Landing and wildlife viewing in Antarctica
Aurora Expeditions believes that travel to remote destinations can create lifelong ambassadors for environmental protection. Sensitivity to environmental considerations is a core part of our culture and our staff have a unique ability to share their love and respect of nature with our passengers. We take every opportunity to explain the fragile ecosystems we encounter.
All expeditioners will be briefed on appropriate environmental codes of conduct and the reasons for such guidelines at a compulsory briefing on board before the first outing. You will learn how to enhance your visit to Antarctica without being intrusive. These skills can be taken back home and planted in your own backyards.
Here are a few guidelines that you will be asked to follow on all our Antarctic expeditions.
Listen to staff instructions.
Keep track of time.
Return to the landing site prior to the appointed time of departure.
Wait for a staff briefing at the landing site before exploring.
Never wander off alone or out of sight of the staff positioned ashore.
If you hear the ship’s horn or a staff member asks, you must return to the landing site immediately.
Do not walk onto glaciers – there may be hidden crevasses
No smoking on shore.
No littering, souvenir collecting, or urinating ashore.
Do not pull up bones or artifacts that are buried in the turf.
Anything you take to a landing should be returned to the ship.
Leave nothing but footprints.
Behaviour near wildlife
Do not touch the wildlife.
Keep a minimum distance of 5 metres from all animals – especially nesting birds.
If an animal’s behaviour changes – you are too close.
If a bird leaves its nest, the eggs or chicks may die.
Seals in Antarctica can be dangerous, keep a greater distance than 5 metres from them.
Always give wildlife the right of way.
Avoid coming between an animal and the shore.
Be aware of your surroundings
Move slowly and always check behind you before backing up.
Birds flying or calling overhead normally signifies you are too close to a nest. Carefully retrace your steps the way you came.
Do not make any sudden movements.
Keep quiet – do not make loud or sudden noises.
Keep low if possible – you will appear less threatening to animals and it will also create better photographs for you.
Do not try to make an animal react for a photograph.
Patience is the best reward.
Protecting fragile vegetation
Avoid walking on moss beds, lichens, or grasses in Antarctica. They are very delicate and slow growing.
Always wash your boots on the ship before and after each landing.