Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!
I don’t think I stopped saying ‘wow’ the whole time I was on the Chimu Adventures Antarctica sightseeing flight. It was a last-minute decision to join this bucket list trip and I was fortunate enough to have everything fall into place so I could get away. Sometimes you just have to say yes!
An Antarctica sightseeing flight is one of the most unique ways to enjoy the continent, whether you’re on a budget, have limited time, or you’re simply yearning for a new and unusual travel experience. It’s a dream come true to experience the wonder, beauty, and thrill of Antarctica in a single day.
It’s pretty relaxed at Sydney Domestic Airport, bypassing the check-in counters and going straight through security to your dedicated Antarctica departure gate. Here you’ll get your keepsake lanyard and Qantas boarding passes – one for the first half of the flight and the other for when you seat swap mid-flight. There are commemorative signs and life-size penguins to take your picture with while you wait to board. Don’t forget your souvenir Antarctica stamp!
The countdown officially began as we board the luxury Qantas aircraft. This was my first time travelling in Premium Economy – and I was impressed! The seats are wide and comfortable, the legroom is plentiful, and the footrest is perfect for shorties like me. The windows are large and you get two windows per seat row to gaze out of. Initially, I was confused that there were no shutters on the windows, given the glare from the shining sun. Then I discovered the button that electronically shaded the window at six different levels depending on your preference – very fancy. There is also plenty of seat back storage for your phone, camera and snacks. Being warm and cosy, with bellies full of yummy food, travelling in true Qantas style must be one of the best ways to experience the Antarctic Peninsula.
At first, it was hard to distinguish the clouds from the ice…there were murmurs of “Is that an iceberg?” “Are we there yet?” “That has to be ice” – And then there was no mistaking it. Breathtaking expanses of the whitest mosaic of ice against the bluest ocean. Wow!
The landscape was so vast and diverse. There were small mountains and large ones; smooth ice and rough chunks; ripples of ice that looked like rivers; and crevices that looked like scratch marks but were actually large enough to swallow a whole house. The scenery was always changing and every time you looked out the window, each moment seemed more impressive than the last. It was so easy to sit back and marvel at the beauty of the great white continent, its floating icebergs and iconic landmarks.
We were cruising over the white terrain, dipping from side to side and doing figure eights to ensure a remarkable up-close encounter for all onboard. It felt like you could just reach out and touch mountain tops, even though they were 20,000 feet away. Just wow.
There were plenty of expert lecturers onboard to share their wisdom and passion for the world’s last great wilderness and point out all the highlights we were viewing. We were even lucky enough to make a satellite call to Antarctica itself while flying above! Aussie surgeons Richard Stephenson and his brother-in-law Gareth Andrews are currently attempting to become the first people to complete an unsupported coast-to-coast crossing of Antarctica. We got to hear directly from them about their journey and what they expect to experience on their 110-day trek.
Just like the Southern Lights by Flight, there is a professional photographer onboard which takes the pressure off you to get the perfect shot. To be fair though, it would be pretty hard to take a bad photo of Antarctica! Every shot is picture-perfect when the scenery is so stunning.
From the mighty Mt Minto to the spectacular Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica gave us so many unique sights and incredible photo opportunities to treasure. Antarctica sightseeing flights offer you an unbridled appreciation for the sheer grandeur of Antarctica, even if you’ve visited before.
Contact me at [email protected] if you’d like to know more about this memorable trip or want to book your seat!
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