Flying Over Antarctica To UsushiaThe easiest way to get to Antarctica is to fly in the air conditioned comfort of a Qantas jet. From Sydney to Antarctica and back is just over thirteen hours flying time and you cover nearly 10,500 kilometres, which constitutes the world’s longest domestic flight. There is much to see as the plane passes over the South Magnetic Pole, Cape Hudson, Mawson’s Hut at Commonwealth Bay, the Metz Glacier, the Admiralty Ranges, Cape Adare, giant icebergs, seals, penguins and sometimes you can spot an albatross. Prices range from about $1500 to $3000. Lunch, dinner and wine are served to all passengers. The New Year’s flight is the best as there is a party on board with champagne.
I travelled to Antarctica by ship from Puerto Monte in Chile down through the fjords of Patagonia to see icebergs, seals, dolphins, the last remaining Indian tribe and some albatross on the way to Puerto Arenas. From here, I went by bus and boat to Ushuaia; the most southern town in Argentina and then by boat across the Beagle Channel to Terra del Fuergo in Antarctica. The snow covered Andes went right down to the sea and icebergs broke off the glacier and drifted out to sea. The scenery and wildlife were spectacular. There are more luxurious ships than the one I sailed on which go to the Drake Passage, the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia Islands, where the wildlife is most prolific. These voyages from Ushuaia take up to fifteen days and can cost up to $20,000. On these tours you will see lots of towering icebergs, humpback whales, Chinstrap penguins and giant petrels (which I have also seen), Gentoo penguins, plus an old whaling station of Lockroy, Paradise Bay and Livingstone Island in the South Shetlands. There is much to experience and photograph. Maybe you could do something completely different during the next southern summer and have a truly adventurous holiday in Antarctica.
There is a cruise I would love to do with Aurora Expeditions called Icebergs and Emperors. It sails from Hobart, Australia to Macquarie Island where you will see the usual albatross, elephant seals and masses of King Penguins, plus some humpback whales on the way to Mawson’s Hut, Antarctica
lifestylerenewal 51-55, M 0 Mar 19, 2013