When I traveled to Antarctica in January 2018, it was an epic journey. It involved a flight to Buenos Aires, another flight to Ushuaia, and two days sailing on the roughest seas in the world just to get to the continent. While it certainly felt like a rite of passage in some way, I could understand making the treacherous trek isn’t for everyone. Unfortunately, going by ship is the main option. Plus, you pretty much need to block off a couple of weeks for the trip.
But, what if I told you that it’s now possible to visit the southernmost continent for just 24 hours?Ellerman House, a luxury hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, just announced they’ll be launching day excursions to Antarctica in 2019 and 2020 via a private jet.
Yes, working in collaboration with White Desert—the only company in the world to offer a Gulfstream private jet to access Antarctica—guests can now book the “Greatest Day” package as part of their stay. What does that entail? Well, guests will first enjoy a couple of days in Cape Town at the luxury property located in the exclusive area of Bantry Bay, so they’re ready to tackle the epic 24-hour journey. Then, you hop on the private jet at night for a quick five-and-a-half-hour flight, flying over thousands of icebergs and entering into 24 hours of continuous sunshine.
A specially prepared ice runway is waiting for travelers who will then be transferred by 4x4s to the magnificent Schirmacher Oasis. Over the eight hours on the ground, you can explore cliffs, lakes and science bases with expert guides on hand as escorts. After exploring the continent, the greatest day concludes with the grandest meal—a gourmet champagne dinner—and a night spent in a heated fiberglass sleeping pod. You then hop back on the plane landing back in Cape Town 24 hours later.
If 24 hours is not enough to satisfy your needs, then consider one of the longer five or eight-day adventures. These excursions also include a journey to meet the Emperor Penguins, kite-skiing, ice climbing, delving through a series of surreal ice-tunnels, and more. Travelers on the 8-day adventure also head to the South Pole to stamp their passports with the rarest of all stamps and have the chance to enter the American Amundsen-Scott Science base.
So, how much does it cost to have one of the most luxurious adventures of a lifetime? The rate for the 24-hour experience is $16,000 per person, $58,000 per person for the five-day, and $92,500 for the eight-day trip. These excursions are available to guests on December 18, 2019, and January 12, 2020.