Late last year, legendary British adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and his team of explorers set off to conquer the last great polar challenge – crossing Antarctica in winter.
Struggling across the planet’s last untouched continent in almost perpetual darkness through temperatures as low as -95°C, all in the aid of charity and scientific research, may be far beyond most people’s imaginations, let alone capabilities. But that doesn’t mean Antarctica isn’t a viable destination.
During the summer conditions are vastly more favourable – temperatures sometimes reach above 4°C. At this time of year, the endless white wilderness makes, if nothing else, a great place to spot penguins, seals and whales.
They’ve just added a new feature to their itineraries. Guests now have the option to pitch a tent and camp overnight on the frozen landscapes of the White Continent, capturing a glimpse of what it’s like being a polar explorer like Fiennes, Roald Amundsen or Ernest Shackleton – albeit with the perks of modern equipment and safeguards.
The bad news? This once-in-a-lifetime add-on costs £310 ($500) per person. That’s on top of the already eye-watering expedition cost – varying between £3,110-£11,200 ($5,000-18,000).
Hurtigruten’s Antarctica voyages:
• 10-day “Classic Expedition” focuses solely on Antarctica, sailing through the Drake Passage to landings that immerse guests in the remote landscape and exotic wildlife of The White Continent
• 13-day “Polar Circle Expedition,” similar to the 10-day experience, spends its extra days travelling as far south as the Antarctic Circle
• 13-day “Weddell Sea Expedition” follows the path forged by British Captain James Weddell, who reached 74º latitude in 1823 - a first for explorations
• 19-day “In the Realm of the Great Explorers” explores the areas visited by Ernest Shackleton, and takes in the sub-Arctic eco-system of the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…
(Featured image: Marsel von Oosten)Brett Ackroyd