Sailing Antarctica

About …. Spirit of Sydney

Spirit of Sydney, an icon of Australian yachting, was originally designed and built for the 1986 BOC single handed around the world race by America’s Cup winner Ben Lexcen. Spirit is an ocean greyhound with real sailing ability and thoroughbred performance, and has been sailing the Southern Ocean and plying Antarctic waters every summer since 1994, having made over 35 trips to various parts of Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic. Spirit is a tough heavily constructed 60ft aluminium yacht with 6 watertight compartments and an over built sailing rig ready for the southern ocean.


Spirit of Sydney  regularly supports expeditions in all parts of Antarctica  with groups such as documentary makers from Discovery Channel’s  Globetrekker, or scientists from Australian Antarctic Division, (albatross research) Oregon State University Marine mammals Institute (tagging humpback Whales ) ,University of British Columbia, (Orca study), as well as television documentaries, like Animal Planets Steve Irwin The Croc Hunter, or “2 Below Zero” where Spirit of Sydney  delivered 4.5 tons of equipment from Hobart to Commonwealth Bay for a 12 month winter-over near Mawson’s Hut. Other expeditions have included, National Geographic photographers, mountaineers, dry suit divers and kayaking expeditions including Andrew Mc Cauley’s epic sea kayaking expedition in Antarctica. Last season 13 school children from Geelong Grammar sailed aboard Spirit of Sydney and Podorange for a very memorable expedition, sailing, kayaking and ski touring the peninsula. Spirit of Sydney has also sailed to Macquarie Island, Ross Sea, Weddell Sea, South Georgia Island and to the Magnetic South Pole.


Spirit has been meticulously maintained and refitted, so that she has evolved on a yearly basis.  For example, in 2002 Spirit had a major refit which included a new engine, new mainsail, installation of a Plexiglas cockpit dodger and other work.  In 2004, Spirit sailed to Buenos-Aires for another full refit, gaining at that time a new saloon and navigation area, central heating, a hot water system and a custom water maker designed specifically for Antarctic waters. During the winter of 2010, 2012 and 2014, Spirit was again refitted, carefully surveyed and much preventative maintenance carried out. 


Spirit of Sydney has 'state of the art' weather and communications systems. Individual email accounts are provided for guests and daily uploads are possible via the Iridium sat phone network.  She is also equipped with Xaxero’s Sky-Eye System for real time satellite image downloads of weather systems which can be cross referenced with weather information from Global Marine Network. 


Fitness levels

These trips are designed for fit, agile and active people who have adventurous and positive outlooks.  Participation is the key to enjoyment.


No sailing experience is required.

There is no age limit as we have had fit and active people of all ages, even a 77year old sea kayaker who was out paddling almost every day!

All expeditioners will need to have a medical before departure as we are operating in a remote area, and its best for all concerned to have no surprises.


What’s included:
Once you step aboard ‘Spirit of Sydney’ all food, drinks including local beer and Argentinean wine, port fees and Antarctic permits, and Iaato passenger fees are supplied. You need only bring some US dollars for buying souvenirs at Antarctic bases we may visit and for gratuities. You may also wish to bring a bottle of whiskey etc for nightcaps. Kayak rental is included and 4 kayaks are carried aboard, although more can be provided by arrangement.


What’s not included:
Personal clothing and equipment, Travel insurance, Entry visa for Argentina, Hotel and meals in Ushuaia, Travel to and from Ushuaia. Iridium communications while on board. Cost of Medicals.

Drysuit for kayaking US$200.00 


Sea Kayaking

What’s included:

Current Designs ‘Storm’ kayaks ,paddles with pogies , spray deck, pump, lifejacket.

We also have 6 hand held VHFs, 2 hand held GPS.

Drysuits – you may bring your own, or hire from us for US $200 for the duration of the trip.


Sea Kayaking option
Spirit of Sydney owns 8 Current Designs ‘Storms’ making it possible for you to not only cruise the Antarctic Peninsula but drop your kayak in the water and paddle it. There is no better way to see this place than from a kayak. It has a magic power over everyone who paddles in this area! You may want to paddle for a few hours, or a few days, may be camping over on an Island for the night. Spirit of Sydney Expeditions is the only company working in Antarctica that can offer the equipment, the time and flexibility for extended paddling that is not possible on a ship based trip. Sea kayaking is highly recommended as the ultimate way to experience Antarctica ‘up close and personal’. (Kayakers must paddle in pairs.)


Qantas, Lan Chile and Aerolineas Argentinas has regular flights to Buenos Aires with connection to Ushuaia. Hotel accommodation in Ushuaia is relatively inexpensive at around 200 pesos per night, It’s a good idea to book flights asap for better rates, and please allow a few days at either end. 


COST and BOOKING US $14,250  for the 26 days.
Due to the forward planning necessary, and seasonal nature of our business, a deposit of 30% is due on booking with 2 further instalments completing full payment by October 15th 2014. On booking, guests will be provided with Charter Agreements, Medical Forms and Gear Lists, or contact us for further details. Please note that the terms of the Charter Agreement, provides for full refunds in the unlikely event that we do not proceed with the trip.