Poseidon Expeditions - your polar cruise operator

Camping in Antarctica

6.pngImagine a pristine polar paradise, icebergs, penguins and the feeling of being far away from the civilized world…and yourself cuddled up in a warm sleeping bag in the middle of it all! Have you got what it takes to become a real polar expeditioner? Then sign up for camping in Antarctica! Swap your comfy Sea Spirit cabin for a night of polar adventure on the ice. And don’t worry, we’ll provide everything you need for an unforgettable adventure ashore.

Reasons to experience camping in Antarctica

  • Immerse yourself into the wild nature of Antarctica

  • Get a glimpse of how real explorers felt discovering the White Continent

  • Soak in the unique atmosphere of Antarctica from the comfort of your warm sleeping bag

  • Sleep under the sky of the Southern Hemisphere

  • Hear the sounds of the continent like squawks and honks from your beloved penguins

  • Beсome one of the very few who can proudly say they've camped in the open on the White Continent.

Camping details

Are you ready for camping in Antarctica?

You’ve booked your cruise and noticed the camping option – should you do it? Our answer will always be yes – trust us, this will make for extraordinary memories and is a highlight for many expeditioners! No prior camping or polar experience needed. You should be in good health with a reasonable level of fitness to participate in camping in Antarctica and we recommend checking with your physician beforehand if this activity is safe for you. Ensure that your medical emergency evacuation insurance does not exclude activities such as camping – this is important and we may check this prior to the trip. 

How does it work?

We’ll start with a briefing one day before your camping experience takes place. The briefing is mandatory so please don’t skip it or else you’ll have to stay behind on the ship. And what a pity to miss out on this adventure, having to hear all the amazing stories and experiences from returning campers at breakfast.

At the briefing we’ll show you how the camping gear works, go through logistics, safety and rules ashore. Campsites need to be scouted by us beforehand and everything depends on weather conditions, so we’ll usually know only a few hours in advance when we’ll go ashore for our adventure. On camp day, you’ll enjoy dinner aboard the Sea Spirit before starting your adventure. A Zodiac will then take you in a small group (max. 30 expeditioners) ashore and our team will help set up the campsite, assemble camp toilets (you are required to comply with our environmental rules and no-waste policy) and help you to get comfortable. There will be no transfer to the ship after your drop-off (only in case of an emergency). You’ll be slumbering in mummy sleeping bags suitable for temperatures as low as -18°C (0°F). Outside temperatures will range around 0°C (32°F) with a little below freezing during the night. You can’t bring any food or drinks except water, but we’ll promise the hearty breakfast next morning back aboard will taste like no other!

What’s provided by us?

We’ll equip you with mummy sleeping bags (they’re comfortable, water-repellent, connectable and designed for temperatures as low as -18°C/0°F), a freshly laundered cotton sleeping bag liner, an insulated foam sleeping pad and a waterproof nylon bivy sack (which slips over the sleeping bag). Members of our expedition team will camp out there with you, help you set up the sites and will be there all night in case you need any assistance.

What clothing is suitable for camping in Antarctica?

Dress like you’re going on a Zodiac cruise! Warm base-layers made from polyester or merino-wool are perfect, followed by middle layers of fleece or wool and topped off with a hat, socks, gloves, waterproof outer gear like snow pants and your Poseidon Expeditions parka. We do not recomment cotton clothes (poor heat retention) and suggest that you choose wool and synthetics instead! Bring one change of thermal underwear in case you sweat during campsite set-up or while exploring so you’ll start your night warm and dry. If you camp earlier in the season you’ll experience plenty of daylight, but during late summer in Antarctica it may get dark early. We recommend packing a torch/flashlight to find your way around the campsite, as well as any medication you may require.

What are the weather conditions like?

We carefully select the place and day for our camping expedition and monitor weather conditions to make this a pleasurable and safe experience. Usually temperatures ashore stay around 0°C (32°F), but it can get below freezing during the night. Our equipment is carefully selected to keep you warm and comfortable even during cooler nights.

Please see our How to Join and FAQ pages for more information.

How much does camping in Antarctica cost?

Camping price per person:
from $285 - A$385 - £220 - €275

Take a look below at our list of upcoming Antarctic voyages to discover when we offer camping adventure. Please contact our office for availability.

Destination Dates Days Activities Special offers Rates from
Antarctic Peninsula
Realm of Penguins & Icebergs
06 Dec - 17 Dec 2024 12 Sea Kayaking Camping Photography
Sold out
Antarctic Peninsula
Christmas in Antarctica
16 Dec - 27 Dec 2024 12 Sea Kayaking Camping Photography
US$ 10 095
per person
Antarctic Peninsula
New Year in Antarctica
26 Dec - 06 Jan 2025 12 Sea Kayaking Camping Photography
US$ 10 595
per person
Antarctic Circle
Crossing 66º South Latitude
24 Jan - 07 Feb 2025 15 Sea Kayaking Camping Photography
US$ 12 795
per person
Antarctic Peninsula
Realm of Penguins & Icebergs
06 Feb - 17 Feb 2025 12 Sea Kayaking Camping Photography
Sold out
Antarctic Peninsula
Realm of Penguins & Icebergs
16 Feb - 27 Feb 2025 12 Sea Kayaking Camping Photography
US$ 10 095
per person
Antarctic Peninsula
Christmas in Antarctica
17 Dec - 28 Dec 2025 12 Sea Kayaking Camping Photography SUPER EARLY BIRD SAVINGS UP TO 20% OFF*
US$ 10 395
US$ 8 836
per person
Destination Dates Days Activities Special offers Rates from
Nothing found.
Destination Dates Days Activities Special offers Rates from
Nothing found.

If you’re willing to forgo the comforts of the ship while braving the elements on a cold polar night for the sake of an unforgettable experience, then don’t miss your chance to take part in Antarctica Camping!

Antarctica Camping is offered on Sea Spirit voyages to the Antarctic Peninsula. Previous camping experience is not required, but good health and a spirit of adventure are necessary for getting the most out of this experience. More information can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Space in Antarctica Camping is limited to 30 campers per voyage, so to secure your spot we recommend that you sign up at the time of booking your voyage. You are welcome to add the option afterward, but there is the chance it will already be sold out. If Antarctica Camping is already full for your voyage, you can opt to join a waiting list.


Tips for camping

A few helpful pointers from our avid campers:

  • Layers! Make sure you layer your merino-wool garments and polyesters to keep comfy.

  • Change of clothes – just in case. Got a little wet or sweaty? Grab your back-up clothes and get dry in no time.

  • Keep your water bottle inside your sleeping bag to avoid freezing.

  • Be flexible. Be ready for your camping trip any evening – good weather is the green light for us to go!

  • Visit the bathroom aboard before going ashore. While there is a camping toilet available, it’s less comfortable than the one aboard.

Provided gear
  • Mummy sleeping bags

  • Waterproof bivy sack

  • Insulated foam sleeping pad

  • Freshly laundered sleeping bag liner

  • Signature Poseidon Expeditions parka

  • Rubber boots (during the cruise for shore landings and excursions)

  • Water bottle

Other recommended gear/clothing

  • Warm base-layers made from polyester or merino wool

  • Fleece or wool pullovers, pants, socks, hats and gloves

  • Waterproof pants and parka

  • Flashlight

  • Medication (at least for 2 days)

Complete rules and detailed information about Antarctica Camping can be viewed and downloaded here:

 Antarctica Camping Information Packet

Liability Waiver

Antarctica Camping is an optional activity offered by Poseidon Expeditions on selected Sea Spirit voyages to the Antarctic Peninsula region. This is your chance to spend a memorable night camping on the snow and ice of Antarctica!

Spending a night camping is a great way to immerse yourself in Antarctica. You can spend an hour—or all night—simply watching the drama of endlessly changing light or listening to the clamor of scurrying penguins (all depending on the weather and location, of course). Or perhaps you would like to capture that perfect photo or simply fall asleep beneath the austral firmament. Whatever joy Antarctica holds for you, you can take the time to appreciate it fully on your Antarctica Camping night. For some, the idea of spending a night away from their comfortable beds on the warm ship—and away from the fully-stocked bar—is laughable. For others, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Antarctica on its own terms. You will gain lasting memories, undeniable bragging rights, and a new appreciation for your warm bed back on the ship during your polar cruise.

Antarctica Camping is limited to 30 participants per voyage.

Antarctica Camping is ideal for those who are willing to brave the elements and to sacrifice some comfort for the sake of an unforgettable experience. Previous camping experience is not required, though you should be reasonably ambulatory and in good health to avoid exposing yourself to an undue level of risk.

Please note that you will be expected to prepare your own campsite by digging a pit in the snow up to one meter deep for your bivy sack. Perhaps even more crucially, adopting a spirit of adventure will enable you to get the most out of an experience that is not known for a high level of comfort.

Safety is our top priority. We have many safety measures and emergency procedures in place. However, you should understand that Antarctica Camping will take place away from the safety of the ship for an extended period of time in one of the most remote and inhospitable environments on Earth, so there will necessarily be some risk. Please see our Antarctica Camping Liability Waiver for more details.

No, you just bring yourself, dressed just as if you’re going on a Zodiac excursion or shore landing. Dress warm base- and middle-layers made of polyester, fleece or wool and waterproof outer layers (including your signature Poseidon Expeditions parka). Don’t forget your hat, gloves and warm socks!

We actually do not provide tent camping in Antarctica. We offer the unique experience of sleeping in comfortable and warm sleeping bags under the beautiful sky of the Southern Hemisphere. The outside temperatures will be around 0°C (32°F), but if dressed appropriately you’ll be very comfortable and warm inside your sleeping bag.

Previous camping experience is not required. You will be given instructions on how to use the camping gear. Please understand, however, that those who have never camped before may find the experience of sleeping on the ground to be a quite a departure from what they are used to. Even seasoned campers may find that camping on snow and ice takes an adjustment.

Antarctica Camping requires a considerable amount of physical stamina in the presence of many risks to your health. Assistance from a doctor will not be near at hand and assistance from the ship may be significantly delayed in the event of an emergency. Antarctica Camping is designed for most people but it may not be for you if you are not in good health and reasonably ambulatory.

If you have camped in the past, then you can use your experience as a benchmark with the expectation that Antarctica Camping will have the added challenge of camping on ice and snow in sub-freezing temperatures. If you have not been camping in some time and you do not normally engage in physical outdoor activities, then we encourage you to consult with your doctor to make sure you have a sufficient level of health and fitness to have a safe and enjoyable time camping with us.

Children who are between 12 and 18 years of age at the time of their voyage are allowed to participate in Antarctica Camping only if they are accompanied and supervised at all times during camping activities by their parents or a representative.

If your language is accommodated on board for your particular voyage, then we will be sure to accommodate your language during camping.

Space in the program is limited, so to secure your spot we recommended that you book Antarctica Camping at the same time you book your voyage. You are welcome to request a spot after booking your voyage, but this will be subject to the availability at the time of your request.

No, you aren’t allowed to take any food or drinks except water. If you have a medical necessity to take some food (snacks) you can take them, but please check with us prior.

There are various locations on and around the Antarctic Peninsula that are known to have good possibilities for camping. Your expedition leader and camping guides will determine the night and location of camping based on weather, site suitability, and other factors. A suitable location is one that, among other things, has a sufficiently large, level, and snow-covered area for camping.

We will endeavor to offer one overnight camping experience per voyage. The possibility of camping is largely dependent on highly changeable and unpredictable weather and ice conditions. We will do our best to provide a camping opportunity on your voyage but please keep in mind we may be unable to do so. If we are unable to offer camping on your voyage, then you will receive a full refund of any camping fee paid.

Camping night starts after having dinner on board and lasts until you get picked up before breakfast the next morning. Normally the time spent ashore is not more than ten hours. There will be the possibility to go back to the ship during the night in case of an emergency. Otherwise, you will be expected to be out with your camping group the whole time. Please also keep in mind that your time ashore can be prolonged beyond the anticipated pick-up time due to sudden and unforeseen changes in weather and/or ice conditions.

On our Antarctica camping trips campsite locations cannot be determined beforehand and depend on weather conditions. We carefully select them to meet our needs and to guarantee a safe and enjoyable night ashore.

Our expedition ship will always be close-by while camping open air. In case of an emergency, a Zodiac boat will take us back aboard where we have a physician on staff.

You will receive a warm and comfortable sleeping bag (rated to −18°C / 0°F) with a freshly laundered liner and full-length foam sleeping pad. You will stay dry inside a single-person bivy sack that slips over your sleeping bag. Please see our Antarctica Camping Preparation Notes for more information.

Yes, we will set up a camping toilet, but keep in mind this is not a regular bathroom like on the ship. Our camping toilet is basic and we recommend (for your own comfort) to use the bathroom before we start our night out camping.

Your camping guides will assemble camp toilets in areas of relative privacy, clearly marked and within easy walking distance of the camping area. You will be required to use the toilets provided when nature calls. Environmental guidelines prescribe that the staff carry all waste products back to the ship, so it will be a good idea to take advantage of the ship’s facilities before heading ashore for your camping experience.

Temperatures normally hover around freezing (0°C / 32°F) and will often go a few degrees below freezing overnight. Snow that is of a wet consistency in the evening will usually be frozen solid by morning. Fresh snowfall is always a possibility. Camping will not be initiated on nights when adverse weather conditions exist or are expected. However, inclement weather can arise suddenly and without warning anytime.

In case of severe weather developing overnight, an evacuation back to the ship will be attempted. It is possible, though unlikely, that your group may be required to stay on shore for an extended period of time in severe weather conditions. Be assured, your camping guides will be well-prepared with emergency equipment for this contingency.

Prior to camping night your guides will give a comprehensive orientation briefing, which will include the IAATO guidelines by which you must abide. For example, you will not be allowed to bring any stoves, fuel, or food ashore. Generally all rules that apply to shore landings apply to camping.

The main difference between the early season (November through January) and the late season (February and March) is the amount of ambient light at night. In the early season, though the sun does set, twilight lingers throughout the night. In the late season it is quite dark most of the night.

All passengers on Sea Spirit voyages to Antarctica must purchase travel medical insurance which should include emergency evacuation and repatriation. We recommend coverage of at least USD 200,000. Passengers participating in Antarctica Camping must ensure that their policy does not exclude camping.

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