I always associated a visit to Antarctica with cruising the Drake Passage from the Southern tip of Argentina, surrounded by ocean. I suffer from wretched seasickness, so never thought I would reach the 7th Continent.
Until now! There is another dramatically different way to visit the coldest, driest, windiest of continents. White Desert is a pioneering company that has made visiting the forbidding and rarely seen interior of Antarctica a reality for hundreds of visitors, and I was fortunate enough to be one more.
White Desert’s Luxurious Camps are situated on land and glaciers in the mountains of Queen Maud Land. In all this remoteness you eat delicious gourmet food - served with fine wine pairings; sleep in a heavenly bed; and relax in comfortable lounges: decadent living indeed! Despite the luxurious comfort and warmth, this is a trip for those with a sense of adventure, and there is a lot of adventure to be had.
The program starts in Cape Town, when you board your flight to the last continent in a Gulfstream private jet or private Airbus plane. The 5-hour flight takes you soaring over thousands of icebergs, to land into a pristine world of snow, ice, and rock, where the sun does not set for months, and time loses all meaning.
From the exclusively private jet runway, called Wolf’s Fang, you transfer to one of two exclusive and luxurious camps: Whichaway, with the warmth and style of an explorers’ camp; or Echo, a brand-new futuristic camp, inspired by the seminal age of space exploration. Both offer a warm welcome, the staff are incredible, they cannot do enough to make everyone feel like they will never want to leave. It is hard to forget where you are, but also hard to believe where you are.
The trips are 6 or 8 days in duration, with no more than 12 guests. During your visit to the interior of Antarctica, you can enjoy a range of activities: one day you may be walking on snow and ice, or rappelling off a dramatic rock face, or ice-climbing – under the leadership of up to 3 top qualified mountain guides who accompany each group. Perhaps you prefer to ski on the endless ice plateau, or fat tire bike along groomed snow tracks. Peace and serenity can be found on gentle hikes, or just relaxing in a comfortable lounge, taking In the dramatic vistas.
A major highlight for both programs is a day visit to a colony of Emperor Penguins. Imagine being almost face to face with hundreds of these penguins and their young chicks, who are unafraid of being just a few meters away from us. This is one of the greatest, and least observed, wildlife events on the planet.
Possibly the biggest draw is the 8-day program, which will take you to elusive The South Pole - where only the hardiest of explorers have been. From the camp it is 7 hours flying time to reach the most Southerly point on earth. Landing at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station, you get to explore and walk around in a place from where you can only go North! After the visit. The return flight stops at Dixie Camp, where you spend the night, and feel like a true explorer, rounding off what may be the most adventurous day of your life.
To sum up, White Desert is Antarctica. Look no further and enjoy an experience like no other for a once in a lifetime adventure.
Contact Michele and Renshaw Travel to find out more.