Although we may not be able to travel internationally, Australians can now book a 12-hour sightseeing flight to Antarctica!
Tour company Antarctica Flights has again partnered with Qantas to offer 12-hour scenic flights from Australia to Antarctica and back, all within a day. With the first flight scheduled for November, Qantas is set to fly the 9,500 – 10,500km trip using Boeing 787 aircraft, with a total of seven flights planned during peak-daylight summer months.
In past years, these flights have been operated by Qantas Boeing 747-400 aircraft, which have since been retired by the airline. The 747’s retirement has paved the way for the modern Boeing 787 Dreamliner. As well as larger windows and improved efficiency, the 787’s lower cabin altitude mitigates the discomfort passengers may sometimes experience during and after a long flight.
Commenting on the journeys, Antarctica Flights’ CEO Bas Bosschieter says, “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. You get to travel overseas, no luggage or passport required!”
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Each flight provides a full day Antarctic experience, with polar expeditioners on board to give commentary throughout the journey and cross live to research stations. Around three hours south of Australia, passengers start to see the first scattered ice followed by dozens of icebergs and ice floes.
USB charging ports and seatback touchscreens are also available for all passengers, with Happy Feet or Antarctic documentaries available to watch in between sightseeing.
Also included are two full-service Qantas meals, in-flight snacks and bar service.
Antarctica Flights Dates
Antarctica Flights has announced the following departure dates and locations:
- Melbourne: 15 November 2020
- Sydney: 22 November 2020
- Melbourne: 31 December 2020
- Perth: 26 January 2021
- Brisbane: 7 February 2021
- Adelaide: 14 February 2021
How much does it cost?
This unforgettable journey certainly doesn’t come cheap, with prices for the day trip starting $1,199 for an Explorer Economy Seat Explorer which does not have direct access to a window.
- Explorer Economy Class – $1,199
- Standard Economy Class – $2,199
- Superior Economy Class – $3,199
- Premium Economy Class – $3,999
- Business Class – $6,499
- Business Class Deluxe – $7,999
What safety measures are in place?
As well as the measures currently in place by airports and airlines, Antarctica Flights will exercise the following measures:
- Passengers must complete a health and safety declaration form
- Contactless temperature tests conducted before boarding
- Complimentary safety pack provided which includes a disposable mask, disinfectant wipes, an extra headrest cover and sanitisers
- Not all-economy class seats will be sold to reduce congestion
- Enhanced cleaning using a disinfectant which is “effective against coronaviruses”
Note that Qantas is the charter operator for Antarctica Flights. For further information and to book flights, please visit https://antarcticaflights.com.au/.