Ocean Expeditions

We are lucky to live on the blue planet...... Come and explore it.

22 May 2013

Ocean Expeditions

Roger and Ben Wallis operate an international charter service with the fully equipped 75′ steel-hulled motor sailor ‘AUSTRALIS’ and the 52′ steel-hulled yacht ‘PHILOS’. Both vessels are purpose built for high latitude expedition sailing.

‘AUSTRALIS’ – based in the Southern hemisphere is set up for both hard working commercial projects & laid-back luxury cruising. She is fully equipped to support expeditions, film crews, scientists, photographers, mountaineers, skiers, snowboarders, artists, bird watchers, divers, sightseers and adventurers of all descriptions. In addition to all the luxuries of a well appointed cruising vessel, she has large storage areas for equipment and a workshop. She carries 9 passengers and the crew.

‘PHILOS’ – based in the Northern hemisphere is set up for both small projects & laid-back cruising. She is a steel-hulled, schooner rigged yacht & carries a comprehensive range of safety, operational and navigational equipment to support expeditions, film crews, scientists, photographers, mountaineers, skiers, snowboarders, artists, bird watchers, divers, sightseers and adventurers of all descriptions. She carries 5 passengers and the crew.


Roger and Ben operate year round bouncing between the summer in the southern polar region during October to April and the summer in the northern polar region during July to September.

Roger and Ben are also open to suggestions for trips to other parts of the world !!


Our rates are variable depending on destination:

‘AUSTRALIS’ – based in the Southern hemisphere – eg. Antarctica & the Island of South Georgia. Please enquirer for pricing. The glacial regions of the Chilean Channels, Patagonia, Beagle Canal, Cape Horn & Falkland Islands AUD$3,983 per day. Prices  include food, fuel, port and permit fees. Most trips have a minimum duration, please check the destination pages for details.

‘PHILOS’ – based in the Northern hemisphere – eg. Greenland, Svalbard and the Arctic AUD $2,040 per day (to charter the entire vessel. This works out at AUD $408 per person). This includes food, fuel, port and permit fees.

Check out our Itinerary or contact us for upcoming trips

IAATO – Keeping Antarctica Pristine.

Iaato Ocean Expeditions
‘Australis’ was privileged enough to be the first Australian yacht to become a full member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), where the key is to follow responsible environmental policies. All those visiting Antarctica will be advised of minimum impact practices & minimum approach distances to wildlife.



20 October 2013

Shackleton ‘Epic’ re-enactment

DSC 0508 small Shackleton Epic re enactment‘Australis’ was the chosen support vessel for the successful 2013 Shackleton ‘Epic’ re-enactment, lead by Tim Jarvis, from Elephant Island to South Georgia via small boat journey and then the land based traverse from King Haarkon Bay to Stromness.
The expedition has been made into a three part series by Discovery channel named ‘Shackleton: Death or Glory’ and will go to air in the UK on Discovery channel as of the 24th October, then in Australia on SBS One as of November 23rd 2013 at 8:30.
Then in the USA, under the title of ‘Chasing Shackleton’, on 8th January 2014 on the Public Broadcasting Service.
It was an interesting piece of modern history for us to be involved in. Juggling the over all safety of the project, the demands associated with filming such an expedition combined with the elements of the Antarctic and southern ocean pushed us all to our limits. For more info & photos from behind the scenes go to the ‘Best of – Shackleton ‘Epic’ re-enactment Facebook album.

20 September 2012

North West Passage on Philos completed.

NWP 2012 300x184 North West Passage on Philos completed.Congratulations to Roger and the crew of Philos! They’ve just passed south of the Arctic Circle to complete their first North West Passage! Philos was the first private vessel to make it through the passage this season. Due to weather and ice conditions they followed Roald Amundsen’s track, the first route navigated by ship, the Gjøa, in 1905, they stopped at the settlements of Resolute, Gjoa Haven and Cambridge Bay. Well done guys!

16 July 2012

A call for more scientific research onboard our vessels

OE science brochure2 106x150 A call for more scientific research onboard our vesselsAt a time when budgets are tight, we offer the science community an alternative to expensive large-vessel support. A smaller vessel means a more flexible itinerary. It’s possible to achieve specific goals, just as safely, at a fraction of the cost.

For more info download our science brochure to see how we can support your next research project.

9 April 2012

Follow us on Facebook

facebook logo2 150x150 Follow us on FacebookWe are now on Facebook !!! So for the latest “Best of” trip photos, new videos, funnies, current news, surrounding issues & more, checkout our Ocean Expeditions Facebook page.

10 January 2012

New Video – BSAE 2012 video diary’s

BSAE 2012 are now posting video diary’s from on location. Visit the BSAE 2012 YouTube channel for more.

1 January 2012

‘Australis’ departs to support the BSAE 2012

BSAE07 150x100 Australis departs to support the BSAE 2012The British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012 (BSAE 2012) is now underway.

BSAE 2012 is a tri-Service exercise deploying 24 servicemen and women to the Arrowsmith Peninsula in Marguerite Bay on the Antarctic Peninsula. The expedition’s main effort will be the ascent of unclimbed mountains on the Antarctic Peninsula. The exercise coincides with the centennial anniversary of Captain Scott’s expedition to the Antarctic.

Unlike other expeditions seeking to follow in Scott’s footsteps in 2012, the BSAE will travel in the Spirit of Scott, but not in his tracks. Instead, and very much in the ethos of Scott’s 1910-1913 expedition, the BSAE aim will be: “to conduct scientific exploration in remote areas of the Antarctic Peninsula, seeking to further the bounds of human exploration and knowledge.” The expedition will seek to conduct the scientific exploration in the Peninsula Arm of Antarctica, an area which is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet. Amongst other things, this science will contribute to an understanding of the factors influencing this rapid warming. The exercise will also raise funds to support the “Help for Heroes” Charity.

To follow their progress go to the blog or check out the Best of – BSAE 2012 British Special Armed Services’ Facebook album.

31 December 2011

Supported by ‘Australis’ The Bachelor King in 3D with David Attenborough goes to air

Bachelor King 3D Poster 150x81 Supported by Australis The Bachelor King in 3D with David Attenborough goes to airSupported by ‘Australis’ Sir David Attenborough’s groundbreaking documentary The Bachelor King 3D is to air on Sky 3D this New Year’s Eve.
The film is shot in 3D and follows the incredible lives of King Penguins, imagining the life of one penguin from awkward adolescent to adulthood.
It is filmed in the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia over five months. South Georgia is a spectacular and little known island, home to majestic albatrosses, brawling elephant seals – and six million penguins.
The Bachelor King returns to the place where he was born in search of a mate. He meets the penguin of his dreams, and raises a family.
To see more go to the web page. Or for behind the scenes photos go to the ‘Best of – Bachelor King 3D’ Facebook album.

17 November 2011

Ocean Expeditions fellowship receiver 2011/12

M Tucker2 109x150 Ocean Expeditions fellowship receiver 2011/12Introducing our Ocean Expeditions fellowship receiver for the southern season 2011/12…. Marlee Tuker from the Evolution & Ecology Research Centre at the University of New South Whales.
Marlee will be using ‘Australis’ as a mobile floating science lab to study Leopard seals along the Antarctic Peninsula.  She will be deploying a hydrophone at several intervals during our voyage along the coast in November & December to record vocalisations & singing behaviour of the seals underwater. December is the height of the breeding season when the seals are singing to one another in courtship.
Marlee will also be taking skin samples with a biopsy dart gun to look at change in diet (compared to the historic samples) as well as for genetics.    …We look forward to having her onboard.

3 November 2011

“Frozen Planet” release in Australia

Frozen Planet 132x150 Frozen Planet release in AustraliaDavid Attenborough and the BBC’s latest spectacular series “Frozen Planet” premiered on Australian television last night capturing 1.2 million viewers. We are very proud to have been involved in such a series & can’t wait to see the finished product.

Why not experience the “Frozen Planet” for yourself ?

Having been involved in the production of “Frozen Planet” we can personally take you to visit some of the actual locations shown in the series.

15 June 2011

We are sinking….

Sinking!!!! ……… This is just down right funny.

Makes me think we should study and improve our Spanish a little more !!

23 May 2011

‘Australis’ works on ‘Bachelor King 3D’ with Sir David Attenborough

3 1304589213 bachelorking Australis works on Bachelor King 3D with Sir David AttenboroughFrom January through to May ‘Australis’ was supporting the ‘Bachelor King 3D’ film crew in South Georgia. See below for a quick teaser.

Brought to life by Atlantic Productions and Sir David Attenborough. The feature documentary set in the uninhabited island of South Georgia, telling a captivating story about the lives of King Penguins, including romance, in-fighting and even some drama.
The documentary will be seen first on Sky 3D, followed by numerous world-wide cinema releases including those with a giant screen, before going to the 2D screen on Sky Atlantic HD.
The film will allow viewers to be a part of the penguin’s individual lives and offer insight into what the bird’s family life is all about.

Sir David Attenborough, the world’s best-known natural history broadcaster, said:
South Georgia is one of the most extraordinary and least appreciated places for wildlife in the world. King penguins are particularly interesting because they are so big that the chicks can’t grow to adult dimensions and strength to go to sea within a year.
“The landscape and wildlife of South Georgia is very dramatic, and I think it will look absolutely mind-blowing in 3D.”

2 March 2011

New Video – South Georgia summer sea breeze

South Gerogia summer sea breeze 150x84 New Video   South Georgia summer sea breezeWe have just finished the first 2 months of shooting this ‘Penguin Island 3D’ movie & now returned to dry land for a few days. Just thought i’d share a funny moment of it with you all. This is a clip from the “making of” filmed about 4 weeks ago in South Georgia during a summer afternoon sea breeze. The strongest breeze we recorded that day was 86 knots which is equivalent to sticking your head out the window whilst driving a car at 159 km…  try it some time !! When your ok with that, try it whilst driving though an industrial sized freezer… just to get a feel of the temperature !! See it on the Video Gallery page.

30 November 2010

‘ Australis’ supports the British Services Antarctica Expedition 2012

Daring 150x67  Australis supports the British Services Antarctica Expedition 2012On November 30th in London the British Services Antarctic Expedition was officially launched to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the heroic attempt on the South Pole by Captain Scott and his team in 1912.
The expedition will be the first joint forces expedition mounted to the mainland of the Antarctic Peninsula by the British Armed Services. Sailing from Chile in the 75 foot yacht Australis, the expedition will cross the infamous Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula to explore its remote areas. The expedition also plans to make a series of daring ascents of previously unclimbed mountains in the region.
Expedition leader Paul Hart said that the incredible story of Captain Scott and his team is the inspiration behind the British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012, which hopes to raise £10,000 for the Help for Heroes charity.
Paul said, “Unlike other expeditions seeking to follow in Scott’s footsteps, we will travel in the spirit of Scott, but not in his tracks. Instead, and very much in the ethos of the 1910 to 1913 expedition, our aim will be to conduct scientific exploration in the Peninsula Arm of Antarctica, an area which is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet.”
For more information about the 2012 expedition visit www.bsae2012.co.uk

20 November 2010

A Sea Shepard meet & greet.

Sea Shepards Paul Watson 150x112 A Sea Shepard meet & greet.I was lucky enough to meet with Paul Watson from Sea Shepard for a brief chat on Friday night at the Bondi Beach fund raising evening.

The event was to promote the next Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign, Operation “No Compromise!” Their task will be to obstruct and harass the seven boats of the Japanese whaling fleet and to prevent them from their stated intention to catch the 1400 minke whales, 80 humpbacks and 80 fin whales they have allocated themselves in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary this summer. We wish them fair winds !!

16 November 2010

Mountaineering in Antarctica: Climbing in the Frozen South

DG book 150x150 Mountaineering in Antarctica: Climbing in the Frozen SouthDamien Gildea’s new book on climbing in Antarctica has just been released. It mentions several of the climbs that have been done from base camp ‘Australis’, ‘Spirit of Sydney’ (back when we owned the boat). As well as climbs from as far back as when we had ‘Tooluka’.
It’s a must read for anyone using ‘Australis’ or ‘Philos’ as a base camp.
Check it out at: www.mountaineeringinantarctica.com

20 September 2010

USA – AUSTRALIS: An Antarctic Ski Odyssey

ski odyssey cover USA   AUSTRALIS: An Antarctic Ski OdysseyThe US premiere of the latest film to be produced onboard ‘Australis’ will be shown in several states. For more details see up coming shows

Watch the Trailer: www.antarcticskiodyssey.com
Venue: see up coming shows

10 September 2010

Philos extention

new stern 150x112 Philos extentionPhilos has just undergone the famous Damien II stern extension in Halifax. Roger & Neil Bubb have been working hard on the modifications to Philos over the past month. Most notably the 1.2 metre extension of the stern, which will improve her stability downwind, waterline length & therefore speed. The other major modification is the aluminum dodger also seen in the picture.

10 August 2010

Europe – AUSTRALIS: An Antarctic Ski Odyssey

ski odyssey cover Europe   AUSTRALIS: An Antarctic Ski OdysseyThe European premiere of the latest film to be produced onboard ‘Australis’ will be part of the Chamonix Adventure Film Festival 20-22 of August 2010.

Watch the Trailer: www.antarcticskiodyssey.com
Venue: SALLE DU BICENTENAIRE, 96, place du Mont-Blanc
Time:  Australis: An Antarctic Ski Odyssey (25 min)

29 July 2010

Wildlife Conservation Society

Wildlife Conservation Society Wildlife Conservation Society This week Ocean Expeditions secured a contract with the ‘Wildlife Conservation Society’ to provide expedition support for the Chilean scientific team working on the extraordinary wildlife hot spot of Seno Almirantazgo in Patagonia.

The team of scientists will use ‘Australis’ as a mobile base camp to study the Albatross colony, Elephant seals & Leopard seals in the Almirantazgo area.

9 July 2010

Outside Magazine

outdoor mag Outside MagazineIn November 2009, Chris Davenport, Stian Hagen, and Andrea Binning ventured to the bottom of the world in search of the ski lines of their dreams. During their journey to the Antarctic Peninsula, the team discovered a new understanding of the beauty of ski mountaineering and of the depths of human connection to nature…… This is their story.

See Rob Story’s article on the trip in the April 2010 issue of Outside Magazine.

5 July 2010

NZ – AUSTRALIS: An Antarctic Ski Odyssey

ski odyssey cover NZ   AUSTRALIS: An Antarctic Ski OdysseyThe world wide premiere of the latest film to be produced onboard ‘Australis’ will be the finale to the New Zealand Mountain Film Festival (Lake Wanaka) on Tuesday July 6th, 2010.

Watch the Trailer: www.antarcticskiodyssey.com
Venue: Lake Wanaka Centre at 89 Ardmore Street , ph 03 443 4173
Time: 10:10pm Australis: An Antarctic Ski Odyssey (25 min)

23 June 2010

Non-lethal whale research

Jorge 107x150 Non lethal whale researchOcean Expeditions fellowship receiver Jorge Acevedo had an incredibly successful trip onboard ‘Australis’ in early 2010, conducting non-lethal whale research.

The Chilean non-lethal program began in 2000, however, funding was short-lived & the program ended in 2008. Because of this we invited Jorge to continue on with the research under our new fellowship program, where the only ‘catch’ is that the results must be published for the world to see.

Single-handed, Jorge obtained 64 individual sightings, positive photo identifications of 39 Humpback whales, 7 Antarctic Minke whales & 9 Killer whales. He also retrieved 23 biopsy, samples which were a mix of Humpback & Antarctic Minke whales. He also found 1 positive photographic match of Humpbacks from the Antarctic peninsula & Costa Rica and 1 positive photographic match of Humpbacks in the Antarctic peninsula & Ecuador. However, the most exciting result was the third match of a Humpback that was recorded in the peninsula and also in French Polynesia. This was the first EVER positive match between the two populations confirmed by photo ID.

Some of the encounters were a 100% success, recording close up photos of the dorsal fins, then the fluke & finally a good skin sample, thus providing the best possible set of data. (In fact the data was just as good as the Japanese fatal whaling program, which of course ends in the animals death). The Antarctic Minke biopsies are the first for the CEQUA / INACH catalogue & the total biopsies has dramatically increased the overall catalogue. The ship-based Chilean program running over 8 years acquires an average of 10 Humpback biopsy samples per year, showing the scientific value of small yachts as a good scientific working platform.

Jorge’s work on Australis is part of CEQUA / INACH, SORP (Southern Ocean Research Partnership). All of which play a fundamental part in direct action against the Japanese whaling program. Jorge’s findings were vital enough to go all the way to the top & be presented to the 2010 IWC (International Whaling Commission).

“What else I can say, if not for your invitation none of these good news would have happened, so thank you again and the time invested.” Jorge Acevedo
23 June 2010

New Videos

Videos 150x90 New VideosWe have plenty of new video’s posted on the Video Gallery page.

Some from Antarctica, some from Greenland & some from Tahiti. Some done professionally & some done for fun, all of which give you a good idea of life onboard !!

8 June 2010

Underwater ice – Ocean Images

iceweb Underwater ice   Ocean ImagesFor the past several Antarctic seasons I have been working on an Underwater Ice Photography project aimed at producing a series of limited run Fine Art prints.
I’m happy to say that one of these images is already a part of the permanent collection Underwater Australia gallery …this is the entrée of what is to come.  Ben.

16 February 2010

Port Lockroy Nissen Hut Construction

Nissen hut const2 300x189 Port Lockroy Nissen Hut Construction‘Australis’ was the all important base camp for the construction team building the Nissen Hut at Port Lockroy this season. It was a pleasure for us to be involved in such a piece of Antarctic modern history. The crew pictured left to right: Joe Leavy, Rachael Harrex, Rick Atkinson, Elenore Land, Anna Malaos, Ben Wallis, Skye Marr-Whelan, Clare Murphy, Graham Gillie.

10 November 2009

‘Australis’ supports filming of ‘Frozen Planet’

frozen planet 150x84 Australis supports filming of Frozen Planet‘Australis’ has just come back from South Georgia having finished one of the many film shoots done for the latest BBC series, Frozen Planet.

The Arctic and Antarctic remain the greatest wildernesses on Earth. The scale and beauty of the scenery and the power of the elements – the weather, the ocean and the ice – is unmatched anywhere else on our planet.

Frozen Planet will be broadcast in 2011 on BBC One, is the long awaited sequel from the team that produced the multi-award winning Planet Earth and Blue Planet.
It shows the wilderness of the Arctic and Antarctic teaming with life, from the albatross and Adelie penguins in the south to the polar bear and timber wolf in northern Canada and much more.

10 August 2009

The Cove – Australia release

the cove 101x150 The Cove   Australia releaseThe cove released in Australia on the 20 August 2009

OSCSR Award Winner & Best feature documentary 2009

THE COVE follows an elite team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers as they embark on a covert mission to penetrate a remote and hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, shining a light on a dark and deadly secret. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery, adding up to an unforgettable story that has inspired audiences worldwide to action

For more go to: www.thecovemovie.com

13 May 2008

Sharkwater – Australia release

sharkwater 101x150 Sharkwater   Australia releaseSharkwater will be released in Australia on May 15 2008

Sharkwater takes you into the most shark rich waters of the world, exposing the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world’s shark populations in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. In an effort to protect sharks, Stewart teams up with renegade conservationist Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Their unbelievable adventure together starts with a battle between the Sea Shepherd and shark poachers in Guatemala, resulting in pirate boat rammings, gunboat chases, mafia espionage, corrupt court systems and attempted murder charges, forcing them to flee for their lives. Through it all, Stewart discovers these magnificent creatures have gone from predator to prey, and how despite surviving the earth’s history of mass extinctions, they could easily be wiped out within a few years due to human greed.

For more go to: www.sharkwater.com

14 March 2008

My first Blue whale !!!

blue whale size My first Blue whale !!!Hi all, just wanted to share this one !

Arrived here to Portland (Victoria, Australia) on Wednesday evening & by 9:00 am Thursday morning, ALL of my expectations of this mission had been fulfilled… I had seen my first Blue whale !!!

Within minutes of getting out to the eastern end of the Bonny Upwellings, we saw a large breach just ahead of us. As we moved closer, something breached again & sure enough it was identified as a ‘Blue’.

The first thing we could see was a long thin submerged shape glowing with that tropical turquoise/neon blue, traveling along on it’s way to the surface. Then finally, the whale would break the surface with a loud deep groan, combined with a tall misty spout of krill breath & the blue/turquoise skin turned grey in the natural sunlight as it rose above the surface. After the blow, water would pore off its back like a speeding submarine that has just burst to the surface. Several seconds would pass by before the dorsal fin appeared. It was then that it occurred to me how big these things really are & this is still only the middle half of the whale that we could see !!!

We watched it lunge sideways at the scattered patches of bright red krill with it’s mouth wide open engulfing several square meters of krill at a time.

For a little over 2 hours we drifted around & watched the ..biggest ..living ..moving thing on this planet swim, dive, twist & turn.