Forget roughing it Shackleton style.
Your first expedition to Antarctica is going to be a good spot more comfortable.
Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions, a tour company that specializes in journeys to the frozen continent, just landed a Loftleidir Icelandic Boeing 757 on Union Glacier’s blue ice runway — the first commercial jet to land on the glacier and only second to land on the continent.
ALE currently flies repurposed cargo jets (built with additional passenger seats) from Chile to Antarctica. But using commercial jetliners, the company suggests passengers could fly to the South Pole’s home with far more comfort: their plan calls for 757s to be fitted with 62 business class seats.
ALE is already a big Antarctic trailblazer: according to the Daily Mail, the company was the first to establish an inland, blue-ice airfield in Antarctica, the first to land wheeled aircraft on a blue-ice runway and the first to fly tours to the Geographic South Pole. At present, interested Antarctic visitors either have to utilize ALE’s cargo jets or travel by boat to the continent, departing from the southern tip of Argentina via cruise ships.
The potential cost of commercial expeditions is not yet available, although current ALE flights to Antarctica cost around $24,000, according to The Huffington Post. Full passenger flights remain 2-3 years away.
Until then: stay cool.