At a time when international travel is on pause, the opportunity to fly overseas, even if just for a day, comes as a welcome treat – especially when it’s to a destination as majestic as Antarctica.
This November, Aussies will have the opportunity to experience this frozen continent from above as Qantas resumes its scenic 12-hour flights from Australia to Antarctica and back.
For the past 26 years, this sightseeing journey had been undertaken by the airline’s Boeing 747s. However, with this fleet now retired, Qantas has announced that the ultra-modern 787 Dreamliner will be taking its place, meaning larger windows and even better views.
The Dreamliner will be privately chartered by Antarctic specialists, Antarctica Flights, who will run a total of seven flights departing from Australia’s major cities between November this year and February 2021.
Each flight provides a full day Antarctic experience, with polar expeditions on board to talk through the extraordinary environment on view and live crosses to research stations or documentaries. No passport is required, nor is any luggage, all you need is a booking and off you go.
It will take about three hours of travelling before you catch the first glimpse of scattered ice – but of course, you’ll have the inflight entertainment system to keep you entertained until you get there.
As you get closer, look out for icebergs and ice floes, before reaching the southern continent itself and witnessing the extraordinary birds-eye view of Antarctica’s vast white wilderness and mountain peaks. The plane will circle here for about four hours, during which you can enjoy premium drinks, full-service Qantas meals and in-flight snacks. And with 19 planned routes to match the day’s weather conditions, no two flights are the same.
“Antarctica Flights offer the ultimate one-day adventure. It’s a chance to see this extraordinary white wilderness from the air, and learn about the southernmost continent from polar experts, at the same time as experiencing the fabulous new Qantas 787 Dreamliner,” said Antarctica Flights’ CEO Bas Bosschieter.
“I personally think it’s the best answer to the question ‘What did you get up to on the weekend? Just popped down to Antarctica’,” Bosschieter added.
Due to the coronavirus reality we now face, extra safety measures will be in place this year. Each flight will accommodate around 220 passengers, with a choice of seating options from Business through to Economy class. Economy, however, will not be fully booked out in order to give passengers more space.
Before boarding, passengers will need to complete a health and safety declaration form and agree to a contactless temperature test. They will also receive a personal Qantas pack for the flight including a disposable mask, sanitiser, disinfectant wipes and an extra headrest cover. Tightened cleaning protocols are in place and the airline has ensured that the plane’s air-conditioning system is fitted with hospital-grade HEPA filters and the air inside the cabin refreshed every few minutes.
- Melbourne – 15 November 2020
- Sydney – 22 November 2020
- Melbourne – 31 December 2020
- Perth – 26 January 2021
- Brisbane – 7 February 2021
- Adelaide – 14 February 2021
- Sydney – 21 February 2021′
Prices start at $1,199 for an Explorer Economy Seat and range up to $7,999 for a Business Class Deluxe.
Find out more: antarcticaflights.com.au
Images: Supplied/Antarctica Flights