Nature enthusiasts, environmentalists, and penguin-obsessed travelers alike can now book a day trip to the southern most edge of the planet. Travel Pulse reports that a South African hotel will be offering private plane excursions to Antarctica. While you once had to be a scientist or explorer to traverse these largely untouched lands, you now just need to have $195,000 laying around.
No big deal, right? Well, since we’re talking about this elite experience, it is certainly more unique than what the 3% of U.S. households that own a timeshare experience. For the adventurous spirit, this trip puts tropical beaches to shame. The private jet trek pairs luxury and environmentalism by offering guests a unique view of one of the world’s most fragile environments. And according to the airline’s website, they “operate in strict accordance with the environmental tourism guidelines laid out in the Antarctic Treaty. We also go further and operate our own zero impact policy.”
As for the actual experience, Forbes reports that guests start off with sever days at the Ellerman House in Cape Edwardian. They then board the White Desert Gulfstream G550 at night. During the flight, which is designed for 12 people, the guests will enjoy Waygu beef and sushi, as well as cocktails containing 1,000-year-old Antarctic ice.
Private planes cruise higher than commercial jets, which fly at 35,000 feet. This altitude generally allows for a faster trip. The White Desert overnight flight takes 5 1/2 hours. Forbes reports that once the customers land, they will arrive at the Schirmacher Oasis, on the northern coast of the continent. Here they will be greeted by a sprawling landscape speckled with 100 lakes.
During the six hour stay in this icy destination, guests can choose to trek through the surrounding land, rock climb, visit ice tunnels, and take part in other activities. After dinner back at the camp, guests hop on the plane and jet back to South Africa.
And all of this comes with a commitment to retaining Antarctica’s natural environment — and the rest of the planet.
“All human waste is transported out of Antarctica on regular flights and disposed of responsibly in South Africa,” White Desert writes on their website. “A significant proportion of the camp is powered by renewable energy, using photovoltaic solar panels for electrical supply and solar water heaters for the shower system.”
This who grow infatuated with this mysterious continent can choose to extend their adventure, according to Travel Pulse. With an extra four days, guests will stay at the Whichaway Camp closer to the continents interior. Here they will be greeted by a reception area, stay on heated sleeping pads, and hang in the lounge and dining room.
So, yes. Life for the luxury traveler is looking pretty chill.