Prepare Your Season
For a successful Antarctic season, everything needs to be well-prepared far in advance. Under this section, you will find all the documents and information necessary for optimal preparation.
IPF as Antarctic Operator
The International Polar Foundation was mandated as Antarctic Operator by the Belgian Polar Secretariat. As such, the IPF takes care of all aspects related to the expeditions to Antarctica, from supplying the necessary clothing to the team members to ensuring that all the necessary instruments arrive on site.
In its role as an Antarctic Operator, the IPF carries out all the necessary technical updates and maintenance activities needed to ensure the Princess Elisabeth Station's efficiency.
The Dronning Maud Land Air Network (DROMLAN) is an air network supported by a consortium of the eleven national programmes that have stations or operations in Dronning Maud Land.
Dronning Maud Land Shipments (DROMSHIP) is the shipping network set up by six national operators: Belgium, Finland, Germany, Norway, and Sweden.
The Antarctic Logistics Centre International (ALCI) is responsible for the intercontinental air bridge between Cape Town (South Africa) and Novolazarevskaya station during the austral summer.
The Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) gathers 28 National Antarctic Programs to develop and promote best practice in managing the support of scientific research in Antarctica.
Though breathtaking, Antarctic remains treacherous and difficult terrain for the ill-prepared. In order to ensure safe operations and research in Antarctica, the International Polar Foundation (IPF) organizes a crevasse training in Svalbard.
Taking all BELARE participants through this basic training will ensure that all safety measures and emergency operations are well-known by all. Not only crucial to ensure smooth operations on the ground, the training will offer additional security in a land devoid of major treatment solutions.
Before the start of every season, the International Polar Foundation organizes a season briefing with all future team members. While the meeting is the opportunity for those new to the team to meet the crew, it is also the time to learn more about procedures and about the precise schedule of the season.
The briefing was designed to answer future participant's last questions and address their needs before the next meeting in Cape Town (South Africa).
Depending on the season, the icebreaker can either depart from Antwerp or Zeebrugge. However, all ships hold their final main stop in Cape Town (South Africa), before heading towards the Antarctic continent.
After roughly 20 days at sea, the ship finally reaches Breid Bay, where the BELARE expedition team will be ready for offloading and transporting the goods to the Princess Elisabeth Station over 200km of well-marked terrain.
Going by Plane
Regardless of where they come from, all team members fly into Cape Town (South Africa) and gather for the latest meetings and fine-tuning before taking off to Antarctica.
After a first six-hour flight, the team will land in Novolazarevskaya. Leaving the Russian base, all team members will board smaller domestic flights to finally reach the Princess Elisabeth Station, 200km inland.