Nov 28, 2016

Life This Week 28/11/2016: For My Birthday

www.traveller.com.au

I don't usually do much for my birthday but I do know what I'll be doing for my fiftieth (!!)...

www.antarcticaflights.com.au
The dedicated gate for a QANTAS flight to Antarctica.

taking a day trip and flying from Sydney to Antarctica return on a chartered QANTAS plane.

www.tripadvisor.com
It was this article that inspired me.  Basically, the flight path allows for four hours over Antarctica, allowing all passengers ample photo opportunities of the stunning scenery below and around them.   It's the perfect choice if:

  • you're not a cruise kind of person
  • you've also got two left feet on the snow
  • if your body (and mind) tend not too cope well in freezing temperatures.  
Then visiting by air in climate and pressure controlled comfort is obviously the only way to do it.


www.traveller.com.au
People in most seats are issued with two 'tickets' that see them swap seats to ensure everyone gets a chance to sit by the windows.  For those that miss out, though, I have read that the atmosphere is so friendly on board that most of those with window seats to share their view with others quite happily.

YouTube
Waltzing Matilda over Antarctica
The flight is fully catered / staffed as per regular QANTAS flights which includes in flight entertainment but sadly, as it is a charter flight, frequent flyer points cannot be accrued on the flight.  You can access the flight lounges on the day of your flight based on your regular QANTAS membership though.

www.traveller.com.au

It takes several hours to reach Antarctica and several more to return making the total duration for the flight from Sydney around 12 hours.  The flight features several Antarctica experts and expeditioners on each flight who give presentations on board.  In addition to the in flight education, there is a band that plays on board plus the usual QANTAS hospitality.

But I think it would be the energy on board that would make this flight so special.  It's such a unique and breathtaking  thing to do with so few flights per year, everyone on board would just have to be at least happy (if not ecstatic in my case) to be there.  Can you imagine the conversations you'd have on board with fellow passengers and the crew?  The photos?  The blog posts?  Not sure if you can Instagram or live tweet but who knows what may be possible by the time I book my ticket.

On the issue of photos, apparently you fly so closely that even the camera on your average smart phone will give you some brilliant photos.

www.adventuresallaround.com
I've got the plan, I've got a deadline.  I just have to start saving and planning.

Have you done this flight to Antarctica yourself?  Do you have anything bucket list level planned for an upcoming birthday?

21 comments:

  1. Wow this is the first I've heard of this, what a fab idea for a milestone birthday! Definitely unique! I like the idea of viewing the snow from a cosy vantage point too - I'm not great with cold, haha.

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    Replies
    1. I will promise to share all my photos in a blog post if and when!

      SSG xxx

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  2. This sounds like a fantastic idea!!! I'd be happy to get a good book or two for my birthday! ;)

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    Replies
    1. Oohh, good books would come a close second for me as well.

      SSG xxx

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  3. Wow, I've never heard of anything like that before. I actually don't mind the idea of cruising there. I'm not particularly interesting in cruises in general, but somewhere like that where it was more about the destination than the journey.....

    Dare I ask how much the return flights cost? (It looks very celebratory!)

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    Replies
    1. Deborah, you would be correct. They range in price from around $1000 to around $10 000 if my memory serves me...

      SSG xxx

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  4. I've seen this recently on Sydney Weekender with Mike Whitney and he gave it a wrap that it was up there for one of the best experiences in his life. Go girl! I think it is an amazing plan for your birthday. Thanks for linking up at #lifethisweek Denyse x

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    Replies
    1. Good to know, Denyse! I'm focused and I'm saving up already!

      SSG xxx

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  5. I might just steal your idea and use it for my own 50th when it comes around - what a way to celebrate!

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  6. That sounds amazing! Definitely a great activity for a milestone birthday. We did something similar-ish which is a charter flight to see the Northern Lights. Unfortunately you're not guaranteed to see them (and we didn't) but the camaraderie on the plane was just great, plus we got some good stargazing in as a minimum. We all switched seats regularly so everyone could get a good view. It was a lot of fun!

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    Replies
    1. I've been inspired by your travel tales, Rachel! I will definitely blog if and when. Can you imagine me blogging still when I'm 50!?! I hope I still will be.

      SSG xxx

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  7. What an awesome birthday idea! And perfect for cold-phobics like me ;)
    Hope you have a fantastic time...whenever this 50th birthday is! #lifethisweek

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    Replies
    1. Thank you... I have a few (gulp) years to go. Nine...

      SSG xxx

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  8. Wow, I never knew of this experience, but it would be so amazing! Hope you have a fab time!

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  9. Hello! Yes, I did this flight for my 30th Birthday which was 15 years ago. It was a New Years Eve flight. It was incredible and you are spot on about the wonderful camaraderie on board. There is plenty of time for people to swap seats and give everyone time by the window. The only thing I can think of to warn you about was the air sickness. I don't usually get air sick so I was not prepared, but because the plane flies more slowly at low altitude and turns and swerves more to give people optimum views I was quite ill for a number of hours so take some meds if this might be you. Kind Regards, Nat

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  10. Hello Nat!

    Thanks for sharing your experience of the flight and commenting on my blog. Now I really can't wait to book a flight!

    SSG xxx

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  11. I would like to join this group! I love Antarctica very much! Next month I am going to the first in my life big expedition in the Southern ocean https://poseidonexpeditions.com/antarctica/falklands-south-georgia-antarctica-ultimate-wildlife-expedition/ Hope, I'll have a good time on this holidays!

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