Icebird is an extremely strong, heavy-duty expedition yacht that was custom-built by the well-respected Trintella Shipyard in the Netherlands. Icebird's 60ft aluminium hull is re-inforced to enable her to operate safely in ice. She has 6 watertight compartments, including the engine room, and is insulated throughout. Together with central heating, this makes her ideal for comfortable expedition sailing in Antarctica. Her hydraulically operated lifting keel can reduce her draft to a mere 1.9 metres, allowing access to safe shallow anchorages and out of the path of drifting ice. When down, the 3.3m keel, with its10-ton foil and 5 tonnes of lead bulb, ensures excellent handling in even the roughest of seas.
Icebird has an enclosed, heated and double-glazed pilot house saloon with 360 degree vision that provides comfort and shelter from the elements while on watch, as well as for enjoying the spectacular Antarctic views in comfort. The pilot-house is equipped with comprehensive navigation, communication, pilotage, and monitoring systems. There are two bathrooms which are serviced by a large capacity watermaker, and even heated towel rails for drying your gear, a boot drier, washer-drier and bread-maker.
Icebird can comfortably accommodate 6 guests, plus a skipper, mate and expedition leader, and has the capacity to store plenty of gear, including skis and inflatable power-boat, in her large ‘garage’ compartment. Her aero-rig means that the deck is uncluttered and clear of ropes, providing ideal storage for our fleet of sea kayaks - great toys for exploring the Antarctic coastline during rest days or when low clouds obscure the mountains.
The yacht is fitted with a modern Aero-Rig - a 100ft carbon mast with fixed boom that rotate together in order to sail. This makes the sailing relatively straight-forward, and is very well suited to sailing in the Southern Ocean. She is registered for commercial charter and is classified for operating in all oceans including Arctic and Antarctic waters.
All expedition members are expected to perform watch duties, assist with sailing, cooking and cleaning. Prior sailing experience is not necessary since all necessary training is given on board, although members should expect some rough seas and cold weather.
Icebird is a member of IAATO (the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) and conforms to all requirements for safe, environmentally-responsible and sustainable tourism.