Qantas is Offering Scenic Sightseeing Flights to Antarctica

Qantas is Offering Scenic Sightseeing Flights to Antarctica

The flight lasts 13 hours and will have no stops.

Image credit: Paul Carroll

Fancy a flight to Antarctica? Australians will soon be able to board a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to embark on a scenic journey to the most remote place on earth. The flight, which lasts for a duration of 13 hours, will have no stops. Instead, passengers will fly in circles to observe the impressive icy expanse from a bird’s-eye perspective. 

Three hours from take off, the sight of sea ice floating on the vast ocean will greet voyagers. For the next few hours or so, they will be able to lay eyes on numerous imposing cliffs of white – nothing more pristine imaginable. The plane then crosses the South Magnetic Pole to maximise viewing of the rugged ridges dotting the continent. After traversing the unparalleled polar landscape, it will make its way back to the land down under.

As it is considered a domestic flight, passports are not mandatory for this rare opportunity to hover above the southernmost point on Earth.

“There is no passport or luggage needed for an Antarctica Flight, you can even go in board shorts if you wish,” Antarctica Flights CEO Bas Bosschieter said. 

“I think it’s the best answer to the question, ‘What did you get up to on the weekend?’ Just popped down to Antarctica,” he added.

The sightseeing flight to Antarctica is a joint initiative between Australian airline Qantas and tour company Antarctica Flights.

At a time when leisure travel is not in the cards as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the prospect of discovering a new place makes it enticing. Even so, with appropriate precautions in place.

Also read: Journey to the Ends of the Earth: From Singapore to Antarctica

Extra safety measures

Passengers will receive a personal Qantas pack for the flight. It includes a disposable mask, sanitiser and disinfectant wipes.

An extra headrest cover and sanitising wipes will also be given out. This is to prepare passengers for seat rotation (carried out to ensure a great view for everyone) halfway through the journey. 

Additionally, the tour company will be blocking seats in the economy cabin to maintain social distancing onboard.

On top of that, a mandatory health and safety declaration form needs to be completed by everyone on board before disembarkation. 

Cost of flight

The flights will depart from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, and Adelaide starting November. It will set one back anything from $1,199 to $7,999 according to seat classes. 

Also read: There’s “Summer” in Antarctica and That’s the Best Season to Visit

‘Cool’ facts to know about Antarctica before you embark on the flight

Image credit: Mathieu Perrier

  • It is home to the driest place on earth (The Dry Valleys in Antarctica). 
  • There are actually no polar bears in Antarctica (only numerous penguins).
  • It does not have an indigenous human population.
  • It sets the record for the lowest natural temperature ever documented at −89.2 °C on 21 July 1983.
  • The sheer size of Antarctica is almost twice that of Australia.
  • It is the only continent with no reptiles.
  • The ice sheets in Antarctica hold About 90 percent of the world’s fresh water.
  • Antarctica is the only continent without a single reported case of COVID-19.
  • It is one of the most rapidly warming areas on earth.
  • It is home to several volcanoes including the active Mount Erebus which spews out crystals.

About Author

Ifah Sakinah
Ifah Sakinah

Sakinah has a discerning palate and an innate desire to satisfy her inner curiosity. While she hasn't been everywhere, it's definitely on her list.


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