Pitch a tent in Antarctica

Legendary British adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and his team of explorers recently set off to conquer the last great polar challenge – crossing Antarctica in winter.

Struggling across the planet’s last untouched continent in almost perpetual darkness through temperatures as low as -130°F, all in the name of charity and scientific research, may be far beyond most people’s imaginations, let alone capabilities. But that doesn’t mean Antarctica isn’t a viable destination.

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During the summer, conditions are vastly more favorable – temperatures sometimes reach more than 40°F. At this time of year, the endless white wilderness makes, if nothing else, a great place to spot penguins, seals and whales.

The Norwegian expedition voyage company Hurtigruten offers a number of different Antarctica itineraries aboard its state of the art polar cruiser, the MS Fram.

They’ve just added a new feature to their itineraries. Guests now have the option to pitch a tent and camp overnight on the frozen landscapes of The White Continent, capturing a glimpse of what it’s like being a polar explorer like Fiennes, Roald Amundsen or Ernest Shackleton – albeit with the perks of modern equipment and safeguards.

The bad news? This once-in-a-lifetime add-on costs $500 per person. That’s on top of the already eye-watering expedition cost – between $5,000-18,000.

Hurtigruten’s Antarctica voyages:

  • 10-day “Classic Expedition” focuses solely on Antarctica, sailing through the Drake Passage to landings that immerse guests in the remote landscape and exotic wildlife of The White Continent
  • 13-day “Polar Circle Expedition,” similar to the 10-day experience, spends its extra days traveling as far south as the Antarctic Circle
  • 13-day “Weddell Sea Expedition” follows the path forged by British Captain James Weddell, who reached 74º latitude in 1823 – a first for explorations
  • 17-day “Christmas Expedition” celebrates the season with traditional carols, festive meals, Santa Claus visits and a New Year’s gala and includes the Falklands and South Georgia
  • 19-day “In the Realm of the Great Explorers” explores the areas visited by Ernest Shackleton, and takes in the sub-Arctic eco-system of the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia

Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…

(Image: Marsel von Oosten)