News & Opinion | August 17, 2016 9:00 am

There’s Now a Ridiculous Five-Star Hotel at the South Pole

Somewhere, Ernest Shackleton is rolling in his grave

In October 1912, Ernest Shackleton and his company set sail from a whaling station on South Georgia Island aboard a three-masted ship called the EnduranceIt would be her final voyage.

A little over a century later, it’s safe to say Antarctic accommodations have improved by a measure or two. Or, like, 10,000.

Case in point: the White Desert, the first hotel with Saarinen chairs on the seventh continent.

Among the rather anti-Shackletonian amenities on offer at the newly renovated hotel?  A half-dozen fiberglass “sleeping pods,” wine flown in direct from Cape Town and daytime meeting sessions with the local emperor penguins. 

But it won’t come cheap: a visit to White Desert will cost intrepid travelers a total of $72,000 for a place on one of two remaining itineraries during the hotel’s brief season in November and December. That fee includes transport (from Cape Town), various polar adventures (including abseiling, cave exploration and trips to nearby research labs) and a $7,500 “custom Bremont timepiece engraved with the date of your visit.” The pricetag also helps absorb the costs of transporting the hotel’s waste back to South Africa for disposal. 

Ready to head south? You can find more details here , and additional photos, below.