Touchdown on ice: Antartica for a day

Penguins in Antarctica

Penguins in Antarctica

Antarctica, one of the most inhospitable places in the world. One of the hardest to reach. One of the most barren yet beautiful. 

A place coveted by explorers. By adventure seekers. By those willing to spend months or even years plotting, preparing and hiking through inhospitable environments. 

And now, by day-trippers.  

Yes, day trips to Antarctica are a thing now. Hosted by White Desert, the only company to fly by private jet into Antarctica. 

Here’s how the day unfolds (all timings and activity subject to condition and may vary): 

10AM: Fly by private jet from Cape Town to Antarctica

Take off from Cape Town and over the Southern Ocean (flight time 5 hours). 

Private jet in Antarctica

Private jet in Antarctica

3PM: Touch down on a runway made of ice

This icy runway has lay dormant for years but recently redesigned to accommodate private jets by White Desert team member, Stuart McFadzean (thanks Stuart!). 

3.30PM - 6.30PM - explore the icy desert

Explore Antarctica, including a 20 minute flight to the Schirmacher Oasis, where the views are like nothing else on earth, quite literally. 

Here you can explore ice tunnels, hike the white glaciers and of course, use your time to take plenty of photos as proof you’ve really been here! 

Exploring ice tunnels in Antarctica

Exploring ice tunnels in Antarctica

6.30-7.30PM  - Dining on ice

Forget dinner under the stars; dining on ice is where it’s at now. Due to its location so far from the equator, Antarctica never gets dark, so in order to really get the most out of every minute spent in this wintery desert your day will culminate with a champagne picnic at the base of a glacial island (Nunsatak). 

7.30PM - Flight from Antarctica to Cape Town

Four hours on the ice may not seem like much, but after a long day, and extreme conditions, you may find this comfortable private jet back to the mainland is more appealing than expected. At least be glad you're not in commercial...

Views over Antarctica, from the airplane

Views over Antarctica, from the airplane

I want to go - what do I need to know? 

Date: The next trip scheduled is for 12th January 2019. 

Price: Predictably, not cheap. You’re looking at USD10,000 per person. 

Accommodation: Not needed during the 24 hour trip itself, but top and tail your trip with a stay at Ellerman House who are experienced at hosting guests both pre and post-trip. They’ll be able to give you all the information you need to get the most out of your epic daytrip. 

Fitness level required: Healthy and able. Use your judgement as to whether 24 hours with limited sleep and some extreme weather conditions is doable for you. 

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