South Pole & Emperors

Two Antarctic icons, one spectacular trip.

Buckle up for a magical Antarctic adventure.

South Pole Emperor Odyssey offers an exciting itinerary that includes a flight to the South Pole, an overnight camp high on the Antarctic Plateau and a visit of one of the greatest spectacles on Earth, Antarctica's majestic Emperor penguins.

  • Gateway Cape Town, South Africa
  • Distance no ski
  • Nights on Ice 9
  • Ski days no ski
  • Daily Distance no ski
  • Sled Weight no ski
  • Temp. Range -5 to -30°C
  • Challenge 3 What's this?
  • Conditions cool coastal to cold plateau
  • Challenges some cold exposure, altitude on flight and at Pole

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive Cape Town. Meet your Icetrek guide and check-in to hotel

Day 2

Review itinerary, equipment and food. Pre-flight briefing.

Day 3

Free time then late evening Ilyushin-76 flight to ALCI Airbase in Antarctica.

Day 4

Arrive Antarctica. Rest at Whichaway Camp then visit Russian Novolazarevskaya (Novo) Station & local sightseeing.

Day 5

Local trek around Schirmacher Oasis and look for Adelie penguins. Evening activities at Oasis.

Day 6

Basler flight to Atka Bay Emperor Penguin colony via Queen Maud Mountains. Return to Oasis for evening activity.

Day 7

Over-snow vehicle to nearby trekking mountain and ice wall. Climb non-technical mountain. Evening activity at Oasis and prepare for South Pole flight.

Day 8

Basler flight to Antarctic Plateau camp. Stay in expedition tents. (Optional local ski tour)

Day 9

Breakfast and morning flight to South Pole Station, visit for two hours. Flight to airbase and return to Oasis Guesthouse by the evening. Celebratory dinner.

Day 10

Rest or reserve day with local activities. Evening activity at Oasis.

Day 11

Day walk to Blue Ice Tunnel. Evening activity at Oasis.

Day 12

Local sightseeing and tours. Evening activity at Oasis.

Day 13

Morning relax and prepare to return to South Africa. Afternoon flight to Cape Town. End of services.


  • Briefing followed by refreshments one day prior to departure
  • Cape Town airport transfers for Antarctic flights
  • All plane flights associated with the expedition program
  • Meals and accommodation at Oasis Guesthouse
  • Meals and accommodation at Plateau camp
  • Icetrek guide(s)
  • Use of specialist clothing and equipment (see equipment list).
  • Safety/navigation/communications equipment
  • 25kg weight allowance (inc. food and group equipment)


  • Travel to and from Cape Town, South Africa
  • Hotel transfers for non-Antarctic flights
  • Hotel accommodation in Cape Town (we can help you find appropriate accommodation at your preferred budget).
  • Excess baggage above the allowance
  • Additional costs (accommodation, meals etc.) due to changes beyond our control ie. weather delays
  • Evacuation, hospitalization and repatriation costs and/or insurance
  • Satellite telephone airtime
  • Commercial use of footage or images provided by Icetrek

This 8-day trip combines the magnificent Emperor Penguins with a flight to the lowest point on Earth - the Geographic South Pole.

On the 5.5hrs flight from Cape Town International, you will pass into the Antarctic Circle and into 24hrs of continuous sunshine. The plane we will be using is an Iluyshin-76 intercontinental jet with a Chief Pilot who has landed at the ice runway in Antarctica over 100 times. As the plane taxis to a standstill, you will be able to count yourself as one of the few who have ever set foot on Antarctica. A short drive takes us to your accommodation at Whichaway Camp.

Whichaway Camp has an easy and friendly feel to it and is run along strict environmental guidelines. There are six state-of-the-art sleeping pods, designed for two people in each, which are heated and warm. They are quiet on windy days and at just over 6m (20ft) in diameter, they are also spacious, with a double bed (for couples), a writing desk, wash area and toilet. For guests travelling separately, the room can be partitioned. The rest of the camp comprises of a shower pod, kitchen pod and two custom-made tents. These are unique – fusing cutting edge material with an old-world feel and house the lounge and dining room. Here you can relax, enjoy the fantastic food from our award winning chef and take things easy.

Our philosophy is simple – do as much or as little as you like. It’s your adventure. Each day, our field guides will suggest a number of excursions and activities for you to choose from. They can be easy and relaxing, or adrenaline charged… it’s entirely up to you. We go on gentle treks to a series of ice tunnels or venture further towards the coast, to where giant ice waves rise up from the ground in surreal formations. From relaxed picnics, to visiting one of the local science bases – it’s all about doing what you want to do. For those after more excitement, our expert guides will teach you the skills of a polar explorer. There is technical rock climbing, mighty abseils and even kite-skiing. Our guides can push you as far as you want to go. Whether you are wanting to summit unclimbed peaks or you are there just to experience Antarctica’s majestic scenery, our job is to ensure you are warm, safe and doing whatever it is you want to do.

If you have ever seen ‘March of the Penguins’ then you will have a clear appreciation of how spectacular the Emperors Penguins are. The colony at Atka Bay is no exception. Two hours flight via DC3 Basler from our main camp and you are at a site of over 6,000 penguins and their young chicks. Both are totally unafraid of humans and will come within a few meters of our group, immersing you in the noise, commotion and the sheer beauty of it all. This is one of the greatest and yet, least seen wildlife events on the planet. It does not disappoint.

Even now, reaching the lowest point on earth is a feat that very few people have achieved. During the seven-hour flight, we land on the polar plateau to refuel and you will have a chance to walk around this vast, foreboding wilderness getting a real taste for the immense scale of Antarctica. Back on board, we continue to the South Pole, landing at the Amundsen-Scott American science station. At the designated marker, you will be at the lowest point on earth. A place with no more East, South or West – only North and you will be able to walk around the world in just a few paces! We will be given a tour of the American science station, learning about their scientists' often ground-breaking research before going to their unique shop to buy souvenirs.

After 8 days of adventuring, relaxing, socialising and learning about the southern continent we bring you to the airbase for your flight back to Cape Town.

This is truly an adventure of a lifetime.

Icetrek Cape Town to Antarctica Trips Icetrek Cape Town Emperpr Penguins South Pole

Many airlines fly to Cape Town, South Africa, including South African Airways, British Airways, KLM, Qatar, Lufthansa, Air France, Singapore and others.

South Pole & Emperors

Jan 4-12, 2018 Availability: Yes
Download Trip Brochure (pdf)
per person ex-Cape Town, Sth Africa
+ Register Now + Questions? Send us a message