When it comes to luxury travel experiences, Antarctica might not be the first destination you think of. It is the world’s driest and coldest continent and its pristine frozen scenery is barely touched by humans.
However, thanks to many superb pioneering adventure companies there are luxury experiences to be found out there amongst the barren ice and snow. From high end cruises to luxury resorts, there are many ways that you can admire the rugged wilderness while travelling in style.
What to do
One of the most exciting activities to try in Antarctica is kayaking. It’s a great way to explore part of the coastline that most travellers will never get to see.
Cruise around the Antarctic Peninsula and slowly drift through stunning icebergs.
If you are lucky you can spot penguins, seals, whales and seabirds thriving in this remote, harsh environment.
Visit Port Lockroy to take a trip back in time and see what life would have been like on an Antarctic base in the 1950s.
Where to stay
Luxury travelers to the South Pole now have the opportunity to stay in a five star hotel with its own bespoke furnishings and private aircraft fleet. The White Desert camp has hosted celebrities such as Bear Grylls and Prince Harry and it is known for its “sleeping pods”. These are fibreglass heated domes that are kitted out with fur throws, bamboo headboards and en suite bathrooms.
Guests can escape from the extreme weather in the lounge and dining room, while enjoying three course meals prepared by a private chef with ingredients and wine flown in from Cape Town. During your stay you can enjoy many exciting expeditions including kite-skiing, abseiling and trekking into blue ice caves.
If at all possible, try to take a trip with an expert polar guide. You’ll learn so much more about the flora and fauna of this incredible natural destination.
Try to take a trip on a smaller boat. In the Antarctic you are not allowed to land more than 100 people on an island at once, so if your ship is smaller you will be able to see more.
If you are feeling seasick while on the boat, don’t go to your cabin. Instead, stay on the deck where you can see the horizon and breathe the fresh cool air.
No vaccinations are required, but make sure that you have good travel insurance that covers all activities you will be doing – including medical evacuation coverage.
Bring sunscreen and sunglasses. You might not think you would need them in the cold, but there is a hole in the ozone layer in Antarctica and the harsh UV rays reflect off the snow.
The Antarctic is an extreme destination to travel to and it is not always easy. Be prepared for the unexpected and listen carefully to your guides so that you can make the most of your authentic journey to this vast, remote and wildly beautiful continent.