Please read the below information carefully! It will help you in your preparations for the Antarctica expedition on board the Bark EUROPA.
Weather - It will be summer in Antarctica, days will be long, nights short. Temperatures will probably not be as low as you think, but it is the wind chill, hail and snow you are dealing with. Staying warm, dry and comfortable will allow you to maximize the enjoyment of your experience. Long thermal underwear is the fundament of the (many) layers you will wear.
Remote area – We would like to remind you and make it very clear that our expedition brings us into a remote area with very limited accessibility and availability for rescue in case of an emergency. Please follow the instructions of the crew on board the Bark EUROPA at all times. For your own safety and wellbeing you must be in good health when joining the Bark EUROPA.
Fitness – Landings: You will be brought ashore with the zodiacs (rubber dinghies). To get into the (moving) zodiac you need to climb down a rope ladder along the ships hull. Usually landings are on pebble beaches and you will have to walk through the water before standing on dry pebble beach.
Walks ashore may vary with difficulty and are different on every location we visit. There are walks on pebble/sandy beaches but there might be some steep hills to overcome with a snowy underground to walk on.
Please keep in mind it is not a bad idea to get started with training to gain body strength and maybe even loose some weight if necessary. You will enjoy your voyage even more when you are fit. Please inform us about any changes in your health occurring in the months before embarkation.
Watch system - During the crossing of the Drake Passage we will sail 24/7 and a watch system (4 hours on watch – 8 hours off watch) will be applicable for everyone to get to the Antarctic peninsula swift and safely. It will be a real part of the experience on board the bark EUROPA. You will assist in hoisting and taking away sails, steering the ship and be a lookout for icebergs and other shipping traffic. No prior experience necessary. A day-watch system is in effect when you are in Antarctica and volunteers are asked for anchor watch at night.
Guides – The Bark EUROPA has to arrange a special permit to be able to visit Antarctica. Therefore we request from everybody to follow all directions given by the guides at all times. This is for your own safety and the safety of the group you are traveling with. There are certain rules for landing on Antarctica (and South Georgia) set by the International Association Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) and through the International Antarctic Treaty. The treaty serves several purposes: to protect Antarctic wildlife, to respect protected areas, to respect scientific research, to keep Antarctica pristine, to be safe while visiting and to minimise potential impacts on the environment and wildlife. Read more: Don't Pack a Pest and Visitors Guidelines
IAATO - As a member of IAATO the Bark EUROPA crew and trainees will and must keep rules and regulations in mind when visiting Antarctica. You will be instructed thoroughly on board on how to behave and what not to do. It is not allowed to walk and wander around wherever you wish while being on shore.
Wildlife – While on shore it is prohibited to disturb the wildlife you encounter. Animals will sometimes come very close, however you must keep your distance and give right of way to all animals passing or crossing your path. You will be legally prosecuted if you disturb wildlife on purpose. Read more: Wildlife watching guidlines
Photographs + Drones – You will have the possibility to see animals close by – while keeping your distance. To reach the best photo/video result we recommend you to bring a zoom lens next to your regular lens(es). Please keep in mind drones are prohibited.