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By way of introduction a word about our style of voyaging and some factors to take into account when planning to charter from Pelagic Expeditions.

Although the Pelagics are charter vessels, we like to think of our voyages in terms of ‘expeditioning’ rather than ‘charter cruising’. The latter might conjure up visions of inactivity, rum and tonic sunsets and subservient behaviour paid to the guests by the professional crew.

Instead, our aim is give the crew (our guests) a sense of participation in all facets of operating a small vessel in a remote area. The following perspective is one I like to pass on:

“When you have to do your own dishes you’re on an expedition, if not, you are chartering.”

The vessels will always have a dedicated cook/mate, so if necessary meals will be prepared throughout, although everyone is encouraged to try their hand in the galley.

Washing up after meals, however, is taken in turn. On deck, everyone will be expected to do a bit of steering, sail handling and help with launching and re-embarking the dinghy. No prior experience is needed for any of these activities.

Both vessels are fully equipped for comfort. It is dry and warm below, there are proper bunks and spacious head compartments with hot water showers. We have a library and a good selection of music. In short, it is eminently suitable for expedition sailing in extreme environments.

They are not, however, luxury ‘yachts’ in the sense they have no varnish work or fancy stainless steel fittings on deck, nor hardwood veneer bulkheads below. One client recently complained we had no shaver socket in the head. Well, we probably never will! Our philosophy is simplicity. When you keep a boat mechanically simple, you spend less time with your ‘head in the bilge’ and have more time to enjoy where you are going.

A note about our water supply. We have 2500 liters of fresh water on Pelagic Australis. We do not have a water maker. Therefore water for showering is somewhat limited, but normally we shower every other day or so – you will find it is not necessary to shower daily in these cold conditions. Rather than make water endlessly via a water maker, implying running a generator endlessly to achieve that, we prefer to run ‘quiet,’ and resupply en route from the waterfalls in Tierra del Fuego or by collecting glacial run off from Antarctica – all part of our philosophy to use an available resource (requiring some physical effort and ingenuity!) rather than process it.

Planning and Organisational Responsibilities

We are principally a logistic and support service. Although we do offer suggested itineraries as outlined in the option pages, we are not a travel agent.

We can give advice with travel plans, but all arrangements, bookings, permits etc, are the responsibility of the client.

For areas requiring special permits, i.e. South Georgia and Antarctica, we will give advice, refer clients to some of the relevant authorities and give environmental guidelines. However, it is the clients responsibility to find out if they need permits from their national authorities (and any other clearances such as visas etc) for their expedition’s land based activities e.g. travel to and from ports of embarkation/disembarkation, climbing, skiing, science projects etc.

Pelagic Expeditions will apply for and obtain its own permit as a carrier with the UK Foreign Office.

In the event the client cannot obtain a permit as required by his national authority (or other relevant clearances/documentation) this will not constitute a basis for refund of any deposits paid.

The Possibility of Failure

Although our track record is well established, the possibility of failure and danger is by our definition implicit in an expedition. Otherwise it would not be an adventure!

Therefore we can give no guarantees that any expedition or group will reach its objectives. We will make our best efforts to stick to a client’s itinerary as agreed beforehand, but the possibility of modifications because of: weather, the limitations of a small sailing vessel and the skipper’s final say on decisions affecting safety, amongst other factors, must be accepted by the client.

Voyaging with Pelagic Expeditions is a true adventure where uncertainty is a key element in defining the quality of your experience. If you are looking for an arranged package, a more guaranteed itinerary and consequently a less intense and personal experience, we would be delighted to refer you to one of the many cruise ship companies that service these areas.

Skip Novak

Antarctic Peninsula
An expedition voyage of minimum 21 days on Pelagic Australis or 28 days on Pelagic. Suitable for skiers and climbers, divers or those that just want to take it all in. Humpback whales are guaranteed!

South Georgia
A true sailing expedition requiring a minimum of 28 days on Pelagic Australis or 35 days on Pelagic. Starting and ending from Stanley in the Falkland Islands, this is an exploratory mountaineers paradise, and THE place for sub-Antarctic wildlife.

The Falkland Islands
A two to three week cruise on either vessel. In addition to spectacular sailing (average wind speed 17knots) this trip offers epic wildlife observation, diving opportunities and sea trout fishing.

Cruise the Beagle Channel and Visit Cape Horn
This two week to three week cruise beginning and ending in Puerto Williams Chile visits the areas made famous by Darwin and Fitzroy, whilst on the voyages of HMS Beagle. A transit of Cape Horn is an option as well as trekking and climbing opportunities in the Cordillera Darwin.


Pelagic Australis transits between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres twice a year going Northwards in April/May and returning October/November. Places are available on these trips for those who wish to claim an equator crossing at sea, build significant ocean miles and/or brush up their sailing skills and celestial navigation with a qualified RYA instructor with a view to taking their RYA exams.


West Coast of Scotland – Norway West Coast and North Norway – Greenland – Spitsbergen/Svalbard – North West Passage are all available on a special project basis.

Our fleet consists of the tried and tested original Pelagic and the newly built Pelagic Australis which has evolved from 15 years experience in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean.

Pelagic Australis can take up to 10 passengers and 2 crew in comparatively greater comfort and speed. The vessel is equipped with the latest Inmarsat Fleet 77 satellite communications unit which facilitates running online and store and forward filming projects. The vessel is certified by DNV (Det Norske Veritas), has an MCA (Marine and Coastguard Agency from the UK) certificate for carrying passengers and is CE marked.

Pelagic carries up to 6 passengers and 2 crew and continues to offer the well proven standard service and is also suitable as a filming and logistic support vessel on two boat expeditions.


Servicing the needs of expeditions to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean region since 1988, Pelagic Expeditions can offer both consultancy and support to expeditions of every type including those wishing to re-enact great explorer’s exploits, conduct scientific surveys, make films, dive, climb, ski and kayak.

Super Yacht Consultancy

Our consultancy services are primarily for large luxury yachts wishing to visit the region. Our services include permitting, developing itineraries and providing Field Guides and Ice Pilots. (link here).

Mountaineering and Skiing Support

Our sea based mountaineering support experience is second to none in this region and the meticulous preparation and care needed for this most demanding of all activities underpins all our other expedition support work. Click here for a photo logbook of Pelagic supported climbssince 1988.

Film Project Support

Since 1988 we have supported, help make and many times featured in over two dozen films. Having the expertise in mountaineering, diving, kayaking and wildlife locations, we are one of the most flexible of vessel based organizations that fully understand production company’s requirements. Also see out Past Clients section.

Dive Support

Pelagic Australis is full kitted out for cold water diving, providing the client group with bottles, weights, two compressors and dive first aid gear. Our Zodiacs, which we always use in tandem for dive projects give maximum flexibility and safety cover.

Kayak and Small Boat Support

We have supported two circumnavigations by kayak of South Georgia and a film project on the Antarctic Peninsula that used kayaks as the mode of travel. In 1997 we supported the South Aris Project with a James Caird replica sailing from Elephant Island to South Georgia. See Kayak and Small Boat Support for details of the services we can offer in what is becoming an increasingly popular high latitude activity.