View Antarctica from the heavensAntarctica
There’s an environmentally friendly new ship being launched for polar exploration that comes with some brand new toys that are also at the forefront of sustainable technology.
One of them is a hot-air balloon that is tethered to the ship and will take you to the skies to admire magnificent panoramas of Antarctica.
You might be familiar with Zodiac inflatable boats that get you off the ship in small groups to explore the surrounding waters and shores, but you're unlikely to have come across a ship with a hovercraft that operates on land as well as sea. Its unique propulsion system means you can safely explore the most hard-to-reach places.
If you consider yourself a science nerd, you may be put to work. A team of scientists equipped with an onboard lab will be busy doing research to improve global knowledge of biodiversity, marine mammals and glaciology. Guests who show an interest may be tasked with setting up a station on the ice floe or taking water samples to help out.
With temperatures barely above freezing, polar diving isn’t for the faint of heart. But for those who are qualified divers, there is an option to scuba dive in Antarctica’s waters with professional instructors and observe this incredible underwater environment.
These unique experiences can be found on National Geographic and Ponant voyages in Antarctica onboard their new vessel Le Commandant Charcot. The first two journeys to Antarctica on this ship are Expedition to Charcot & Peter l Islands and The Weddell Sea & Larsen Ice Shelf, which both depart in January 2022.
Prices start at US$13,400 a person based on double occupancy for 11 nights on The Weddell Sea & Larsen Ice Shelf journey and US$15,900 for 13 nights on Expedition to Charcot & Peter 1 Island. The costs include all activities listed, except for polar diving.