The program is offered aboard Midnatsol's six voyages between November 2016 and March 2017.
Opportunities to assist the expedition team are an important part of the program, giving kids hands-on experiences and a chance to learn about the rigors of exploration. The Young Explorers Program is free, and is best suited for ages 7-13. It was designed using the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators guidelines as the foundation.
Children will be greeted by Young Explorers Program staff upon embarkation, and a special 'Introduction to Antarctica' will prepare them for their journey to the White Continent. Each young explorer will receive a field note workbook with chapters on science, polar history, photography and nautical studies. Science lessons will take place in the science center (which is also open to adults), where children will look into the biology and geology of the Southern Ocean using real field samples.
Polar history activities include a re-creation of the Amundsen party reaching the South Pole, while photography professionals give lessons to encourage youngsters to capture the majesty of Antarctica. Navigation officers are on hand to help teach nautical basics, culminating in an exclusive meeting with the captain. Each lesson completed in the workbook earns the young explorer one stamp; completing the workbook earns a prize and an official certificate.
In addition, kids will be introduced to EcoChains, a new environmental card game.
Because many young explorers are fascinated by the expedition team, the program allows kids to assist with their duties. On one Antarctica landing, they'll be invited to help the staff set up the landing site before passengers go ashore. This may involve digging snow steps, carrying emergency equipment from the boat, placing flags and cones for path making, or standing post by a penguin colony with expedition team members. Explorers are accompanied by a staff member at all times.
Among Midnatsol's itineraries are 'Legendary Magellan Chilean Fjords and Antarctica,' an 18-day holiday voyage in the fjords, Falkland Islands and Antarctica, priced starting at $7,728. 'Discover Patagonia & Antarctica' is an in-depth exploration of 16 days, priced from $6,666.