If you are heading to the continent of Antarctica for your vacation this year, consider purchasing a first class flight to Antarctica. Flying first class is a great way to begin a long vacation on the road. There are great deals on first class tickets to the continent of Antarctica offered by many major air carriers. Many travelers believed they were limited to cruise ship travel to see Antarctica but that has changed. Affordable and inexpensive first class tickets to Antarctica can be found with a bit of research and cheap first class flights can be purchased through your local travel agent. There are first class tickets to fit any budget.
How to Plan My Trip
Many travelers fly into Chile to begin their Antarctic vacation. Keep in mind that 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice, so there isn’t a major airport here. Many choose to sail from Argentina, fly on a charter plane from Chile, or sail from New Zealand. You can fly to the South pole, but it is extremely limited and not for the faint of heart, as you land on an ice runway. Sea travel can be rough too, so consider your disposition before you purchase and if your friends or acquaintances have journeyed to Antarctica, definitely get their opinions. You can look at reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor as well. If you have a relationship with a travel agent, talk to them in depth. A trip to Antarctica is a great experience, but it isn’t for everyone. This is not a “one size fits all” vacation.
Top Ten Picks of Things to See and Things to do in Antarctica
- Largest Population- While most continents report statistics on specific cities, Antarctica is so small everything is measured in terms of the entire continent. Antarctica barely has any people living there year long. There are some research stations, field camps, and former whaling villages. The largest station is McMurdo Station which has a summer population of about 1,000 people and a winter population of about 200.
- Deception Island- This is an active volcano in Antarctica. It used to be an old whaling station. The island is a large volcanic crater that was formed by a major eruption from the volcano and leading to the collapse of the mouth of the volcano. Onshore, you will find abandoned boilers, old oil drums, and discarded whale bones. A very eerie and mostly deserted land.
- Erebus Ice Tongue Caves- Located near Mt. Erebus, the world’s southernmost active volcano, is a unique glacial formation called an ice tongue. A thin peninsula coming out 11 kilometers from the coastline where waves carve the glacier into stunning ice caves. There are several unique shapes like hanging ice bridges, majestic spaces within the glacier itself all illuminated by a blue light filter in the sun. If you are lucky, you will come into the cave while seals, who have swum in underneath the ice caves through cracks, take a nap in the caves.
- Polar Plunge- Jumping into the freezing sub-zero Arctic Sea with nothing more than your bathing on might sound crazy and it probably is but this is a once in a lifetime bar story to tell friends for decades to come. Diving into a large hole in the ice in the South Pole and completely submerging yourself even for just seconds is an exhilarating experience.
- The Ceremonial South Pole- A short red and white striped pole in Antarctica represents the most southern tip of the world. The marker isn’t even the true location of the South Pole but rather an estimate. This is because Antarctica is covered with massive chunks of moving ice sheets that move about 30 feet each year. So, making an exact measurement on a daily basis would be hard to do. Locals have a tradition of finding the accurate South Pole on New Year’s Day and marking it with a temporary pole and flag.
- Pegasus Wreck- A small plane with 80 passengers crashed on Antarctica in 1970 in a fierce storm. They all survived the landing and were rescued. However, the plane remains sitting half buried in the ice and snow just outside of the McMurdo Station. Take a trip to the wreck to see the Pegasus and take a picture next to the half-buried plane.
- The Bar at the Vernadsky Research Base- Founded in 1947 by the Brits as an expedition base. It was sold to Ukraine in 1996 for 1 British pound. The Vernadsky Station Lounge is the southernmost bar in the world. Under British ownership, some carpenters took the wood which was allocated for a new pier and instead built an English pub replica. When the Russians took over they did some remodeling so it’s a cross between a pub and Ukrainian bar. You might also notice an abundance of women underwear stapled on the walls of the bars. Free drinks are available to women who donate their underwear to the bar.
- Lemaire Channel- From your cruise ship passing through this narrow channel provides some of the most beautiful photo opportunities you will ever see. Spectacular sceneries of wildlife. Antarctica is the last frontier of just natural wonder and beauty and Lemaire Channel is the best part of this raw landscape. Take a photograph of a massive iceberg. These ice structures floating serenely in the sea with their colorful shades of white, blue and green are just breathtaking.
- Ice Cube Research Station- The world’s largest neutrino telescope is in the South Pole. The Ice Cube array consists of 86 identical holes drilled 1.5 miles deep into the ice and filled with sensitive particle physics monitoring equipment. Temperatures are normally -75 degrees Fahrenheit. Basically, researchers are looking for tiny subatomic particles called neutrinos as they travel through the crystal-clear ice thousands of feet below the surface. Neutrinos are a building block of the universe and understanding would help explain how the universe works.
- Whale Watching- Whales haven’t been hunted in Antarctica for decades and decades, so there is no fear of man on their part. There is also no fear of any other predator, so they come right on up to boats, ships or kayaks for a playful view. And, there are a lot of them. Might be the best whale watching experience in the world.