozen continent. Counting among its residents the emperor penguin, the albatrosses, rare species of whale and leopard seals, Antarctica comprises over 14 kilometers squared of raw and natural frozen landscape.

Seasons
It is important to visit the North and South Poles in the right season, as the consequence could be getting stuck in sea-ice and spending an enforced winter of 8 months on the continent.
Arctic Summer
The ‘summer’ period for the Arctic is short-lived, beginning in June and typically cooling down around August and September. Even in summer periods the Arctic is bitter cold and will still experience snow, but is more hospitable to superyacht visits.
Temperatures remain around 0 degrees Celsius however in regions by the sea, and despite the region experiencing 24 hours of sunlight, differences between day and night temperatures remain perceptible due to the sun’s position in the sky.
Antarctic Summer
The five-month period from November to March is Antarctica’s ‘summer’ season and, as such, offers over 20 hours of daylight and more temperate weather conditions.
Mid-December to January bring the ‘heat’ of mid-summer, and with it comes the hatching of penguin chick on the Continent, while in the Falklands and South Georgia seal pup and penguin chicks emerge for the first time and the receding ice allows for deeper exploration.
Late summer reigns from February to March when whale sightings are at their best, penguin chicks begin to fledge and the ice pack recedes further to allow maximum exploration of this icy region.

 

The Poles

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