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Southernmost Journey By Ship

January 11 2001

Press Release

The Russian icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov has today reached a new southernmost record for shipping in Antarctica at 78 degrees 37 minutes south. The ship, commanded by Russian Captain Petr Golikov, and chartered by Quark Expeditions Ltd, reached the site at 4.00pm NZ time.

This is nine miles further south than the previous record set by Roald Amundsen during his successful attempt on the South Pole in 1911. The American aviator and explorer Richard Byrd also used this site for his successful first ever flight to the South Pole in November 1929.

This was in a new part of the Bay of Whales, which has been totally reformed by the calving of the giant icebergs B15, B17, and B19.

New Zealand expedition staff assisted 96 passengers to land at this historic location. Passengers were escorted approximately one kilometer along a flagged route inland and on to the Ross Ice Shelf. Weather on site was 35km/hr and temperature was minus 6 degrees Celsius. The flags of New Zealand (Ross Dependency), Norway (Roald Amundsen), USA (Richard Byrd), British (Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott) and Russia (Peter Golikov, Captain of the Kapitan Khlebnikov).

Several bottles of champagne were consumed.

The new ice-front of the shelf formed by the calving of B15 has been mapped by scientists and officers on board. Earlier the ship sailed past the B15A iceberg taking 7 hours to traverse its length of 170 kilometers.

New Zealanders (L to R) New Zealand Government Representative Rob McCallum (Franz Josef Glacier), Quark Expeditions staff member Keith Springer (Glenorchy), Quark Expeditions Staff member Belinda Sawyer (Stewart Island), Quark Expeditions Staff member Dr Harry Keys (Turangi) at the new Southernmost limit reached by ship in Antarctica.

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