The idea of travelling to Antarctica is usually reserved to those now distant dreams conjured up as a child which became quickly forgotten as the call of ‘growing up’ beckoned and the practicality of them came crushing down. Well my friend, I’m happy to tell you the gates to Neverland haven’t closed, though some might baulk at the entry price, others will ask whether a price can even be placed on a trip to a destination like nowhere else on earth? There are a number of ways you can go about travelling to the Antarctic however if you’re heading all of the way there, then why not do it in style?
Antarctica by air
The first and most simple way to visit is actually by air and only takes a day to do though it will set you back a pretty penny or two and seats are very limited. Antarctica Flights run a 13 hour privately chartered flight on a Qantas 747 to fly over Antarctica from Melbourne (December 31 and February 12, 2017), Perth (January 26) and Sydney (February 5). The full day is a joyful affair especially when excited passengers start to see ice floats begin to pepper the water below and the captain descends from 10,000 feet to around 2,000 feet for improved visibility. All up the plane flies over the Antarctic mainland for around four hours with spectacular views of rocky snow cliffs, giant iceberg cliffs breaking and an overall white wonderland below. Prices start at $1199 for economy to $7999 in Ice (first) class.
Antarctica by sea
The next option for a luxury Antarctica escape takes us from the skies to the sea with a glamorous and ultimate 21 day ship sojourn starting in Patagonia. Depending on ice and weather conditions, there are many opportunities to set foot on the coldest, driest and windiest continent on earth. But then of course you get to then step back onto your ultra-luxury small cruise ship for a relaxing massage or glass of bubbly at the end of a rewarding day on the ice. Wildlife sightings are available both from the ship and on shore, guided by skilled expedition staff. The learning doesn’t stop there with onboard enrichment programs and special guest speakers along with digital photography workshops, there’s a lot to fit into a luxe Antarctica cruise.
More on icy cruising: Antarctica Tres Chic
Is this the world's best day tour?: Antarctica One Day Sightseeing Tour
Antarctica on land
The final luxury Antarctica escape on this list involves the most actual time on land in Antarctica at one of the world’s most exclusive and hard to get to hotels. Yes, you read that right, a glamorous hotel in the heart of Antarctica. White Desert is the only hotel offering luxury safaris to Antarctica and has played host to high-profile guests like Prince Harry and Bear Grylls, right through to the Saudi royal family. The hotel’s main campsite is comprised of six ‘sleeping pods’ or heated fiberglass domes reminiscent of an igloo. Convivial communal three-course meals take place in the recently renovated library lounge and dining room with ingredients and wine flown in from Cape Town. The in-house chef also happens to be British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton’s personal chef when he isn’t at camp. The full all-inclusive experience will set you back a cool $72,000 per person, hosting a maximum of 12 guests at a time and running only during the November to December period each year. Now that’s exclusive.
How to look the part...
One final tip for doing Antarctica the luxe way would be to follow in the sartorial footsteps of the first several expeditions to the Antarctic. The polar explorers of these first expeditions (including the first man to successfully reach the South Pole, Roald Amundson) each donned the durable, lightweight and waterproof gabardine wares invented and later patented by Thomas Burberry, founder of the now luxury Burberry fashion house. Though you might like to wear a few extra layers underneath you will certainly look fabulous in one of the fashion house’s famous and still popular gabardine trench coats, while paying homage to the history of these legendary explorers.
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It may be the world’s largest continent, but so much is unknown about remote, mountainous Antarctica. A land of mystery, intrigue and adventure, it’s no wonder this icy destination features high on many traveller’s bucket lists.