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Best (any) way to "visit" Antarctica?

Best (any) way to "visit" Antarctica?

Old Oct 22, 2023, 9:54 pm
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Old Oct 22, 2023, 10:16 pm
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Did this a few times. UA to EZE, then Aerolineas to Ushuaia for a "cross the Drake Passage" trip, or Punta Arenas for a "fly to Antarctica" trip. The latter is much more expensive, but you save 4 days, and no sea sickness (had a few very rough Drake Passage crossings). Not all landings in Antarctica will put you (technically) on the 7th continent.
Tried different months, penguin babies are best in December.
150 is not a small ship, max number of people allowed on shore in Antarctica is 100.
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Old Oct 22, 2023, 11:07 pm
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I flew to Buenos Aires then to Ushaia to catch a cruise ship that went down the Antarctic Peninsula. Our only time on the continent was a morning stop at Port Lockroy but we had multiple stops at various islands, including Deception Island.

There are flights from Australia that go over the continent and then return, no landing. https://www.antarcticaflights.com.au/
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Old Oct 22, 2023, 11:11 pm
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Another deep pocket option: Fly UA to CPT and then this: https://white-desert.com/
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Old Oct 22, 2023, 11:37 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Planes; BAE-146 is the most common model with 4 turbo propeller engines, capacity to seat 80 people (3+3 seating) and reinforced undercarriage for remote airstrips
Several of the things stated here are not true!
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Old Oct 22, 2023, 11:43 pm
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Originally Posted by mduell
Several of the things stated here are not true!
Cut and paste from the website but corrections welcome
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 12:53 am
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Originally Posted by bmwe92fan
Both my wife and I are only missing Antarctica -- same as you -- I asked her if it was worth it to spend ~$20k each to freeze our butts off to visit there just so we could say we did it -- she looked at me like I was crazy.... We've done Penguins and Ice -- bragging rights mean little to us now -- I clearly married the right woman!
Don't let the weather be a hinderance to travel. Especially to Antarctica. It wasn't freezing when I was there (late Dec 2017/early Jan 2018) - far from it. National Geographic provided everyone with a big orange parka. I wore it once and halfway through the first hike at the first port of call, I put it in my backpack and never wore it, again. I was fine with a light jacket/layers. The temperature was a comfortable 40F for most of my trip. Even when it snowed, it wasn't freezing. Chilly and once you start moving, it's comfortable. Yes, everyone has a different baseline for "cold," "freezing," and "hot." I live in San Francisco. It's "hot" when it's 70F. 🙂! Some of the best "nights" (it didn't get dark because of that time of year in the southern hemisphere) involved gently falling snow and standing outside on the boardwalk with a cup of tea and other than the splashing of water, absolute silence. Those moments I often relive/revist in my memory.

Not to cast aspersions and it's a rhetorical question but "bragging rights" were important in your former life? I dunno. I wouldn't take a trip just to say I was there. When I see Instagram and Twitter accounts proclaiming, "I've been to 27 countries" and the photo from each country is the same: a shot of the "influencer" at a bar or some other drinking establishment holding a drink with a goofy grin/face. Nothing about the local people, culture, sites, etc. I know, I know: everyone has different goals when it comes to travel.
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 1:28 am
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc
it would be fun to see continent #7 for this one since the chances of ever having a business reason to visit is infanticide
...so we're all just skipping over this bit?!
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 2:17 am
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Wouldn't a Cruise be more civilised?

plenty of flights to Buenos Aires.

Local flight Aerolineas Argentina down to Ushasia.

Then lots of cruise options in the S Hemisphere summer season.

Smaller boats but more connections with fellow explorers. Cruising aint cheap down there but surely better value than a flight in & out wham bam.

Le Ponant French Cruise line is very nice and their ships are designed for Antarctic etc. Huirtgarden is another one, Norwegian line but with specific boats designed for those operations. Plenty of Kayak trips and you get the specialist clothes to wear which are obligatory. Some cruises may also start in BA or Punta Arena.

No cruises I think start in Kiwiland.

Qantas did run sightseeing flights out of Melbourne but its just a sightseeing flight, you don't land in a 747!

hope the cruise alternative helps if you are time rich

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Old Oct 23, 2023, 2:43 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Cut and paste from the website but corrections welcome
This being FT, he probably meant the inaccurate information about the plane. The BAE146 does not have "turbo propeller engines" but turbofan jet engines. The four mini jet engines make it look really cute.
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 3:23 am
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc (Post # 1)
it would be fun to see continent #7 for this one since the chances of ever having a business reason to visit is infanticide
Originally Posted by etiene (Post # 23)
...so we're all just skipping over this bit?!
infinitesimal is the significance of auto-correct errors.

In my college graduation yearbook profile, I was advised not to feed the penguins in Antarctica.

There used to be an Antarctica Development Squadron (VXE-6) based at Point Mugu, CA, which would have been a good opportunity to earn an Antarctica Service Medal.

For using or earning UA redeemable miles (RDM), South America does seem the way to go, EZE or SCL.

Last edited by SPN Lifer; Oct 23, 2023 at 3:33 am
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 3:26 am
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I would pay good money NOT to go on a Meditteranean or Caribbean style cruise but for me a cruise would be the best way of seeing and experiencing something of Antarctica. Itís all about desolation, enormity, primal beauty and fear. How can you give it any justice if you spend your time in a plane with windows closed (as seems so common nowadays) and fiddling with your seatbelts.
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 4:55 am
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc
My customary rule to call a place visited is to either spend the night or eat a meal outside of the airport... realizing neither of those are likely to be possible near the South Pole.
For what it's worth, it is possible. The day trip from PUQ and back includes a meal at the Russian research station after the tour is over. That said, I think your major choice here is mostly whether you will do a cruise or a flight; the nature of the trip will be completely different depending on what you choose and that choice will be more critical to decide than finding a way to use UA or *A. I went to Antarctica with my wife and daughter who was 19 months old at the time so a cruise was not really a consideration for us. I can see in the future under difference circumstances we might choose the cruise, but a flight can appeal to some people.

Back to the dinner at the research station if that matters to you, don't expect fine dining but it is indeed a meal outside the airport

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Old Oct 23, 2023, 6:21 am
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Originally Posted by escape4
Too cute!!!
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 7:44 am
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I went to Antarctica in 2012 with Antarctica 21

It was an air cruise where you fly from Punta Arenas to King George Island and then a zodiac out to the ship, Ocean Nova. Flew to Santiago and then down to Punta Arenas. We celebrated Christmas on the ship and would have done three excursions that day.

After eight days we flew back to Punta Arenas and then to Santiago and then caught a flight to Easter Island and celebrated New Year there.

Antartica was my seventh continent.
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Last edited by Aussienarelle; Oct 23, 2023 at 7:50 am
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