South Pole Adventure    *alt*

5 days, from £36356
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Description

Departing from Punta Arenas in Chile, this tour provides a unique opportunity to fly to the most remote location on the planet - the South Pole - standing in awe of the epic journeys undertaken during the golden age of exploration. Staying at a base camp in the heart of Antarctic Peninsula, you'll have the chance to explore the epic landscapes on a range of activities and experience living in the world's last true wilderness.

This journey allows travellers to fly to one of the most evocative geographic locations in the world - the South Pole - perhaps the ultimate destination for those with an explorers' sense of adventure.

Highlights

* stand at the iconic South Pole and visit the Amundsen-Scott research station
* fly over breathtaking landscapes including Ellsworth Land
* stay at a Union Glacier basecamp in the Antarctic Interior
* choose from a range of adventurous activities
* experience the 24-hour daylight of the Polar summer

Fly by Ilyushin jet aircraft from Punta Arenas across the Drake Passage, beyond the Peninsula and over Ellsworth Land to a base camp at Union Glacier, landing on a blue-ice runway located at 79? south and just 1,100kms from the South Pole.

From this base in the foothills of the Ellsworth mountain range, emerse yourself in the enormity and beauty of Antarctica's stunning interior as you await the opportunity to fly to the Pole itself aboard a specially equipped ski aircraft, a DHC-6 Twin Otter.

Your stay at Union Glacier can be as energetic or relaxed as you wish with activities on offer generally only limited by enthusiasm and imagination. Active pursuits include cross-country skiing, hiking, climbing, camping trips and snow-machine assisted tours taking you out into the scenic peaks nearby.

They are complemented by more leisurely indoor activities including lectures about Antarctica and exploration. Photographers are sure to appreciate the unusual wind-sculpted snow features, ice pools, dramatic peaks, spectacular open skies and cloud formations, as well as the golden light cast by the austral summer.

Note the day of your flight to the South Pole is not pre-determined as it depends on weather conditions and logistics.

Suited to those in good health with an average level of fitness, this itinerary is adventurous without being strenuous. The South Pole is at an effective elevation of about 12,000 ft (3,700m) and expect some light walking at altitude.

Itinerary


 Day 1: Punta Arenas - Antarctica

Fly by Ilyushin jet aircraft from Punta Arenas across the Drake Passage, beyond the Peninsula and over Ellsworth Land to a base camp at Union Glacier. The flight time is approximately 4.5 hours. Union Glacier camp is located 8km from the runway at the base of Mount Rossman. On landing, you will be directed to a heated passenger terminal where you will pick up a shuttle service to the camp. On arrival at camp you will settle in and enjoy a welcome meal.


 Day 2: orientation at Union Glacier Camp, Antarctica

Your guide will brief you on logistics as well as environmental and safety considerations for your stay and you will tour camp to discover the intricacies of daily life in Antarctica. Your guide will let you know the range of activities that are available and will want to hear about your interests in order to tailor the daily programme to you.


 Days 3-6: explore Union Glacier & Fly to the South Pole!

The flight to the South Pole takes approx 6 hours and will take place on the first day that weather and logistics permit. The remaining days will be spent participating in optional activities from Unioin Glacier, or simply enjoying the tranquillity and majesty of this incredible continent. Your flight to the Pole affords views over a vast expanse of high polar plateau punctuated by the occasional field of crevasses. Landing at the Pole for your 3-4 hour visit you'll experience temperatures ranging from -25 to -35AdegC. On arrival you will visit the USA's Amundsen-Scott research station and will stand at the Geographic South Pole. Your stay at Union Glacier can be as energetic or relaxed as you wish with activities on offer generally only limited by enthusiasm and imagination. Active pursuits include cross-country skiing, hiking, light climbing, overnight camping trips and snow-machine assisted tours taking you out into the scenic hills. They are complemented by more leisurely indoor activities including lectures about Antarctica and polar exploration. Photographers are sure to appreciate the unusual wind-sculpted snow features, ice pools, dramatic peaks, spectacular open skies and the golden light cast by the austral summer.


 Day 7: Antarctica - Punta Arenas

Weather permitting, the aircraft from Punta Arenas will arrive in Union Glacier on the scheduled departure day for the final leg of your Antarctic journey, back over the ice to Punta Arenas.

Notes
The 6 day itinerary spends one day less at Union Glacier Camp IMPORTANT NOTES A minimum of 2 nights must be spent in Punta Arenas prior to the flight to the Glacier Camp in case weather conditions dictate that the flight must leave earlier than planned. You are travelling to an expedition base camp situated in the interior of Antarctica, the most isolated and windiest continent on earth. Every effort will be made to follow the above itinerary but it is offered subject to change at the discretion of our operators based on weather, aircraft serviceability, and local conditions. You will be accommodated and looked after in Union Glacier during any flight delays to Punta Arenas. Days of delay are a normal part of Antarctic travel; we will be able to assist in recommending or arranging flexible flight tickets and a contingency plan for accommodation in South America. Please contact our specialist team to discuss the further details. Days of delay are a normal part of Antarctic travel. DO NOT plan anything important for a minimum of two weeks after your scheduled return. Give yourself time to enjoy this unique experience without the stress of pending commitments.