Antarctica — when you hear the name your mind wanders to thoughts of exploration and adventure. One of the final true wild places on planet earth, this frozen continent is now more accessible than ever.
Donning thermals and trekking out onto the ice to stay in your tent while your teeth chatter — this is the past. Now those with an intrepid streak can see Antarctica in style and comfort.
Luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent is offering trips to this otherworldly continent in 2022 and 2023.
So, what does that entail? While there are several tailored trip options to choose from, let’s look at a 12-night cruise around ‘The Ice’.
The tour begins in Buenos Aires where travellers will be offered the chance to go on a pre-tour expedition to the famed Iguazu Falls bordering Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
From Buenos Aires, fly to Ushuaia on the southern tip of Patagonia and a staging point for all trips to Antarctica. Here guests will board the Le Lyrial — a luxury cruise ship that will take you to the continent.
It is on this ship that guests will follow in the footsteps of early 20th-century explorer Ernest Shackleton and his ship the Endurance.
On Le Lyrial, rooms range from standard to owners’ suites with amenities breakfast in bed and a private butler.
The journey will see the ship make a loop close to the Antarctic peninsula which juts out from the continent towards Patagonia.
After cruising the Drake Passage, guests will find themselves in Antarctica. As the horizon is filled with this great white continent the excitement is palpable.
For the next four days, guests will discover rare wildlife including Adelie penguins, humpback whales and giant albatrosses and can examine them up close during specially curated Zodiac excursions. These excursions are led by professional drivers who also act as expert guides to the natural wonders of Antarctica.
The tour will cruise the Antarctic Sound, the South Shetland Islands and the Danco Coast, offering incredible scenery unseen elsewhere on Earth.
Additionally, travellers can learn first-hand about the effects climate change is having on this fragile ecosystem. The cruise is joined by special guest and Antarctic researcher Dr James McClintock who offers lectures on the impacts of rising temperatures worldwide.
Although the journey south was once perilous for sailors in the 19th and early 20th-centuries, Le Lyrial is equipped with stabilizers and handles the journey smoothly.
After exploring the peninsula it’s back across the Drake passage to Ushuaia where guests can choose to stay for a few more days or head to Buenos Aires.
Cabins start at approximately $14,000 per person for a standard stateroom climbing to about $41,500 per person for an owner’s suite. These prices are currently slightly cheaper than standard as Abercrombie & Kent is running a special offer on the expedition.
The white continent, the ice, Antarctica — whatever you call it, this great wilderness has beckoned explorers for generations and continues to do so. Now it can be done in style and comfort, without any less adventure.