Overcome yourself

What you will face if you decide to go on an expedition to Antarctica

If you are tired of noisy cities, crowded beaches, heat and crowds of tourists - it's time to go to Antarctica. In these pristine places, where hardly a human has walked, your only neighbors on the beach will be elephant seals and penguins. The sun does not set here for 184 days a year, and the human population is represented only by polar explorers from different countries, including Russia. Today I will tell you how to get to Antarctica, what to do here, and how much it costs to travel to the South Pole.

HOW TO GET IN ANTARCTICA

Despite the fact that modern passenger aircraft are capable of covering great distances, getting to Antarctica is not so easy. There are only two airports at the South Pole that accept passenger flights:

  • Teniente Rodolfo Marsh Martin Airport (TNM) - owned by Chile
  • Wolfs Fang Runaway (WFR) - UK but private.

But even this is not an easy task - there is no regular flight with them. Nevertheless, tourists have the opportunity to get to both airports in Antarctica, and we will consider each of them separately.

HOW TO GET TO ANTARCTICA FROM CHILE

To get to the South Pole from Chile, you need to get to Chile itself, namely to one of the country's southernmost airports - President Carlos Ibanez International Airport (PUQ) in Punta Arenas. Regular flights fly here mainly from the capital of Chile - Santiago. I tried to find cheap flights to Chile, under one of the dates of special excursions, which I will talk about later. The minimum price for a roundtrip flight to Punta Arenas at the end of November is 82,907 rubles:

A flight with two transfers: one in London, the other in Santiago - will take you to the coveted airport. In my opinion, it is not so expensive for a rather difficult route. Now, in order to get to the final point of the journey, you will need a special excursion.

EXCURSIONS TO ANTARCTICA FROM CHILE

Only one company provides excursions from Chile to Antarctica - DAP Airlines. There are only two types of excursions:

How to get to Antarctica, and how much does it cost to travel to the South Pole

Recently, on one of the job search sites, I came across an ad that indicated that they were being recruited into an Antarctica exploration group. I got interested and decided to figure out what and how.

Antarctica

Antarctica, according to various treaties and conventions, is not anyone's property. It is prohibited to receive any economic benefit on its territory, therefore, only research stations can be located on the territory of Antarctica.

The Russian Federation is represented on Antarctica by five year-round polar stations:

  • Mirny
  • Bellingshausen
  • Youth
  • Novolazarevskaya
  • Progress

There are about the same number of seasonal stations left from the USSR.

All questions about the organization of the expedition to Antarctica are handled by the Russian Antarctic Expedition, which is located in St. Petersburg.

Since Antarctica does not bring money to the treasury, this direction is an expenditure item for the budget, from which many nuances and peculiarities follow.

Progress

Progress is the newest polar station. It was created in the late eighties. Initially, it was created as a seasonal station, but in the early 2000s, construction and reconstruction began. But already in 2008, a fire broke out at this station and the complex, which was intended for wintering, completely burned down. In 2013, a new wintering complex was built, which is the newest among the station of the Russian Federation. All other stations were built in the 50-60s and since then, practically nothing has changed on them.

Progress station, like Mirny, is located on the coast. Foreign stations are located near Progress, Novolazarevskaya and Bellingshausen stations, which makes it possible to communicate with foreign colleagues.

Bellingshausen

Bellingshausen is located on King George Island. This station is best known for bringing tourists here, Patriarch Kirill also flew here, and some Russian businessmen held their conferences. This station is the face of Russian Antarctica.

Penguins, ice and polar day. Everything you need to know about traveling to the South Pole.

Antarctica (or Antarctica - from the Greek ἀνταρκτικός - the area opposite to the Arctic) is a continent located in the very south of the Earth, the center of which practically coincides with the South Pole of our planet. Antarctica is washed by the waters of the Southern Ocean, has an area of ​​14.4 million km2, 1.6 million km2 of which are ice shelves, which are sources of huge icebergs. The Antarctic ice sheet is the largest on the planet, containing about 80% of all fresh water on Earth.

Geographically, the territory of Antarctica is divided into regions (lands) named after the travelers who discovered them or famous personalities: Queen Maud Land, Wilkes Land, Victoria Land, Mary Byrd Land, Ellsworth Land. Some of the adjacent islands belong to Antarctica.

The existence of the Southern continent (from Latin Terra Australis) was assumed for a very long time, on old maps it was often combined with South America or with Australia, which was named after this hypothetical part of the land. However, only the expedition of Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev in the South Pole seas on the sloops "Vostok" and "Mirny" confirmed the existence of the sixth continent of the Earth. It happened on January 16 (28), 1820 (the official date of the discovery of Antarctica) in the area of ​​the modern Bellingshausen ice shelf.

Antarctica does not belong to any state in accordance with the convention on December 1, 1959 (entered into force on June 23, 1961), signed by 28 states and dozens of observer countries.

Any kind of activity other than scientific is prohibited in Antarctica. Including the placement of military facilities, entry into its waters (south of 60 degrees south latitude) of warships and armed vessels is prohibited. In addition, Antarctica is a nuclear-free zone, so nuclear-powered ships are also banned, and there are no nuclear power units on the mainland.

In total, Antarctica has about 45 research stations belonging to different countries and operating all year round. Today there are five Russian among them: Bellingshausen, Mirny, Novolazarevskaya, Vostok, Progress. More information about Russian stations in Antarctica can be found on the website of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of the Russian Federation (AARI).

How to get there

According to the International Association of Tour Operators in Antarctica (IAATO), in 2010 about 36 thousand tourists visited the southern continent. To keep the unique nature of Antarctica intact, restrictive rules were introduced to protect the environment from intense human invasion, allowing only a certain number of passengers (up to 100) to disembark at the same time. After all, every person who steps on the land of the icy continent brings with him bacteria that are alien to its ecosystem and dangerous for the living organisms inhabiting it. Today liners entering Antarctic waters are equipped with special equipment to minimize possible threats.

There are two ways to get to Antarctica: fly by plane and sail by ship.

Read more about options with a ship in the special article "Cruises to Antarctica from different countries", where you will find information about:

Airplane from Chile

The most popular air route to the icy continent begins in the Chilean city of Punta Arenas. Air excursions to the shores of Antarctica are one- and two-day. The two-day tours include an overnight stay at the Chilean Frei station. Theoretically, Russian tourists can spend the night at the Russian Bellingshausen station, located nearby, having previously agreed with scientists through the AARI.

Recently, on one of the job search sites, I came across an ad that indicated that they were being recruited into an Antarctica exploration group. I got interested and decided to figure out what and how.

Antarctica

Antarctica, according to various treaties and conventions, is not anyone's property. It is prohibited to receive any economic benefit on its territory, therefore, only research stations can be located on the territory of Antarctica.

The Russian Federation is represented on Antarctica by five year-round polar stations:

  • Mirny
  • Bellingshausen
  • Youth
  • Novolazarevskaya
  • Progress

There are about the same number of seasonal stations left from the USSR.

All questions about the organization of the expedition to Antarctica are handled by the Russian Antarctic Expedition, which is located in St. Petersburg.

Since Antarctica does not bring money to the treasury, this direction is an expenditure item for the budget, from which many nuances and peculiarities follow.

Progress

Progress is the newest polar station. It was created in the late eighties. Initially, it was created as a seasonal station, but in the early 2000s, construction and reconstruction began. But already in 2008, a fire broke out at this station and the complex, which was intended for wintering, completely burned down. In 2013, a new wintering complex was built, which is the newest among the station of the Russian Federation. All other stations were built in the 50-60s and since then, practically nothing has changed on them.

Progress station, like Mirny, is located on the coast. Foreign stations are located near Progress, Novolazarevskaya and Bellingshausen stations, which makes it possible to communicate with foreign colleagues.

American Colin O'Brady became the first person to cross Antarctica alone on skis. Despite the difficult path, the man managed to take pictures and communicate with his wife on social networks. Was the trip really so difficult, considering that his hero had time to surf the Internet - in the material "360".

The 33-year-old traveler started on November 4 and finished on December 26. For the last 32 hours, Colin walked without stopping. In total, he covered almost 1.5 thousand kilometers in 54 days. The man was dragging a sled with a supply of food, fuel, a tent and other items of equipment - all of which weighed 170 kilograms. Every day he stopped for the night, and also took a break for an hour and a half - at this time he boiled water, cooked food, and also communicated with his wife through social networks. It was not without difficulties: on November 29, he sat in place for 12 hours, because he was injured.

Charity car rally: two Russians in an old Matiz went to Africa

It would seem that traveling across the continent is a difficult path. Indeed, it is extremely cold in Antarctica: in 2010, researchers recorded the lowest temperature, which was minus 93.2 degrees Celsius. In winter on the continent, the average temperature reaches minus 75-60 degrees, and in summer - minus 50-30. However, O'Brady managed to communicate with his wife and post photos on Instagram.

Previously, other travelers tried to conquer Antarctica, but they used the help of their team to replenish supplies and clarify the route. The only attempt to cross the continent alone was made by the British explorer Henry Worsley, who died in the icy wasteland from exhaustion.

In this regard, it became curious whether the journey through Antarctica is really so difficult and allows you to be distracted by social networks.

Records are not for records

From a conversation with a member of the Russian Geographical Community and an honorary member of the European Academy of Survival Oleg Aliyev, "360" learned how to prepare for such campaigns, what to take with you and what to fear in the snowy wastelands. Aliyev is the first person in modern Russia to photograph the tribes of New Guinea. He crossed the Sahara, the Gobi, the South American continent and was in the Arctic.

According to Aliyev, the American has been preparing for a long time, since it is very easy to die in such extreme conditions.

[He lived] in difficult conditions, extreme temperatures. I know from myself what it means to live in such conditions for a long time. It's not easy to live here, you still need to overcome the distance. It is very difficult to ski there - there are hummocks there, and you can fail

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