The 133-foot Queen of Diamonds and the 255-foot Lone Ranger may be polar opposites on the design scale – Queen of Diamonds being a purpose-built yacht, from Feadship, while Lone Ranger is a converted salvage tug – but they’re equally polar in their explorations. That is to say, both have explored Antarctic waters.
Taking on those waters is a challenge, to say the least, and the same holds true for the nearby regions of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, a.k.a. “the end of the world,” as its capital, Ushuaia, is the southernmost city on the globe. Is it the desire to conquer these challenges, or merely to explore pristine territory? It could be a combination of both. Regardless, adventures await those who do cruise there – but so do myriad details like arranging government permission and documentation, arranging port agents, and obtaining ice charts.
To assist with these, as well as to lead memorable ventures in the northern Arctic regions, a team of experienced sailors has created Last Border Marine Consulting.
Founded by Argentine natives Sebastian Arrebola and Christian Rotger, Last Border taps their expertise, gleaned from spending about a decade in the Antarctic cruise industry, on top of even more time sailing both Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. (Arrebola’s experience is particularly intriguing: His first trip to Antarctica was aboard a 36-footer, lasting a month.) Arrebola and Rotger, who are fluent in English and Spanish, have additionally assembled a team that includes marine biologists, ice pilots, captains, Zodiac drivers, and marine consultants knowledgeable about the region’s weather.
From its base in Ushuaia, Last Border can handle everything from assisting with obtaining the necessary permits and documents to provisioning your yacht. The company additionally advises how to prepare the yacht for navigating in polar waters and, specific to Antarctica, presents the necessary Environmental Impact Assessments to Dirección Nacional del Antártico, the Argentine organization overseeing Antarctica. Because Antarctica is nearly free of pollution and other negative human impacts, the documents are required by treaty to ensure its conservation.
Last Border can additionally plan an itinerary, advising on places to visit, anchorages, and landing sites; maps and charts can be furnished upon request, too. The team further will provide an ice pilot to come aboard for portions of your trip. Regardless, you can take advantage of a shore backup who will provide you with weather and ice reports throughout your trip.
Besides acres of ice and glaciers, what can you expect to see? How about wildlife like the arctic tern (pictured) and polar bears? Last Border says it can arrange hikes along the tundra and even visits with native Inuit communities in the Arctic regions of Canada and Greenland. Near Antarctica, you can explore South Georgia, one of the most remote islands in the world, as well as the Falkland Islands and see wildlife like black-browed albatross and various penguins. For those who’ve rounded Cape Horn and are on the return back to the South American continent, Last Border recommends cruising, kayaking, and even hiking along the Darwin Range, comprised of glaciers and snow-capped mountains that seem to cascade straight into the sea.
For more details, contact Last Border.