Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
The global site for cruising sailors
Sections
You are here: Home / Countries / Antarctica
By No owner — last modified Jan 31, 2013 01:56 PM

 Antarctica - Profile

Facts

  • Until very recently the number of sailing boats which visited the seventh continent could be counted in single figures. The increasing popularity of Patagonia among cruising sailors has now spilled over and every year more yachts venture south of the 60th parallel. Almost without exception, their destination is the Antarctic Peninsula, which extends northwards for about 300 miles from the permanently frozen landmass.
  • The western side of this peninsula is usually free of ice during the short summer, which makes it possible to find the occasional sheltered anchorage. In some milder years, the peninsula can be free of ice as far south as 70°S, but this is quite rare. The number of protected harbours is very small and any boat venturing that far south should be totally self-sufficient in every respect, as well as strong enough to withstand the danger of collision with floating ice, or even the possibility of being frozen in.
  • To study and protect the Antarctic, and also to carry out research in various fields, the international community has agreed to administer the territory jointly. These provisions are encompassed in the Antarctic Treaty which was signed in 1959 by Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the USSR, United Kingdom and USA. The Treaty came into force in 1961; since then a total of 44 countries have acceded to it.
  • The Treaty reserves the Antarctic area south of 60°S latitude for peaceful purposes, provides for international scientific co-operation, and preserves for the duration of the Treaty, the status quo as regards territorial rights and claims. In 1991 a Protocol on Environmental Protection was signed by the Treaty parties. The Protocol came into force in January 1998 following ratification by all consultative parties to the Antarctic Treaty. The Protocol consists of a framework document laying out a series of environmental principles contained in six annexes. These deal with environmental impact assessment, conservation of flora and fauna, waste disposal and management, prevention of marine pollution, protected areas and emergency liability.
  • Burocracy is marching on, also into the white continent. In case you plan a visit, make sure to comply with the requirements of the Antartic Treaty: www.ats.aq.
  • Neither provisions nor repair facilities are available and, for one's own safety, one should not expect to rely on outside help. The personnel of the research stations are usually far too busy to help out, and their resources are also limited, so help can only be expected in serious emergencies.
  • Charts may be incomplete or inaccurate; care should be taken over uncharted rocks.

British Antarctic Territory The British Antarctic Territory was established in 1962 and encompasses the lands and islands within the area south of 60°S lying between 20°W and 80°W. The area of approximately 500,000 sq miles (1.3 million sq km) includes the South Orkney and South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula (Palmer Land and Graham Land). There is no permanent population, but there is always a number of scientists and other personnel manning the various research stations.

Australian Antarctic Territory The AAT, with a total land area of 5,800,000 sq km, consists of all islands and territories south of latitude 60°S and between longitudes 45° and 160° east except for the French sector of Terre Adélie (which comprises the islands and territories south of 60°S latitude and between longitudes 136° and 142° east). The AAT is the single largest sector of the continent and covers much of east Antarctica. There are three stations (Mawson, Davis and Casey), and various summer bases and temporary field camps. There is a temporary population of scientists, ranging from about 70 in winter to 200 in summer.

Weather

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

Main Ports

There are several bases along the Antarctic Peninsula and most of them are manned during the summer months, when the area is most likely to be visited by cruising boats. None of them should be visited without prior arrangement, or they should be at least contacted on VHF radio before going ashore. The nearest are the Chilean and Argentine bases in Paradise Harbour (64°53'S 62°52'W), the Ukraine base at the Argentine Islands (formerly the British Faraday base at 65°15'S 64°16'W) and the US Palmer base on Anvers Island (64°45'S 64°03'W).

The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust usually has a person on duty during the summer months at the former base, now a museum, at Port Lockroy on Wiencke Island (64°49'S 63°31'W).

* indicates port of entry

Share |
Antarctica
Profile
Facts
Security
Weather
Main Ports
Formalities
Clearance
Immigration
Customs
Health
Documents
Fees
Restrictions
Local Customs
Clearance Agents
Pets
General Info
Time Zone
Yachting Essentials
Opening Hours
Money
Communications
Transport
Diplomatic Missions
Events
Emergencies
Publications
Links
Update History
Countries
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Angola
Anguilla
Antarctica
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Aruba
Ascension Island
Australia
Azores
BIOT (Chagos)
Bahamas
Bahrain
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Bermuda
Bonaire
Bosnia
Bouvetoya
Brazil
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Canary Islands
Cape Verdes
Cayman Islands
Channel Islands
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Cocos Keeling
Colombia
Comoros
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Curacao
Cyprus
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
East Timor (Timor Leste)
Easter Island
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Subantarctic Territory
Galapagos
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Hawaii
Heard, McDonald & Macquarie Islands
Honduras
Hong Kong
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Juan Fernandez Islands
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Latvia
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Madeira
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Marion & Prince Edward Island
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Monaco
Montenegro
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar (Burma)
Namibia
Nauru
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
Nicaragua
Niue
Norfolk Island
Northern Marianas
Norway
Oman
Palau (Belau)
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Island
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Reunion Island
Romania
Russia
Saba
Samoa
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Sint Maarten
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Spain
Spanish Virgin Islands
Sri Lanka
St Barts
St Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Martin
St Pierre & Miquelon
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Statia
Subantarctic & Southern Ocean Islands
Sudan
Suriname
Sweden
Syria
Taiwan
Tanzania
Thailand
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago
Tristan da Cunha
Tunisia
Turkey
Turks & Caicos
Tuvalu
US Virgin Islands
USA
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
Wallis and Futuna
Yemen