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A chilled out destination, literally

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Antarctica, a living laboratory for scientists from across the world, has fascinated travellers and adventurers alike.

With travel trends changing across the globe, this ice-covered land mass has opened up to well-heeled travellers seeking to explore the seventh continent. In fact, this fascinating land now sees as an average of 30,000 tourists annually.

Off the beaten track

Travel firms across the world are offering packages and expeditions for those willing to shell out that extra buck to provide access to the dreamland that offers panoramic views of mammoth, deep blue coloured icebergs and glaciers.

“There is a changing trend now with lot of people looking at activity-based holidays. And also for globetrotters, a visit to Antarctica could fulfil the dream of covering all the continents,” said Tarique Hussain, Managing Director of Comfort Leisure, at the launch of the Antarctica Expedition here on Thursday.

He said their travel partner in Kerala had taken a small group of 30 tourists to Antarctica last year and that the expedition had been launched here anticipating a good response from Bangalore.

The best season to visit Antarctica is between November and March when temperature hovers between 0 degree and minus 5 degree Centigrade. Travellers will be taken to Ushuaia in Argentina, the southernmost city in the world. From Ushuaia, also known as the last port at the end of the world, they will sail towards Antarctica, about 1,200 km away.

Mr. Hussain said that the continent is a dream destination for photographers, wildlife and nature enthusiasts. “There is an option of camping one night in Antarctica.” The all-inclusive package from Bangalore starts from about Rs. 5 lakh per person.

A lifetime experience

Journeying to the pristine ends of the earth is truly an experience of a lifetime and the expedition offers travel in ice-breaker ships and experience of landings on the polar areas. One can sight penguins, polar bears, whales, seals, as well as bird species such as Antarctic terns, Antarctic shags and Cape petrels.

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