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 7 or 8
  • Trek 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


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


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


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

Day 1

Settle into Whichaway Camp and do as much or as little as you like each day. Activities range from gentle treks to the incredible ice waves, to kiteskiing, ice climbing and even abseiling! Perhaps even visit the nearby Russian base; Novolazarevskaya.

Day 2

Explore the ice waves beneath the camp, delving into the series of ice tunnels that are as surreal as they are beautiful. A special picnic lunch at a magnificent viewpoint will be completed by vistas of the frozen icebergs on the coast. Return to Whichaway for evening activity.

Day 3

Flight in the DC3 Basler Turbo prop plane to the Atka Bay Emperor Penguin colony where we have a few hours to immerse ourselves into this spectacular location. We fly via Queen Maud Mountains and spectacular coastline where you will see icebergs, sea ice and crevassed glaciers. Return to Whichaway for evening activity.

Day 4

This is an easier day with talks from our polar explorer staff about some of the lesser known history of Antarctica and their world record breaking expeditions.Then for those willing its time for kite-sking around camp, followed by a giant abseil off the nearby Nunatak mountain. Evening activity at Whichaway and prepare for South Pole flight.

Day 5

You will leave early in the morning in the Basler. The plane will fly across stunning mountain ranges before landing at 83 degrees South to refuel. You will have a chance to walk around the high polar plateau before continuing onto the pole. At the South Pole itself, you will have lots of time for photos and a tour around the base before camping down for the night on the High Polar Plateau.

Day 6

After a night spent camping, you will be given a hearty breakfast before boarding the plane once again for the flight back to our camp. The flight is the perfect chance to really appreciate the immense scale of Antarctica, before you return to our camp for a three-course dinner and champagne to celebrate your achievement.

Day 7

Rest day after the long flight to South Pole. Do as much or as little as you like.

Day 8

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

Please note: the schedule must remain adaptable to weather, flight conditions and to the actual duration of your selected trip. We always prioritise 1. South Pole, 2. Emperor penguins, 3. Ice Tunnel and then remainder of activities.


  • 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 trip combines the magnificent Emperor Penguins with a flight to the most southern 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 more than a week 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

Nov 20 to 28, 2018
Nov 28 to Dec 6, 2018
Jan 10 to 17, 2019
Nov 29 to Dec 6, 2019 (price not yet released) Availability: Yes
Download Trip Brochure (pdf)
per person ex-Cape Town, Sth Africa
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