Expedition Planning & Guiding

Expedition Planning: Knowledge to Complement your Team

Explore the places others don’t go to with the support of an experienced Ice Pilot. We help with all aspects of the technical challenges involved in leading expeditions in the Polar regions and offer an extensive list of services to make your expeditions a reality, from comprehensive expedition planning to advising how to prepare for and run your own expedition.

Journeys to the Poles require significant expedition planning to ensure that legal and environmental requirements are met, including the experience required to receive a permits to enter the Polar regions. Hiring Ice Pilot means you can outsource this time consuming job of obtaining the necessary permits and approvals.

Typical lead times

  • Three months to enter the Antarctic Treaty Zone
  • Two months for Svalbard.

Knowledge of the regulations for each of the different regions is vital.

In conjunction with our partners, we offer:

  • Permit applications and IEE (Initial Environmental Evaluations) to include contingency planning and evacuation protocols.
  • Detailed itinerary / expedition planning including chart lists, and sources for weather and ice information
  • Travel, provisioning and bunkering logistics
  • Ice piloting and generalist guiding
  • Specialist staff including naturalists, doctors, pilots, photographers/videographers, and dive guides
  • Expedition outfitting, including equipment, clothing, spares, and first aid kits
  • Expedition shoreside support
  • Operations within environmental standards

Permit Applications

Most of the Polar regions are protected areas and vessel must have permits to enter them along with gun permits in the Northern Polar regions. We can help identify necessary permits and complete the application process for you.

Expedition Planning

Voyage Planning and Vessel Preparation

Your ice pilot can work with your captain to prepare your yacht for the remote cruising in the high latitudes including realistic voyage planning and a database with little known anchorages and charted areas. We design itineraries using our deep knowledge of the cruising grounds, our network of local contacts and background as superyacht crew. Where possible shore activities will be planned to provide the best possible experience.

We can advise you on the challenge of the polar environment and help answer questions, such as:

  • When should you go?
  • What conditions will you encounter?
  • How do you decrease your environmental impact and comply with the Antarctic Treaty, Svalbard and Greenland regulations?
  • What about firearms licensing and protection for Polar bear regions?
  • What onboard systems will struggle with the ice and glacial sediment?

Expedition Guiding

Ice Pilot has expert knowledge of local conditions, anchorages and activities, with 30 years marine experience.

Your ice pilot can provide generalist knowledge of the regions history, geomorphology and wildlife providing a formal presentation on each landing spot and the general scenery of the area bringing the region to life.  If you require more specialist naturalists or photographers/videographers we can introduce you to the best in their field.

As the permit holder for the expedition, your ice pilot will ensure all activities are within the confines of the various jurisdictions, promoting, practicing safe and environmentally responsible tourism in the pristine and ecologically sensitive areas. We ensure your expedition is run to the same high safety and environment standards as an IATTO expedition by using the same operating procedures. If we are completing an existing crew, we will join as a specialist team member of your established crew and will work with them to enhance the operating style of a yacht to comply with local environmental regulations.

Expedition Outfitting

Special equipment and clothing are necessary to provide an enjoyable and safe cruise. We can provide or advise on stranding kits, clothing, specialist first aid, and contingency kits. We will recommend books, maps, reading lists, and videos to enhance the guest experience. We will provide our own charts and shoreside emergency kits, which will save you a significant amount of money and keeps purchases of extra equipment not required after the expedition to a minimum.