Robert Swan
Page updated 12-Jan-2011

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Fascinated by the story of Scott's epic journey to reach the South Pole in 1911, Robert Swan decided to recreate the crossing. So, in 1984 he led a private expedition and travelled south in the Southern Quest, a former whale catcher.

Swan's party were on skis, towing sledges behind them. After enduring a range of Arctic weather conditions, from extreme cold and blizzards to fine sunny days, they finally reached the South Pole. In the meantime, their supply ship, the Southern Quest, had been crushed by pack ice and sunk. Swan had a Cessna aircraft standing by to take them back from the Pole but the American authorities advised against this. Consequently the party were flown to New Zealand by Hercules transport (for which the Americans charged them) after stopping off at McMurdo Sound to collect the crew of Southern Quest.

Mr Swan came into the GK showroom shortly after returning to the UK because he needed a motorcycle to travel the country raising funds to pay the cost of the American transport, and for a return to remove all traces of their base on Ross Island . GK were able to supply a second-hand BMW at a favourable price and arrange his insurance. He also acquired a Mercedes car for which GK also arranged insurance.

Initially they found Robert Swan rather a strange customer, as the isolation in Antarctica had affected his social skills, but he readjusted quickly and staff found him to be a charming gentlemen with a passion for the environment. In 1987 he returned to Antarctica to remove everything from the Ross Island base, including the aircraft, base hut, remaining stores and rubbish, which were all shipped out.

To read more of this expedition, visit:

To find out what he is up to now, visit: